Fire departments will often be in a situation where they either have the money to buy a new rig and need to make space for it, or one of their rigs no longer makes financial sense and needs to be sold. Thankfully for fire departments, the fire apparatus industry has a thriving used market. So, where do all these old battle-worn vehicles go?
Most used apparatus’ will find their way into a small fire departments garage. While reliable numbers are hard to come by, most experts would guess about 1,800 used rigs are sold each year. The buyers on the used market are generally rural fire departments whose funding is too low to ever afford a new apparatus. Many of the drawbacks a used apparatus is known for aren’t as predominant when adopted by a smaller fire department. These small fire departments generally have fewer calls which help extend the life of the apparatus and reduce overall maintenance. Smaller fire departments rarely have the funding to afford a new apparatus, but a used apparatus is easier on the budget. Small fire departments rely on the used market to buy their fire apparatus.
Another group that always seems open to buying used apparatus is international fire departments. Even though International fire departments are always interested in buying, challenges in exporting make this less appealing to most sellers. But sometimes a quick call to a neighboring fire department is all it takes for a department to sell their veteran rig.
There are many ways for small fire departments to find used apparatus for sale, either through brokers, dealers, or just word of mouth. Darley.com, for instance, offers a section for prospective buyers to browse used apparatus categorized by tankers, rescues, aerials, pumpers. Darley also has a link for departments to list their used apparatus for sale.
As long as there are small fire departments that can’t purchase a new apparatus, there will always be a need for the used fire apparatus’ market. Selling a rig can help a department bring in the additional money they need to buy a new apparatus and open a slot in the garage. Small fire departments rely on the used apparatus market to stock their garages and enable an old reliable rig to keep fighting fires.