Practical tip: ready for winter?

Is the fleet ready for winter?

A roadworthy vehicle is of course important all year round – but in winter there are a few additional factors that you have to watch out for. You have to check in time that all fluids (wiper water, coolant, engine oil,..) are also suitable for the low winter temperatures. You should also check the tires of the firefighting vehicles. Is the tire pressure OK? Do the tires have enough tread? Have they already exceeded their service life? Even if the tread is still deep enough, tires must be replaced after about 10 years. In many countries this is also prescribed by law.


Prevent frost damage - lubricate and grease

To prevent frost damage and to maintain smooth running, all rubber edges of roller shutters, doors and other compartments should be protected with silicon spray, glycerin or deer tallow. It also can't hurt to oil the vehicle and roller shutter locks to protect them against freezing. If you have a built-in cable winch, you should grease it accordingly to protect it against rust with a special oil for ropes and take care that bare parts are also greased. Telescopic light masts should also be treated with silicon spray so that they also smoothly extend and retract in winter - please don´t use other conventional lubricants there is the danger that the plastic in the slide blocks located in the guide rails may be corroded.


Empty water-carrying parts or provide them with frost protection

Frost and water is not a good combination. Which is why all parts in the equipment compartment that carry water should be emptied. This also applies to the portable fire pump. Also check the oil level and the batteries of the portable pump. The same also applies for the existing power generating set. When equipped with the UHPS ultra-high pressure extinguishing system, you should check that the necessary frost protection has been added. It must always be refilled after use.


Check equipment

Unfortunately there is also a higher accident risk in winter. This is why all hydraulic rescue equipment should be checked for function in good time and provided with a valid sticker. Depending on country-specific requirements, cable winches must be checked at regular intervals by a specialist civil engineer. If this is the case, feel free to contact the Rosenbauer service department at any time.
If the vehicle is fitted with a tank heater, you should activate it once before the start of winter. If problems occur while doing so, inform Rosenbauer customer services. Please note that winter diesel is required for the fuel tank in the cold time of year. Make sure you order this in good time and also think about the (reserve) canister!
Any existing chainsaws should also be serviced once more before winter. It might be necessary to cut a hole in a sheet of ice for the portable fire pump. Additionally, in winter there are often situations (snow pressure, ice rain, etc.) in which trees need to be removed.


Especially important in winter: lighting

Lighting is particularly important in the dark time of the year. This applies as much to all traffic-related lights on the vehicle as it does to the equipment compartment lighting and every light fitting required to secure and illuminate an operational scene. This is why it makes sense to check all lamps and replace them if needed. Accidents in the twilight and in the night hours are common in winter. So equipment is needed to secure the scene accordingly (flashbulbs, crowd control tape, traffic paddles, etc.). It's worth it to check everything for functionality and to restock missing equipment in time. Everyone should also check their personal protective equipment and make it winter-proof: a warm pair of socks in the boots and a hood which can be worn under the helmet are often worth their weight in gold during cold winter days.