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Thread: Buying a used Engine Tanker... What are your thoughts

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    Default Buying a used Engine Tanker... What are your thoughts

    So I come from a small rural department. We run ~40 calls a year and drill once a month. We don't have a large budget. We currently have a 1993 Engine tanker, a 2002 Engine tanker but it is an elliptical tank, and does not carry ladders or scba, a 2007 brush truck, a 84 ford f350 dually which used to be our brush truck, and a 1982 hahn heavy rescue.

    We currently have the dually on ebay. We might put the rescue on ebay but we only expect to get scrap value maybe a little more.

    We have very little if anything to put down on the new truck and want to stay under $30k year in payments.

    We have been looking at custom cab rescue pumper 1250-1500gpm with 750-1500 gallon tank stainless steel or aluminum bodies. I know that's a very basic description but what would you rather have if the trucks were spec'd the same? A 1998 with 45-50k miles or a 2003+ with 80-100k+ miles
    Last edited by Disp2030; 12-20-2014 at 08:04 PM.

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    Don't get hung up on the year as much and not only the mileage ,but how it was maintained. if you are buying direct -try and visit the station , it can tell volumes about how the apparatus has been treated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    Don't get hung up on the year as much and not only the mileage ,but how it was maintained. if you are buying direct -try and visit the station , it can tell volumes about how the apparatus has been treated.
    We just started working with a broker....

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    Age can factor into the financing arrangement as well. For example, here in Kentucky we can borrow against our annual state aid payment to purchase a truck, but not for any vehicle that is over 20 years old.

    Like Cletus said, focus on other factors in addition to mileage. Make sure its most recent pump tests are consistent with no trailing off in performance. Check pump hours; that's the real wear and tear on a fire truck, more so than the odometer. You're in New York, and you know the damage salt can do. Get up under the truck and look for rust, especially on things like the tank mounts. Make sure the pump engages smoothly and sounds happy before raising the RPM's. Look for leaks in the plumbing and packing once you're under pressure. Check engine fluid levels and quality (color, consistency, presence of foreign liquids or solids).

    Cruise govdeals.com in addition to eBay. Check other brokers when you find a truck you like; sometimes they are listed in several places and prices can be different because of different commissions. I look regularly at fentonfire.com, firetec.com, companytwofire.com, ten8fire.com, bpapparatus.com, bmfallc.com, commandfireapparatus.com, and some others.

    And I strongly, strongly recommend aluminum bodies given your salty world up there.

    Best of luck!
    I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.
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    I am a Firefighter/Instructor, with 30 years of service, in a rural area, not too far from you. I am not a salesman, but I may be able to offer you a good way, to solve your problem, and provide your customers with the kind of service they will appreciate and support you in, while saving money at the same time. If you are interested, call me at 304-546-0177. If this isn't to your liking, all you have invested is a few minutes and a phone call. I "DO" care. I'm a Volunteer too, and just want see you get the best help you can. Good Luck !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Disp2030 View Post
    So I come from a small rural department. We run ~40 calls a year and drill once a month. We don't have a large budget. We currently have a 1993 Engine tanker, a 2002 Engine tanker but it is an elliptical tank, and does not carry ladders or scba, a 2007 brush truck, a 84 ford f350 dually which used to be our brush truck, and a 1982 hahn heavy rescue.

    We currently have the dually on ebay. We might put the rescue on ebay but we only expect to get scrap value maybe a little more.

    We have very little if anything to put down on the new truck and want to stay under $30k year in payments.

    We have been looking at custom cab rescue pumper 1250-1500gpm with 750-1500 gallon tank stainless steel or aluminum bodies. I know that's a very basic description but what would you rather have if the trucks were spec'd the same? A 1998 with 45-50k miles or a 2003+ with 80-100k+ miles
    My advice is to take a trusted fire apparatus mechanic with you to look over any rig you are interested in. We did and he saved us from making a bad mistake TWICE! Yep, we paid him, but it was worth every penny in the long run.
    RFDACM02 likes this.
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    FyredUp had some of the best advice. You wouldn't buy a used car without have a mechanic you trust check it over so why apparatus? Having to pay him to look over a few trucks you were interested in but chose not to buy based upon his recommendation can be a huge investment. Notice I said investment, not waste of money.
    Hours on apparatus are more important than mileage since they tend to sit and operate or idle more than they flat out run.
    Looking at all the pump test history is a good start. Request the maintenance record for the truck. If they can't provide it walk away. Either they don't keep good records or they are hiding something. Look at daily and weekly check sheets.
    Once you get real serious consider hiring a third party to go over the truck that is experienced in apparatus maintenance and repair.
    On a side note, check with your local Forestry department or other state/federal surplus agency. Neighboring department got a nice used engine for a few thousand and it works well for them.

    Good luck,
    Walt

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