International SF170 6x6

IH Fire truck
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SF170 in 1975

This 1957 6X6 joined our family from an auction in 1969. It had been a line truck in its day. With a PTO front winch and a full torque PTO mounted on the back of the transfer case the truck was fairly nasty. The double steel frame is indestructible. The odd thing is the fairly light running gear. The tandem rear axles are probable no more than 22m and the Coleman front driving axle is likely a 6-8,000 lb model. With a Peek-a-boo window in the top of the cab and a spot light, presumably it was some sort of a bucket truck or a digger derrick. the 8.25" tires on 6 hole Budds make it clear that heavy loads were not for this truck. We mounted a 1000 Gallon water tank on it and put a PTO driven pump on the full torque PTO and have called it a fire truck for the last 25 years.

During that time it has seen duty fighting forest fire only once on a small slash fire for a single night which is just fine. No logger every wants to use for anything other than washing the mud off his Cat but.... It didn't let us down the only time we needed it, but time and tide have taken their toll, and it is now retired. A real problem with trucks that sit around a lot are hydraulic brakes. The Wheel cylinders rust up and the brakes either leak fluid or don't work at all. There is much to be said for Air brakes and they usually don't suffer from sitting around so badly, though if spring locks they will rust down to a drum once in a while and then won't release, but that problem can be fixed with a hammer usually.

This model appears to have been an after market conversion to a 6x6. The front axle is a Coleman, and the frame was cut off behind the cab and the front section stairstepped up with a massive fishplate to provide the clearance for the front axle assembly under the truck. the engine is a classic IH 308 in line 6. Note the extended front bumper and PTO winch on the front as well.

See also 1952 International L-190 Fire Truck.

For an Additional Photo, click Here!

The engine was the classic IH BD308, followed by a classic 5 speed crash box (no Syncro) and a transfer case with a direct and low. Other levers on the floor board included a manual lockup for the divider box, emergency brake (the old fashioned type on the back of the transfer case), and a front wheel drive shifter, as well as the PTO shifter lever for the rear PTO that drove the pump, and of course the front PTO shifter for the winch. The winch PTO was on the left side of the main transmission, and the rear PTO was a 'full torque' PTO on the back of the transfer case. "Full Torque" meant that it was capable of transmitting full engine horsepower, something that you can't do with the side mounted PTO's common on truck transmissions.

- - Updated 01/20/2013
- - Updated 04/26/2008
- - Updated 9/05/2005
- - Updated 03/27/2008