Making a Fire & Rescue Rig Capable of Tackling any Terrain
They’re big. They’re four-wheel-drive. And, they fight fires where their bigger brothers can’t. They’re known as wildland engines, patrol pumpers, grass rigs, and Type 3-7 engines, but to firefighters and civilians alike, they’re best known as “brush trucks.” Because fires don’t exclusively occur along paved streets, these heavily accessorized and customized rigs are born from the necessity of being able to access fires out in fields, timber, and in other remote landscapes. Since they have to be capable of traversing all types of terrain, the fire departments that spec them out often find themselves making the trucks even more versatile after the initial purchase.
Even though the rural fire district of Murrayville, Illinois, had already treated its ’16 F-550 to a super single conversion and Mickey Thompson Baja MTZs, they set about improving the brush truck’s off-road performance even further. After the late-model Super Duty was dropped off at nearby Flynn’s Shop, it was fitted with a suspension lift from BuckstopTruckware that included 3.5-inch-taller coil springs, a burly set of radius arms, application-specific shocks, and 4-inch rear blocks. When the installation was complete, lock-to-lock turns were no longer an issue with larger tires installed. The truck’s off-road performance was enhanced substantially, and—most importantly—none of the truck’s weight-carrying capacity (i.e., water) was sacrificed.
Read on for an in-depth look at Buckstop Truckware’s severe-duty lift kit for ’11-16 F-450 and F-550 model Fords.
Mickey Thompson Tires & Wheels