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Fire Trucks Need Back-Up Power for Emergencies

Generators are built for emergencies. In life-or-death situations, if you need power, it should be there. That’s why onboard generators provide emergency power for fire and rescue crews on the scene. Fire apparatuses, the general term for all fire-fighting vehicles, must arrive at an emergency scene prepared for anything.

A few options are available for emergency AC power generation for fire and rescue vehicles. Over the years, fire trucks and vehicles have used everything from DC-AC inverters to portable gas-powered generators. Finally, onboard generators eliminated the need for a separate fuel source. Current onboard generators for fire engines are built right into the apparatus and are powered by power take-off (PTO) shafts and the vehicle engine itself.

fire truck generator repair in Horry County

3 Main Types of Fire Truck Generators

Fire truck generators come in three main categories.

Power Inverters: Inverted power is a topic we’ve covered before. In this mobile application, an inverter converts the apparatus’s DC to AC which could be used to power equipment. However, because inverters convert the existing power on the device, they cannot generate high wattages, typically maxing out at about 500 watts. While this may be helpful for some situations, it’s not enough to power heavy machinery or appliances. For comparison, many homeowners’ typical portable generators in their garages can produce over 4,000 watts.

Internal Combustion Portable Generators: This option is still prevalent in firefighting and rescue vehicles today. These generators have their own engine and fuel source, so crews must keep extra fuel on board for the generator. However, suitable portable generators can create upwards of 10,000 watts, which could be valuable in an emergency.

On-Board PTO-Driven Generators: These “built-in” generator systems use the vehicle’s engine and PTO rods for power generation. One key benefit is that they eliminate a secondary fuel source. As long as the apparatus runs, the generator supplies additional power for anything from other water pumps to hydraulic equipment. These onboard generator systems can put out 10,000 to 50,000 watts, so they are perfect for handling any emergency in any setting.

combustion generator on fire truck

Regular Inspection and Maintenance of Fire Truck Generators

Fire and rescue teams must carefully inspect and maintain all of their equipment. This extends to the generators on board the fire truck. Cooper Electrical Services delivers professional generator inspection and maintenance.

Let our team create a custom maintenance plan to ensure your generator meets all required codes and is ready when you need it. The Cooper generator team is your source for all things generators in Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, and Horry and Georgetown counties. To learn more about our commercial generator services, visit our Commercial Services page or contact us.