12/25/09 723 W, 2 I - + 11 - 6 Description of New Greensboro Engine, 1955

Speaking of pumps, pumpers, and specifications, here's a description of Greensboro's newly delivered 1955 Oren that the fire department provided to The Hose & Nozzle, and which was printed in the June issue. The Greensboro Fire Department was profiled in that issue. This might be the most detailed description that we've found in our research, for engines delivered either locally or around the state. Click to enlarge pics:

We would be very happy to have a photograph and caption run in the Hose and Nozzle of our new Oren pumper. It is the most powerful pumper in the South and there is only one more powerful in the country, located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

It is powered by a 300 horsepower Continental Engine that provides rapid acceleration, and top road speeds far in excess of normal requirements are possible. Forty degree double cam and lever steering permits easy handling in modern traffic conditions.

The transmission has five forward speeds and is of the mesh type, making the shifting of gears as easy as in straight transmission passenger cars. In fact, the fire truck rides as smoothly as the average passenger car.

The frame of this truck is of hand treated chrome manganese steel, bolted and riveted. Axles, springs, and spring shackles are rated far in excess of any anticipated loads. The front axle has a 10,000 pound rating. There are shock absorbers on the front, and 60-inch variable springs on the rear, plus radius rods.

The hood, cowl, cab, fenders, and body were hand-fashioned. There is not a single stamping in the entire truck, and no metal light enough to stamp was used. Most of the metal is 12-gauge steel.

It is equipped with non-glare recessed headlights for greater safety. This feature is not on any other fire truck to our knowledge.

It is equipped with a Hale pump that will deliver well over the required 1,500 GPM at 150 PSI pressure. After the required three-hour test by the underwriters, the truck was tested for maximum capacity and it delivered 1808 GPM at 150 PSI pressure and 1923 GPM at 130 PSI pressure.

The truck is equipped with twin double six-inch suction intakes on each side, and also one intake for pre-connected six-inch soft suction, and one 2 1/2-inch suction intake. There are six discharges of 2 1/2-inch size, two of 1 1/2-inch size, and one discharge to the one-inch booster line. The booster reel is powered by a Hannay electric motor reel that is controlled by a push-button control. The 1 1/2-inch outlets are pre-connected, and are supplied by a 240 gallon booster tank until a supply line can be laid to the pump. This water supply allows ample time for a supply line to be laid.

The streamlined compartments ahead and behind the rear wheels are built as an integral part of the body and have a depth of 28 inches.  There is a full-body width covered equipment compartment over the pump. The hose body covers are of the shed type and are drip proof. They are made of 1/4-inch aluminum. This type of cover was invented by Chief W. W. Wyrick several years ago. Chief Wyrick wrote the specifications for the entire truck on which bids were based.

Everything has been arranged on this truck for the convenience of the operator and the men assigned to it. A nozzle for almost every type of fire is located on the back running board with interchangeable tips mounted on the rear fender on the operator's side. Each outlet has a separate gauge so the pressure to each line being used can be the exact desired pressure. This pump also has the latest type Hale Ideal relief value that can be set in half the time of the older type relief valves.

Greensboro now has two  Oren trucks in service and we have been well pleased with the operation and the way they stand up to rigid conditions that fire apparatus are subject to. The other Oren in service, a 1000 GPM pumper, was delivered in 1953 and is designated as Engine Company No. 8. It answered 140 calls in 1954. It was also sent out of town to pumper in 1954.

All major fire apparatus builders were invited to bid on a 1500 GPM pumping engine according to Greensboro specifications. Oren Roanoke Corporation was awarded the contract for this 1500 GPM pumping engine at a price of $21,051.00.

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