How much does a fire truck cost? Average fire truck cost

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I’m talking about the customized vehicle that is used to stop the spreading of fire in a particular area. There are different types of fire trucks with different functionalities.

The fire truck vehicles cost around $500,000 to $1,500,000 . Although a few brand new fire trucks cost around $2 million as well.

Here, in this article, you will find everything you need to know about fire trucks, how they function, and more importantly about the cost of fire trucks.

How much does a fire truck cost

What is a fire truck used for

It’s pretty simple to identify the usage of a fire truck from the name. Don’t misunderstand me, the name doesn’t mean that the truck contains fire is called the fire truck. The truck, which contains a huge quantity of water brings a curtain to the fire burning is known as the fire truck.

So the fire truck is basically used for fighting against the fire. And the heart of these trucks is the water tank. The water tank contains a huge amount of water, which is used to stop the fire from burning. Then the hose does the rest of the job by suctioning water from other resources and putting this on the burning area or objects.

Not every fire truck comes with a ladder, but it of course needed equipment for a fire truck. When the fire occurs on a higher area like the topmost part of the building, it is the ladder that helps the firefighters to reach there and fight against the fire with water coming out of the tank.

fire truck cost

Cost of fire trucks

There are a few factors, depending on which the cost of fire trucks varies. Frankly speaking, there are fire trucks found as low as $500,000, and also fire trucks found as high as $2,000,000. So can you sense the difference between the trucks? And also the price range is quite huge.

Newer or older

Standing in this modern age, a new customized fire truck will surely cost around $1,500,000. But I won’t be surprised as well, if it costs around $2,000,000, although it is a bit rare case. On average, a newer fire truck will cost something around $1 million for sure.

From the newer one, if we turn our attention to older ones, we will see that the truck is maybe equipped with all the things we need at a cheaper rate. What’s the reason behind this? As the truck has already been used for a while, it has lost its durability a lot.

So you can’t expect a similar long-lasting performance from this like the newer one. That is why older fire trucks are found within $500,000 to $800,000, depending on their features and how much time they have been used for.


As fire trucks are customizable vehicles, every truck doesn’t come with the same functionalities and features. And the cost varies a lot because of this. The trucks having only water tanks and the trucks having cabs, other compartments, ladders, paramedics, or medical equipment with water tanks are not the same.

The second type of fire truck is the costlier one and also worth using. But the first one is a good option when you are looking for a fire for customizing.

With or without ladder

A truck without a ladder can save around $300,000 to $700,000 of your total costing. A bit astonishing, right? It is because the ladder is quite a crucial part of a fire truck. It is used to provide reach to the firefighters to the topmost part of a building or apartment and fight against fierce fire.

The ladders are mainly aerial ladders, which are operated hydraulically. Different trucks are equipped with different sizes, shapes, and different strengths of ladders. I think a proper fire truck must be equipped with an aerial ladder.

Size of the truck

The size of the truck depends largely on the size of the water tank and also the number of compartments it has. There are smaller water tanks with a capacity of holding around 500 gallons of water, which are used as entry-level tanks.

A medium-level tank can hold from 750 to 1,000 gallons of water. However, giant size tanks are capable of carrying 2,000 gallons of water. Again, the more compartments the truck has the larger it will be and cost will rise also.

Why fire trucks are so expensive

Answering simply this question I would say, the customized construction of the fire trucks made them so expensive.

Long-lasting vehicle: These vehicles are totally different from normal vehicles and they are made to last. The construction materials used here are extremely durable.

Huge water tank: A fire truck has to carry a huge amount of water and without a strong, robust constructed tank, it is never possible.

Included equipment: Then comes the equipment and a fire truck don’t merely contain a water tank. The large compartments of a fire truck are equipped with a lot of equipment including some medical kits.

Design and functionality: The design and functionality of these trucks are made depending on the area it is going to work on. The infrastructure of the buildings of a particular area affects the design and functionality of the fire truck.

Use of ladder: It is another very crucial factor behind the expensive cost of a fire truck. The ladder used in a fire truck is strong large because it has to carry and take the firefighter as high as it can. And I have already said how much money you can save by buying a fire truck without a ladder.

How does a fire truck work

A fire truck is a full package of fire extinguishing and saving the lives of the victims. Here, I won’t discuss deeply how the truck works or how the inner functions work, rather help you understand the basic working process of a fire truck through simple words.

Expanding the ladder: After arriving at the fire spot, if it is noticed that the fire has already broken out at a higher position, the ladder must be expanded. The ladder will take the firefighter on top of the fire spot.

Continuous water flows from the tank: The tank typically contains a huge amount of water and the water flow should be started as soon as the truck reaches the incident spot.

Attaching the hose to a water supply: The tank may not have water in there, and in that case, you need to use the hose to fill the tank with water. The hose is also used for the water flow. There hoses of 1, 1.5, and even 5 inches in diameter. It can provide a water flow of around 100 gallons per minute.

Medication to the victims: In the compartments, there are some medication tools available to provide first aid medications to the victims.  

Using the other tools: The compartment also includes some other useful tools like foam inductors, barrel strainers, nozzles, sheet lock puller, salvage covers, etc.

How long a fire truck lasts

It depends on the materials used to construct the whole fire truck. Typically, a brand new fire truck lasts for 10 to 15 years. But a high-end brand new fire truck is made to last for more than 20 years.

On the other hand, a used fire truck won’t last as long as a new one. The life of the truck is already decreased a lot and it will last for 5 to 10 years a maximum.

Difference between a fire truck and fire engine

If you think, fire truck and fire engine are on the same page, you are wrong.

  • Fire engines contain a water tank, large hoses, nozzles, and other fire extinguishing pieces of equipment. On the other hand, contains some other supplementary elements in there to save the lives of the victims.
  • Fire trucks are larger than fire engines.
  • Fire trucks have medication tools, which are not included in fire engines.
  • Fire trucks have the purpose of saving a life; whereas fire engines work mainly for extinguishing the fire.
  • Every fire truck is equipped with a fire engine's materials, but a fire engine is not.

Types of fire trucks

Now let's introduce you to different fire trucks types and see which one you find more efficient.

  • Conventional fire truck: This type of truck is highly customizable. It contains all the required equipment of a fire truck.
  • Turntable ladder truck: To have access to the higher areas, this type of truck is used and it is constructed with a specialized and tall ladder.
  • Pumper truck: It is the most used fire truck by fire departments. It basically includes a water tank, pumpers, and hoses.
  • Tiller truck: When the turntable ladder is attached to a trailer truck, it is called a tiller truck.
  • Wildland fire engine: This type of fire engine is different from conventional ones and it is used in rough terrains like hills and mountains to extinguish the fire.

For tougher work, you need tougher equipment and such a equipment is fire truck. So don’t worry seeing the high price of this vehicle, it works worthy compared to the price.