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5 Ways to Prepare your Striker® ARFF for the Winter Months


Winter Striker 6x6-3

Cold weather brings on a whole new set of changes and challenges for any kind of vehicle. The Striker® aircraft rescue and fire fighting (ARFF) vehicle is no different. Below is a guide on key check points to help ensure your Striker ARFF is operation ready.

Verify Your ARFF Truck Batteries are Working at Full Capacity

Striker 6x6 in ARFF garage

The batteries onboard the Striker ARFF vehicle are lead acid batteries with lead plates in electrolyte liquid. This creates an electro-chemical reaction creating a charge to the battery. Hot and cold weather has adverse effects on batteries. When the batteries are hot, chemical activity inside the batteries accelerates. However, when the batteries are cold, chemical activity in the batteries are slowed down. That’s why batteries often feel stagnant during the winter months even though they are still preforming. 

A fully charged battery should have a static voltage reading of 12.3-12.6. If your batteries are not staying within these parameters, the batteries should be replaced. Another great way to understand the condition of your battery is by performing a battery load test.

Are You Mixing ARFF Vehicle Engine Coolant at the Correct Ratio?

When mixing ARFF vehicle engine coolant at the correct ratio, it is important to insert the proper ratio of water to antifreeze. To find the correct ratio, consult your Oshkosh Striker service manual or your engine manufacturer’s service manual for the proper ratios. Following the manual's instructions will provide optimal coolant protection for temperatures seen at your airport.

Is Your Compartment Winterization System Working Properly?

The winterization system is a diesel fueled heating system. The system heats water and circulates it through heat exchangers located in the compartments of the Striker ARFF. The heat exchangers have a fan attached to them which transfer the heat from the water to the air inside the compartment. This keeps the compartments warm and prevents firefighting components from freezing.

If your ARFF truck is equipped with a compartment winterization system, periodically engage the system to verify it is working correctly. To do so, you must first place the compartment heater switch in the ON position. Then, allow one to two minutes for the heater to start operating. 

Allow the system to circulate warm coolant and check the heat exchanger in the compartment to verify the fan is functioning correctly and warm air is blowing. To shut down the heater, place the compartment heater switch to the OFF position. The blower will continue to run until the heater fumes are thoroughly exhausted. For additional information, reference the maintenance section of your Striker service manual.

Maintain ARFF Truck Tire Pressure

Oshkosh Tire

The change in temperature can cause a dramatic change in tire pressure and overall performance. As the temperature drops during the season change, the molecules inside tires move slower and crowd closer together, causing tire pressure to decrease. During high temperatures, molecules move faster and take up more space, causing tire pressure to increase. To find the correct tire pressure for your truck, reference the data plate located on the driver’s door or in the cab. Be certain to maintain the correct tire pressure during the winter months for optimum vehicle performance.

Controlling ARFF Vehicle Idling and Wet Stacking

It is important to be mindful of how often an ARFF truck engine is idling. Extended idling of a diesel engine effects the engine's ability to fully warm up. This can influence your vehicle’s emissions system performance and cause wet stacking. Wet stacking occurs when the engine is too cold to burn all the fuel causing unburned fuel to collect on cylinder walls and exhaust components. Buildup of fuel can cause damage to the engine if not properly cared for over a long period of time. When the vehicle is driven, the engine’s exhaust temperature is elevated, and produces enough heat to keep emissions systems working properly. Limiting the idle time of the engine, operating the vehicle under load (pumping or driving), or placing the engine in high-idle will help bring your engine to normal operating temperatures reducing risk of wet stacking.

As the seasons change, so does your maintenance regimen. Some of these suggestions might seem obvious, but it is important to continually perform checks on your Striker ARFF to ensure it is operationally ready. For any additional questions, please reach out to the Oshkosh Service and Support team.

Topics: ARFF, Striker

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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