mack31

Philadelphia Fire Dept Macks

36 posts in this topic

I forgot to add some more info on the truck that spent many years in Ladder Company 20. The pic is not very good but that's my truck.

John

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I would love to know if the folders for the Mack CF pumpers the city had in the mid 70's were still around. I have info on serial numbers and info on assignments, but no way to put the two together accurately.

Ok, I talked to my boss Chief McGrath. He retired from Philly as a Chief, so I filled him in on the conversation here on the forum. His father worked on the engine that run out of the station( I think Eng30) and he played on L20 as a kid.

I am sending him the pictures posted here. He filled me in on the property number. Tags and titles were not used. They used 6 digit numbers to identify the piece of equipment. The first two digitals tell the year the truck was built and the next 4 digitals identify the unit. He also said it was painted on the truck in atleast for places.

If you go to Phillyfirenews.com the pictures in the forums it show these numbers painted on the equipment even today.

He knows for sure that Harry Magee can help. He is a 5th generation Philly FF.

In those pictures your right that white number has to be its property number. He also told me that they have an officer that is responsible for all apparatus, and that he was sure that many of the old folders on these trucks still exist.

Cant wait to learn about what you find out, as he cant wait to learn more about your truck. He was so exicted to know that it still existed.

Tim H

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That's a great picture and thank you for sharing that photo. The folks who purchased it from the Oaklyn Fire Dept. really didn't change much including the number over the grill. That is very useful info for me. I'll pass that on to Harry Magee at the Fireman's Hall in Philadelphia with some comments about those historical folders. I shall be most interested in his comments.

Best regards,

John

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I have posted the build records that I obtained from the Mack Museum for the three B85F's that that the City of Philadelphia ordered on August 17, 1961 and delivered on November 20 of that year. Only 17 of these units were built in that year. It would appear that some of the sirens and other accessories from the replaced units were saved for installment on the new Mack tractors.

John

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Below is the response that I received from the historian at the Philadelphia Fire Dept.

John,

I received the packet of information you mailed to Harry Magee at the Fireman's Hall Museum. In light of the information contained in the article written by Alex Hendry on Oaklyn, NJ's tiller here is what I have:

PP #62066 - 1962 Mack B / 1950 American LaFrance 100ft TDA

in service as Ladder 27 1962

to Ladder 20 1969

to spare 1971

The trailer portion of the truck served as Ladder 9. While serving as Ladder 9, the rig was damaged while operating at a church fire on 3/10/1960. My records show there were extensive repairs but do not mention anything about the main ladder being replaced.

I hope this information helps.

Regards,

Jack Wright

PFD Historian

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to Ladder 20 1969

That one picture of it in front of a firehouse is absolutely no doubt Engine 36 & Ladder 20's house on Frankford Avenue.

And Jack Wright is a good man, I have known him for a long time. If he said it, you can etch it in stone.

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Unfortunately, we seem to have run into a dead end as far as info is concerned. I am not sure where to go for more info based on Jack's response (see below). The latest email traffic between Jack and myself are as follows:

John,

I doubt very much that any service records exist for your truck. Philadelphia operates combined shops for all city agencies (fire, police, sanitation, etc). For them to retain records on vehicles that served over 40 years ago doesn't seem likely. I don't know of any photos that exist of this rig in action. There's really no way to know if it responded to any large fires. The department fought thousands of building fires during the years this piece was in service. It may have but there is no way to know for sure. With regard to the newspapers having photos of it, once again there is no way of knowing without going through the archives of the three local papers in circulation back then, two of which published two editions each day. Sorry I can't offer you much more information.

Regards,

Jack Wright

Jack:

Are there any service records or records of any kind that the city may have saved? Would there be any pictures of the truck in action? Were there any big fires that this rig worked on where the local newspaper press may have taken pictures? I am trying to figure out where to go from here in building out the history from the material that we now have. Your suggestions would be most greatly appreciated.

Best regards,

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Hello,

I'm a member of the Oaklyn FD here and was assistant Chief and Chief Engineer at the time the tiller was sold to Buena Camp Ground collector while we were working on our second project of this size which was the rehab of former Allentown Ladder 2. The Allentown unit was found on a used car lot purchased from the city auction. It is a '74 CF 600 with Maxim ladder.

I would be glad to answer any questions I can about the unit.

It was assigned to the Roxborough / Manayunk area in Philly and I want to say it was Ladder 25, but not certain of that. The other units mentioned were assigned to that territory also as the ALF tractors couldn't pull the hills with the V engine as well as the starting problems mentioned. They would flood out if you looked at them cross eyed! Carbs were notorious for stuck floats and even catching fire.

This unit came to us from Camden for $1 after they bought it from Philly for the same price and used it during an apparatus crisis they were in at one time.

We rehabbed the unit with the help of Fruehauf Trailer who did the sand blasting and painting of the unit for us. As mentioned, the membership put in countless hours of work to give us a highly manuverable truck company for the narrow streets in our town.

During it's service with us, the main ladder had to be replaced as it had failed inspection for numerous structural defects. The replacement came from another Philly unit that was in a scrap yard in Delaware and we got there just before the torch did. The ladder itself is a late 70's or early 80's structure that was replaced entirely. We left the old ladder at the scrap yard.

We never had any luck obtaining the shop documents for this unit, but keep trying as you may turn a stone we haven't tried.

I can try to get some action photos for anyone interested if you let me know where you want them sent or posted.

Rich Buzby

Oaklyn, NJ

PM: rbuzby1956@comcast.net

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Sorry for repeating some of the things covered in the second page of this thread that I did not see at first. Alex Hendry was a brother firefighter in Oaklyn with me during the time the B model served us. He is very knowledgeable on the history and details on the truck also.

Still, if there is anything I can help with, feel free to contact me.

Thanks.

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This may or may not help, but there is a gentleman who volunteers at the Mack Museum who worked on the "fire line" of production. Can't remember his name but if you contact the museum they may be able to help.

Best of luck!

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