Difference between ARFF Trucks and Fire Trucks

ARFF trucks is short for aircraft rescue firefighting. These trucks are mainly used in airports and is quite different from regular fire trucks. ARFF trucks carry larger amounts of water since ARFF’s don’t have access to water supplies like traditional Fire Trucks. NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) set standards for fire trucks and the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration)) sets the standards for ARFF trucks. ARFF trucks are required to accelerate much faster than fire trucks, and normally carry 2,000 to 6,000 litters of water. The fire trucks have top speed limits placed on them based on the size and weight of the trucks.


ARFF trucks are designed with special off-road tires and suspension systems for such needs. The main reason for this is in case a plane may crash off the runway and end up in an area with no roads or access, it would be hard in such scenarios for a traditional fire truck to access the plane.Some ARFF trucks are equipped with hull piercing booms, roof and bumper turrets, under truck nozzles, dry chemical, water and foam tanks.


The hull piercing booms allow the ARFF Truck operator to pierce the skin of the aircraft and inject water, foam, or dry chemical. The turrets can be set up many ways. Some can only do water and foam and others will have a second nozzle attached for the dry chemical. Under truck nozzles allows the operator to protect the truck from fire on the underside of the ARFF truck. For an example, they may drive into a large area of spilled fuel with the danger of it igniting.


The ARFF Truck can also be equipped with hose reels with dual lines. One being for water and foam and the other for dry chemical. Or, they can have pre-connects for traditional firehose and these can have an auto-charge feature so when the hose is fully deployed it charges automatically.Another popular option is the infrared cameras for thermal imaging to identify hot spots and help to navigate in bad weather. ARFF trucks are designed for airport emergencies and are more advanced and capable of handling airport emergencies than a conventional fire truck.

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