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Wildfire Equipment Research & Development


Roscommon Equipment Center


Below, you will find a basic calculator for estimating the water tank size that a pick-up truck can handle.  This is only an estimate.  This tool may help you choose a chassis by providing a starting point prior to preparing more refined calculations.  Some things that will affect the accuracy of this calculator include:

Occupant weights and some storage have been programmed into this calculator.  It is strongly suggested that you consider using the lower end of the range given.  The high end of the range is possible if lightweight materials are used and storage is kept to a minimum.  The pick-up platform storage, occupant weight, hose reels, and other accessories are a big percentage of the total load placed on the vehicle.  Therefore, it is difficult to estimate accurate water capacity without knowing more about the unit.  It is suggested that you use the REC Detailed Calculator - Pickup Truck Slip On Units for a more refined estimate.

Remember to weigh the finished vehicle, fully loaded and ready for operation prior to placing the vehicle into service. Make sure it does not exceed the manufacturer’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating or the ratings for either axle.

REC’s publications Project 61: Slip-On Water Tank Units and Newsnote #3: Guidelines for Designing Wildland Fire Engines provide additional information.

BASIC CALCULATOR - PICKUP TRUCK SLIP ON UNITS


Enter the vehicle's GVWR as given by the lbs.
manufacturer.
Enter the weight of chassis or truck prior to lbs.
adding tank, pump and fire accessories.

Expect tank size to range from to
gallons of water.