Selling or buying a used fire apparatus can be complicated and frustrating. While some departments decide to do it on their own, others choose a company to make the process easier and more efficient.

When a department is selling an apparatus, we strongly recommend they look for a broker or dealer that has national exposure. That will bring the most buyers to the table for their apparatus and provide the most value to the selling department. Whether buying or selling, departments must make sure to check the reputation of the company that they’re looking to do business with.

Selling by owner may allow departments to receive more money than if a dealer buys it directly. The downside is that you do not know how much you will get for your apparatus or when it will sell. Using a well known company like Fire Line Equipment offers fire departments exposure to a large number of potential buyers that can be difficult to reach on their own. If you have an apparatus for sale, do you think you can get the best value through 100 potential customers seeing it or 4,000 potential customers? Always check references and to look for a company that has market presence and size to help meet your specific needs.

Buying used can be an affordable way to upgrade rigs, while selling used rigs can off set some of the cost of that new or near new apparatus. Understanding the lay of the land and learning from others can keep departments from getting burned in a used fire apparatus deal.

When looking for the right used fire apparatus dealer for your department, there are several key points to consider:

  • How long has the dealer been in the business of selling used fire apparatus?
  • What kinds of services can they provide? Many dealers offer vehicle-locator services to help fire departments find the right fire apparatus for their needs and their budget. They can also provide services such as body work, painting and repairs to motors or pumps.
  • Can they provide a list of previous purchasers of their fire apparatus for your department to contact?
  • Can we drive and operate the apparatus?
  • Can we have a third party inspect the truck prior to purchase?
  • Is the pump and/or aerial test current?
  • Is the seller able to make changes to the truck like paint, lighting, graphics etc?
  • What is included in the purchase of the used fire truck?
  • Is there financing available?


Many used fire apparatus dealers today have trained technicians and mechanics in their employ who have the experience and expertise in working on used fire apparatus. Fire departments may find that it’s to their benefit financially to have any necessary work performed on the apparatus they’re considering for purchase by the dealer – especially when they consider that those additional costs can be included in the total purchase price that they will be financing.

One of the keys to success in purchasing the right used fire apparatus for your department is learning as much as you can about the condition of the apparatus before you purchase it. Prepare yourself, and everyone involved in the decision-making process (e.g., an apparatus purchasing committee), before you make the trip for an in-person evaluation of the truck.

Fire Line Equipment offers quality used fire trucks for sale that are owned by either a fire department or Fire Line Equipment. We believe in service during and after the sale. We’re not just a broker, a dealer or an individual selling a used fire truck. Fire Line Equipment is a full service fire apparatus dealer offering new fire apparatus sales, used fire apparatus sales, fire truck service and repair, apparatus refurbishment and fire truck replacement parts.