MMCFD Tanker Project

Fall 2004

Contact:    Dick P. 

September 2004 MMCFD starts to spec our next tanker.  Check  out the following builders

Spencer Mfg. Southaven, MI.

Custom Fire Wisconsin

CSI Fire Grayling, MI.


Mid Michigan Community Fire Department aka St. Louis Fire - Rescue is in the process of spec a new Tanker. Our current rig is a 1982? Almont epical tank, 3000gal, 1979 International 2500 tandem, 210hp, auto with a 500gal pto pump, 2 pre-connects, and a 10" Newton dump. The truck weights 50,000#.

With all that said, we have been monitoring FEMA safety information for the last few years. Tankers are injuring and killing many of our Firefighters.

As we work on the new truck, I would ask your input on how to build a tanker that is a safer apparatus than we have now.

Some thoughts;

Tankers roll over frequently, they have a high center of gravity and many we never designed to fill the roll as emergency vehicles.

Our present tanker (tender) is heavy, does not stop well and is slow (accelerating) to accelerate.

The new truck should be very easy to operate, should we consider less water, single axle? Or tandem with 2,500-3,000 gal?

WE operate on US-127 and several busy state highways. We would like our truck to be very well light on emergency scenes. The tanker for example could be used to block/shut off a lane of traffic on the freeway. Amber lights? Arrow sticks? Stripping?

We would like that ability to pump and roll and have a remote controlled nozzle on the front bumper (does not have to be on front bumper)


A crew cab chassis (maybe??)

The ability to fill and dump quickly.

Power to quickly accelerate but governed

The ability to stop, engine brake i.e. Jake or something similar.

Single axle? 2,000-2,500 gals, Tandem axle 2,500-3,000 gals?

Low center of gravity

Roll up doors, storage

Low mounted or automatic portable tank (3,000gal) for us old firefighters  who cannot lift like we used to (safety).

Navistar Chassis, we would want our local dealer to give us a price on a chassis as they do a great job servicing it.

UPDATE September 30th 2004. After talking to you guys and discussing information with Chief Apps we came with some additional questions/parameters.

We are becoming more interested in a tandem chassis. Are single axles really safer?

How much water can we carry safety (i.e. low center of gravity) on tandem v single axle.?

What are the cost differences between single tankers v tandem?

We do want a remote control deluge somewhere on the truck,

Low profile, low center of gravity remains on of our biggest requirements. We want this apparatus designed a safely as possible.

Poly "T" Tank for durability.

Low load/unload height for the portable tank. Portable tank needs to be a 3,000 gal unit.

Pre-connects 2-2.5 discharges minimum.

PTO pump at least 500 gpm

Hose bed that can accept LDH.

Preferable a "Dry Sided" Design.

Please let me know your opinions.


Dick P, Lieutenant