I know I’m in good company here when I say that fire trucks are utterly amazing. Our annual November apparatus edition is a favourite of mine to put together. I’ve got a soft spot for wheels and was originally drawn to automotive journalism in university, sports cars in particular. I recall writing about fuel cell technology in 2002. The need to pollute less with our machines has been well known for a long time. Here we are today with electric fire trucks rolling out from multiple manufacturers. It’s quite the feat.
As a teenager, I enjoyed learning to change the battery in my car — an era when it was relatively simple to do so. Autos have advanced to include some impressive features, but fire apparatus can astound you with its complexity. There are many specific options available to fine tune fire truck specs to the needs of its community and department. How fun it must be to plan the purchase of a new fire truck. Doing so in today’s economy takes an understanding of what economic factors are impacting truck manufacturers. Turn to page 10 to read about the significant challenges facing the industry and what fire services and municipalities need to know.
The past five years of our November apparatus editions have focused on electric fire trucks, cleaner cabs, future technology, trend round-ups and department specific specs. Going further back, innovations and trends crop up regularly. The decision to focus on the economics of apparatus for 2022 reflects the significance of the upheaval we are living through. The pandemic is still very much affecting our lives.
The return to spending and a full life in general, has ratcheted up demand for goods and services to a level that the providers can’t keep up with. This is happening across our economy. In publishing its Canadian quarterly economic forecast at the end of September, and surmising on the possibility of recession, TD Bank noted: “In the event that economic momentum gets thrown into reverse, this could shorten up the adjustment period on inflation. Either way, it’s not going to feel good. There’s no easy exit from this cycle.” TD Bank expects economic growth to top out over three per cent in 2022 before falling to one per cent in 2023.
November’s fire truck focus goes beyond economics. In this edition’s Tech Talk on page 46, Chris Dennis explores the importance of fire truck repair facilities. We look at some history in fire truck manufacturing on page 28. And turn to page 55 to find the start of over 100 truck profiles in our annual apparatus showcase of deliveries across Canada and beyond.
I hope you enjoy this year’s annual apparatus edition and all the wonderous wheels. Fire trucks are serious vehicles with life-saving jobs to do…but they are sure fun to look at, too.
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