The 5 Most Important Aspects of ARFF New Vehicle Inspection

For firefighters, seeing their ARFF unit for the first time is arguably one of the most exciting times in the process of getting a new truck.

Here at Oshkosh Airport Products, customer vehicle inspections are one of our favorite responsibilities.

ARFF vehicle inspections make every team member feel proud to see customers come in with excitement and anticipation, knowing they will see and test their new vehicle. We think new vehicle inspection plays a vital role in the overall process, and we wanted to share what we believe to be the five most important aspects to consider during an ARFF vehicle inspection.

What to Expect During an ARFF New Vehicle Inspection: A Quick Overview

At Oshkosh Airport Products, we thoroughly inspect every new ARFF vehicle to ensure we have built the best quality product and our client receives a truck that exceeds their expectations.

In case you may be unfamiliar with a vehicle inspection and what it all entails, we are going to share a quick overview of what takes place during an ARFF vehicle inspection process. Typically, inspection takes one to two days on-site here at Oshkosh Airport Products in Wisconsin. We start by going through the truck front to back, making sure  all the options on the vehicle align with the specifications. Next, we move on to what might be the most exhilarating part; operational testing.

Using NFPA 414 ARFF vehicle requirements as a guide, our team has created a variety of operational and performance tests that challenge the truck to prove it can respond and perform in any terrain in a timely, safe, and effective manner.

Operational testing for a new ARFF vehicle can include:

  • Brake test
  • Top Speed test
  • Turning diameter test
  • Acceleration test
  • Handling
  • Gradient ascents and descents
  • ECO-EFP testing
  • Pump and roll test
  • 30° tilt table test

The myriad of operational tests to choose from allows our customer to make sure their new ARFF truck is performing at its best. Finally, we share a tour of our plant and do an inspection of loose equipment, if applicable to the truck.

Learn more about operational and performance testing we conduct for every ARFF vehicle in this blog post!

What Are the Most Important Aspects of an ARFF New Vehicle Inspection Process?

Below, we provide a countdown of the five most important aspects we consider during all our ARFF vehicle inspections.

5. Inspect Graphics & Lettering

When your ARFF unit is responding to an emergency on the runway or patrolling the tarmac, the exterior of the truck is the first thing people see. Inspecting all graphics and lettering to make sure they’re perfect is a crucial component of vehicle inspection. The graphics and lettering display your fire station proudly, and if there is a discrepancy, being able to fix it on-site will relieve headaches upon delivery of the unit.

4. See How the ARFF Truck Is Built

Going on a factory tour exposes you to different areas of the manufacturing process. This can be essential for understanding the truck from a maintenance perspective, as well as a having a greater appreciation for how your ARFF unit is built. Seeing the different stages of production can also allow customers to see how each component works because it is stripped down to the basic structure. If you have any questions on why something is put together “that” way now is the time to ask the skilled professionals working on the line.

3. Meet and Become Familiar with Our Employees

Hospitality is an exciting part of any customer visit and is key to any new ARFF vehicle inspection. Being able to meet the people behind the truck and brand strengthens relationships, opens the door for communication, and helps put a face to a name. You, the customer, should feel comfortable asking any team member at Oshkosh Airport Products a question and know they will be able to answer it with confidence. Building a relationship with our employees also allows an opportunity to decrease post-product dissonance. Members from the truck committee will feel better able to communicate any questions or concerns after they take their ARFF vehicle back to the firehouse.

Check out what you can expect during your Oshkosh Airport Products facility visit in this blog post!

2. Performance Test Your New ARFF Vehicle

Performance testing is arguably the most exhilarating part of your vehicle’s inspection. It allows the customer to participate in a wide variety of tests outside the walls of the factory. Additionally, it gives new users of our brand the opportunity to become familiar with the vehicle. We shared a few of the most common tests in our overview at the beginning of the post, but in addition to those, you have the opportunity to see the full agent suppression system in action. We take the ARFF truck out to the test pad and pump water, test the turrets, and make sure the foam system works correctly. You may also become familiar with the Snozzle® if your unit is equipped with this versatile option. Testing allows for quality checks, such as testing the pressure and flow rate of the equipment.

1. Verification Between Specifications and the ARFF Truck

This is the most crucial and important aspect of your ARFF vehicle inspection. Comparing the built truck to the specifications is the first thing that is done when a customer does a site visit. We start at the front of the truck and work our way backwards, ensuring  all the options you chose match up with the specifications that were built. During the verification process, we can correct any discrepancies before the truck is shipped. If there is a quality concern, an additional request, or a failure during testing, each item is captured with a system called E-Pick. Our team uses pictures and text to describe the problem, which is then sent out to engineering, sales, and production teams. E-Pick verifies accountability that the work has been done, as well as provides a guarantee that we will take care of any issue quickly and efficiently.

The Importance of ARFF New Vehicle Inspection

Vehicle inspection is essential to both the customer and Oshkosh Airport Products. It ensures we are putting out the best quality product and you are receiving a truck that exceeds your expectations. Unfortunately, new Airport Improvement Program(AIP) regulations aren’t writing visits into the specs as commonly as they used to. Our sales team encourages talking to the FAA to get approval for the visit prior to presenting the specifications. The benefits are endless!

Do you have questions about our ARFF new vehicle inspection process? Contact us today!

This article was originally published by Oshkosh.

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