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  1. #1
    firefighter7160
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    Default Washing the truck

    My dept. says that the truck will be washed twice a day. And if water is on the roads, it will be washed every time that the truck comes back from a run. Is there any other dept. that has such rules on washing the tucks.


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    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    we wash our apparatus whenever it is inclement ..................and when I say washed.........most times if you hit it as soon as you return to qaurtes it can just be rinsed ........we dont fire up the soap and bucket every time
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    Forum Member FDNY101TRUCK's Avatar
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    Being a all Volly dept. they pretty much get washed when someone notices them dirty or on a drill night and nothing is planned a couple people will wash all the trucks with soap and water. But when the weather is nasty out we will only rinse the rigs off if there is a lot of mud on the trucks, other than that there are no rules saying that trucks have to be washed.
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    Washing a truck truck twice a day is not good for the truck. Even washing once a day is not always a good thing.

    That much washing is very hard on the paint and, more importantly, never allows the underside of the truck to dry out. That can lead to all kinds of corrosion problems.

    Rinse during incliment weather, a then a good wash when the weather clears is all thats needed. You don't wash your car twice a day, why a fire truck?

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    Agreed, twice a day is not a good plan. Ours are taken care of pretty much whenever they look like they need it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Weruj1
    we wash our apparatus whenever it is inclement ..................and when I say washed.........most times if you hit it as soon as you return to qaurtes it can just be rinsed ........we dont fire up the soap and bucket every time
    Yup. The wheelwells and road spray get hosed off, that's it.


    Andy

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    On our department we rinse the trucks after they've been on dirt roads and are dusty. If it was a city run and the truck is not dirty, there is no rinse or wash. But at least once a week on training night and when ever they're dirty.

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    We let ours get pretty dirty (by FD standards anyway) before washing. There are lots of other more important things to be doing than washing things that are already clean. Time is money. However it is nice to have students, rookies with no other duties, etc. who are looking for something to do

    Birken

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    You may want to check with the Tuck manufacturer to see what they recommend. I agree that washing every day may not be a good idea. I feel a good coat of paste wax once in a while is a good idea.

  10. #10
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    I have an automotive detailing venture on the side, and wrote an article on apparatus detailing published in Firehouse Magazine (November 1982)

    There is no need to wash the rig twice a day, unless it got really filthy at a fire.

    Once the paintwork is properly cleaned, polished and protected, a rinse after driving in bad weather is sufficient to get 99% of the crap off of the vehicle's finish.

    If it is just covered with pollen or light dust, a California Car Duster can be used to remove the dust and the entire rig can be gone over in less than five to seven minutes. A "quick detailer" spray and a soft terry or microfiber towel can be used to make the paintwork shine.

    The interior should be swept and the dashboard surfaces dusted at least every other tour of duty.

    As far as waxing, it should be done at a minimum quarterly. One way to keep up the finish is to wax a couple of panels evey time the rig is washed.

    The type of wax used also makes a huge difference. Most municipalities will buy the cheapest product (such as Turtle Wax). Spending a few more dolars and getting a quality product ( which actually costs less because you use less) gives your rigs better protection.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    We just rinse the rig at the end of the day if needed... And give it good soap wash once a week... Now when it's been raining we just rinse off the road spray and let air dry until weather clears and then we soap wash the rig...

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    Our motto is: people judge us by our appearance. When ever its dirty we wash or rinse it. Equipment is kept clean. The better care we take of it hopefully the longer it lasts.

    What does everyone use to wash trucks, we found that brushes-designed for washing trucks left slite scratches in the paint. The are brand new and cleaned to get rid of any dirt. We are currently trying sponges but they're a pain.

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    NWVFD93- Are you using a liquid soap or powder soap? The reason I ask is that if you qare using powdered soap the scratches are more than likely coming from the soap, not the brushes.

    If you read the directions it probalby says to fill the bucket with warm or hot water. The tempature helps disolve the powder.

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    Washing the truck that much is basically stripping the wax off as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nwvfd93
    Our motto is: people judge us by our appearance. When ever its dirty we wash or rinse it. Equipment is kept clean. The better care we take of it hopefully the longer it lasts.

    What does everyone use to wash trucks, we found that brushes-designed for washing trucks left slite scratches in the paint. The are brand new and cleaned to get rid of any dirt. We are currently trying sponges but they're a pain.
    We use liquid soap and had the same problem. Sponges are all I have found so far too.
    We're not spliting rocket hairs here people!

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silverback76
    Washing the truck that much is basically stripping the wax off as well.
    Wrong wrong wrong!

    Wax wears off a vehicle by using harsh detergents (such as dish soap, made to cut grease, off of dishes, pots and pans, and most waxes are petroleum derivatives, even natural wax such as carnauba has petroleum distillates for ease of application, as natural carnauba crystals are as hard as a rock) or natural evaporation (the temperature of a dark colored surface can reach upwards of 250 to 300 degrees Farenheit in the sun).

    A good quality liquid car wash soap will not strip the wax.

    As far as brushes causing micromarring of the paintwork.. most brushes bought by the cheifs are not soft enough to wash the paintwork with. In addition, most firefighters use the same wash solution over and over, just adding water to the bucket when the level drops down. The dirt and grit from the vehicles paintwork sinks to the bottom of the bucket, only to be redistributed through the solution when water is added. The brushes are also used to wash the tires and wheels, dropped on the apparatus floor, etc. etc. etc.

    Having a separate brush for paintwork and wheels and using the two bucket method ( one bucket for the wash oilution, the other filled with water to rinse the brush) should help alleviate this problem.

    Sponges aren't any better.. the dirt gets trapped in the cells of the sponge.

    The best way to wash a rig is to use a wash mitt (either microfiber, sheepskin or chennile) and the two bucket method. I use microfiber mitts and the two bucket method to wash my personal vehicles... here's a pic of my Mustang...

    http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c2...z/c1de0a89.jpg
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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