Not The Fire Truck!

MIflyer

1st Sergeant
4,571
6,971
May 30, 2011
Cape Canaveral
There were two twin brothers who both became RAF Wing Commanders in WWII. One day one of them was flying to an important conference in the UK but found the airfield he had planned to use socked it. He landed at the first base he could get into. Most RAF airfields had a fire truck and an ambulance spotted on the field as close as possible to the runway. The WC leaped into the ambulance and directed the driver to take him to his conference.

One of the twin WC's then received a letter from the station commander complaining how inappropriate it was to have commandeered the ambulance. He responded that he understood the concern but that it was not he who had swiped the meat wagon but rather his twin brother, adding at the end, "As for me, I always take the fire truck."
 

sotaro

Airman
58
31
Mar 29, 2014
American fire trucks usually don't have locks.
 

sotaro

Airman
58
31
Mar 29, 2014
The ones I drove didn't have keys. Turn on the master switch, hit the starter button, release the air brakes, do what you need to for the transmission (automatic or manual).

MAKE SURE all men are on board and ready and ready to GO! and start moving.
Leaving out the four wheel drive/non air braked vehicles. those were the days!
 

Thumpalumpacus

1st Lieutenant
6,276
8,810
Feb 5, 2021
Tejas
The ones I drove didn't have keys. Turn on the master switch, hit the starter button, release the air brakes, do what you need to for the transmission (automatic or manual).

MAKE SURE all men are on board and ready and ready to GO! and start moving.

Bingo. Crew cab helps for the last bit. Tailboard might be ugly money.
 

Shortround6

Major General
19,815
11,817
Jun 29, 2009
Central Florida Highlands
FA091715-DyeRotator.jpg

Close to our 1955 (in use in the 70s as a spare, if two others were being serviced)
 

Shortround6

Major General
19,815
11,817
Jun 29, 2009
Central Florida Highlands
Our 1959 had a fiberglass cap on the metal body. Also had an engine swap with a 6 cylinder Continental replacing the V-12.
Done at the town garage with a surplus engine originally ordered by the French. French changed their mind and went with diesels. (They were smarter than we were)
Town Mechanics got clutch parts from a junkyard. Shift level came up through a hole in the floor as the shift gate was left off after they found that the newly bent linkage would not allow the lever to to move properly in the gate.
RPM of the engine did not match up well to the transmission making shifting difficult. Lack of accelerated pump in the carb made double clutching difficult. Likewise a heavy flywheel.
Not sure the cutch fully disengaged at times?

I was the last driver to use it in regular service (the '59) the new truck was being fitted out and while taking the old one on a call (false alarm) and blew a shift on a hill and could not get the truck moving again. Eased up on the clutch while giving it a bit of gas and turning the airbrake off. Truck didn't roll back but it didn't go up the hill either. Once the officer got the truck moving we went to headquarters and swapped over the rest of the equipment. Truck hung on for years as a spare, using up about 4 junk yard transmissions (not all with the same shift pattern, 3 & 4 swapped places) and one rear axle.
 

sotaro

Airman
58
31
Mar 29, 2014
Right, the tail-board straps on our P-12s had a few feet of play, you could maybe hit the buzzer if a speed-bump bounced you high enough.
Do you remember the code for the buzzer? Did you have a bar that swung down behind the tailboard riders as well as hand straps, or did the straps go around your torso?
 

Thumpalumpacus

1st Lieutenant
6,276
8,810
Feb 5, 2021
Tejas
Do you remember the code for the buzzer? Did you have a bar that swung down behind the tailboard riders as well as hand straps, or did the straps go around your torso?

No code for the buzzer, if we were lighting off and a tailboarder wasn't ready, a buzz, or if we were already moving and something bad happened in back, again, a buzz.

We had waist-straps and oh-shit handles. No bars or riders, just nylon straps with aluminum latches and the hand-holds from an overhead frame.
 

MIflyer

1st Sergeant
4,571
6,971
May 30, 2011
Cape Canaveral
American fire trucks usually don't have locks.
A friend of mine went to work for the Detroit Fire Dept just after WWII, when he got back from flying Spits, Hurricanes, and B-24's. Recall the old fire trucks with separate steering in the back? When he was steering the rear and they came up on a 90 degree corner, he would turn the wheel so that he beat the rest of the truck around the corner and was already straightened out onto the new road when the front of the truck came around the corner.

The new trucks look like they combined a fire truck with a city bus.
 

Users who are viewing this thread