|Alan M. Petrillo|
The Wilkesboro (NC) Fire Department’s truck committee wanted a simple, flexible design in a new pumper that would allow them to change things around on the vehicle as the need arose.
They also needed more compartment space for hydraulic rescue equipment and wanted to keep the size of the wheelbase and the pump panel to a minimum. The committee got what it wanted in a custom pumper from 4 Guys Fire Trucks.
|1 The Wilkesboro (NC) Fire Department had 4 Guys Fire Trucks build this custom pumper on a Spartan Gladiator chassis with a ELFD long four door cab. [Photos 1-3 courtesy of the Wilkesboro (NC) Fire Department.]|
Jason Smithey, Wilkesboro’s chief, says this is the sixth piece of apparatus he’s been involved in purchasing in his career as both a paid and volunteer firefighter. “We wanted a vehicle that we were going to use in some capacity for 30 years,” Smithey says. “It might run first out for 10 years, then second out for the next 10 years, and then third out after that. At that time, we also could expand its role into a hazardous materials vehicle if needed.”
Bob Pursel, owner of Commonwealth Fire Equipment Co. Inc., sold the rig to Wilkesboro and is a longtime friend of Smithey. “He had seen some pumpers on the 4 Guys Web site and called me to ask for more information,” Pursel says. “He asked 4 Guys to allow him to work with me because of our past association instead of with a North Carolina dealer, and 4 Guys agreed.”
Pursel notes that the Wilkesboro truck committee wanted a narrow pump panel and as much compartment space on the vehicle as possible so they could make it a combination pumper-rescue unit. “They also got rid of the crosslays at the midship station and relocated [preconnected lines] all to the rear of the pumper,” he says. “There are four speedlays in removable trays, each piped to a 2½-inch discharge below each tray. The department also can put a reducer or gated wye on one of the discharges to have smaller-diameter hose preconnected.”
|2 The Wilkesboro pumper carries a Hale Qmax SX 1,500-gpm side-mount pump with a 35-inch-wide pump panel and manual valves.|
As delivered, the pumper has a Spartan Gladiator chassis and ELFD four-door cab with seating for six firefighters featuring a 203½-inch wheelbase, a 33-foot 10-inch overall length, and a 9-foot 6½-inch overall height. The pumper is powered by a Cummins 450-horsepower (hp) ISX12 diesel engine and an Allison 3000 EVS automatic transmission and carries a Hale Qmax XS 1,500-gallon-per-minute (gpm) side-mount pump, a 600-gallon copolymer water tank, and an FRC Pump Boss pressure governor.
Smithey says the theory behind moving all the preconnects to the rear of the pumper was “to unclutter the pumper and make it a clean design with a simple concept. The discharges are 60 inches high, so a firefighter can pull out the hose onto his shoulder and go left, right, or straight ahead.” The rear speedlays work well with Wilkesboro’s strategy for fighting structure fires, he maintains, because with rear discharges, the pumper can pull past the structure and deploy its hoselines while still allowing space for the department’s 95-foot midmount aerial platform quint with a 2,000-gpm pump and 300-gallon water tank.
|3 The pumper has four speedlays in removable trays at the rear of the vehicle. Ground ladders are stored in a through-the-tank covered compartment.|
The new 4 Guys pumper has a 35-inch-wide pump panel with manual valves, thanks to 4 Guys engineering and the Hale Qmax XS pump, says Mark Brenneman, engineer at 4 Guys Fire Trucks. “The chief insisted we get rid of the 2½-inch suction intake, which also allowed the panel to be smaller and save space,” Brenneman says. “The truck committee put two Task Force Tips Jumbo Gate Valves, one on each side, on the six-inch suction intakes.”
The vehicle also has a 2½-inch discharge in a sump compartment in the 21-inch extended front bumper, as well as an Elkhart Brass Stinger 8297 monitor with a 1,250-gpm nozzle on top of the rig.
|4 The Wilkesboro pumper carries an Elkhart Brass Stinger 8297 monitor with a 1,250-gpm nozzle on top of the rig. (Photo 4 courtesy of Commonwealth Fire Equipment Co. Inc.)|
Other features on the pumper, he notes, are the speedlays coming off the rear of the vehicle, which caused 4 Guys to engineer the water tank to accomplish that, as well as fit the ladders and Stokes basket through the water tank. “Everything being stored inside and under cover makes the design a bit more challenging,” Brenneman says, “because we didn’t want to waste any space but still wanted to make all the equipment easily accessible.” 4 Guys accomplished that task, says Smithey. “If it’s engineeringly possible and safe to do, 4 Guys will build it for you,” he says.
4 Guys also installed slide-out trays in half of the compartments and removable shelving in the other half, so Wilkesboro could adjust its equipment space as its needs changed. The department currently is carrying Hurst eDRAULIC rescue tools – a cutter, spreader, and ram – in the rear driver’s side compartment. “This is our first-due apparatus,” Smithey points out, “so we wanted the eDRAULIC tools easily accessible. Our second-due pumper carries gasoline-powered Hurst tools.”
|5 The front of the custom pumper carries two Mars lights at the edges and a Roto-Ray in the center, as well as Whelen LED warning lights. (Photos 5-8 courtesy of 4 Guys Fire Trucks.)|
Pursel adds that the pumper has an Onan 6-kW hydraulic generator, Whelen LED warning lighting, eight Spectra LED 20,000-lumen LED scene lights (two on each side, two at the front, and two at the rear), and an aluminum diamond plate hosebed cover.
ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Arizona-based journalist, the author of three novels and five nonfiction books, and a member of the Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment editorial advisory board. He served 22 years with the Verdoy (NY) Fire Department, including in the position of chief.
|6 The pumper’s extended front bumper has a 2½-inch discharge with a gated wye preconnected to a 1¾-inch hoseline.|
Wilkesboro (NC) Fire Department
|7 The custom pumper 4 Guys built for Wilkesboro is powered by a Cummins 450-hp ISX 12 diesel engine and an Allison 3000 EVS automatic transmission..|
4 Guys Fire Trucks Custom Pumper
- Spartan Gladiator chassis and ELFD four-door cab
- 203.6-inch wheelbase
- 33-foot 10-inch overall length
- 9-foot 6½-inch overall height
- Cummins 450-hp ISX12 diesel engine
- Allison 3000 EVS automatic transmission
- Hale Qmax SX 1,500-gpm side-mount pump
- 600-gallon copolymer water tank
- FRC Pump Boss pressure governor
- 35-inch-wide pump panel with manual valves
- Elkhart Brass 1,250-gpm Stinger 8297 monitor
- Four rear speedlays
- Two six-inch suction intakes
- Two Task Force Tips Jumbo Gate Valves
- 21-inch extended front bumper with 2½-inch discharge in sump box
- Slide-out trays and adjustable shelving
- Onan 6-kW hydraulic generator
- Whelen LED warning lighting
- Four Spectra LED 20,000-lumen scene lights at sides
- Two 20,000-lumen Spectra LED scene lights at front
- Two 20,000-lumen Spectra LED scene lights at rear
- Aluminum diamond plate hosebed cover
- Ladder and Stokes basket compartments through the tank
|8 The wheelbase on the Wilkesboro pumper is 203.6 inches, overall length is 33 feet 10 inches, and overall height is 9 feet 6½ inches.|