Here is a list of some of the more frequent questions that I get asked.
How long does it take to build a truck?
That depends on the type of truck and the amount of detail. I spend about 2-3 hours designing the truck. Then about another 2 hours putting together a build list, this reminds me what needs to go on the truck, there are a lot of parts to a fire truck. Then about 5 to 6 hours are spent programming the machine to cut the parts. So here is a break down for each of the basic types:
- The kid’s version (the ones with the working wheels) take about 10 to 20 hours to build.
- A Fire Engine (Pumper) takes about 40 to 50 hours to build.
- Medium Rescue truck takes about the same time as an Engine.
- Heavy Rescue and the Tractor Drawn Rescues take about 50 to 60 hours to build.
- Ladders are a bit more time consuming, there is 80 to 100 hours to build one.
I am a one man show and I work full-time as a firefighter. I also have a family, so I work when I can. I average about 20 to 25 trucks built each year.
What can you build?
I am willing to build any type of Fire Apparatus that has been built. I have a passion for Fire Trucks and that is what I want to build. If you want something other than a Fire Truck, it would have to be a special situation to move my heart to build something else.
Do you have any trucks available to purchase today?
No I do not. Each truck is custom built for each person, so it is hard to have extras on hand.
How can I pay for the trucks?
I accept checks and Pay-pal.
Do you need money up front?
Sometimes yes, it depends on the order size and your location. Besides those two reasons, no. I believe that you should not pay for the truck until you receive it and are completely satisfied with the end product. If you don’t like the truck, send it back and don’t pay for it. I do not send trucks out of my shop that I am not happy with. I have built trucks out to about 50% complete and I did not like them and started over. I understand the passion that people can have for fire trucks. If you don’t like it, I don’t want your money until we can make it right.
How much does it cost to ship a truck?
Ladder’s tend to run about $150.00 depending on where the final destination is. Airport trucks are $175.00. Everything else is about $125.00. But this price is all what the shipping compaines charge.
Do the ladders work?
No, I did it once and I will not do it again. It is hard to have wood do what steel can do at the same size. I have built ladders in the past up in the air, but it stays at that elevation.
Can you paint the trucks?
No, for a couple of reasons
- The Federal Government has very strict rules about painting and on an average it cost about $10,000.00 each truck to have it tested.
- There are so many different shades of colors on a fire truck that it would add 2 months to build each truck.
The trucks have a clear coat (semi-gloss) sprayed on them to help protect the truck.
Will you use other woods than pine?
I can and I have. I use pine because it cost less and is easy to work with. I would be more than happy to use different woods, but that will increase the price.
Yes I do make trucks for worthy causes. My heart follows the same lines as most firefighters. I love doing trucks that benefit fallen firefighters and their families. If it has a child involved, then I’m in. I have done donations for the local Firefighter Motorcycle club who does a fund-raiser for the Denver area Children’s Hospital burn center. I have made trucks for the National Fallen Firefighter’s fund.
I do make these trucks a priority and will put them at the top of the build list. I understand that it adds more time that you might have to wait to get your truck. But, I believe that helping those in need is a good thing to do. I wish more people would do this and I sleep better at tonight.