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Four standardized Pierce fire trucks all part of the same fleet lined up in a row.As fire truck call volumes and mileage continue to increase for fire departments globally, fire department leadership and community administrators are routinely tasked with developing apparatus replacement programs.

These comprehensive programs establish current and future departmental needs and are often based on critical performance features and lifecycle calculations of a department's fire apparatus fleet.

When fleets are evaluated across a number of performance metrics, many departments determine that standardizing their fleet to a single manufacturer offers both financial and operational benefits.

What key metrics should a fire department consider in an apparatus replacement plan and why should fire departments consider fire truck fleet standardization? Continue reading to learn more.

Evaluating Your Current Fire Truck Fleet

A comprehensive plan for apparatus replacement typically includes a review of current apparatus performance and future department needs.

Four Pierce fire apparatus lined up displaying the rear view of the apparatus all part of a standardized fleet.The metrics fire departments and community members review often include the following:

  • Years of service
  • Mileage
  • Maintenance history
  • Parts support and availability
  • Out of service time
  • Technology changes
  • Overall cost of ownership
  • Community changes
  • Economic influences

With a full review of fire truck lifespans and an understanding of future needs, many communities express interest in fleet standardization. Understanding fleet standardization and the associated benefits may help your fire department determine the right course of action.

What Is Fleet Standardization?

The main principle of fire truck fleet standardization is that vehicles are of a standard make and model. With a standardized fleet program, fire trucks are manufactured according to a class of specifications that create consistency based on the needs of a fire department. This can include, for example, the type of chassis, engine, pump and frame rails, the location of compartments and equipment, the aerial device used, the graphic and component finishes and more.

Repeatability in the buying process can help streamline the bid process and support the future growth plans of communities.

Seven Pierce fire apparatus lined up displaying their aerial ladders on the ends extended over the apparatus in the middle showing a full Pierce standardized fleet.

Why Do Fire Departments Standardize Vehicle Fleets?

In busy fire departments, anything deemed to improve efficiency and operations deserves consideration. That’s where fleet standardization often enters the picture.

Up close view of four standardized Pierce fire apparatus lined up in a row.There are many inherent benefits of fire truck fleet standardization, including improvements in:

  • Daily operations and muscle memory. Completing the same tasks daily results in muscle memory and the innate ability to perform tasks more efficiently. When time is of the essence, muscle memory can prove beneficial to help firefighters expedite tasks. When a fire department has standardized fleets, this muscle memory can be used regardless of the rig in use, whether frontline or reserve. Knowing where specific tools are stored and how to operate critical apparatus functions, for example, is a tremendous advantage at the scene of an emergency.
  • Maintenance efficiency. With a standardized fleet, preventive maintenance becomes streamlined. Once a technician is trained on a specific apparatus, this training carries over to others in the fleet without additional certifications to understand parts and service requirements.
  • Operations, training and safety. Training is time-consuming but understanding fire truck operations is critical for on-scene efficiency and safety. With a standardized fleet, additional training can often be minimized. Improvements in operations and safety go hand-in-hand when components are set up the same way on all apparatus, and the added components, like an aerial device, match existing apparatus.
  • Fast Access to Parts and Service. With a standardized fleet, fire departments can stock parts more easily, knowing what parts are needed where and having them on hand to manage a number of vehicles. In addition, Pierce dealers often work directly with fire departments to stock parts on hand to support fleet maintenance needs, expediting service capabilities and getting trucks back into service faster.
  • Fire Department Cost Savings. Establishing a fleet standardization program can help improve fire department cost savings in several ways, including condensed contacts, a more efficient order process, and a repeatable manufacturing process.

Learn 6 Facts You May Not Know About Pierce Parts & Product Support now.

Pierce Fleet Program

Six Pierce fire trucks lined up showing the JFRD standardized fleet.The Pierce Manufacturing Fleet Program was created on the pillars of experience, consistency and loyalty. The fleet program helps fire departments and municipalities streamline the order and manufacturing process with the guarantee of a uniform, high-quality custom apparatus every time.

Additionally, fire departments that participate in the Pierce Fleet Program receive added benefits, including:

  • Dedicated Regional Sales Support to manage fleet-related questions and support the design, build and delivery process.
  • A Customer Support Manager to assist fleets in understanding product support improvements, improving vehicle performance and reliability and ensuring rapid responses to technical and parts support-related questions.
  • Additional training and support services for custom fleet purchases.
  • Training classes are provided throughout the year. Classes take place in Appleton, Wisconsin; Bradenton, Florida and Las Vegas, Nevada.

