When you’re purchasing a new (or new to you) fire tanker truck, you may be wondering if you should go for elliptical or wetside style. While this can be a personal choice based on the department, there are also some differences between the two types. In years past, elliptical used to be the most popular of styles, but now wetside is becoming more popular. Why is that? Let’s find out.
The elliptical style fire tanker truck is an elliptical shape (more round) that leaves you with a little less weight and easier maneuverability because of that. This is common with many of the fire tanker trucks that we build, and you can have either a poly tank or a stainless steel tank. The poly tanks carry a lifetime warranty, and they are strong and durable. The stainless steel tanks are also very strong and durable, and they provide sturdiness and a nice look. This is the department’s preference.
The wetside style of fire tanker truck is more rectangular. The tank holds the water, and then around it there are areas to store hoses, tools, equipment, etc. This definitely adds some weight, and these units are usually a little bit longer. If you have concerns about maneuverability, this may not be the style for you. However, it can be a great option if you are looking for a tanker truck that can haul what you need so that you can truly be the first to respond without waiting for backup, as happens when there is limited staff in some departments.
One reason that wetside might be becoming more popular is that more departments are looking to multitask with their tanker trucks and equipment so that they can save money. They may also not have as large of a crew as they once did. This is especially true in more rural areas where budgets are cut. So, when the department goes to look for a new tanker truck, they want a truck that lasts the test of time and is used for multiple things. That way, multiple trucks don’t have maintenance, gas, crew, etc. to man.
Osco has three models of the fire tanker truck. We have the Dominator Series that lasts and impresses, the Commander Series that gets the job done while keeping the operator and budget in mind, and the Fusion Vacuum Truck which is used for water collection. Each model serves a different need for your department, and you can choose between the models to find the best fit for your department. Additionally, there are a lot of options and add ons, including tank style. We offer 1000 to 4000 gallon tanks, Freightliner, International, Kenworth, Peterbilt, Mack or custom chassis, Poly tanks with lifetime warranty, or stainless steel tanks, custom-built storage compartments, Hale, Darley or Waterous 250-1250 pumps and optional gas-powered auxiliary pumps, emergency lighting, and a 10” dump valve (for our Dominator series).
We are happy to assist you with any questions that you might have about the elliptical vs. wetside style. Contact us today and get started on your next custom fire tanker truck.