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Sutphen Builds Short-Wheelbase, Maneuverable Pumpers for the Mabscott (WV) Volunteer Fire Department

By Alan M. Petrillo

The Mabscott (WV) Volunteer Fire Department had previously purchased two custom engines from Sutphen Corp., so when it decided it needed new pumper on a short wheelbase that would be maneuverable for mountainous terrain, it again turned to Sutphen to build the rig.

Sutphen Corp. built this custom pumper for the Mabscott (WV) Volunteer Fire Department on a Monarch heavy duty custom chassis with an EZ Trac all-wheel-drive system, a flat-roof 56-inch extended cab, a 450-hp Cummins L9 engine, and an Allison 3000 EVS Gen 5 automatic transmission. (Photos courtesy of Heritage Fire Equipment.)

Tim Zutaut, Mabscott’s chief, says the department’s single station in the Appalachian Mountains houses 18 volunteer firefighters, three engines, three tankers, a rescue truck, an aerial ladder, and a brush truck. “The roads get snowy and icy in the winter, and sometimes we have to take our trucks off road, so we wanted four-wheel drive on our new pumper,” Zutaut points out. “We also wanted the pumper to have a short wheelbase and good angles of approach and departure.”

The Mabscott pumper has a Hale QFlo 1,250-gpm single stage pump, and a 750-gallon water tank.


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Justin Howell, Southeast region sales manager for Sutphen, says Sutphen had previously built a number of wildland urban interface (WUI) pumpers on short wheelbases with four-wheel drive and pump-and-roll capability. “We extracted some of those features and incorporated them into a short-wheelbase pumper with an EZ Trac all-wheel-drive system,” Howell says. “The finished pumper has a 167inch -wheelbase, a 27-foot 9-inch overall length, and a 9-foot 6-inch overall height.”

Mabscott pumper has a 17-degree angle of approach.

Harry Sutphen, owner of Heritage Fire Equipment, who sold the engine to Mabscott, notes the new pumper is built on a Monarch heavy duty custom chassis with a flat-roof 56-inch extended cab set up for four firefighters, powered by a 450-hp Cummins L9 diesel engine, and an Allison 3000 EVS Gen5 automatic transmission, with a 320-amp Leece Neville alternator. “The pumper has a 17-degree angle of approach, and a 15-degree angle of departure,” Sutphen says, “a flip-up tailboard, and a 10-inch-high urban interface steel bumper with a steel skid plate underneath.” He adds that the pumper has more than 200 feet of compartment space covered by Amdor roll-up doors and an Alco-Lite ladder package of one 24-foot two section extension ladder, one 14-foot roof ladder, and a 10-foot folding ladder on the rig’s right side.

Angle of departure on the Mabscott pumper is 15 degrees, which is assisted by the vehicle’s flip-up tail board.

Zutaut notes that Mabscott’s new pumper has a Hale QFlo 1,250-gpm single-stage pump, a 750-gallon water tank, two 1¾-inch hose crosslays (200 and 150 feet), a 200-foot 2½-inch preconnect at the rear, an Akron 3444 High Riser 1,250-gpm deck gun, and a booster reel with 200 feet of one-inch hose. Mabscott carries 800 feet of 4-inch LDH in its low hosebed (43 inches from the tailboard to the bottom of the hosebed).

Wheelbase on the Mabscott rig is 167 inches, overall length is 27 feet 9 inches, and overall height is 9 feet 6 inches.

Lighting on the Mabscott pumper includes a 72-inch Whelen Freedom IV 12-module LED light bar, a Whelen L31 LED beacon, FRC Spectra 12-volt LED telescoping scene lights, and FireTech WL-2000 LED headlights. A Federal Q2B siren is mounted in the grille.

ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Arizona-based journalist, the author of three novels and five nonfiction books, and a member of the Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment Editorial Advisory Board. He served 22 years with the Verdoy (NY) Fire Department, including in the position of chief.

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