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  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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    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
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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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    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
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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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  6. #6
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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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 07:29 AM.
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  7. #7
    Forum Member jce51cfd's Avatar
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    Default

    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).

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber N2DFire's Avatar
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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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  9. #9
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Default

    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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  11. #11
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    Default

    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.

  12. #12
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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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  13. #13
    Forum Member SCOOBY14B's Avatar
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    Default

    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.

  14. #14
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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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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  15. #15
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    we wash as needed .............and wax usually twice a year ...............
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  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber gfdtrk4's Avatar
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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)
    FTM-PTB
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  17. #17
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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

  19. #19
    Forum Member FHandz15's Avatar
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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 08:53 PM.

  20. #20
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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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