Wildfire Equipment Research & Development

Roscommon Equipment Center


Newsnote #22, Simple Electronic Sand Table

The Roscommon Equipment Center (REC) and MIDNR staff have once again worked together to develop a simple to use, electronic sand table. This sand table allows for ease of setup, transportability, saving event scenario's, no mess and photo realistic renderings of any given wildfire or other emergency event.

Newsnote #21, Utility Task Vehicle (UTV) Roof

REC staff in conjunction with the MIDNR have worked together to create a low cost roof design for attachment to Roll Over Protection (ROPS) equipped utility vehicles.The roof design gives agencies a way to fabricate and install an economical steel roof over their suitable vehicles in order to further protect the vehicles' operator from debris frequently encountered while operating in a wooded location.

Newsnote #20, Marsh vehicle wiper, attachment to flatten phragmite grass in preperation for prescribed burns

Marsh/wet lands where phragmite typically grow can be difficult terrain to operate heavy equipment in. The MIDNR recognized this and have begun using an amphibious machine called a MarshMaster to be able to traverse this type of terrain.  REC and MIDNR staff have developed a simple and low cost pull behind compaction device that effectively compacts this type of vegetation without the need for mowing or chopping.

Newsnote #19, Fire Prevention “Tree game”

REC staff in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MIDNR) have worked together to create an interactive carnival type game to help communicate the message of fire prevention.The "Tree Game" gives agencies a tool to be able to better explain causes of forest fire to children and give them a chance to learn how forest fires are extinguished by having them actively participate in putting out a mock fire on the Tree Game.

Newsnote #18, Wick Style Flame Thrower, Utility Vehicle slip in unit for prescribed burns

This document describes the flamethrower's ability to project burning matter while creating a high intensity sustained

heat some distance away from the wildland firefighter. This is beneficial to reach remote pockets of fuels regardless of  whether those fuels are wetland fuels or sparse vegetation that are intended to be consumed during a prescribed burn.

Newsnote #17, Easy Access Brake Fluid Reservoir for Military 6x6's

Newsnote 17 provides information on installing a remote brake fluid reservoir for FEPP/FPP 6x6's.  This allows much easier checking and refilling of the brake fluid, eliminating the need to remove floor panels for access.

Newsnote #16, Commercial Filter Equivalents for Military 6x6's

REC has identified commercially available filters that will work on your FEPP/FPP 6x6's.  This newsnote documents the manufacturers, their part numbers, and any peculiarities about using a substitute filter.

Newsnote #15, Automatic Transmission Fluid Overheating:  New Jersey Forest Fire Service's Solution to High Temperature Problems in Ford F-350 and F-450

This document discusses the causes and problems of high oil temperatures in automatic transmissions.  It also provides information on ways to alleviate these problems on popular Ford commercial light duty trucks.

Newsnote #14, Preventive Maintenance for FEPP/FPP 6x6 Suspension Torque Rods

This newsnote supplies information on inspection of the rubber bushed ball joints in the torque rods.  This document provides information on these components that may keep a minor problem from becoming a major failure and repair problem.

Newsnote #13, Adding a Backup Alarm to Military 6x6's

This document shows a method for adding a backup alarm system to a military 6x6.  This will work with either 2.5 or 5-Ton models with manual transmission.  It utilizes a wobble stick type switch mounted near the gear shift lever.  The paper includes a brief description, photos of the mounting, and a drawing to make the mounting bracket. 

Newsnote #12, Weights & Loading of M1009 CUCV 3/4 Ton Blazer

A single page flyer that lists the load ratings for the M1009 and discusses the potential water load capacity. The M1009 is the U.S. Military version of the General Motors K10516 Blazer. See Newsnote #10 for directions to convert the 24 volt electric system to 12 volt on these vehicles.

Newsnote #11, Weights & Loading of M1008 CUCV 5/4 Ton Pickup

A single page flyer that lists the load ratings for the M1008 and discusses the potential water load capacity.  The M1008 is the U.S. Military version of the General Motors K30903 4-wheel-drive pickup. See Newsnote #10 for directions to convert the 24 volt electric system to 12 volt on these vehicles.

Newsnote #10,  Conversion of M1008 and M1009 Electric Systems to 12 Volt

This document illustrates how to convert the quasi-24 volt electric system  on these vehicles to 12 volt.  The M1008 / M1009 were designed for civilian use and are mid-1980's General Motors pickup and Blazer models modified for the military.  The underlying electric system is still the civilian 12 volt.  This paper presents a step-by-step photo-illustrated direction sheet for doing this conversion.  Also see Newsnote #11 and Newsnote#12 for guidance on installing water tank units to these vehicles.

Newsnote #9, Adding a 12 Volt DC Charging Circuit

A two page flyer that illustrates a simple way to add a separate 12 volt DC charging circuit to a vehicle which already has a 24 volt electric system. It is directed at those converting a U.S. Military vehicle to fire equipment.  It includes a diagram of the circuit and updates a portion of the REC Project 2 Report.  Also see Project 2, Wiring Conversions on Military Vehicles.

Newsnote #8, Crawler Dozer Availability, 1994

A small pamphlet that lists widely distributed crawler dozers of 90 hp or less and under 20,000 pound operating weight. Information includes manufacturer, model number, engine model, horsepower, transmission, drawbar pull, operating weight, ground pressure, and top speed.  

Newsnote #7, Airbags – Expected Impact of the Safety Equipment on Fire Suppression Vehicles

This pamphlet discusses technical information about airbags and the effect that this accessory may have on modification of pickup trucks for off road forest fire control. It includes information about methods of airbag deployment, driving a vehicle after deployment, reinstalling airbags, and adding heavy duty bumpers or brush guarding to these vehicles.

Newsnote #6, Rebuilding Used Crawler Tractors

This pamphlet highlights the John Deere "relife" program for rebuilding used John Deere 350 and 450 tractors. This program was developed by John Deere in cooperation with REC.

Newsnote #5, Weights and Loading of the M880 Series Vehicles

This is a two page note that became an addendum to Project 40. It provides additional information about the gross vehicle and axle weight ratings of the M880 vehicles available through FEPP/FFP.

Newsnote #4, Cooling System for Smokey Bear Suit

REC evaluated a personal cooling system for possible use with Smokey Bear costumes. The system evaluated was the MSA Core Control System. Cooling was performed by ice water pumped through small tubing woven into a long underwear-type garment. REC found that the system was generally compatible with the current Smokey Bear suits and was very effective. The primary drawback was the cost of the system.

Newsnote #3, Guidelines for Designing Forest Fire Engines

This pamphlet was produced as a handout to rural fire departments who had obtained Federal Excess Personal Property (FEPP) or Fire Fighter Property (FFP) vehicles for modification for fire use. It discusses vehicle loading, water tank construction, and safety requirements for doing this type of work. It also includes a list of resources that are available, including Roscommon Equipment Center reports.

Newsnote #2, Repowering Military Vehicles

This report discusses repowering packages for U.S. Military vehicles that were developed by Napco International.  Of primary interest are U.S. Military 6x6 repower packages.  The online version was updated in November 1998.

Newsnote #1, Boots for Forest Fire Fighters

A pamphlet that was designed as a handout for potential fire crew members. It discusses important features of boots for those working fireline. It also includes notes on foot care.