By Jason S. Darley
The Darley 1.5AGE24K has earned its position as a best-in-class wildland firefighting pump and continues to demonstrate why it maintains a strong market lead. The 1.5AGE pump is a high-pressure, low-volume, single-stage pump with a single impeller that provides the performance characteristics usually only found in multi-stage, i.e., multiple impeller pumps. The simplicity of the design, the reliability, and the performance metrics align to make the 1.5AGE the workhorse pump of choice for the largest wildland firefighting agencies in the United States and some of the largest fleets in the world.
This hallmark Darley product continues to provide the reliability required of those agencies facing the rigors of the now year-round wildland firefighting season. There are likely thousands of these pumps in use daily during wildfire season and the parts order and warranty claim metrics are minimal, providing a warranty claim ratio hundreds of times better than suggested benchmarks for similar products.
We often hear about “field replaceable” being a benefit to wildland firefighters. In some cases, departments justify purchasing other pumps or apparatus by considering the pump a consumable product. Darley counters this argument with an explanation of the simplicity of the 1.5AGE pump end and design. The 1.5AGE pump end can ship complete and allows for an extremely rapid replacement process; four bolts through the flywheel. We also discuss the warranty claim metrics and educate our customer that given the reliability of the performance of this pump, it doesn’t need to be field replaceable. Darley designs the product to last for the life of the vehicle, not as a consumable product that will need replacement.
On the performance end, the 1.5AGE24K has maximum pressures of more than 400 pounds per square inch (psi) for wildland mop-up and overhaul operations and maximum flows of up to 180 gallons per minute (gpm) to power handlines and higher flow wildland applications. This power comes out of a single impeller, allowing for a compact product with fewer total parts and significantly fewer moving parts, eliminating the likelihood of potential failure. The 1.5AGE has been produced for generations at Darley by generations of Darleys and is constantly improved at any opportunity. And if you do have the opportunity to visit our production plant in Chippewa Falls, WI, we would love to show you some relics of our manufacturing, my personal favorite in the 1.5AGE line being a 1963 in our test room.
While we couple the 1.5AGE to many gasoline and diesel engines, we also offer hydraulic drive packages and other drive methods on the 1.5AG product line. The overwhelming winner by volume in the wildland marketplace is the 1.5AGE24K, coupling to another workhorse spanning multiple vocations, the 24 horsepower (hp) D902 Kubota three-cylinder diesel engine rated at 24.8 hp. The reliability of the Kubota product line and the pound-for-pound performance and packaging opportunities make this an ideal choice for the wildland firefighting community. The service and support side make it a natural fit to couple to a Darley where performance, service, and support are hallmarks of a generational company.
Jason S. Darley is North American sales manager for W.S. Darley & Company.