Does Your Department Need a Custom Fire Apparatus?

Jon's Mid America

Whenever you decide to purchase a new fire truck, there are several contributing factors to your department’s final decision. You want an engine that will serve your community’s needs and fit your budget. Whenever you are looking through your options, you may consider a custom fire truck for your crew. The question is: does your department need a custom fire apparatus? Check out our advice below on whether or not you should get a custom build for your team.

Why You Should Get a Custom Apparatus

  • The area you serve has challenging terrain. If you are in a rural or remote area that has particular difficulties, like a low amount of water sources or rough geological features, you may want to get a custom apparatus. A manufacturer can help outfit your vehicle with features that can help you to take on fires anywhere.
  • Your team has specific needs. Every fire department works differently. Manufacturers make custom apparatus to fit the way your team operates. If you have a small crew and want something you can operate with minimal workforce, a custom fire truck may do the trick.
  • You can give the most input. Whenever you are looking to upgrade your truck, purchasing a custom apparatus will provide you with the option to have it tailored to your exact liking. If there is a feature that will help your crew perform more efficiently, you can add it.

Why You Shouldn’t Get a Custom Apparatus

  • The cost is too high. While having a custom fire truck is ideal, for many departments, the cost outweighs the benefits. Fire trucks increase in price by between 5-7% annually. This especially goes for custom builds as they require more labor and time to develop. With such a high cost, some communities may not be able to afford the custom truck they want.
  • You can add custom equipment to stock trucks. While buying a stock or used apparatus may not sound as enticing as a custom fire engine, there are still several ways you can modify the vehicle for your team. Most dealers offer an array of gear and features to suit any other needs you have for the truck.
  • View and purchase your truck in person. Some purchases are better to make in person. When you buy a stock truck, you can see and get a feel for the apparatus. Also, if your department needs a fire truck immediately, you can get a stock or pre-owned vehicle more quickly than a custom build.

Whether you decide to go with a custom build, stock or pre-owned truck, contact Jon’s Mid America to get friendly, expert help with all of your fire apparatus purchase needs.

Winter weather firefighters assess building damage after the fire is extinguished