1. #1
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    Default Need help with Fire truck color!

    Can anyone point me to some studies done on the visibilities of different colors of Fire trucks? How about magazine articles?

    We are purchasing a new grass/utility truck that responds to a majority of our runs; including rural areas and Interstate highway.

    I am looking for facts, not opinions.

    Thanks

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    I hear Florescent Red is a good color to paint your truck. Its very visible and will start hours of conversation.
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    http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/...pdf/809222.pdf

    This one covers reflective stripping

    www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/nrd-12/DOTHS809423.pdf

    Covers t Bone accidents and colors
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    Do a search on fireengineering.com in the articles. I remember reading one in there somewhere about truck colors. The study back in the 70s found that the lime green was the easiest to see at any time of the day. At some point another study changed that to white, then back to good old red.

    I saw a couple of Clearwater FL's (I think it was them anyway, somewhere in Florida for sure) new trucks up at Pierce, white over fluorescent safety orange. Was definitely hard to miss those trucks.

    All in all I don't think it really matters. People in cars aren't going to see the truck no matter what color it is since most drive with their head between their cheeks. If they can't see the flashing lights, or hear the sirens, the body color really isn't going to make much difference.

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    To be honest, I thought that they stopped bothering with the "apparatus color" studies because someone had determined that it was the reflective striping and the lighting that made the real difference in safety, regardless of truck color. I can't cite it, but I think I read it somewhere. This does seem to be in line with common sense, however...

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    The FAA requires the slime green / yellow color for anything at O'Hare. That may give you some direction.

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    When I left working for the air guard as a civilian the air force was switching back to red or a combination of white over red for both structural and CFR rigs. It may have changed again by now however.

    Color of your rig...get what you want just make sure it meets all of the NFPA requirements for lights and striping. Continuity of color between your previous rigs and this new one will make it easier for your citizens to recognize it as a fire rig.

    We have a department near us that runs all black rigs, including it ambulance.

    FyredUp

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    Thanks for the info. I found this site, but it does not have links to the articles. If anyone has copy, I would like to read them.

    www.nfpa.org/Research/Library/Bibliographies/ FireApparatusColor/FireApparatusColor.asp

    I found this article supporting lime yellow. www.usroads.com/journals/aruj/9702/ru970203.htm.

    Also, an article "Apparatus color safety research questionable" of FireEngineering.com that questions the research of the above article.

    I also have two articles from Fire Apparatus. One by Bob Barraclough discussing the history of lime yellow from the 1970's to current. His opinion is color is a "non-issue" due to improvement in stripping and lighting. The other is on Omaha switching back to red after having yellow trucks. The date of the magazine is cut off on the copies I have. I will post the date when I get the original magazine.

    My opinion is red, that lighting and striping make more of a difference. I do not want to spend the addition 1,500 to 3,500 dollors to have the new grass/utility truck painted lime yellow.

    Our three old trucks (enigine, tanker, and grass rig) are red and the newest pumper lime yellow. Whatever color we pick for this truck will set the standard for the color of each truck as it is replaced.

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    Dr. Stephen Solomon is one of the leading experts on the subject of apparatus visibility with respect to color, lighting, and reflectivity. I believe he has written an article or two for Firehouse.

    Start with a search for his work. If you don't turn up what you need, let me know and I can get you his email address.

    On this subject he'll give you the straight stuff whether you like it or not. He knows what he's talking about.
    ullrichk
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    Hose21,
    By all means if you are up in the air about it go with the red. You can get the new truck already that color, without any extra cost. Your pricing does seem awful high for just a cab repaint.

    I have to agree that it doesn't matter the color of the truck when responding to emergencies it's the lights that are seen or not seen as the case may be.

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