Chapter 2 — Apparatus Inspection
Driver/ Operator Handbook
Explain a systematic maintenance
Learning Objective 1
Comply with NFPA®
Method for reporting,
Every department should develop SOPs
for systematic apparatus maintenance.
responsibilities will vary by jurisdiction.
often fix minor
The AHJ will determine the assignment
of maintenance and repair in each
check at the
each tour of duty
Maintenance schedules vary by
jurisdiction and differ based on staffing.
What should systematic
maintenance procedures specify?
Explain the importance of accurate
documentation, reporting, and
follow-up for apparatus inspections.
Learning Objective 2
Procedure for documentation and communication
Standardized written forms or computer programs
Filing system for storage, retrieval, and review of records
Inspection checklist for specific apparatus
Each jurisdiction should establish
inspection and maintenance policies.
Driver/operators should follow
established policy for documenting,
reporting, and following up on repairs.
Documentation for warranty claim
Evidence for accident investigators
May assist when deciding to purchase
or repair apparatus
Apparatus maintenance and
inspection records serve several
What are the functions of apparatus
maintenance and inspections
Describe actions taken to ensure
Learning Objective 3
Easier to inspect
Cleanliness of apparatus and onboard
equipment is an important part of any
inspection and maintenance program.
Clean engine permits proper inspection for leaks
Diesel fuel leaves a gummy residue
Linkages, fuel injectors, and other controls in the engine
become inoperable due to collection of dirt
Mechanical defects more obvious if undercarriage is clean
Components can be visualized more easily
Apparatus and equipment are easier to
inspect if they are free of dirt and grime.
While fuel injectors do not have external
moving parts, they are still a source of
collected dirt and oil. This area should
be checked and cleaned.
Steam cleaning or high pressure washing
• May remove lubrication from chassis, engine, pump,
Complex network of wiring and
• Use caution when employing high pressure cleaning
• May be necessary to perform routine lubrication
Overcleaning the fire apparatus can
have adverse effects.
Driver/operators must ensure that the
entire apparatus is clean and well
Washing Interior cleaning
Why is inspection of apparatus
easier if the apparatus is clean?
Summarize considerations for
conducting an apparatus inspection.
Describe actions taken to ensure
batteries are operable.
Learning Objectives 4-5
A systematic approach to apparatus
inspection helps ensure that all
required items are checked.
Operational readiness and pretrip road
worthiness inspections are both conducted
during a walk-around inspection.
IFSTA recognizes these descriptions as
important minimum inspection points.
The driver/operator is responsible to
follow all jurisdictional laws, codes, and
Observe the following when
approaching a vehicle for inspections.
Make observations about body damage, leaks, or other visibly
Observe terrain on which vehicle is parked
Make sure indoor inspection areas are well ventilated
Park vehicles outside for functional tests if weather permits
Chock the wheels of a parked apparatus
Diesel exhaust may contain up to 100
harmful chemicals and compounds. Do
not run these engines in unvented areas
for any period of time.
Condition Cleanliness Damage
Defects Functionality Leaks
Driver/operators should conduct a
visual inspection of the apparatus on
both sides of the vehicle.
Dry rotting Cracks
Driver/operators should inspect vehicle
tires and ensure that they are the
correct type for the apparatus.
The valve stem should not be cut,
cracked, or loose. Valve stem caps
should be in place.
Once the exterior examination is
finished, driver/operators may
inspect the interior of the cab.
Adjust seats and seat belts
Check dashboard instruments
equipment stored in the cab
Newer apparatus may be equipped with
an electrical load management system.
The adjustment of the clutch pedal
should be checked in apparatus with
a manual transmission.
Driver/operators should inspect the
steering system for proper adjustment
Steering wheel play
should be no more
than 10 degrees either
Indicates maximum weight and tire pressure
Load apparatus, then compare with GAWR
Be aware of “overgrossed” vehicles
Be familiar with GVWR placards and
how to maintain vehicles accordingly.
Not required to
Vital to maintain
Many jurisdictions store fire and rescue
equipment in the front or rear of the cab.
Pumpers may be equipped with
different braking systems depending
on size and age of the apparatus.
Smaller or older
Larger or more
Apparatus brakes should be
thoroughly tested at least annually.
of apparatus in
IFSTA considers the air brake testing
procedures outlined in this manual to be
the minimum acceptable daily air brake
test; other laws or departmental policies
may prevail as more restrictive.
Engine compartment checks and
maintenance should only be performed
with the engine shut off.
• Fluid levels
• Tilt cab controls
• Cab latches
Inspect engine compartment
according to SOPs
Before lifting the cab, be sure that there
is adequate vertical clearance and
secure all loose equipment in the cab.
Many tilt cabs have inspection doors
that allow a check of engine oil, coolant,
and other fluids. However, the cab
should still be lifted on a weekly basis
for a thorough inspection of the engine
Newer apparatus may be equipped
with systems for cleaner emissions
from diesel engines.
Periodically inspect the exhaust system
• Cracks or leaks
• Exhaust pipe and insulation
• Joints and flex pipes
• Use of proper
• Frequency of
• Amount used
• Method of