1. #1
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    Default You wax your rigs how much??

    I just read a post on another thread that said they wax their rigs every other month. To me this seems like overkill and I know some manufacturers have even gone as far as saying not to wax the rig or a least not very often as it can damage the paint jobs.

    How often do you wash, chamois off, or wax your rig?

    We typically wash it when it is really dirty or dusty..... at most once a day. If we haven't moved much and the rig is clean we just take a damp chamois to it. The driver of my rig and I have decided to wax our rig sometime soon although it is not required of us to do it. That and it probably has not been waxed for a couple of years.

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    Wash minimum of once a week, wax about once a month during the summer, it needs it too, it takes a beating going through brush and lives on dirt roads.

    Never heard of wax being a problem before although I have heard you need to wait a few months before the first waxing on a new paint job to allow the paint to fully cure.

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    Our trucks get washed when dirty or at least once a week. We do a full wax job on them once a year. This is a career department that runs just over 400 calls a year.

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    I have to wonder why waxing would be bad for the paint since waxing is a protective measure for the paint (especially since red is the color that will fade the most rapidly.)
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    Older waxes were slightly abrasive and over-waxing would eventually wear the paint off. I have no idea if that still applies using modern clear-coat safe waxes.
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    Exclamation No No No No No!

    I have an automotive detailing venture as a side gig, and had an article about apparatus detailing published in the November 1992 issue of Firehouse Magazine. Please allow me to clear up some misconceptions..

    I just read a post on another thread that said they wax their rigs every other month. To me this seems like overkill and I know some manufacturers have even gone as far as saying not to wax the rig or a least not very often as it can damage the paint jobs.

    How often do you wash, chamois off, or wax your rig?

    We typically wash it when it is really dirty or dusty..... at most once a day. If we haven't moved much and the rig is clean we just take a damp chamois to it. The driver of my rig and I have decided to wax our rig sometime soon although it is not required of us to do it. That and it probably has not been waxed for a couple of years.
    Paint jobs will not be damaged by waxing! Paint jobs are damaged through improper washing techniques, including wiping down with just a damp chamois! There are products that can be used to remove light dust, such as the California Car Duster, Meguiar's quick detailer (provides lubrication to the paint surface while removing dust, etc.)

    Waxes and sealeants have UV inhibitors. UV light is what kills paintwork, causing it to fade (even clearcoats, which is just paint without pigment.)

    Never heard of wax being a problem before although I have heard you need to wait a few months before the first waxing on a new paint job to allow the paint to fully cure.
    This only applies to vehicles that have been repainted. OEM paint work is cured in drying ovens at over 300 degrees Farenheit to force dry the solvent carriers. when fire apparatus bodies and cabs are painted, it is before the installation of the interiors, wiring, plastic lenses, etc. which would warp under the heat of a spray/bake booth.

    Our trucks get washed when dirty or at least once a week. We do a full wax job on them once a year. This is a career department that runs just over 400 calls a year.
    Rigs should be waxed at least quarterly with a good quality wax or sealent, not the cheap Turtle Wax crap. It amazes me how fire cheifs can spend hundreds of thousands on buying a new engine, aerial or rescue, then givel the crew a $3 can of "turtle" to protect it. In addition, a good quality liquid car wash soap with a mitt or a soft brush should be used to wash the rig. I have seen departments use dishwashing and laundry detergent to wash their rigs. Dish and laundry detergent are formulated to remove grease and oils from clothing and dishes... all vehicle waxes contain petroleum solvents and by products as carriers or are compleytely synthetic.. washing with the aforementioned detergent strip the wax and sealants from the vehicles.

    I have to wonder why waxing would be bad for the paint since waxing is a protective measure for the paint (especially since red is the color that will fade the most rapidly.)
    This was true in the days before clearcoated paint finishes. The reds are the most photochemically reactive (and most expensive), followed by the color silver. You can tell if you have a non clearcoated finish by looking at the towling used to was a vehicle. if the color of the vehilce is on the towleing, it's non clear coated!

    Most fire apparatus are painted with polyurethane paints, such as Dupont's Imron, which are more durable than the standard acrylic enamels used by the domestic and foreign auto manufacturers.

    Maybe it's time to do an update on the 1992 article and pitch it to Firehouse...
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 09-27-2005 at 08:29 AM.
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    We wash our rigs weekly (a soap & wax combination product). We wax them three times a year, May (Memorial Day Parade), September (Labor Day Parade) and December (Holiday Parade).

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    Thumbs up I vote YES !!

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    Maybe it's time to do an update on the 1992 article and pitch it to Firehouse...
    1 Vote YES
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    Wow, I didnt kill a thread this time, I caused one to start.

