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How Does a Fire Tanker Truck Work?

How does a fire tanker truck work? We all know that a fire apparatus fights fires, but what else does it do? How does it draw water? Does the water have to be from a fire hydrant? How does the water come out at such high rates? It is helpful to know how your fire tanker truck works.

What is a Fire Tanker Truck?

A fire tanker truck, or fire tender, is a vehicle which Osco custom builds or designs to specifically fight fires. These tankers are usually large trucks with a tank for water to fight fires. Along the tank there are many compartments where all of the necessary firefighting equipment is stored (hoses, axe, life-saving equipment, etc.). This is essential for easy access while at the scene of a fire emergency. The fire tanker truck is big or small, and this all depends on the needs of the department.

The difference between a fire truck and a fire tanker truck, or fire engine, is that one has a ladder that stays on the back of the truck. Firefighters use this ladder for life-saving operations in most cases. Fire tanker trucks have the water to fight fires and that is the focus. It’s important to note that, the fire tanker truck is used for both water and life-saving situations. It does not make financial sense to have two trucks where one could do the job.

Where Does the Water Come From?

Does water for firefighting only come from fire hydrants in the city landscape? Interestingly, that’s not always the case, especially in rural operations. While the fire hydrant is a viable source to get water from one place to another and fight fires, it’s not so in rural areas. When you are in rural situations, there are no fire hydrants. In this case, there are a few options. One option is to get the water in the city, take it there, and then fight the fire. Another option, is to suction/vacuum water from a nearby lake, stream, or pond. The water is readily available to use on the fire. Firefighters will not usually worry about running out of water. Of course, in extreme situations, more backup is called and additional sources of water brought to the scene. However in many rural situations, this approach is the best option.

Beaver Firefighters association tank truckWhat is a Foam Tank?

Osco Tank & Truck Sales’ also offers an option on our fire tanker trucks of a liquid foam tender tank. This tank is embedded in the bigger tank used for water. It contains specific foam for different types of situations. One foam fights car fires whereas another might fight building fires. Just as with the fire extinguisher in your home or business, there are different types of foam for different issues.

How Does the Water Pump Work?

Inside of every fire tanker truck there is a water pump which is the true heart of the truck. This is what makes the fire tanker truck able to fight fires and to suction water from various locations. The water pump works with its engine that spins its blades very fast. Water hits those blades as it pumps in (through suction) and is pushed outwards when the valve is open. Firefighters control this by a series of levers which are used to operate the hoses. This panel also lets firefighters know when the tank is almost empty. This way, they can accurately determine when or if they need to get more water or call for backup.

Osco Tank & Truck Sales is Your Fire Tanker Truck Supplier

At Osco Tank & Truck Sales, we are committed to helping you design and build the custom fire tanker truck that works with the needs of your operation. Whether you’re looking for a completely custom, last a lifetime design or an option which still has great options but will work with your budget, we can help you find the best fit for you and your team. If you’re interested in a custom fire tanker truck, give us a call today and get started on getting the truck you deserve.