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Pump Truck Gets Water To Fires Fast
"We converted a 1967 Chevy 4-WD truck into a fast-working pump truck that lets us pump water out of a pond, creek, or lake at up to 2,000 gpm so we can get it to a fire faster," says Lawrence Wood of Peshtigo, Wis., who's a member of his local volunteer fire department.
  He mounted a low pressure, high volume pump on back of the truck. A length of aluminum pipe runs from the pump up over the cab to a big swing boom on front of the pickup. The boom is used to fill a tanker truck. The boom rotates back and forth and moves up and down, controlled by hydraulics off a pto-driven hydraulic pump. To drive the water pump, Wood mounted a transfer case out of an old International 3/4-ton 4-WD pickup between the transmission and rear end, turning the transfer case backward so that it can drive either the rear wheels or the pump (one shaft goes to the truck's rear wheels and the other one to the pump). The control lever for the transfer case, which would normally be used to switch the pickup in or out of 4-WD, is located in the cab, just to the left of the gearshift lever.
  "It works great, but operating it does take a while to get used to," says Wood. "We spent less than $10,000. We had been using 250-gpm portable pumps to fill the tanker from ponds or creeks, manually lifting the hoses up onto a truck. It was a slow job and required a lot of labor.
  "There are three 20-ft. aluminum pipes carried on the right side of the truck and three 10-ft. long rubber hoses on the left side, for a total of 90 ft. of suction pipe that can be hooked up to the pump. There's also a screen and float on the end of the pipe in the water. We alternate the rubber and aluminum pipes to better follow the ground contour. After connecting the pipes together we use vacuum from the truck intake manifold to prime the pump. Then we fill the tank. Once we arrive at the fill site with the truck we put the emergency brake on and shift the transfer case. Then we shift into third gear and let the clutch out to operate the pump and fill the truck.
  "The swing boom mounts on a big steel pipe which is welded onto a 2 1/2-ft. sq. steel plate that's welded onto the front of the truck."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Lawrence Wood, W4575 Woodland Rd., Peshtigo, Wis. 54157 (ph 715 789-2156).

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1999 - Volume #23, Issue #4