For the past 24 years in Haskell, Texas, Steel Fire Apparatus has been transforming trucks into firefighting machines.
“But we take it and add the bed, the tool boxes, the pump, the water,” Wes Steele, owner, said.
But before they’re ready to fight brush fires, everything starts with Wes designing the truck on the computer based on a fire department’s needs.
“We take their ideas and try to build the best truck that works for them,” he said.
After cutting sheets of metal and having them bent into the desired shapes, they’re welded together.
He said it’s typical to find a truck made entirely of aluminum because the lighter the truck, the more water it can carry.
“Sometimes they have to travel 20, 30, 50 miles just to get water,” he said.
It’s then over to their body shop for final touches and an extra layer of paint protection.
“The heat that they’re exposed to, it’s an industrial coating, it’s a lot thicker, it’s a little bit harder than just your automotive coating,” he said.