Glick Fire Equipment Company, Inc.


Corrosion on fire apparatus

With winter in full swing and the application of road treatments happening on a regular basis, it is important to remember the toll on your department’s emergency response apparatus. Corrosion is constant threat to your apparatus.

What causes corrosion?

Newer road treatment methods and materials are designed to keep roads coated in a brine that offers drivers safer conditions while traveling. While the mixtures used today offer longer-lasting protection against the elements it also coats large amounts of your company’s fire truck, getting into every nook and cranny in the underside of the apparatus. This mixture can even invade the compartments on your emergency response apparatus.

Years ago, corrosion wasn’t a major issue. Simply maintaining clean apparatus meant that the frame would remain intact over the years. Road salt washed off easily and maintenance was as simple as washing the fire truck. In recent years, road treatment methods have become more aggressive and the methods to protect your department’s fire and emergency response apparatus – even the tools on the fire truck – need to evolve to keep up.

How to reduce the risk of corrosion on your fire truck or ambulance

There are methods to help reduce the amount of wear and tear that newer road treatment methods can have on your apparatus. When purchasing a new fire truck, manufacturers typically offer some type of coating to the frame before the apparatus is even built. This is possibly the most effective method of controlling corrosion. Pierce offers two optional processes: cathodic E-Coat and hot dip galvanizing. Both methods severely reduce the risk of corrosion to the metal frame of your fire apparatus. Both methods are very common across the apparatus industry and ore widely accepted for their superior corrosion resistance.

But what can be done for emergency response apparatus that has already been delivered and placed into service? There are still ways to efficiently protect your department’s valuable apparatus. The best defense against accelerated corrosion caused by road treatments is to consider it before it starts to happen, even before exposure. Maintaining cleanliness is key, but there are different opinions on how to properly do so. Pressure washing may push those harsh chemicals deeper into the small cracks and crevices – potentially causing more damage than good. Using too much soap to wash could damage the plastics designed to keep water and chemicals out. In research, physically scrubbing affected surfaces has proven the most effective in removing the harsh road treatments. Obviously, cleaning all the apparatus and tooling regularly and immediately after exposure is critical in the battle against corrosion.

Corrosion and rust inhibitor products

A product that Pierce recommends, Carwell T-32, is a proven rust inhibitor used by many fleets including: the US Army, Marine Corps, Postal Service, FedEx and UPS. T-32 helps to protect exposed frames, electrical and suspension systems along with various key areas of the body by coating all surfaces in a clear liquid blend of rust inhibitors to control corrosion on all metals. Here at Glick, factory-trained service technicians use the proper equipment and techniques to apply Carwell, ensuring your fire truck and other emergency response apparatus receives maximum coverage and protection. Application of Carwell coating is recommended annually to help combat corrosion and rust. Ask your Glick Fire Equipment service representative today about the benefits of using Carwell to protect your department’s fire apparatus – We’ve seen just how great this product is!

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