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Buying a Used Truck

By Michael H. Smith

 Your department has a critical need to update its current fleet by replacing or adding a fire truck. A dive into your department’s budget compared to the cost of new fire trucks and you quickly realize a new truck may not be possible. 

The need is still real, and it needs to be met. Now the search begins for a quality used fire truck, but your department has never been on this journey. In the eighteen years in which Brindlee Mountain has been in operation, we have been tracking the things you need to look for when buying a used apparatus and things you should avoid.


What to look for when buying a used fire truck:

  1. A warranty. Yes, used fire trucks can come with a warranty covering major components and other items.  

  2. Rust. Look everywhere on the truck for rust, a significant indicator of the condition of the truck. 

  3. Apparatus Type. Does the truck meet our needs? Does it have the right components and features?

  4. Mileage and Hours. These two numbers will indicate how much the truck has been used compared to its chronological age.

  5. A dealer/seller with a great reputation backed up by references.

  6. Current pump and if applicable aerial certifications.

What to avoid when buying a used fire truck:

  1. A truck priced well below market value.

  2. Buying from a dealer who does not specialize in fire trucks.

  3. Sellers who are unwilling to provide pictures/videos or answers to any questions you may have.

We would love to help you find the right truck to meet your needs. The best place to start is to visit our inventory of over 1200 trucks here on firetruckmall.com. If you see something that meets your criteria great, if nothing is quite right for your department, give us a call, or sign up for FireTruckFinder, either way, we would love the opportunity to help guide you in your search.

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