Frequently Asked Questions

Because of the well known drafting capability of vacuum units, this is an area to investigate.  A pumper or pond pumper with a "big" (1000 gpm+) fire pump has the same potential when it drafts.  Standard SOP's, good training and evaluations of static wataer sources as well as proper selection and use of strainers is important in all scenarios.  Placing the strainer in a debris free area with sufficient water depth is required.  Non-floating barrell strainers can easily load sand, debris and rocks.  This is why Firovac has designed and patented a floating low flow strainer with detachable pan.  One strainer can effectively be used in all applications including a solid bottom stream or lake.

You do not have to do anything different if you want to continue as you are now.  If you want to increase water supply to the fire, several simple things can be done.  By using a drop tank, which is like another truck in the system (only much less expensive), the water supply system can become more efficient and versatile.

1. At a fill site: set a drop tank off to the side of a pumper or low flow hydrant and fill it when not filling gravity dump tankers.  Firovac can load from the drop tank through 6" hose instead of 2.5" or 3" hose.  This will also reduce congestion or waiting in line to load. This will improve the efficiency of the fill site from 70% to 90%.

2. At a dump site: set a drop tank at the pumper (instead of "nursing" it).  This serves two purposes: a) to provide a water reserve for the pumper, b) to allow the tanker to get more water quicker. Parked trucks do not move water.

3. Think outside the box: a) save driving time by getting water from closer static sources instead of driving extra distances back to town or to a hydrant and b) "relay dumping".

The vacuum pump and water valves are controlled by switches with indicators in the cab. 

To unload: open the desired valve, put pump on pressure, bring PTO to desired rating.  The pump has an over speed feature.  PTO speed is controlled by engine RPM. When unloaded, decrease the RPM's, put pump in neutral, close valve.

To load:put pump on vacuum, connect hose, open valve, bring PTO to desired rating.  When loaded, decrease the RPM's, put pump in neutral, close valve. Vent hose to remove easily.

If the unit has a fire pump, it is controlled like any fire pump from outside the cab at a driver side pump panel. Pump is PTO driven, tank vent automatically opens when pump is engaged.

Yes!  Firovac is specifically designed to fit into any present system.  However, its water delivery rate will be no better than that system.  It may have you sit in line with all other tankers giving personel time to stand and watch the loading process.  Firovac can enhance many present systems by running an extra line from a pressure load source (pump or hydrant) to a portable tank.  Firovac can then load from there at 1000-1500gpm.  This utilizes all the pumpers water - eliminating the usual "down" time.  This will also enhance a slow hydrant flow rate.

We primarily build vacuum apparatus.  Vacuum apparatus can do anything conventional apparatus does, then go beyond in performance to the next generation of water supply.

These units can be built as tankers, tankers with portable pumps or transfer pumps, tanker/pumpers with fire pumps.  Fire pumps can range from 500-1250gpm.  Water tanks can range from 1000-4000 gallon and are usually constructed of polished aluminum with reinforced 1/2" bottom.  Compartments range from basic 2 to lower compartments to additional high side compartments. Units are built to fit each Department's needs.  Foam systems, bumper turrets and many other features are available.

We have built Class A conventional pumpers and vacuum pumpers as well as grass and brush fire units.

Yes and when you say "our trucks suck" we take that as a complement.  Like a primer pump, vacuum removes air from a system allowing water to be loaded.

If you would be interested in a demonstration, please call or contact us using the links above. We also can send you more literature at your request.