Military Airfield Gets Two “Like New” ARFFs for the Price of One

With the economy struggling, what do you do when you need new equipment? Some manufacturers are offering lease-purchase or special financing deals, or you can consider refurbishment.

When the fire chief of an American military airfield contacted Crash Truck Services at Company Two Fire Inc. about buying a mechanically new aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) truck, he had one severely limiting specification: To meet the chief’s financial guidelines, the “like-new” truck had to cost less than half the price of a new ARFF with equal suppression capacity.

The rest of the specifications were pretty standard: The mechanically new ARFF had to have 1,500 gallons of water, 250 gallons of foam, and meet OEM Part 139 requirements in force at the time of the truck’s original manufacture.

To make the deal work, Crash Truck Services agreed to remanufacture one of the many used ARFFs in its inventory: a used E-One Titan with a 1,500-gallon poly tank.

Frame and drivetrain

All body panels were inspected for damage, corrosion or worn areas, and repaired to OEM standards or replaced. The existing doors and hardware were repaired as needed. Existing interior compartment features were repaired to meet the OEM standard.

All chassis springs were inspected and replaced if they did not conform to OEM specifications. Spring clips, bushings, leaves, coils, and associated bolts and pins were replaced as needed.

The entire air brake system was remanufactured to original OEM standards. Brake drums/rotors were inspected and machined to meet OEM tolerances and/or replaced as necessary. All brake lines were inspected and replaced as needed. The brake system on the refurbished Titan remained the OEM all-wheel type with split circuits so that failure of one circuit does not cause total brake failure.

Areas that are affected by extreme heat were protected or replaced with heatproof materials. The existing air system reservoir was removed and cleaned.

Bushings, bearings, and seals were replaced as needed with new ones that meet or exceed OEM specifications. All drive lines were inspected and reinstalled with new U-Joints.

A new radiator core was installed and all radiator and heater hoses were replaced. The entire cooling system was then pressure tested for leaks and repaired as necessary.

Fire fighting systems

The fire pump was disassembled, inspected, and rebuilt. All discharge piping was checked for leaks and excessive corrosion. Any pipe section or fitting which had 10 percent thickness affected by corrosion was replaced. All valves were rebuilt and discharge valves were converted to stainless ball-type.

All bolted flanges were disassembled; all gaskets and any defective bolts were replaced. All existing pump pressure gauges were replaced with liquid filled gauges of corresponding size and pressure ratings.

The existing poly water and foam tanks were inspected and no damage or weakness was found. The inside of the tanks were thoroughly cleaned. All gaskets were replaced with non-hardening type gaskets and sealing compounds. Any damaged baffles were repaired or replaced as needed. New electric water and foam level gauges were installed in the cab and on the exterior pump panel.

The foam proportioning system was repaired to OEM condition to serve all discharge points. All materials utilized in the foam system were brass or stainless steel.

Cab and interior

The cab interior was thoroughly cleaned and all damaged panels repaired or replaced. All cab windows, excluding the windshield, were inspected and replaced as necessary. The cab windshield was cleaned and buffed, and could have been replaced if requested.

The cab roof was resealed to prevent moisture from entering the cab interior. The existing air conditioning unit was repaired and upgraded to the current 134A automotive Freon standard.

As each piece of the unit was reassembled, it was cleaned and repainted according to customer specification. All parts were coated with an anti-corrosive sealant.


In less than 120 days from the start of work on the chassis, Crash Truck Services delivered the rebuilt ARFF to the airfield and conducted training.

A pre-acceptance test also was provided upon delivery by an experienced Crash Truck Services technician. The truck’s performance met or exceeded OEM performance specifications for acceleration, maximum speed, braking, and pump performance.

The foam system calibration was checked and adjusted to the total discharge capacity standards as well as foam quality and concentration. The warranty was one year from the written acceptance of the completed unit for all unit components repaired or replaced in the refurbishment process, excluding wheels and tires, batteries, and light bulbs.

The warranty covered all parts, labor, and any other related costs. Two weeks later, the chief called to say he was so pleased with the first truck, please do it all over again with a second rig.

New airfield equipment including ARFF can be expensive, but there are alternatives. Remanufactured airfield equipment offers many benefits, including extending the life of the equipment, and in some cases actually improving power and durability; backed by manufacturer warranties, parts availability and service; and uses about 85 percent less energy than mining, refining, melting, and machining of new material offering a green solution.

Bob Frenier works in sales and marketing for Crash Truck Services at Company Two Fire, Inc., and is a deputy sheriff for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department

For more information about the process, contact Bob Frenier at (800) 246-3511 or