Fire Truck Maintenance That Can Be Performed By Firefighters

Unless a fire department has its own full-service maintenance shop, most fire apparatus repairs must be outsourced to a third-party fire mechanic. However, there are several things that firefighters can do on a daily and weekly basis in the station to catch problems early and to prevent the need for costly repairs. These measures will also ensure the safety of the apparatus and its crew.

Apparatus Inspection Forms

Most fire departments have an Apparatus Inspection Form that operators must fill out prior to, and in some cases after, each shift. The individual that is signing the form has checked all of the emergency lighting, he’s checked the brakes, he’s checked the steering, he checked the tires, wheels and all of the particulars, all of the equipment that is essential to the firefighting component. They’ve got to check that off daily. Inspecting all of a fire department’s apparatus on a daily basis will insure early detection of potential problems, preventing a possible accident or malfunction. Identifying these issues right away will also prevent additional, related problems, thereby saving the fire department money.

Fire Pump Maintenance

Fire pumps should be maintained on a weekly basis. Pumps operators should always backflush the pump to clear out rocks and debris that might have entered the pump during the use of a fire hydrant. Every time a contractor breaks into the main pipe, all of that concrete, those pieces and rocks, follow through the mains, come up the hydrants, and stay at the head of the hydrant.” Firefighters should make a habit of flowing the hydrant before they hook up to it with their fire apparatus to flush that debris out of the hydrant and keep it from entering the pump. We also recommend that firefighters operate the relief valve or governor on a weekly, if not daily, basis.

Hands on training with industry professionals


Keeping a fire apparatus’ moving components properly lubricated is another preventative maintenance measure that firefighters can take. Using a creeper, personnel can access the undercarriage of the fire truck and lubricate all of its fittings. “Going under with a creeper and doing what we call an “over and under’ – over is everything on top and under is getting on the creeper, check the drive shaft, the U-Joints, look for leaks in the pump, the differential, the engine, the transmission, maybe a major water leak.”

It is also important to make sure that the drive shaft is not cracked or bent. Apparatus operators need to be sure that the drive shaft’s couplings are securely mounted and free of foreign objects.

Inspecting a vehicle’s front brake slack adjustor is also very important. There should not be any broken, loose or missing parts. With the brakes released, the push rod should not travel more than one inch.

Similarly, steering linkage should not have any worn or cracked connecting links, arms or rods. Operators should also check to make sure all of these parts are securely mounted.

The importance of firefighters doing daily and weekly maintenance checks on the fire apparatus in their stations. “Anyone that has a license to drive an apparatus should be able to maintain it to the best level they can. Like the “Out of Service Criteria”. Is it a tire problem? Is it a brake problem? Is it a major leak problem? Is it a steering problem? Those kinds of things, you are out of service, no question. You take that on a public road and you get into an accident with it and you haven’t checked it, it’s on you. The liability is on the driver.”

Fort Garry Fire Trucks is equipped to service all of your apparatus needs to include pump testing to NFPA 1911 with written test results.

Our skilled and Factory trained certified EVT Technicians are capable of handling any size repair no matter how large or small either at your location or at our facility. Please take a look at what our service includes, but certainly not limited to:

  • Preventative pump maintenance
  • All types of fire pump repairs, (minor or major) and complete pump overhauls
  • Various types of valve repairs (Akron, Elkhart, Hale, Waterous)
  • Piping repairs
  • New equipment installed
  • Electrical & electronic specialists
  • Wide selection of parts in stock – Hale, Waterous, Darley
  • Major pump components (Waterous, Hale, Darley, Task Force Tips, Elkhart, Akron, Class-1 Instruments
  • Total engine and chassis maintenance
  • (4) Certified EVT Technicians
  • (2) Apparatus service vehicles, in-house service facility
  • Change oil in pump transfer case,
  • pump oil filter changed, or strainer cleaned if applicable,
  • packing inspected and adjusted,
  • all valves operated and checked for leaks,
  • all valve linkage cleaned, inspected, and lubricated,
  • all gauges inspected for operating and accuracy,
  • perform vacuum test (10 loss in 10 minutes),
  • check primer oil level, and operation of primer including anti-siphon hole, operate and check relief valve or engine governor (clean strainers), inspect and operate transfer valve (grease if applicable),
  • check all piping for leaks,
  • check pump shift for proper operation and lubricate,
  • check battery condition,
  • fill autolube (Hale) and grease any pump bearings,
  • inspect all line drains (rebuild if necessary).
  • Change engine oil and filters,
  • change fuel filters, check air filters (replace if necessary),
  • change any hydraulic filters,
  • grease driveline and chassis,
  • check transmission level and fill,
  • check rear axle level and fill,
  • adjust brakes if applicable,
  • check radiator level,
  • fill and test,
  • check all belts and hoses.


Toll-free: 1-800-565-3473 ext. 3478 CKamminga@fgft.ca


Toll-free: 1-800-565-3473 ext. 3478 CKamminga@fgft.ca


Toll-free: 1-800-565-3473 ext. 3478 CKamminga@fgft.ca