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5 Ways to Optimize ARFF Vehicle Maintenance

Two ARFF vehicles sitting on a runway - one is neon green and black and one is red and black

ARFF vehicles play a pivotal role in fighting aircraft fires. The best way to ensure your ARFF vehicle always operates at peak performance is through proper maintenance.

Below, we highlight five ways to optimize ARFF vehicle maintenance. From creating a daily operator maintenance checklist to proper ways to store your ARFF vehicle, we have you covered.

Feel confident you are doing everything possible to keep your truck in peak condition, ready to attack any aircraft fire quickly and safely. Keep reading to learn more!

1. ARFF Vehicle Daily Inspection

Consistency is key when it comes to keeping your ARFF truck running smoothly. A well-thought-out ARFF daily operator inspection plan will help keep everything in tip-top shape and minimize the chances of unexpected malfunctions.

Creating a detailed checklist can help you cover every aspect of the vehicle’s functionality. Your daily operator inspection checklist should include fluid levels, fluid leak checks, tire conditions, brake systems, firefighting operations, and electrical components. Implementing sign-off sheets after each routine check adds an extra layer of accountability.

Scheduling professional inspections with your Oshkosh service provider is also a great way to ensure your vehicle will operate at the highest level of performance. Keep records of completed maintenance on file to help avoid uncertainties that may arise in the future.

ARFF-VehicleMaintenance2. Work Your ARFF Vehicle Daily

ARFF vehicles are designed to work hard and perform in extreme off-road conditions. It’s crucial not to let your ARFF truck sit idle. Daily use of your vehicle is the best way to ensure it will function at optimal performance when it’s called to an emergency. Put all that horsepower to work daily! 

Your ARFF vehicle operation maintenance plan should incorporate daily practices that actively engage the firefighting system and engine. Performing tasks such as pumping water from each discharge daily keeps the valves and firefighting systems in prime condition and adds a necessary load to the engine.

3. ARFF Vehicle Maintenance Intervals

Like any vehicle, following the operator manual for proper maintenance is imperative. Several critical systems keep your ARFF moving and saving lives. Changing the fluids and filters for these systems at the proper maintenance interval will help ensure your vehicle always operates at peak performance.

OshkoshStrikerARFF-MaintenanceProper care of your ARFF vehicle's engine is also essential to prevent failures and keep everything running smoothly. Ensure your engine is properly lubricated with the right oil to protect its components. Each component may require a specific lubricant, so choosing the right one for each part is crucial. Also, make sure not to use too much lubricant.

Air filtration and fuel quality are also things you should inspect at routine intervals. Check for any openings that could be letting in unfiltered air, which can be detrimental to your engine's health. By adhering to these ARFF vehicle maintenance practices and conducting routine inspections, you can extend the lifespan of your vehicle and feel confident it's running at peak performance, ready to respond effectively in emergencies.

4. Safely Store Your ARFF Vehicle

Keeping your ARFF truck stored in a safe environment will prevent damage from environmental conditions and ensure unauthorized personnel can’t interact with it. Climate-controlled sheds, garages, and firehouse bays provide the best shelter for your truck. These types of structures will help prevent your ARFF vehicle from rusting due to moisture, as well as avoid UV damage. It’s also important to keep the area around your machinery clean. Debris and clutter are just an accident waiting to happen.

ARFF-TruckSimulationTraining5. Know your ARFF Vehicle

Your operators will be the primary users of your ARFF vehicle, so it's important they know how to properly do so. The operator manual will provide all the necessary knowledge and should be reviewed regularly. Classroom training, hands-on learning, and on-the-job training are also excellent ways to keep your employees updated on how to use vehicle equipment safely and effectively.

A proper training program is an opportunity to review safety best practices, which will help prevent occupational injuries. Consider implementing ARFF truck simulation training, which offers an immersive experience in a wrap-around simulator. This simulation system enhances the operator's understanding of handling the vehicle in different scenarios, ensuring they are well-prepared for any situation.

Providing your emergency personnel with the knowledge required for proper ARFF vehicle operation and maintenance is a proactive approach that safeguards your investment and maximizes the longevity and performance of your ARFF vehicle.

Learn about Oshkosh’s hands-on training and critical vehicle support here.

At Oshkosh Airport Products, we are proud to offer a wide network of services and support to help keep ARFF trucks operating. ARFF trucks are a crucial part of airport safety. They are meticulously designed to navigate the rough terrain of an airport’s terminal and runway space and tackle any emergency. However, proper ARFF vehicle maintenance is the only way to guarantee it’s ready to perform when called to an emergency.

Have questions about ARFF maintenance? Contact us today!


Topics: ARFF, Airport, Trucks

View the ARFF Vehicle Reference Guide

About Oshkosh Airport Products

Oshkosh Airport Products, a division of Pierce Manufacturing Inc., a subsidiary of Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK), is a designer and builder of industry-leading airport firefighting vehicles. Its flagship Striker® Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) vehicles are known for their durability and superior performance and sold throughout the world. For more information, visit

About Oshkosh Corporation

At Oshkosh (NYSE: OSK), we make innovative, mission-critical equipment to help everyday heroes advance communities around the world. Headquartered in Wisconsin, Oshkosh Corporation employs approximately 17,000 team members worldwide, all united behind a common purpose: to make a difference in people’s lives. Oshkosh products can be found in more than 150 countries under the brands of JLG®, Hinowa, Power Towers, Pierce®, MAXIMETAL, Oshkosh® Defense, McNeilus®, IMT®, Jerr-Dan®, Frontline™ Communications, Oshkosh® Airport Products, Oshkosh AeroTech™ and Pratt Miller. For more information, visit

®, ™ All brand names referred to in this news release are trademarks of Oshkosh Corporation or its subsidiary companies.

Forward Looking Statements

This news release contains statements that the Company believes to be “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical fact, including, without limitation, statements regarding the Company’s future financial position, business strategy, targets, projected sales, costs, earnings, capital expenditures, debt levels and cash flows, and plans and objectives of management for future operations, are forward-looking statements. When used in this news release, words such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “intend,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “should,” “project” or “plan” or the negative thereof or variations thereon or similar terminology are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors, some of which are beyond the Company’s control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These factors include the Company's ability to successfully integrate the AeroTech acquisition and to realize the anticipated benefits associated with the same; the risks associated with international operations and sales, including compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act;  the Company’s ability to comply with complex laws and regulations applicable to U.S. government contractors; cybersecurity risks and costs of defending against, mitigating and responding to data security threats and breaches impacting the Company; the Company’s ability to successfully identify, complete and integrate other acquisitions and to realize the anticipated benefits associated with the same; and risks related to the Company’s ability to successfully execute on its strategic road map and meet its long-term financial goals. Additional information concerning these and other factors is contained in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this news release. The Company assumes no obligation, and disclaims any obligation, to update information contained in this news release. Investors should be aware that the Company may not update such information until the Company’s next quarterly earnings conference call, if at all.

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