    Yes, we wax the rigs every other month. We are right next to the beach, so with the salt air, the sand and of course the intense Florida sun, we have too. We are also rather busy (4-5K runs a year) so the rigs are out in the elements quite a bit.

    We use wax with zero abrasives, and wash daily with high wax content car wash.

    Some places may not need to do this but here its a must.
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    Dave, if you didn't kill it I sure will. Seems thats all I do any more.

    Anywho, our SOP's state that we are to wash the rigs anytime the truck goes out. Now we modify this ourselves and if it is just dust, we take a California Dust Mop to it and wipe it clean. Works 90% of the time. If we have just gotten back from a fire or it was raining/snowing we do a full wet down with soap and water. Sometimes, depending on the situation we wash it with soap and water just coming back from a normal sunny day call. We really only do this if it hasnt has a soap/water bath in a while. We wax ours hardly ever. Honestly, I have been on just over 4 years and have seen my truck waxed once.
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    This only applies to vehicles that have been repainted. OEM paint work is cured in drying ovens at over 300 degrees Farenheit to force dry the solvent carriers. when fire apparatus bodies and cabs are painted, it is before the installation of the interiors, wiring, plastic lenses, etc. which would warp under the heat of a spray/bake booth.

    With the caveat to remember if you're one of the few with real gold-leafing, the "repainted" applies here!

    At least to the extent that they use varnish over of the gold leaf and the varnish needs to be cured.

    ------
    Ours: Once a year on the wax, but the White Coats are pretty big sticklers on trucks aren't put away dirty so 95% of the time they at least get a rinse if conditions that day where anything but dry roads & skies.

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    We wash ours as needed, wax twice a year. During the winter we let the salt and everything dry on, and let everything warm up before washing.
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    Washed: DAILY
    Waxed: MONTHLY

    Each Monday is "Truck day". On this day, every piece of equipment is taken off every truck, inspected, run, painted, lubed, etc. On this day the truck is waxed. At my station we have an engine, ladder, rescue, and Batt chief. We break it down and wax something each Monday, but every truck gets waxed monthly.

    This is a career department station running 25-40 calls/shift not counting Batt chief.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SCOOBY14B
    Washed: DAILY
    Waxed: MONTHLY

    Each Monday is "Truck day". On this day, every piece of equipment is taken off every truck, inspected, run, painted, lubed, etc. On this day the truck is waxed. At my station we have an engine, ladder, rescue, and Batt chief. We break it down and wax something each Monday, but every truck gets waxed monthly.

    This is a career department station running 25-40 calls/shift not counting Batt chief.
    We clean/lube hand tools once a month (third Friday), or when they are used. As for pulling everything off the rig, our mechanic does that when he does the normal service (3 months or 3K miles) and cleans out the compartments.
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    we wash as needed .............and wax usually twice a year ...............
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    Default Weekly

    I have always thought this was overkill:

    Wash every morning before shift change ( by Engineer ), and as needed due to response. Rigs will not be left dirty.

    Wax EVERY Saturday!!!


    As a side note:
    Mon. & Tues. = Station windows
    Wed. = Kitchen (top to bottom)
    Thurs. = Tools (clean, sharpen, paint......)
    Fri.= Lawn Maint.
    Sat.= you got it....wash and wax (rigs and Station floors)
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    This only applies to vehicles that have been repainted. OEM paint work is cured in drying ovens at over 300 degrees Farenheit to force dry the solvent carriers. when fire apparatus bodies and cabs are painted, it is before the installation of the interiors, wiring, plastic lenses, etc. which would warp under the heat of a spray/bake booth.
    I was told by the apparatus builder when I picked up a new engine not to wax it for 2-3 months as the paint was still off gassing.


    If you don't mind I have a question, one of my crew read an article recommending the use of dish soap occasionally to strip off old wax, followed by waxing. I am against the use of dish soap on apparatus but it is for some of the reasons listed by the article. Any thoughts on this?

    I agree about being cheap on the wash & wax, makes no sense to have an expensive piece of equipment and not take care of it, but I see a large number of departments using a cheap brush and dish soap to wash their vehicles. Really what does it cost to buy good stuff, maybe $30 a year per vehicle?

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    We are a bit "dirtier" than other departments. We run lots of dirt roads and are quite busy for the staff that we have so we don't wash immediately after getting it a little dusty. Usually my trigger is the level of disgust when I go outside and look at the rig and say to my self, this thing is just too filthy. Otherwise if dusty and I have free time I will always try to keep it ***** and span but operations come first, there are always repairs to be done, pre-plans, business inspections (no prevention bureau here), hydrant maintenance, reports that need to be written, etc.

