Fire trucks are most likely a common sight whether you live in the heart of the city or in a more rural area. As you may have noticed, these trucks come in many sizes and configurations, from too large to navigate a tight turn to barely larger than an ambulance. They’re also equipped with a range of features that vary from one truck to the next. Most people fail to realize that fire trucks are highly customized vehicles.

From Bare Bones to Fully Functional

In general, fire trucks start out as basic chassis in a few sizes and layouts. From there, they can be built to the specifications of the fire departments using them. Many components of these vehicles are carefully selected based on the types of emergencies a truck is likely to respond to and other factors. As such, there are numerous Solutions for Fire & Emergency Vehicles. Lights, sirens, ladders, storage compartments, and water holding tanks are all aspects than can be tailored to the needs of the user. 

Looking at Fire Truck Doors

When it comes to doors for built-in compartments, there are basically two options for fire trucks: hinged and roll-up. Each one has its own advantages. Still, either type may not be right for all needs. It’s important to understand the ins and outs of both to determine which one is most suitable for a specific fire truck.

Understanding Roll-Up Fire Truck Doors

Roll-up fire truck doors are generally made of aluminum strips. Those strips are connected to one another to form a door panel that’s sturdy but flexible. Upon being opened, the door rolls up on a cylinder mounted at the top of the door. When pulled down, the door rolls off of the cylinder and closes securely. These doors are much like the ones you’d find on warehouse loading docks and some garages. 

Exploring Hinged Fire Truck Doors

Like roll-up doors, some hinged fire truck doors are composed of aluminum. Others, though, are made of stainless steel or other materials. Rather than being flexible, they consist of a single solid piece. When opened, they swing upwards away from the truck. They’re held open by pressurized or spring-loaded cylinders or brackets that lock into place. Pressurized and spring-loaded varieties work in the same way as the back hatches of passenger vehicles. 

What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Each Type of Door?

As mentioned, both types of doors offer certain benefits, but they come with a few drawbacks as well. Hinged doors take up less space inside the storage compartments of the structure because they don’t require an interior cylinder at the top. That leaves more room for storing essential gear. On the other hand, if the door is damaged, the entire panel needs to be replaced. While many say hinged doors are easier to operate than roll-up varieties, those doors also require a certain amount of space around the truck to be able to open. 

Roll-up doors take up more space inside the building, but they don’t require as much room to be opened. Should they get dented or otherwise damaged, the affected portion of the door can be replaced rather than having to replace the entire panel. Additionally, they don’t block firefighters’ paths when moving around the truck. 

Which Type of Door Is Best?

It’s unfair to say that either type of door is better than the other in a general sense. Each one has its strong suits and negative traits. Having said that, it’s best to assess the situations in which the doors will likely be used to determine the best option. In tight spaces that may leave little room around the truck, roll-up doors may be more suitable. In cases where extra storage space is the main concern, hinged doors might be best. 

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