For sale: Used fire truck

November 20, 2012
Chartiers Township firefighters are looking for a buyer for this 1979 Mack tanker truck. - Kathie Warco / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

If you know of anyone looking for a tanker truck once used to haul water to fire scenes, the Chartiers Township Volunteer Fire Department has one for you.

The 1979 Mack tanker has seen better days. During a recent inspection, it was determined there is a fracture in the frame and broken welds in the tank. Instead of spending about $5,000 on repairs for the truck only worth about $8,000, the department decided to purchase a replacement.

Jeff Simpson, president of the fire department, appeared before the board of township supervisors at their meeting last week looking for some financial assistance with a downpayment.

The department found a truck in Tennessee, after a nationwide search, Simpson said. The 2010 truck, used by the manufacturing company as a demonstrator model, has never been used at a fire scene. The purchase price is $182,000.

Simpson said a tanker truck is still needed to haul water to fire scenes in areas of the township that are not serviced by water lines and hydrants. There have been about 30 such calls in the last year.

Replacing the tanker was not in the department’s immediate plans, Simpson said, but they are making the purchase out of necessity. The department is already trying to get together money to purchase a new pumper to replace a 20-year-old vehicle. That truck will cost about a half-million dollars, Simpson said.

“$100,000 would be most appreciated,” Simpson said to the board. “We are trying to save money for the pumper and have a little over $100,000 in the bank.”

Supervisor William Kiehl questioned if it was worth repairing the old truck.

“We looked at all angles,” Simpson said. “The tank could fail at any time. We don’t want to put in more than it is worth.”

Supervisor Rich Metzler, who is chairman of the board of supervisors, told Simpson that the board already has a long list of groups interested in receiving some of the money the township expects to get from the Act 13 funding from the statewide gas impact fee. The last estimate gives the township about $600,000 to $700,000.

The department is taking bids on the old tanker through the end of the month.

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.

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