    Birken

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    Wax EVERY Saturday!!!
    You do that in Gary? I would think you guys would be too busy!

    I'm going on 7 years and I've yet to wax a truck once! I think we do it maybe once a year?

    We wash the trucks............

    WHEN THEY NEED WASHING!

    Could be 3 times a day in dirty slush, or once in 3 days in the dry summer.
    Last edited by FHandz15; 09-28-2005 at 09:53 PM.

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    We wash our trucks when their dirty. We wax the truck two or three times a year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NonSurfinCaFF
    I was told by the apparatus builder when I picked up a new engine not to wax it for 2-3 months as the paint was still off gassing.

    The only reason I can be thinking of for the paint to be off gassing is that they resprayed a panel at the dealership (damages do happen in transit and many dealerships will not mention that fact to the customer! )


    If you don't mind I have a question, one of my crew read an article recommending the use of dish soap occasionally to strip off old wax, followed by waxing. I am against the use of dish soap on apparatus but it is for some of the reasons listed by the article. Any thoughts on this?

    I agree about being cheap on the wash & wax, makes no sense to have an expensive piece of equipment and not take care of it, but I see a large number of departments using a cheap brush and dish soap to wash their vehicles. Really what does it cost to buy good stuff, maybe $30 a year per vehicle?
    Some detailers use Dawn dish detergent to remove old wax finishes. Sal Zaino, owner of Zaino Brothers car care products recommends it as a first step to using the Zaino product line.

    Personally, when I detail a vehicle, I wash, clay, and rewash the vehicle prior to begiining the buffing/polishing/waxing sequence, so the old was finish is removed. I wax a panel or two every time I wash my personal vehicles, let's just say that Wifey thinks I have OCD when it comes to the cars and I wash them often enough that the vehicles are always clean and protected!

    Costs: I find that when you purchase and use quality products, the costs are actually less, because they are formulated to a little goes a long way. When it comes time to do the quarterly waxing of vehicles assigned to my group, I bring in the detailing products I bought and tried and didn't care for personally, but the guys love them.
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 09-29-2005 at 01:12 AM.
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    You mean you have to wax the trucks???


    LOL

    Every day, if the rigs has ran, which is every day, they get washed at 9 AM by the crew on duty. If they run at night, which most do, they get washed in the morning. If it is raining, snowing then they get rinsed off regardless what time it is. Tools are cleaned after any incident that they were used on.

    Monday is engine day. The engine gets cleaned on the outside by using a good grade of engine cleaner.

    Tuesday is compartment day. Everything in all compartments gets clean completely. Tools and appliances get a good cleaning.

    Wednesday is ladder day. All ladders get a thorough cleaning and the ladder locks get a shot of silicone.

    Thursday is underside the rig day. A washing of the underside is done.

    Friday is grass cutting day. All grass around the engine house gets a clipping and sidewalks gets edging.

    Waxing is done monthly by the crew that is working on the first Monday of each month.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    Some detailers use Dawn dish detergent to remove old wax finishes. Sal Zaino, owner of Zaino Brothers car care products recommends it as a first step to using the Zaino product line.

    Personally, when I detail a vehicle, I wash, clay, and rewash the vehicle prior to begiining the buffing/polishing/waxing sequence, so the old was finish is removed. I wax a panel or two every time I wash my personal vehicles, let's just say that Wifey thinks I have OCD when it comes to the cars and I wash them often enough that the vehicles are always clean and protected!

    Costs: I find that when you purchase and use quality products, the costs are actually less, because they are formulated to a little goes a long way. When it comes time to do the quarterly waxing of vehicles assigned to my group, I bring in the detailing products I bought and tried and didn't care for personally, but the guys love them.

    Thanks, I guess I'll add in the occasional wash with dish soap. BTW your idea of an article is a good one, just based on personal experience most fire departments I've been around don't know anything about proper care of the paint, and don't really care either. I just know a good wash soap and wax makes the truck stay shiny longer, so thats what I get even when it means I pay for it myself, but I'd like to learn more about things like claying and use of rubbing compounds to fix the scratches and Arizona pinstriping from all the brush we drive through.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allineedisu
    You mean you have to wax the trucks???

    Thursday is underside the rig day. A washing of the underside is done.

    Friday is grass cutting day. All grass around the engine house gets a clipping and sidewalks gets edging.

    The undersides of ours gets done at time of PM (3 months/3000miles). It gets pressure washed (as does the motor) at that time.


    You have to cut your own grass?
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    Wash every shift in the a.m., Waxing schedule for vehicles has us do it twice a year.

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