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Case Study

Vehicle Sector: Firefighting

Industry Sector: Government


With less than 18,000 miles this firefighting workhorse had not been far – but it had been around awhile.  The 2005 model was due for replacement; but what if reman was the right call? There was a tremendous amount of value left in the truck. The budget would really benefit from preserving value instead of throwing it away. So, the county emergency services district had a look at what was possible.

The result took everyone by surprise.

The emergency lighting solution had problems.  The pump skid was aged and no longer able to support the mission. With many years in service, the suspension, brakes, and major mechanical subsystems needed attention. Years of supplemental electrical devices combined to need replacement and redesign.  The radios were dated and needed replacement.


The reman assessment determined there was no need to replace the power train. However, every fluid and lubricant in the truck needed cleaning, flushing, and replacement.

Power Train & Subsystems:

The front and read differential on this AWD unit was serviced and filled with new gear lube. The transfer case and transmission were serviced, and their fluid was replaced. The engine got new plugs, plug wires, belts, hoses, filters and a tensioner. New batteries and an alternator were needed. The air conditioning compressor was good, but the system was serviced and needed refrigerant.

Suspension & Brakes:

Shock absorbers, brake rotors, brake pads – all the way around – were required. New tires not only improved traction and road ride but combined with the chrome wheel simulators to really improve the appearance.

Interior / Exterior:

The interior and exterior were in good condition – one of the deciding factors in making this truck a great reman candidate. A new console was installed for the new radio system and emergency lighting controller. The instrument cluster needed a small repair. A central, main electrical disconnect was installed to allow the operator to remove all load from the batteries.

A large percentage of the labor on this project was the wholesale replacement of the emergency lighting solution. The controller addresses and controls each light separately which provides a wide variety of signaling solutions for the wide variety of missions this firefighting equipment sees.

The exterior got a new paint job and spray-on liner applied to the firefighting bed. Sandblast preparation will result in a long-lived coating solution. A new pump skid was installed to complete an impressive project.


Many additional and smaller repairs, small device replacements and service/maintenance work combined with the larger element described earlier to produce an updated piece of firefighting equipment ready for another service lifetime.

For about one-fifth the cost of a new replacement, the agency has significantly improved their mission capabilities at a huge saving.

On delivery, anyone with reservations realized they were all filled. It really did not take long to demonstrate the value – not long after starting this project, the agency was able to see the value – and the early results – such that the decision was made to start work on their second brush truck.

Addressing all systems and subsystems in a comprehensive manner with a well thought out project plan incorporates all present and anticipated needs at the same time typical automotive deficiencies are corrected. This project is among the clearest demonstrations of the many benefits of VR’s alternative automotive product and is:

Cheaper Than New.  Better Than Used.