It is important to know the parameters of the many truck operating system components to confirm that everything is running smoothly. An impending breakdown or seeing a problem before it escalates too far can be revealed through the gauges. When you suspect that the gauges are relaying something out of the norm, the readings can help the maintenance/shop personnel troubleshoot, identify, and diagnose the problem easier. Gauges do not lie--except on the rare occasion when the gauge itself is malfunctioning.
While every fire truck is different, the main gauges are fairly standard across the board. They include the following (along with their standard operating parameters):
When the truck is started, all gauges should move. The indicator needles should move the full range from left to right, and all indicator lights should illuminate. This is known as “proving out.” It is a diagnostic check. If any gauges do not move or any lights do not turn on, report it immediately.
Always refer to your truck’s chassis manual for normal operating parameters and follow your departments SOPs and shop guidelines.
The second article in this Cab Gauges series will discuss in more depth what the gauges are and what their readings can tell you.
This article was written for & published by Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment.