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A red industrial fire truck is pumping water in a green wooded setting.Industrial fire trucks have traditionally served secluded industrial areas and private companies in the oil and petrochemical industry by providing reliable and fast fire suppression capabilities in dangerous situations.

But as cities and suburban areas expand closer to industrial zones and huge freeway systems connect metropolitan areas, these dangers can be right in our own backyards.

Municipal and local fire departments are starting to recognize these present dangers and are outfitting their fleets with an industrial apparatus that can manage major chemical and hazardous incidents.

Below, we outline some of the key design characteristics of an industrial fire truck and review how to determine if an industrial apparatus may be required for your community.

What is An Industrial Fire Truck?

An industrial fire truck is a heavy-duty apparatus specifically designed to manage high-risk and dangerous fire scenarios requiring the highest capabilities of both water and foam suppression systems.

While a traditional pumper truck features a water flow rate of 1500 or 2000 gallons per minute (GPM), an industrial fire truck, or high-flow industrial pumper, offers water flow rates between 3000 and up to 10,000 GPM.

When is An Industrial Fire Truck Needed?

A red and while industrial fire truck is pumping water in the air at an oil refinery.

Industrial fire trucks are used in industrial and oil refineries, petrochemical plants and chemical companies—anywhere large, dangerous fires can occur that need to be managed very quickly to prevent large disasters.

In recent years, more and more fire departments are recognizing the value of having an industrial fire truck in the department fleet because communities are growing and changing rapidly, including:

  • Larger and higher volume freeway systems, which have more transport trucks carrying potentially hazardous substances.
  • Railway tracks and railway yards are now surrounded by cities, roads and residential communities.
  • Fuel depots and chemical storage facilities that were once far removed from cities and towns are now close to expanding suburban areas.
  • Large populations of people are closer to dangerous industrial areas.

An industrial fire truck offers fast and reliable fire suppression capabilities because it is designed to quickly and efficiently manage fires with very unique design characteristics. Learn more about high-flow industrial pumpers now.

What Are the Key Design Qualities of An Industrial Fire Truck?

A pump panel is pictured on a red industrial fire truck.

A heavy-duty industrial apparatus provides fire departments, municipalities and private companies with reliable fire suppression capabilities for the toughest jobs because they are designed to maximize performance and efficiency.

The key design characteristics of an industrial fire truck are a high-performance water pump, a reliable chassis, a powerful foam suppression system, a strong engine and adequate hose storage space. These are reviewed in detail below.

A Powerful Water Pump

An industrial fire truck is usually outfitted with a large and powerful water pump that can pump 3000 to 10,000 GPM.

Strong, Reliable Chassis and Engine

An industrial fire truck chassis must be strong enough to manage the weight and abuse of a powerful water pump and supporting fire suppression systems. To support this function, the frame rails must be strong and are designed for durability and strength.

Additionally, an industrial fire truck often features a powerful engine. The engine must have enough horsepower and torque to drive the water pump.

A Foam Suppression System

A foam system allows a specific amount of foam to be mixed with water through the fire apparatus pump mechanisms. Anytime water is used, a foam system can be activated to improve the effectiveness and help expedite firefighting capabilities. It is similar to washing dishes with water alone versus washing dishes with water and dish soap combined—the latter offers faster, more effective performance.

For industrial applications and for fires involving fuel, oil or chemicals, Class B foam is required. Class B foam floats on top of the fuel source and cuts off the vapor barrier, so there is not a fuel or vapor source to be burned, extinguishing the fire.

Industrial foam pumps start at 12 GPM and go up to 450 GPM in capacity. Different size pumps and systems are available based upon the different types of foam and their applications.

Ample Compartment Space

Industrial fire trucks use a lot of water, and as a result, require a lot of hose. Therefore, the body of an industrial fire truck must include strategic compartmentation to hold the appropriate amount and sizes of hose required for large industrial jobs.

An Accurate Flow Meter

A flow meter is designed to accurately monitor the amount of water and foam in use when the systems are engaged. A flow meter can help ensure the water-to-foam ratio is exactly where it needs to be based on the operator settings. Adding more foam to water than required doesn't make the water more effective at extinguishing a fire and can be wasteful and costly.

Pierce Manufacturing’s patent-pending flow meter provides accurate and reliable readings to ensure optimal functionality and cost-effective performance.

Determining The Right Industrial Fire Truck for Your Needs and Community

An industrial pumper truck is spraying water from three large nozzles in an outdoor setting.

Not every business or community requires an industrial fire truck, but it’s important for business owners and fire departments to regularly evaluate if there are any present dangers that may require more fire suppression support.

If there are any large freeways or oil, fuel or chemical companies within a jurisdiction, it may make sense to consider adding an industrial fire truck to a local fleet. In many circumstances, mutual aid makes it possible for one or two trucks to support the needs of a large community.

Why Choose Pierce Industrial Apparatus?

Pierce Manufacturing has been customizing and manufacturing industrial fire apparatus for more than 30 years, with many customers who keep coming back. Here are just some of the reasons why.

Ease of Operation

A close up view of the operator panel of an industrial fire truck.

It may sound like a simple reason, but creating a simple operating process is extremely beneficial for industrial environments.

Many large companies with industrial fire trucks have volunteer firefighters who are employees that work on site. These employees complete training, but because large fire incidents are not common, complex manuals and operations would be forgotten. Pierce product training is straightforward with simple controls and an easy-to-use operator panel. The process of engaging the water and foam systems is simple, with just a few buttons, to ensure that the complexity of operation does not delay response time in an emergency.

When the operators' panel and procedures are simple and straightforward, it makes firefighting more effective and reduces the risk of human error.

Pierce Apparatus Offer Reliability

In firefighting, engine, pump or mechanism failure is not an option. The inability to quickly constrain and control an industrial fire could spell disaster for any company or community. When seconds matter a durable and reliable industrial fire truck that can be counted on is essential.

All Pierce industrial apparatus is tested by Underwriters Laboratory (UL) to ensure they will perform as designed. Underwriters Laboratory is an independent, third-party organization that verifies all NFPA testing criteria on fire apparatus. All parts and pieces of equipment have undergone UL endurance testing and are validated and verified to ensure optimal performance.

In fact, Pierce has gone above the requirements and completed a full 24-hour endurance test of all components at total capacity to mimic a worst-case scenario fire.

As the largest industrial fire truck manufacturer in the world, Pierce Manufacturing is proud to support fire suppression capabilities designed to keep workers and communities safe.

Do you have enough fire suppression equipment to put out a large fire? Take a look at some industrial fire truck examples below to see what may work for your unique needs. Questions? Let us know in the comments!

Industrial Fire Truck Examples

Watch this industrial fire truck walk around video now to see some of the extensive features available.

Recent Industrial Fire Truck Deliveries

Pasadena Industrial Pumper Truck

The Pasadena industrial pumper truck is pictured in winter in front of flags in the Pierce Manufacturing parking lot.

The Pasadena industrial pumper is on a Velocity® chassis featuring a Cummins X15 engine with 605 HP. The truck includes a 750-gallon water tank, pumps 5500 GPM and includes a Husky™ 3 foam system and Command Zone™ technology.

Celanese Clear Lake Aerial Fire Truck

A white and orange aerial fire truck is parked in front of flags in the Pierce Manufacturing lot.

The Celanese Clear Lake aerial fire truck is a 100’ Heavy-Duty Steel Aerial Platform on a Velocity® chassis featuring a Detroit Diesel DD13 with 525 HP. The apparatus pumps 3000 GPM and includes a Husky™ 3 foam system and Command Zone™ technology.

HollyFrontier Pumper Fire Truck

The red HollyFrontier pumper truck is pictured parked in a lot with flags flying in the background.

The HollyFrontier pumper is on an Enforcer™ chassis featuring a Detroit Diesel DD13 with 525 HP. The apparatus includes a 250-gallon water tank, pumps 3000 GPM and includes a Husky™ 3 foam system.

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Topics: Products, Customers, Manufacturing, Fire Industry

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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