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This Pierce Ultimate Configuration apparatus displays innovative design and places the pump house lower to avoid safety hazards.In fire truck design and manufacturing, a traditional pump house takes up a significant amount of space and subsequently dictates the design of the truck. Designing a fire truck around the needs of the fire department, instead of building a truck around the pump house, is the reason Pierce Manufacturing introduced the Pierce Ultimate Configuration or PUC™ pump.

Introduced in 2007 and updated in 2022, the PUC water pump is an innovative apparatus solution designed to simplify firefighters’ actions and reduce unnecessary risk. By eliminating the pump house and moving the pump forward below the cab, the PUC reduces overall vehicular space used for fire suppression and maximizes space for equipment.

Everything about the PUC pump is designed to ease the way firefighters climb, ride, drive, carry and store gear, remove hoses and service critical systems. Now, with a 2000 gpm water pump, the PUC is truly leading the industry in terms of function and design.

Continue reading below to get a detailed look at the PUC pump, its key attributes (including a new industry-leading 2000 gpm water pump) and some factors fire departments may want to consider in the design of fire apparatus.

What Is a Fire Truck Pump House?

A traditional pump house is located behind the cab, in front of the rear body compartments. In essence, a pump house is a separate module that contains all of the pumping needs of fire apparatus. This includes the plumbing, water pump valving and the controls for pump operation.

A PUC, on the other hand, eliminates the module located between the cab and the rear body compartment, which creates more truck configuration options for fire departments.

How Does Eliminating the Pump House Benefit Fire Departments?

The unique configuration of the PUC pump allows for enhanced features, safety, storage and overall apparatus versatility. Below, we’ve outlined some of the key benefits of the PUC design.

1. Improved Pump Component Safety Features

With a PUC, the pump is located under the cab, stationed to the left of the control panel. As such, the PUC creates two distinctive operating areas, allowing the pump operator to work independently while other firefighters manage the hose and discharges.Traditionally, pump and plumbing components are located in the pump house, with the control panel positioned around the discharges. As a result, firefighters are sharing space with all the hoses connected to the panel.

With a PUC configuration, the pump is located under the cab, stationed to the left of the control panel. As such, the PUC creates two distinctive operating areas, allowing the pump operator to work independently while other firefighters manage the hose and discharges. This innovative design feature significantly improves safety for firefighters.

2. Pierce PUC Pump & Simplicity of Sure‐Shift Operation

 PUC control system displaying button options for front flood, DS, Rear, and PS Scene as well as the button to flip on for pump rollong, the water pump, and the foam system.Inside the cab on a traditional pump house, activating the pump requires engaging the parking brake, shifting the truck into neutral, turning the pump shift on and then placing the truck back in drive. This four-step process can be cumbersome and may waste valuable time in an emergency.

The Sure-Shift operation of the PUC reduces shift operations. When a PUC fire truck approaches an emergency scene, the operator engages the parking brake, which shifts the truck into neutral. Then with a single touch, water and foam are activated, allowing the system to be up and functional before the operator is out of the cab. The PUC provides pump and roll as standard to allow you to fight fires on the move.

NFPA 1906: Standard for Wildland Fire Apparatus, defines pump-and-roll as delivering 20 gpm at 80 psi while traveling 2 mph.

Why is pump and roll such a critical component of fire apparatus?

This feature means that firefighting operations can follow a moving fire, making response more agile and adaptive, keeping firefighters safe.

3. Serviceability to Pump and Plumbing

Servicing the pump, integrated pump transmission and plumbing is simplified with the PUC configuration. With a tilting cab, the pump is on top of the frame rails, easily accessible with no need to climb underneath the apparatus for maintenance.

All service points have been simplified with comprehensive pump and valve access, above frame pump service, automated service and maintenance messages, and direct support from a single-source manufacturer.

As a single-source manufacturer, Pierce and its dealer network stock a wide variety of repair parts to service the PUC configuration. Service parts cover the pump, plumbing, valve controls and many pump panel components. Check out this blog article about Pierce’s product support for more details on servicing key systems, such as the PUC configuration, on Pierce fire apparatus.

4. More Compartment Space in Shorter Wheelbase

A traditional pump house takes up space; the PUC offers the same operational functionality in less space. This space reduction allows for increased compartmentation.

In fact, the pump operator’s panel is housed in the driver side front compartment, which leaves the passenger side free for customization with generously sized full-height, full-depth rescue style compartments.

