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Antique Mack fire engine classifications


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Brian:

I'll try to give you a quick explanation as I understand it but I'm sure that the others on these forums who are much more knowledgeable about fire apparatus will jump in. Mack started with two models,

a "Junior" series and a "Senior" series. "Juniors" were medium duty trucks and "Seniors" were heavy duty. Later the "AB" replaced the "Junior" and the "AC" replaced the "Senior" series. I'm not sure why

Mack used the various letters to designate their models. Next came the early "B" series in the 1930s, then the medium duty "E" and heavy duty "L" models. Within each series there were many models, some

were available as conventional or traffic type chassis. Fire apparatus was usually designated according to the motors used and pump size. A "Type 45" fire engine was a smaller "E" series with a 500 GPM

pump, a "Type 75" had a 750 GPM pump and so on. Later "L-85", "B-85" and "C"-85" had 750 GPM pumps, "L-95", "B-95", and "C-95" had 1000 GPM pumps. The "C" model was Mack's first cab forward

design in the 1950s later replaced by the more modern "CF" series in the late 1960s. The Mack "Junior" line of the 1930s (not to be confused with the earlier "Junior" series) was not built by Mack, they were

built by REO under license from Mack. This model gave Mack a truck in the light duty category.

I know that this is probably too simple of an explanation but, like I said, others here will add a lot more information. If you can, pick up a copy of one, or both, of the Mack fire apparatus books written by Harvey

Eckart. Read those and all will be revealed.

bulldogboy

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Brian:

I'll try to give you a quick explanation as I understand it but I'm sure that the others on these forums who are much more knowledgeable about fire apparatus will jump in. Mack started with two models,

a "Junior" series and a "Senior" series. "Juniors" were medium duty trucks and "Seniors" were heavy duty. Later the "AB" replaced the "Junior" and the "AC" replaced the "Senior" series. I'm not sure why

Mack used the various letters to designate their models. Next came the early "B" series in the 1930s, then the medium duty "E" and heavy duty "L" models. Within each series there were many models, some

were available as conventional or traffic type chassis. Fire apparatus was usually designated according to the motors used and pump size. A "Type 45" fire engine was a smaller "E" series with a 500 GPM

pump, a "Type 75" had a 750 GPM pump and so on. Later "L-85", "B-85" and "C"-85 had 750 GPM pumps, "L-95", "B-95", and "C-95" had 1000 GPM pumps. The "C" model was Mack"s first cab forward

design in the 1950s later replaced by the more modern "CF" series in the late 1960s. The Mack "Junior" line of the 1930s (not to be confused with the earlier "Junior" series) was not built by Mack, they were

built by REO under license from Mack. This model gave Mack a truck in the light duty category.

I know that this is probably too simple of an explanation but, like I said, others here will add a lot more information. If you can, pick up a copy of one, or both, of the Mack fire apparatus books written by Harvey

Eckart. Read those and all will be revealed.

bulldogboy

Dang....I'm impressed! Nice explanation.

Ken

HOF City, PRR Country, and Charter member of the "Mack Pack"

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There are great books out for any model (and fire apparatus) that are great. The E's and L's had more letters that designated the relative capacity of the trucks. An LJ was a good sized truck but an LM was much bigger in capacity. Other letters designated heavy duty and the number of axels and so forth. An LJXSW would be a heavy duty LJ which would have a heavy frame and the cast radiator which was outside the hood and grill giving better heat dissipation capacity. The SW is six wheel or wheel locations ( a ten wheeled truck with three axels). A "T" would designate a tractor. A LTL if I recall was the light weight version of the L tractor with the big radiator and aluminum parts to make it lighter. COOL trucks!

The B models were numbered 30, 40, 50 (rare), 60, 70 and 80 series trucks. Higher numbers meant heavier trucks. The letters applied here too. A "P" was a platform truck, a T a tractor. Even numbers are supposed to be gas engines like a B-80 would have a 707 gas engine and a B-81 would be a diesel (711). A B-83 was a Cummins engine. A B-813 was a turbocharged Mack diesel and A B-815 was a normally aspirated V8 diesel (864). I have a B-815SX which is the V8 truck, heavy duty double frame, the big cast radiator and six wheel. The B-87 is the monster and could be rated up over 100,000#.

Some B models had L model cabs with B model fenders I believe the B-75's. The C models were made up of parts from other existing trucks and were short for city use. R models and variations there of are still on the road but in dwindling numbers. The U model has the offset cab and we have one big fan with a nice one in the works. There are lots of interesting things like camel back suspension, quadraplex transmissions, auxiliary transmissions, final drive ratios and all sorts of stuff to figure out and recognize by sight.

I'm no expert and probably messed up something but it's neat to learn and see them and see what you can spot. Rest assured if its a Mack, somebody on here knows about it.

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Pick up a copy of "Mack Fire Trucks: 1911-2005 (An Illustrated History)" by Harvey Eckart for a definitive run down of how Mack did each series of fire apparatus they built.

While they generally use a higher number for a more powerful engine and bigger pump, it is not an absolute. A B85 is a 707 gas with a 750 gpm pump, a B21 is a 1250 pump with a Hall-Scott engine.

They also used 3 numbers on some series such as the 505A that was equipped with a 500 gpm pump and the ENF510A OHV gas engine. A 45A was a 500 gpm pump and a flat head gas engine.

Some of the apparatus was built in very limited numbers. For example, my 75A, 750 gpm, ENF510A, was one of only 38 built, so it is really hard to know and understand what each number means with so many different configurations that Mack offered without a written reference.

Money, sex, and fire; everybody thinks everyone else is getting more than they are!

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