Through Pierce's Fleet Program, a consistent product and a repeatable order process help fire departments save time, money and resources.

A Consistent and Streamlined Fire Truck Order Process

To ensure consistency from build to build, Fleet orders are managed in a project management approach. The process starts with the Project Requirements Manager.

The Project Requirements Manager supports the sales and dealer teams, as well as the customer, as the vehicle moves through the build process. Collectively, the production and project managers build a relationship with every customer to understand and manage specific requests and options that are important to each fire department.

Once the build process starts, our Production Requirements Manager will review an initial truck order, or a repeat-order to establish and confirm customizations from build to build. The customer specific Production Requirements Manager then follows the order through the entire build process to capture consistency between multiple units and alignment to previous builds.

For example, fire departments may specify particular wire routings, valve controls or the placement of panels and compartments. A full review is completed of these specifications before the building process begins.

Using Pierce’s truck builder tool, the design-build team manages and tracks each step of the manufacturing process to ensure consistency from truck to truck.

The Project Requirements Manager supports the sales and dealer teams, as well as the customer, as the vehicle moves through the build process. Collectively, the production and project managers build a relationship with every customer to understand and manage specific requests and options that are important to each fire department.

Additionally, every Pierce dealership is supported by a truck ownership team that is tasked with monitoring the consistency of trucks based on geographic region. These teams understand the truck specification needs for location-based challenges, like climate, terrain, population density and more.

Through these dedicated employees and teams, Pierce provides fire departments with reliable, consistent apparatus to support fleet standardization and replacement.

Is your fire department considering a fire truck standardization or replacement program?

Reach out to your local dealer to learn more about how Pierce can support the needs of your department.

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About Pierce Manufacturing
Pierce Manufacturing Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation [NYSE: OSK] business, is the leading North American manufacturer of custom fire apparatus. Products include custom and commercial pumpers, aerials, rescue trucks, wildland trucks, mini pumpers, and homeland security apparatus. In addition, Pierce designs its own foam systems and was the first company to introduce frontal airbags and the Side Roll Protection system to fire apparatus. To learn more about Pierce, visit

About Oshkosh Corporation

At Oshkosh (NYSE: OSK), we make innovative, mission-critical equipment to help everyday heroes advance communities around the world. Headquartered in Wisconsin, Oshkosh Corporation employs approximately 17,000 team members worldwide, all united behind a common purpose: to make a difference in people’s lives. Oshkosh products can be found in more than 150 countries under the brands of JLG®, Hinowa, Power Towers, Pierce®, MAXIMETAL, Oshkosh® Defense, McNeilus®, IMT®, Jerr-Dan®, Frontline™ Communications, Oshkosh® Airport Products, Oshkosh AeroTech™ and Pratt Miller. For more information, visit

®, ™ All brand names referred to in this news release are trademarks of Oshkosh Corporation or its subsidiary companies.

Forward Looking Statements

This news release contains statements that the Company believes to be “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical fact, including, without limitation, statements regarding the Company’s future financial position, business strategy, targets, projected sales, costs, earnings, capital expenditures, debt levels and cash flows, and plans and objectives of management for future operations, are forward-looking statements. When used in this news release, words such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “intend,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “should,” “project” or “plan” or the negative thereof or variations thereon or similar terminology are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors, some of which are beyond the Company’s control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These factors include the Company's ability to successfully integrate the AeroTech acquisition and to realize the anticipated benefits associated with the same; the risks associated with international operations and sales, including compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act;  the Company’s ability to comply with complex laws and regulations applicable to U.S. government contractors; cybersecurity risks and costs of defending against, mitigating and responding to data security threats and breaches impacting the Company; the Company’s ability to successfully identify, complete and integrate other acquisitions and to realize the anticipated benefits associated with the same; and risks related to the Company’s ability to successfully execute on its strategic road map and meet its long-term financial goals. Additional information concerning these and other factors is contained in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this news release. The Company assumes no obligation, and disclaims any obligation, to update information contained in this news release. Investors should be aware that the Company may not update such information until the Company’s next quarterly earnings conference call, if at all.

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