Welcome to our fire apparatus shop.  Here we take your idea from a simple sketch or thought and transform it into a working piece of equipment.  Below are pictures of some of the equipment we use to accomplish the task.

Most likely, your idea will start to become a reality at one of the stations below.  The first picture is our storage area for bar stock, tube and angle.  The second picture below shows our shear.  This unit can accommodate a 12 foot wide piece of material.  Thicknesses it can handle vary by material but, it will take up to 1/4" of 60,000 PSI steel and 3/8" thick aluminum.   To the far right is our horizontal metal cutting band saw.  It makes short work of cutting through structural members and can easily make repeatable compound angle cuts.

Metal Storage and MezzanineShearHorizontal Band Saw

CNC Plasma Torch


Some materials will get their start on the rig seen to the right.  It is a CNC plasma torch.  The unit can cut extremely complex shapes out of aluminum or steel with an accuracy of .001".  With this torch we have the capability to cut out virtually anything we can draw in Autocad.  It can cut 1" thick steel like butter and slices through 3/16" steel at over 200 inches a minute.


Press Brake
Much of our sheet material will then visit the largest piece of equipment we have, our press brake.  As you can tell by the size of this beast, it can easily handle the material used in the construction of apparatus bodies. 

The brake is equipped with numeric controls and a backgauge which allow us to make repeatable, accurate shapes.  The combination of a gooseneck punch with a multiple vee die allows this machine to handle any material we need bent.


Box and Pan Brake

As nice as it is to have the big, high powered press brake, some bending jobs still require the good old box and pan brake shown here.  The adjustable fingers allow the forming of gussets and flaps that can be "closed" with the equipment.  It is equipped with a backgauge and hydraulic clamping and bending functions.

Geka Iron Worker
The iron worker to the left is a real time saver.  It is a dual cylinder, dual station unit with massive power.  It can punch a 1" hole through 1.5" of solid steel.  Additionally, it can shear a 1" thick plate up to 12" wide, cut 3" and 4" structural channel like butter, and not only cut up to 6" angle iron but it can also bevel cut angle iron with up to a 4" leg.  With a quick tooling change, it can cut round or rectangular solid stock up to 1".  If that is not enough, it also includes a coper/notcher (we call it a nibbler) that can handle up to 3/4" material. 

With it's production package, a single person can chop a 22' length of angle iron into exact 12" lengths in about 40 seconds.


Below is some of the equipment our personnel use to finish up the bodies we build.  We are fully equipped for welding and cutting of all materials we handle.  Most of the machines shown are dedicated to specific jobs.  This means that major adjustments are not constantly required when different processes are needed.  It also means more people can be working simultaneously.
MIG and TIG Welders                  Handheld Plasma Torches

Of course, where there are fire trucks, there is plumbing.  On long runs, there is nothing like a straight shot of uninterrupted pipe to minimize friction loss.  The threader below handles from 1/4" up to 4" pipe and can cut tapered or straight threads.  With the threader we can use the exact length of pipe we need and cut down on the number of fittings in the system.  But, when short runs are encountered in tight areas it is best to use the gentle sweep of a hose instead of the flow restricting elbows used in conventional plumbing.  That is where the hydraulic hose coupler comes into play.  By using swaged type couplings on our hose runs we totally eliminate unreliable hose clamps.  We can couple hydraulic hose up to 2" inside diameter.
Rigid Pipe Threader                          Hydraulic Hose Coupling Machine

One thing everyone can agree on is that a fire truck must have a good paint job.  The unit needs to last for 20 to 30 years or more and will not be able to unless the paint protects the body.  (Not to mention that pretty fire trucks are a tradition in the fire service.)  We buy the best paint available but, the only way to assure proper application is with the proper equipment, highly skilled personnel, and a good paint booth.  This booth can easily accommodate full sized apparatus with the exception of aerial ladders and is state of the art.
Paint Booth        Paint Booth with Doors Open

Fabricating our tanks from Co-Polymer Polypropylene requires some dedicated and specialized equipment.  The item below is our panel saw.  This saw allows the operator make a perfectly straight, clean, and quick cut through even the thickest plastic stock.  This saw is kept next to our plastic storage rack as seen below.

Panel SawPolypropylene Storage

Hydraulic tables allow the operator to get the tank to the most ergonomic height possible.  This allows the welder to operate at peak efficiency since they can concentrate on the task at hand rather than being in an uncomfortable position.  (The tank pictured will be a skid unit.)

Hydraulic Lift Tables


Welding polypropylene requires very specialized equipment.  This picture shows two welders.  The unit on the right is a "torch" that is used for tacking parts together, making small width welds and for the root pass of a large weld.  The unit on the left is an extrusion welder.  That welder takes in 1/8" diameter rod, chops it up, heats it, and then extrudes the molten material through a special teflon welding shoe to form a very wide, single pass weld.

Wegener Plastic Welders


Below is one of the special fittings we use in our overflow plumbing inside the tanks and the equipment used to fuse it.  Since the overflow passes through baffles and may have a few turns in it, it would be nearly impossible to weld it in place.  If you look closely at the female socket of the elbow you will see a matrix of wires around the circumference.  These wires do the welding for us when the electronics are connected to them.  By using this device and the special fittings we can dry fit the plumbing in place, connect the device and weld all of the fittings at once with a guaranteed seal the customer will never have to worry about.


Pipe Fusion Welding Machine


The below items are for tube and pipe bending.  The unit on the left is our pipe bender.  It is capable of bending up to 2-1/2" schedule 40 pipe and just about anything smaller (which is a whole lot.)  The machine on the right is a notcher.  The notcher machines the ends of pipe to conform to the side of another pipe at nearly any angle so they may be joined perfectly. 

Pipe BenderPipe Notcher


We use the press below for two dedicated functions.  One set of dies is used to pop louvers into our aluminum sheet.  By doing this we do not have to purchase and weld pre-fab louvers into place and then grind the welds.  The other set of dies is used for rounding corners.  By using the rounding dies, the corners of our fabrications are consistent and even every time.

Louver Press

In addition to the equipment you see here, we have many more upgrades and improvement projects in the works. 




1-800-264-0017  Call us today!

Copyright 2006 David's Fire Equipment
Last modified: 03/27/12