Darley experts share insights on extending fire pump life amid new truck delays

April 11, 2024

Understanding the challenges of fire pump maintenance

In a recent video release, Darley’s Chief Engineer, Wayne Hable, and Chief Marketing Officer, Kimberly Brown, delve into the crucial topic of extending the life of fire pump equipment.

This discussion comes at a time when fire departments are grappling with prolonged lead times for new trucks, extending up to three to four years.

The conversation aims to provide practical advice for maintaining and prolonging the serviceability of existing fire pumps, highlighting the current necessity due to the delay in acquiring new trucks.

Watch the video here.

Strategies for maintaining older pumps

During the video, the speakers address a growing concern among fire departments: the maintenance of older pumps, some of which are decades old.

While finding spare parts for pumps less than 20 years old is relatively straightforward, sourcing components for older models proves more difficult.

However, Darley offers assistance in identifying necessary parts, albeit acknowledging that it can be a time-consuming process.

For parts no longer available on the market, Wayne Hable mentions collaboration with partners such as Brenley Mountain Fire Equipment, a provider of used fire truck parts and equipment, as an alternative solution.

Maintenance recommendations and diagnostic tests

A key piece of maintenance advice from the conversation is the importance of changing the oil in the pump transmission every six months or after every 50 hours of use.

This practice is fundamental to extending the pump’s lifespan.

Furthermore, Hable suggests two simple diagnostic tests to assess a pump’s health: a dry vacuum test for detecting leaks and a pressure test by connecting the pump to a hydrant.

Monitoring the condition of the oil is also crucial, with the presence of metal debris indicating significant wear and the need for mechanic intervention.

Quotes from the conversation

Kimberly Brown inquired about the current state of customer equipment, to which Hable responded: “We’re seeing customers working to prolong the life of their trucks.

“We’re talking with customers about replacement parts, replacement pumps for their trucks, and connecting fire departments with used/refurbished truck partners.”

On the topic of pump maintenance, Hable advised: “Service testing your fire truck every year… When you are done with the service test, examine the used oil from the pump transmission. That is a telltale sign of the condition of your pump.”

FSJA Comment

The dialogue between Wayne Hable and Kimberly Brown from Darley provides a timely and practical guide for fire departments facing delays in acquiring new equipment.

The advice offered highlights the importance of regular maintenance and diagnostics to extend the life of fire pump equipment and suggests solutions for sourcing hard-to-find parts for older models.

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