Canyon Lister Fire Dept - Tender 52 (Tanker 1)

CLFD's Tender 52 is an old truck, but is simple to use and can be very effective in the right situation.  It has an 800 gallon water tank, and a front mounted pump with multiple intake and discharge ports.  It can pump and roll at low speeds.

Operating the Truck

Key and Equipment Storage

Due to a lack of secure parking space, Tender 52 must remain locked with the compartments empty.  

The key can be found hanging off a bolt above the water stand-pipe inside the CLFD firehall.  

As this truck is parked in a non-secure area, nothing is stored in the compartments because they do not lock.  A hydrant kit, along with spare nozzles, valves, and other tools can be found in duffle bags in the cab of the truck.  There is also another large duffle bag filled with 1.5" forestry hose in the cab.  Prior to driving, move the duffle bags into the compartments.


Starting and Driving the Truck

After unlocking the door, locate the switch mounted on the floor beneath the fire extinguisher.  This is the main battery disconnect.  Turn this switch to "On".

Place the key in the ignition, and pull out the choke knob to the right of the steering wheel.  Make sure the transmission is in "N" for Neutral.

As you turn the key, you may have to feather the gas pedal.  If the temperature is warm or the truck has been running recently, the choke can likely be closed right away. If it is colder out, the truck will only idle with the choke still pulled out, either all the way or partially.

Place the transmission into gear, and remove the parking brake (the black level near the middle seat).  The truck is heavy and underpowered, so don't expect quick acceleration.

When stopping the truck, always re-engage the parking brake.


Operating the Pump

With the truck idling, in neutral, and the parking brake on, flip the metal bracket over the transmission handle, effectively locking the transmission into neutral.

Exit the cab, and chock the wheels.  The chocks are located in the lower drivers side compartment.

Once the wheels are chocked, locate the pump on the front of the truck.  Ensure the green light on the upper half of the pump panel is lit, as this confirms that the transmission is locked in neutral and can not slip into gear and run over you. 

The bottom three ports on the pump are intakes, and the top three are discharges.  Hook up your discharge line(s) to the top ports, and hook up a hard suction line to a bottom port if you will be drafting.  

If being used for Rapid Response, there are two 50' 1.5" forestry lengths rolled with a nozzle attached to the inside of the roll.  This can be rapidly unrolled and attached to the pump for extremely quick fire attack.

If pumping only from the tank, locate the "Tank Suction" lever to the right of the pump, and push it to "Open".  

Locate the pump engagement lever on the right rear of the pump, and smoothly push it forward to "Pump In".  As required, open the quarter-turn valves for the discharge ports in use.

Below the pump panel, there is a smaller panel with several knobs.  The left-most knob is the remote throttle adjust.  Turn this knob counter-clockwise to raise the engine speed.  There is a primer knob to the right of the idle speed knob.

Pump and Roll

This truck is able to be driven while the pump is in operation.  This is beneficial for large grass fires in fields or along ditches where there is a big area to cover.  It is limited to slow speed, and any acceleration will affect the water flow to the nozzles.  Be advised, while in the cab, there is no visual display of the tank water level.

To pump and roll, engage the pump and attach hose lines as usual but do not use the remote throttle control.  Once water is flowing and the firefighters on the hose lines are ready, remove the wheel chocks, return to the cab and release the bracket holding the transmission in neutral.  Shift into 1st gear, remove the parking brake, and begin driving.  Make sure that the hose lines are being kept clear of the tires (an extra firefighter can help with this).

Before exiting the truck to return to the pump panel, engage the parking brake, return the transmission to neutral, and flip the bracket back to lock it in place.  Exit the cab and make sure the green light is lit on the front pump gauge panel.

Filling or Emptying the Water Tank

The water tank of Tender 52 can be filled by drafting with the pump, or through one of two 2.5" intake ports on the rear of the truck.  The 4" hard suction lines are on the driver's side of the tank, and the 2.5" hard suction lines are on the passenger's side.

Tender 52 has a dump valve on the rear of the truck.

Lower the chute into position, then squeeze the lever and open the valve located to the left of the chute.  

There is also a non-pumped 2.5" discharge on the rear of the truck equipped with a quarter-turn valve.

Shutting Down the Pump, and Parking the Truck

When finished pumping, return the motor to normal idle by turning the knob clockwise.  

Disengage the pump by smoothly pulling the lever to "Pump Out".  

Pull the Tank Suction lever to "Closed".  

Close the valves for the discharge lines, and pull the main drain valve underneath the middle of the front bumper.

After parking the truck, make sure the transmission in in neutral, parking brake is on, and the key is removed from the ignition.  After getting out of the truck, turn the battery disconnect to Off, and make sure the doors are locked.  Do NOT lock the keys in the truck.


This video shows how to start the truck, and engage and disengage the pump.


Here is a short video showing the hose and equipment storage situation for this pump.


Here you see how to fill the tank from a pressurized water source (hydrant, tender, etc), and how to empty it.

Statements about Tender 52 - True or False?

  • Tender 52 is able to pump and roll.
  • The PTO (Power Take-Off) must be engaged in the cab for the pump to operate.
  • The acceleration and braking on this truck is no different than a newer truck.
  • There is a remote throttle control on the front of the truck.
  • The truck is able to draft through either 2.5" or 4" hard suction line.

Driving Tender 52

Driving - Need to Know

Tender 52 has some unique driving characteristics. It is an old truck with old technology.  The gas motor does not have a lot of power and the transmission has a limited range, so this truck is not fast or quick, especially with a full tank of water or if going uphill.  The steering and brake system are dated and both take some effort to get the desired effect.

It has a short wheelbase and a high centre of gravity.  It has better ground clearance than most other firetrucks, allowing it to get into some more remote areas than other trucks can.  Also, having a smaller water tank than the other water tenders in the area makes it slightly less likely to get stuck in soft ground.


Advantages / Disadvantages

  • Advantages
    Ground clearance, wheelbase, pump and roll, quick setup, simple to operate
  • Disadvantages
    Under-powered, slow acceleration, poor braking, unable to store equipment on board