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Steps Required to Build a Custom Fire Truck

It’s time to replace a fire truck and you’re considering a custom build. There is a lot to consider. Below are a few tips to review before making a final decision.

First, you must determine your budget. Is this doable this year? What exactly will you require for the new apparatus? The more components you want to add, the more expensive it will get. Think carefully, make a checklist, and review it with your accountant.

Next, review the truck you are replacing. It’s an older model, so it won’t have all of the latest state-of-the-art equipment; however, it has been reliable for a number of years. What do you like about it? What do you dislike? And what needs to be updated or removed?

Also, consider what is now required in your community. You may want to keep certain aspects of your fire truck but have them modified. It’s very important that you determine your build restrictions, including height, length, and width restrictions. You don’t want to build a truck that won’t fit inside your firehouse or doesn’t meet local code.

It’s also critical to take a look at your response area. Are there particular elements that you will absolutely need? For example, if your terrain is hilly, will your engine size be big enough and will it have enough torque to climb the hills? You should also take note of your area resources. Do you have hydrants, or do you have to draft from water sources such as ponds, lakes, streams, and portable tanks? Think about any large or specialized equipment that would need consideration to be stored on the unit.

Always do your research, especially about the latest innovations. There are a multitude of websites and industry magazines that offer the latest information. Another opportunity is to attend a trade show. Here you get to view the latest models in person and ask questions of the manufacturers. Then consider which new options would be a benefit and which you could live without.

In addition to attending a trade show, meet with your local manufacturers to discuss what they have to offer. Supply them with details on what you are looking for so that they can tailor a presentation specifically for you.

Ready to move forward? Prepare a tender document in conjunction with your purchasing authority and select a successful manufacturer from the tender submissions. Ensure that you schedule a preconstruction meeting with the manufacturer to go over every specification in detail. Once you have signed off, ask the manufacturer to send photos of the progress every week. This way, if you spot something you don’t want, you can jump in immediately and avoid a problem later on. Finally, complete a final inspection before the truck leaves the manufacturer.

Following these steps should enable you to build and receive a unit that will be useful and beneficial to your department for many years.

Have any questions? Please feel free to contact our Business Development Manager, Ryan Stacey, at or by phone at 1-800-561-0012 extension 24. We are more than happy to answer your questions or have a discussion with you at any time.