Photo via Flickr/Brandon Giesbrecht

Photo via Flickr/Brandon Giesbrecht

Modesto City Council (Calif.) approved $5.8 million to lease five pumper trucks and two tiller trucks at a meeting earlier this month. 

The city's fire department does not have a fleet replacement program. Currently, the city has nine fire engines and two fire trucks in service, with three engines and one truck in reserve. The department worked with Fleet Services to determine a suggested life cycle based on maintenance costs, age, condition, reliability, and equipment downtime, deciding on a life cycle 10 to 12 years. Replacement purchases were pushed back during the recession, and the average age of its fleet is 12 years, with the oldest vehicle 27 years old.

On average, eight to 10 apparatus are in the shop every week for repairs, with three or four considered major repairs. According to city documents, the department spends an average of $424,000 per year on repair and maintenance, and the industry standard is about $200,000-$300,000.

Representatives from the city's fire and fleet divisions also defended the need for fleet standardization. City council approved purchasing the trucks from Pierce Manufacturing, as the city already owns Pierce parts and equipment. The contract was acquired through the Houston-Galveston Area Council.

According to the lease agreement, the city will make 10 annual payments of $598,538 with the option to purchase the trucks at the end of the term.