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Waspsnest’s Contributors

The Wasp
Mr Raccoon

If you thought MOD procurement was inept, how about South Yorkshire Fire Service?

A broken, half million pound firetruck.

The shenanigans that go on in public service beggar belief sometimes.

Take this article on South Yorkshire Fire Service‘s latest Combined Aerial Rescue Pumps for example :

A fire engine has been sent for repairs only weeks after coming into service in South Yorkshire.

The Combined Aerial Rescue Pump (CARP) used in Barnsley needs repair work on the generator and pump.

Older fire trucks have been brought back into service while repairs are made. The fire service said the repairs were due to “teething problems”.

I wonder if the teething problems were related to cack handed operation or whether the things were buggered when they got them?

It gets better (or worse depending on your perspective) though :

The Barnsley engine is one of two which went into service at the beginning of May after a five-year delay.

The two remaining engines are being used for training.

A five year delay from order to delivery is the kind of thing usually reserved for warships or fighter aircraft surely?

I do hope they were not too expensive :

The fire service bought four trucks in 2006 at a cost of £2m …

I see – half a million quid each and it took five years to get hold of them – I wonder why that was exactly?

Could it be they were cutting edge prototypes when ordered that required turning into production vehicles? Maybe they were so good that there was a long waiting list for these superb machines? Maybe the Fire unions were objecting to reduced staffing levels as a result of the new working methods that these vehicles were designed to introduce?

All the above could be seen as a reasonable excuse for a five year delay on a £2 million order in my opinion.

Unfortunately in this case, the actual reason is so downright stupid that you don’t know whether to laugh or cry at the thought of your council taxes being pissed up a wall by some useless Fire Authority goons :

The fire service bought four trucks in 2006 at a cost of £2m, but they required modification after being too heavy to use legally on roads.

Riiight! Not road legal in the UK.

So, some useless twat decides that these new half million pound shiny toys will be perfect but doesn’t bother to see if they can be used on the UK roads before sending off the cash.

Give me strength!

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8 comments to If you thought MOD procurement was inept, how about South Yorkshire Fire Service?

  • microdave

    All the 2 stroke diesels above use Rootes mechanical blowers to scavenge the exhaust gases, and I think these are partly responsible for the sound. The Detroit’s usually have turbochargers as well (some times multi stage). They seem capable of staggering power outputs – I found some clips of proper drag racing “Rails” powered by them!

    They are made in both inline & “vee” types. The first number denotes how many cylinders, the letter what arrangement, and the second number is the capacity of each cylinder in good ‘Ole cubic inches – no soppy metric measurements for the Yanks…

    You might want to search for “Tractor Pulling” videos – the sheer ingenuity some of the teams put into their machines is amazing. To say nothing of the sounds, and in most cases the CARBON EMISSIONS!!!

    • Wasp

      microdave – the Detroit one’s do seem very popular on youtube in various guises.

      I am wondering actually why we don’t see more small two stroke diesels as output per pound weight should be pretty impressive. I suppose the additional exhaust scavenging arrangements would compromise a small power units overall efficiency though.

      One engine that always fascinated me was from when I was studying engineering at Manchester – they had a sectioned W configuration aircraft engine – not sure if it was 18 or 24 cylinders now but the arrangement of the conrods from each group of three cylinders onto the crankshaft used to make me wonder if such complexity really was a good idea on something that was supposed to be flying.

  • microdave

    Yes, I remember a Foden 2 stroke screaming up a local hill when I was coming home from school one day (some 40 years ago!). Sooooo different from the Gardner 150/180’s of the day:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51u4JtPCg70

    IIRC it produced 175 bhp from a mere 4.8 litres – the Gardner 180 was over 10 litres, and didn’t have the instant throttle response either. (I’m still a great fan of Patricroft’s most famous product, though).

    Then there was the Commer TS3 of the same era:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfKmkitnqQY

    And since I was talking of Detroit diesel’s how about this:

    • Wasp

      microdave – many thanks for those links – I find all things mechanical fascinating and managed to lose an hour or two watching those and the similar ones listed 🙂

      I want a detroit diesel now – would be an interesting addition to my mechanical menagerie and the exhaust note alone would justify the space required for one of those beasts!

      The only time I have head a foden 2 stroke was sitting outside Harry Ramsdens fish and chip restaurant somewhere around Manchester whilst out on a historic vehicle run in my friends old Thames Trader lorry. The sight of a large truck leaving the car park at speed but with motorbike like sounds is quite disorientating when you are not expecting it 🙂

  • microdave

    And there’s more!

    I’m sure Mercedes aren’t too pleased at one of their vehicles being shown in this article. I wonder what make the “noisy” ones are? I have my suspicions it could be a US made truck with a GM “Detroit” 2 stroke diesel. No need for a siren when one of these is approaching at full pelt…

    • Wasp

      microdave – Yes, I am sure Mercedes are definitely non too happy with that photo in that article.

      The whole thing reads like a complete fuck up with everyone trying to pass the buck. It amazes me how these people (usually councillors after an extra allowance) actually get away with running police and fire authorities when they patently could not run a piss up in a brewery.

      2 stroke diesels – have you ever heard a 2 stroke Foden lorry? I remember looking around for a rather gruff motorbike and being surprised to see a lorry but still not a patch on the detroit ones – they are very nice 🙂

  • microdave

    The same thing happened years ago when Norfolk NHS discovered that a fleet of their ambulances with US supplied Dodge chassis were too heavy to legally carry any patients….

    • Wasp

      microdave – are these people seduced by the thought of new shiny toys or are they just totally incompetent? Actually, thats rhetorical as they are all fucking incompetent it seems. No one evers gets sacked and the only ones to suffer are us poor bastards when the taxes go up even more to pay for their constant fuck ups.