Selecting your repair facility is important
Having your fire trucks serviced annually by a qualified service provider is just as important as daily and routine checks. During this service, major operating components will be checked for proper performance, adjustments can be made if needed and repairs can be completed by qualified EVT Technicians.
Selecting your repair facility is just as important. Here are a few questions to ask your service provider that will be performing your fire truck maintenance:
- Are they a dedicated fire truck maintenance and repair facility?
This is very important question to ask. Some apparatus dealers are also Class 8 (Over the road trucks) truck dealers. Not the worst thing in the world, but your fire truck repair will not take priority over the Class 8 work. The big money for this kind of shop is volume and your fire truck is like a hobby to them. Pick a service provider that lives and breathes fire truck service.
- Are there certified EVT Technicians on staff?
This is one of the requirements that fire departments frequently ignore. Fire apparatus are complicated machines that require trained and certified personnel capable of performing adjustments and repairs. Ask the question, look for the certifications that your service facility may or may not have.
- Does the service facility hold any other certifications related to fire truck maintenance?
Most dedicated fire apparatus repair facilities will take advantage of training that is offered by manufacturer’s such as Hale, Waterous, E-ONE, Detroit Diesel, Cummins and so on. The maintenance and repair of fire apparatus is certainly not becoming less complicated. Make sure your dealer has fully trained technicians and replacement part staff employed.
- Do they offer mobile service?
It is not always convenient to place your apparatus out of service, transport it and leave it at a repair facility for an extended amount of time for routine maintenance. Ask your service provider if they have fully equipped mobile service trucks that will come to your location to complete your fire pump, ladder truck and general apparatus repair and preventive maintenance.
- Do they have replacement parts in stock?
Replacement parts are usually the biggest contributor to a lengthy repair shop visit. That visit will be a nice long one if they do not have a running inventory of consumable parts readily available.
We are big believers in service
Having been involved in the fire apparatus industry since the 1980’s, we have seen a few emergency vehicle service providers, fire truck dealers and fire apparatus manufacturers come and go. Back in the day, all you needed was a vehicle, some business cards and a few relationships and you could sell a fire truck. Many if not most truck sales took place from the trunk of a car. Dealerships were in a one room office with a desk, phone and fax machine (and maybe a poster on the wall). The very idea of obtaining service was left to the buyer to figure it out. Warranty service work was usually completed by the manufacturer. Huge fire truck service facilities did not exist. Mobile service at your location was merely someone’s dream. There was no such thing as a Full Service Dealer.
Times have changed for the better.
Today fire truck and ambulance manufacturers require that their dealers meet a certain criteria. Not say there isn’t exceptions made but most adhere to the guidelines in place. A full service emergency vehicle dealer that brings new & used sales, service, parts and support to the table is a valuable asset to the community.