The condensed pump area also shortens the wheelbase, as short as 163.5” (depending on body and chassis) and allows up to a 50-degree cramp angle. To further improve maneuverability, a fold-up rear work platform is designed into the tailboard compartment to minimize the overall length and improve the angle of departure.

Interested in more information about strategic compartmentation? Read our educational article now.

5. Clean Compartment Interiors and a Clean Rescue Look

When you open a compartment on a PUC, you may be surprised by what you see.

In a more traditional truck, the wire harnessing, wire tracks and the nuts and bolts are all visible. The PUC features 26" deep compartments and up to 500 cubic feet of big, clean, uncluttered storage space with covered raceways, recessed shelf tracks, and bright strip lighting that reduces shelving shadows and gives excellent night-time visibility.

The same clean, functional design affects the overall look of the apparatus as well. With a more traditional fire truck, the side appearance can look choppy with variations in both body height and compartment shape and size. Without a doubt, the PUC changed the industry by offering a “heavy rescue look” with flat sides from the cab to rear panels.

6. Ergonomic Features and Functionality

The PUC primary ergonomic considerations are the location and height of the plumbing and crosslays.The PUC was designed to consider functionality and safety, but also includes ergonomic features to help improve operational efficiency around the apparatus. The primary ergonomic considerations are the location and height of the plumbing and crosslays.

On a PUC, the plumbing connections are located low to the ground. This helps improve both speed and functionality on-site because connections are easier to access. Located directly above the connections, the crosslays are comfortably positioned at chest height to make it easy for firefighters to grab and go with hose in hand. The lower crosslay positioning also reduces the risk of injury. When hoses are stored high on a fire truck, they are harder to access and pull down, posing a risk for falling and injuring firefighters below.

7. Enclosed Pump Panel Controls

The pump operator's panel on the PUC is enclosed in the front body compartment to keep it clean of moisture, grit and grime. The panel features large lever handles with a locking feature to prevent valve creep under pressure. In addition, the pump panel monitors fuel levels, pump prognostics and includes a large engine RPM display. The Control Zone™ pump panel is designed and organized to meet your needs.

8. Water Pump and Integrated Pump Transmission

The latest enhancements to the PUC are the leading water pump capabilities in the marketplace, ranging from 1250 - 2000 gpm.

The 2,000 gpm pump (rated for draft) weighs 30-percent less than most existing pumps on the market and comes with a 7-year standard warranty.

The new PUC design with a 2000 GPM water pump provides the support and versatility that many fire departments need. The PUC is the first apparatus that offers the most complete single-source build, from the chassis and body down to the pump.

The new integrated pump transmission offers firefighters a rugged, reliable pump-drive to continue the mission-purpose attributes of the PUC.

Firefighters using the pump and roll feature on the PIC apparatus. Carrying a fire hose and spraying water out in winter conditions

9. More Power to Support Operations

When seconds count, fire trucks need to have the speed, maneuverability, storage and water pump power capacity to arrive and respond quickly. The PUC apparatus has several powertrain options available to fire departments.

  • Cummins L9
  • Cummins X12
  • PACCAR MX-13

The purpose-built fire truck is designed around the needs of the fire service and of each unique department.

Customer Feedback on PUC

Randy Passagaluppi, captain and apparatus committee chair for James City County Fire Department in Virginia, has a great deal of experience working with PUCs. In fact, his fire department recently finalized the details of its 8th PUC on a Velocity® 100’ Aluminum Aerial Platform.

Why does the James City County Fire Department choose the PUC?


“The PUC assists with maneuvering in newer neighborhoods that are tight with small cul-de-sacs,” said Passagaluppi. “[The configuration] makes it easier for the apparatus to turn around.”

The fire department touts other reasons for selecting the PUC as well.


“The biggest benefits to us are the shorter overall wheelbase and compactness of the pump,” he added. “It also allows for more compartment space, especially with aerials.”


PUC Availability

A red PUC fire truck is parked on an angle  outside with a green trees and a blue sky with clouds in the background.The PUC is available on Enforcer, Velocity, Impel, Arrow, and Quantum Pierce custom chassis, and the product platforms listed below:

  • Pumpers
  • Aerials
  • Tankers
  • Rescues

If you’d like to learn more about the PUC, please download the Pierce Ultimate Configuration Brochure. In addition, find a dealer near you to discuss if the PUC might be the right choice for your next fire apparatus.

Recent PUC Deliveries

View recent PUC deliveries now.

PUC technology is an ideal solution that allows fire departments the opportunity to design the vehicle around their unique needs, and not around the pump.

Do you love your PUC? What feature does your department value most?

Share your comments below!

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Topics: Products

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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