metalfab firetrucks best fire truck builder

Without a doubt, tankers are the workhorses in your department’s fleet of vehicles. They get the water to the scene when hydrants aren’t available by loading up at a water source, shuttling the water to the scene, and dumping it into a portable tank. They then return to the water source to repeat the process. The system is simple and reliable if you ensure that these units are functioning as safely and as efficiently as possible.

Here are three options that will help make your tanker safer and function at optimal levels:


  1. For safety purposes, install an IN view 360 HD Camera Fire system. This revolutionary vehicle monitoring system eliminates blind spots by giving drivers a real-time 360-degree view around the apparatus while also providing increased safety, protection from potential liabilities, and other advanced vehicle tracking capabilities.

The standard system consists of four cameras to provide a 2D, four-camera, stitched-around view from the top of the vehicle. The full HD ultrawide cameras offer four unique views that allow the operator to easily see any pedestrians and/or obstacles that are in close proximity to the apparatus or vehicle.

The system has the capability of connecting to two additional cameras if needed to monitor more areas. It’s important to note that the built-in DVR securely records all of the connected cameras individually, making it a great resource for insurance purposes if needed in legal proceedings. In addition, the split-screen monitor displays one of four individual camera views automatically, depending on driving operations: front, right, left, or reverse.

The features on this camera system include the following:

  • Supports four, five, or six cameras
  • Built-in DVR securely records all connected cameras individually
  • 1080P video output enables high-definition video recording
  • Includes four slots for up to 256 GB SD card storage for total storage of up to 1 TB
  • DVR also contains built-in GPS tracking and accelerometer
  • Toggle between views: push driver button to change camera views
  • Adjustable blend lines eliminate blind spots
  • Selectable “on screen overlay” allows the user to set the width, length, and position of the overlay for their specific apparatus. Save valuable time when deploying outriggers, water dumps, tool boards, or filling water tank vehicles.
  1. On the efficiency side, check out the Fireman’s Friend Rear Tank Fill for loading tankers at a fill site. This product is internally mounted with a check valve to replace a manual opening valve. They are capable of flowing at a rate in excess of 1,000 gallons per minute and are self-deflecting, requiring no additional diffusion device. It is constructed of stainless steel with a spring-actuated piston-type sealing mechanism which minimizes seal wear and provides positive sealing valves after shutting off at a feed source. The valve seal is designed to be self-cleaning, utilizing EPDM rubber.

The glowing testimonials for this product attest to its operating efficiency. Here are just a few from local fire department heads:

  • “We save at least 30 seconds on every turnaround.”
  • “Fire departments all over the country are experiencing the ‘little valve that could.’ It is so simple but makes a significant difference in fire service. The bottom line is this valve enables the firefighters to get water from the source to the fire faster and with less hazard.”
  • “We are filling our 1,250-gallon tanker a full minute faster with the Fireman’s Friend 4-inch valve compared to the slow-close valve installed on the tank. We plan to retrofit all of our tankers to Fireman’s Friend Valves.”
  1. To incorporate both safety and efficiency into your apparatus, you’ll want to purchase Command Light Trident Tripod Lights. These revolutionary, portable, 12V, LED scene lights are powered by 12V batteries. They are great to deploy at rural water sources to illuminate the areas at night. Pair AC power, truck 12V DC, or one of four different nonproprietary options—Dewalt, Hurst, Makita, and Milwaukee­—with Akron Revels, FRC Spectras, FireTeck Helios, Whelen Pioneer Plus, or a Feniex Arrow stick. Gone are the days of cumbersome, and potentially hazardous, extension cords and noisy generators thanks to this state-of-the-art, easy-to-deploy, 50-inch tripod work light, featuring 91 inches of full extension.

Have more questions? Metalfab is always available to talk with you about these options and other preferences that will make your tanker the safest and most efficient in the fleet.