The City of New London Capital Equipment and Projects Committee approved the purchase of a new pump truck for the Fire Department at its Feb. 25 meeting.
The city’s current pump truck, No. 954 is 20 years old and in need of repair, while its back up, No. 953 is 30 years old and no longer up to NFPA standards.
New London Fire Chief Bart Roloff attended the meeting and presented proposals from local manufacturers.
Roloff explained the differences between trucks with custom chassis versus commercial chassis. He said that custom chassis will cost $30,000 to $40,000 more than commercial chassis, but in looking past the invoice prices, manufacturers would likely charge to up fit the commercial unit with items such as NFPA steps, bumper extensions and air horns.
He told committee members that some of the advantages of the custom chassis include seating space, turning radius, length, safety features and durability.
He said that most commercial chassis do not adapt well for officer air pack seating, due to legroom.
“With the commercial chassis, we can plan for three SCBA seats and two standard front seats. A custom chassis will fit six, with five SCBA seating,” said Roloff.
He also said the custom chassis puts the front axle behind the driver’s seat, which helps the turn angle of the truck and reduces the wheelbase.
“The wheelbase on the custom chassis on all these models will be close to 186 inches. The commercial chassis on all these models will be approximately 245 inches,” he said.
The overall length of the commercial chassis is typically longer than the custom chassis.
Roloff also said that the custom chassis typically have higher crash test standards, and are more durable.
The committee also reviewed the minutes of the Feb. 16 Police and Fire Commission. The commission recommended the purchase of the custom-built truck from Marion Body Works.
The bid received from Marion Body Works on the commercial built engine was $299,921 and the bid for its custom built engine was $339,799.
A bid from Pierce Manufacturing on the commercial built engine was $275,845, and the bid for its custom built engine was $357,425.
The committee voted to recommend purchase of a custom pre-built Marion Body Works engine for $339,799. The estimated build time for the truck is approximately 150 days.
The recommendation will go before the full city council for approval.