Comments in italics are from the Raisin Squad.
Photos 1 and 2: Fixed scene lighting, regardless of being halogen or LED, is pretty much standard on all apparatus. Lights are usually flush or recessed into cab or body sheet metal and not adjustable. This pumper and ladder featured adjustable scene lights—one mounted on the top of side compartments and the other mounted on a hosebed side sheet. Not a bad idea. It’s about time people got back to reality. At least they got handles so you don’t burn the hell out of your fingers adjusting them. That’s stupid—can’t they leave well enough alone?
Photos 3 and 4: This has blue compartment and pump panel lighting. What’s the benefit of blue lights? Does blue cost more than red or green? Is it easier on the eyes? It’s just another gimmick.
Photo 5: At one show, another Raisin and I walked by a tanker. That’s stupid. Look at those manual dump valves. Couldn’t they afford to enclose them? The manufacturer’s owner said the customer saved a substantial amount by not enclosing them in sheet metal. When asked how much, he replied, “thousands,” and added “Besides, it’s easier to service them down the road. You know, the total cost of ownership is something some people don’t consider.” Summit 1, Raisins 0.
Photo 6: On this rig, three hard sleeves and a strainer are mounted low and are easily accessible from ground level by a single firefighter. Well, maybe they know what they’re doing.
Photo 7: This apparatus also has four easily reachable hard sleeves and strainers mounted low. Looking at in-service apparatus at trade shows allows prospective purchasers to see the “real world.” That’s dumb. It makes the hosebed higher. I like low hosebeds, but if it works for them so be it.
Photo 8: This rig has grab rails mounted both above and below the lighting on the rear side sheets. Why spend double for grab rails? It’ll make life easier for short armed fellas.
Photo 9: This sharp looking rescue has mirror finished stainless steel on the compartments’ inner door pans. It makes it look like you’re carrying twice as much stuff. Whadda ya do about fingerprints? At least you don’t need so many compartment lights.
Photo 10: I walked around this pumper several times staring at the pump panel labels. I finally gave up and asked one of the manufacturer’s reps where the sled was going. I was standing in front of the rig, and he just pointed up at the windshield and smiled. It said Costa Rica. Old people don’t look up all the time.
Photo 11: When is the last time you’ve seen a hose hoist mounted and secured? This truck is typical of how this manufacturer brings “loaded” rigs to trade shows. They do a good job laying out compartments. Hose hoist? I think we had one back in the 1980s but I forgot how they work.
Photo 12: I like the hose load and discharge layout on this pumper. The hose is flat loaded so you can pull only what you need and hook up to the outlet or you can dump the whole load and do the same thing. Discharges capable of doing double duty is a smart move and saves money. What if you need all three lines? Couldn’t they afford three discharges? I like the whole bed preconnected.
Photo 13: When you pull the slide tray with the HRT equipment on this unit, the four-way roller guides slide out of the compartment as well. It helps the HRT hose from binding up on stuff. The manufacturer often uses large permanent access steps. Must be an old guy designed the rig. If you’re careful pulling the hose you won’t need roller guides.
Photo 14: This cab has an intermediate corner step in the crew cab. It was easy to get in and out of the cab. There’s enough room to put both feet on the bottom step when making that last 24-inch step to the ground. It looks funny but I guess it works. It’s gotta be easier when you’re carrying something.
Photo 15: This truck has HRT tools mounted on a turnstile (spinning tray), making maximum use of the compartment space. Looks like a damn carousel. I’ve got a lazy-Susan like that in my kitchen, but it works good though. I’d like to get one for my work bench.
Photos 16 and 17: This rig has a similar setup, except the tools are mounted on a slide-out tray. These manufacturers keep trying to outdo each other.
Photo 18: Look at that—they got cameras everywhere. How many views can they watch at the same time? Is it in color or black and white?
Photo 19: Thi rescue features a slide out tray for the HRT equipment as well as one for the three electric rewind reels and their roller guides. Remember the good ole days when we did the same stuff with a porta-power, a crow bar and a portable generator for lights?
Photo 20: No commentary is complete without me whining about LDH connections overhanging tailboards and running boards and the possible damage in case of an “oops.” It is admirable having a rear 2½-inch direct tank fill low enough so it can be reached from the ground. A decent sized tailboard would absorb most, if not all, of an impact before the tank fill is driven into the tank. My own personalized Raisin question: Which would be cheaper to fix—the tailboard or the tank’s rear wall?
Photo 21: This elliptical tanker has dual preconnects piped outside the pump box to open troughs on the top of the side running board compartments. They’re neatly boxed in with a removable plate to access the piping, and you can access the swivel couplings. The alternative is to run the piping through compartments, through the tank, or below the tank through the frame rails to rear connections. Sometimes simpler is better.
Photos 22 and 23. I’m not a proponent of crosslays hanging over a pump operator’s head or obscuring gauges on a pump panel. This pump panel has a treadplate “don’t know what to call it” that protects some of the panel gauges and possibly the operator’s noggin if a crosslay coupling breaks loose. They can use it as a step too. Yeah—it’s a good place to mount grab handles. It ain’t a bad idea. The crosslays are nice and low.