Keep Your Firetruck in Good Shape with This Checklist

close shot of a firetruck's front

Firetrucks, like any other vehicle, need proper maintenance to ensure firefighters drive safely down the roads in KS. You need to thoroughly check this type of emergency car for issues to prevent deadly injuries and costly repairs. From the fire apparatus, the interior and exterior accessories to the lighting and electronics, watch out for minor problems that you should repair, report, or take note of.

To help you with that, here are a few things firefighters like you should inspect to keep your fire truck in good shape.

Suction Valves

Look for discharge or suction valves that are hard to open. You won’t want the valves to get stuck in the middle of a fire, so make sure they are working properly before heading out. The trick is to use a little lubricant to make the valves work smoother. Do the valve inspection daily.

Fire Pump

Backflush your fire pump on a regular basis. Sand and debris may get in your pump, especially if the water is supplied from another source like a draft or hydrant. This can cause clogging issues in your pump. You should backflush your fire pump at least once a month, or every time you used water from another pumper or hydrant after an operation.

Water Tank

Just like the fire pump, you should also flush your water tank to clear dirt and nasty elements off it. Dirt can damage governors, valves, and fire pump impellers, so you have to get rid of it regularly. Flush the water tank at least twice a year.

Compartment Doors

Door latches and hinges should open easily for a smoother operation. If you find them hard to operate, they might need cleaning and lubricating. Also, check for screws and dirt that might be causing the problem. The same goes for roll-up doors. Follow the manufacturer’s guideline to fix such issues.

Engine

Don’t forget the fire truck’s engine.Check for emergency car accessories that needed repair or replacement like corroded batteries. You wouldn’t want your engine dying on you in the middle of a KS street at emergency situations. Make sure there are no broken or loose wires on the alternator, and your alarms are in best working condition.

Electronics

fireman releasing water

New fire apparatus have the “limp home” feature that shuts down operation if it detected a problem. While this feature is not an issue per se, the introduction of the new diesel exhaust emissions standard by EPA posed a problem with it. This is now causing operation problems in many firefighters, as numerous emergency vehicle technicians (EVTs) pointed out. If you are suffering from this electronic issue, consult your EVT immediately on how you can approach the problem.

This list is in no way a comprehensive one, but it should encourage you to do a maintenance check on a regular basis. Ask your fire department or EVT for a more comprehensive checklist of what to inspect in your fire truck.

Remember: maintaining your fire truck properly reduces the risks of potential injuries and costly repairs. And this should be the rule, not the exception. Schedule a maintenance check on your fire truck and follow it religiously.