Front Bumper or Above Pump: Which Crosslay is Right for Your Fire Apparatus?

When choosing a fire apparatus for your department, deciding where to place your attack lines can make a great deal of difference in how you handle a fire. There are different options provided by having your attack lines stored as crosslays in the front bumper or above your pump house that may benefit your department in different ways. Here are some important considerations for your next apparatus purchase:

Front Bumper Crosslays

When considering a front bumper crosslay, there are several benefits that can be found. First, the front bumper crosslay is incredibly convenient. To deploy attack lines, one only has to pull them from the front of the apparatus instead of climbing up to get them from above the pump. This also means front bumper crosslays are easier to use in accidents, as you can pull up to the accident without having to come up from the side or pull your hose from behind the apparatus. This is safer for the person in the accident due to it being so much quicker. Last, the bumper is a highly underutilized space, so storing your crosslays there gives it a purpose and saves space in the pumphouse.

However, there are some negatives to storing crosslays in the front bumper. First, it can be more dangerous in crashes. The weight on the front bumper caused by the crosslays means there will be far more damage done in the event of  a head-on collision. Departments should also be careful of the size limitations on their apparatus, since the NFPA has rules dictating the sizes of bumpers allowed for fire apparatus. Last, front bumper crosslays can be harder to load or repack after being deployed, so it may take longer to replace them.

Above Pump Crosslays

Storing your crosslays above the pumphouse provides a different set of advantages for your apparatus. This method of storage is typically quick to deploy and is likely a method of deployment that your firefighters already know. These crosslays are also usually standard features on apparatus, so it requires less customization on your apparatus.

In certain cases, above pump crosslays can be a safety hazard. If the crosslays are incredibly high up and hard to reach, it can waste precious seconds in a fire. The height can vary based on the pump house requirements and the design of the fire apparatus. This can be alleviated by lowering the crosslays if possible, but this has the potential to make things very tight in the pump house. The design of the apparatus can also reduce the hose capacity for this kind of crosslay.


Are you deciding which crosslay storage you want for your next apparatus? Call us today and we can help you choose what will work best for you and your department.