Skid Units - What They Do and How They Help Wildland Firefighters

Skid Unit 101

If you’ve fought fires in forests or wildland areas, chances are you know everything there is to know about skid units, or at least have worked with them in a few capacities. For anyone considering becoming a volunteer or career firefighter, or who may simply be getting ready for the next fire season, skid units are a powerful piece of equipment that help serve wildland firefighters in their mission to save land and lives.

A skid unit refers to a self-contained firefighting system. These firefighting systems are mounted on a skid or pallet, and designed to be easily transported. During wildland fires, skid units can be quickly installed onto a vehicle or trailer to help fight fire faster.

Advantages of Skid Units in Fighting Fire

There are several advantages skid units provide firefighters, including:

  • Mobility: Skid units are portable and can be mounted on various vehicles or trailers, such as pickup trucks, utility vehicles, or ATVs (all-terrain vehicles). This mobility allows firefighters to quickly transport the firefighting equipment to the scene of a fire, even in remote or rugged locations where access may be challenging.
  • Rapid Deployment: Since skid units are pre-assembled and ready to use, they can be quickly installed on a vehicle or trailer, enabling rapid deployment. Firefighters can swiftly connect the skid unit to a water source, such as a hydrant or a portable water supply, and start firefighting operations without delay.
  • Initial Attack Capability: Skid units are commonly used for initial attack operations, which involve responding to small fires before they escalate into larger, more dangerous incidents. With their compact size and maneuverability, skid units can swiftly reach and suppress fires in their early stages, preventing them from spreading and causing significant damage.
  • Suppression Flexibility: Skid units can be equipped with different types of nozzles, allowing firefighters to adapt their firefighting approach based on the nature of the fire. They can employ high-pressure nozzles for direct fire suppression or foam systems for fuel-based fires. This flexibility enhances their effectiveness in various firefighting scenarios.

Skid Unit Types

While each skid unit typically consists of a water tank, pump, hoses, nozzles, and fire suppression foam systems, NFFC carries several types of skid units for a variety of firefighting applications.

  • Top mount skid units: All equipment is placed on top of the tank with top mount slip-ons. The layout is excellent for small slip-ons and keeps the hardware up in a confined space, safe from other items sharing the truck bed. A real space saver unit.
  • End-mount skid units: With end-mount slip-ons the controls, pump, and hose are placed at the rear of the vehicle. This type of layout is typical of large slip-ons where placing the hardware on top of the tank would make the equipment difficult to reach.
  • Hybrid skid units: Where height and space allow, your slip-on can place hardware both on top of the tank and at the end of the tank to make a layout that works best for your truck and needs. With the hose reel placed on top of the tank, the hose can serve on either side of the truck. Having the pump and controls placed at the end of the slip-on keeps these items within easy reach.
  • ATV/UTV skid units: ATV/UTV skid units are compact and lightweight, designed for quick access to remote areas not easily reached by full-size vehicles. Ideal for fire service personnel and landowners. Can be designed to fit your small utility vehicle.
  • Tankless units: NFFC can build your unit to specifications, without the tank.

Skid Unit Components

NFFC’s ultimate goal is to provide our customers with the products they need to protect themselves, their communities, and their property from the devastating effects of fire. With an extensive range of skid units with custom options available, we aim to provide quality, reliable firefighting gear and equipment. Our skid units are built and engineered with robust materials and quality workmanship to ensure reliable operation. Our units require minimal maintenance and include a high-pressure, low-volume pump to conserve water. Each of our skid units are equipped with:

  • 1/2” polypropylene tank baffled to NFPA specifications with stainless steel flanges, corners welded inside and out, and a 3” sight gauge level window. The top is fully removable for easy access.
  • Full-length platform constructed of 2” x 1/8” wall aluminum box tubing with bracing in appropriate spacing for the size of the skid (End Mount and Hybrid Units)
  • Control Panel: flush mount liquid-filled pressure gauge 0-600 PSI, panel mounted by-pass valve, 50 amp circuit breaker, low-pressure cut-off switch, panel lights
  • 2 Discharges - 1” to reel, 1-1/2” overboard with NH male threads and cap
  • 2 Suctions - 2” (tank to pump and NPSH auxiliary)
  • 1” pump to tank by-pass

How NFFC Can Help

Skid units provide firefighters with a versatile and portable firefighting solution. They enable quick response times, effective fire suppression, and the ability to access remote or challenging locations, enhancing overall firefighting capabilities. NFFC strives to provide innovative designs and high-quality equipment to help men and women firefighters effectively extinguish fires, stay protected, and minimize injury. Our team of experts are highly experienced and here to help you pick the right skid unit for your team. Connect with us today by phone at 800-423-8347 for more information.

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The National Fire Fighter Corporation strives to provide customers with the products they need to protect themselves, their communities, and their property from the devastating effects of fire. NFFC is a trusted source for quality, reliable firefighting gear to help effectively extinguish fires, stay protected, and minimize injury. With innovative designs, and high-quality, durable materials, NFFC wildland fire equipment and products help keep the brave men and women fighting fires safe when things get hot.

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