FireTruck Diary

My experiences restoring and playing with a 1960 Ford C-850 Fire Engine

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   Friday, August 09, 2002
So Close and Yet...
So far I haven't been able to get much time with DeTruck. Perhaps it's the demands of family life. I have a four-year old who deserves every minute I can find to spend with him. I have a wife who has a career and yet manages to do 5 times the housework I do. I have a job that pays me hourly, so time off is unfunded. I have a compulsive need to read at least 150 pages a day. Poor truck.

I think about DeTruck all the time. I snatch minutes here and there to buy things for it :-) I spend MUCH more time blogging about it than actually working on it. Yet perhaps it's just a phase. There's not a lot I can actually do to it right now. Many of my plans are on hold till I get plates for it (should be in any day now.) I do get a bit of time most weekends. This weekend I intend to install the rear facing camera and television screen, which should allow me to be able to back the truck in the driveway without help (this has been a problem so far.) I also purchased a back-up alarm to go BEEP-BEEP-BEEP when I put DeTruck in reverse, oh lucky neighbors!!!

I learned a LOT from the 'Introduction to Fire Pump Operations' book. I now know many of the significant differences between positive displacement pumps (piston, rotary, etc.) and centrifugal pumps. I understand much more about drafting (sucking water from a stream, pond, etc.) and the various aspects of math that come into play while pumping. It has become clear to me that I don't ever want anyone to actually be relying on me, DeTruck or its pump for their safety.

I turn 40 next month. I had, for years, planned a trip to Amsterdam with my wife for my treat. We intended to leave my kid with his uncle and aunt for 6-8 days. Alas, I cannot bring myself to put an ocean between us while the world is so skittish. So many folks have asked if DeTruck is my present. Good question. I hadn't really thought of it that way. It may turn out that, while the truck itself is not my present, that the absurd amount I am spending on things like proximity suits:

traffic cones, gated wye valves, nozzles, hoses, books, wheel chocks, hydrant wrenches, spanners, turnout gear, cameras, etc., etc., etc. are my present :-) (I've actually gotten almost everything at way below average prices, the issue is how many things, not their individual prices.)

Yet to come, I want to take the truck to a real truck mechanic and get a once over for it. Goodness knows what will be found, but I'd rather know before I get out on the road. I'm still a bit gunshy after having had to have it towed once already. It's so BIG. And it gets three times as big when it's dead and blocking someone's driveway or two lanes of traffic.

I'm still ensorceled by it. I want to get it out in front of my house again just to get a good look at it. I'm a lucky guy.


Index of Post Titles:

Vital Statistics:
1960 Ford

534 cid
5-speed Gas
277 horsepower

27000 lbs. GVW

Young Fire Equip.

1000 gal. tank

500 GPM Hale
Midship Pump
Type QSHD-2,

Ferrell Fire Co.,
Ferrell, NJ

Buchanan VFD,
Buchanan, TX