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That's pretty cool, as a toy. Too bad he doesn't seem to have any use for it in that capacity.

Don't know if I can agree with him driving it on routine trips around town. Not only because of the extra gas consumption and CO2, but it also takes up a lot more room on the road, and it's a lot slower on acceleration wasting everyone's time behind him. When someone has a purpose for having a huge truck on the road you tolerate it, but if I found out I was stuck behind a slow firetruck because some guy wanted to tickle his own fancy I'd be less tolerant.

Yea, practicality isn't the end all of life, but don't be a dick.

Edit: Just wanted to add, it also puts a lot more wear on the roads especially during spring when the ground frost is melting. You might be within the law to drive it around, but your County Road Commission will not be pleased.

I'd be pissed to be his neighbor. The firetruck spews dirty exhaust, is unsafe if there are kids running around, and definitely is an eyesore. Even though there's no HOA he is probably running afoul of city or county zoning rules...you shouldn't be able to park large work trucks in residential neighborhoods.

>Even though there's no HOA he is probably running afoul of city or county zoning rules...

Many days I can't find a good reason to appreciate living in the US. I'm glad that there are places to live where a guy can buy an old fire truck if it tickles his fancy. I'm also glad that there are ticky-tacky neighborhoods with HOA's in towns with strict zoning, so you and I won't have to be neighbors.

I also can't think of a reason why I should fear for my children's safety if my neighbor had one of these in his driveway.

These trucks are huge and have blind spots...there's a reason you need a commercial driver's license to operate them in most states.

So you keep saying. What's the big deal about blind spots? So, he shouldn't reverse without a spotter, and he should be extra careful merging on the freeway. Looks like he has a circle-driveway so, he's got that covered. Seriously, this thing isn't any worse than a Class-A RV, a vehicle which, like it or not, requires no special driver license.

It probably worried the neighbors up to the point where they realized there wasn't a fire.

I can't imagine he'll end up driving it enough for that to be a problem. In 2 or 3 years (more like 6 months) he'll get tired of moving it around and paying for fuel. In the end the worst case scenario will end up being caught behind the guy as he heads out to some small town's Christmas parade so their real engines aren't being wasted driving Santa down Main St.

For $1,500 he got a deal. It is worth at least that much in scrap.

What makes the truck more unsafe around children than e.g. a Ford Explorer or similar?

If nothing else, the fact that it would attract children, whereas I've seen few kids who are interested in playing on (versus in) the Ford Explorer.

It also would have far worse visibility than a Ford Explorer.

That said, I don't think it is an argument for whether he should be "allowed" to have the truck or not. If there was evidence that people with large truck always hurt kids, perhaps; but I don't think that evidence exists.

These are good points - pollution, eye sore, blind spots, etc. I try to be really careful with it and be aware of my surroundings as much as possible. As far as the neighbors are concerned, I weighed purchasing the fire truck that I'd always wanted against possibly pissing off the neighbors. The rest of that story is history.

Attracting children is a good one I hadn't thought of.

As for visibility, I think that probably cancels out with a responsible driver. The fact that it's harder to drive will engender additional caution, for probably no major net change in danger, assuming he can avoid getting so used to the thing that he gets sloppy.

Of course should be allowed to own the truck, but I'd have a problem with him parking it visibly and operating it regularly in a residential neighborhood.

A ford explorer can stop on a dime. A fire truck cannot. A fire truck also has a blind spot equivalent to 3 ford explorers.

If the blind spot were really a child safety factor, then the sight of a UPS or FedEx truck would terrorize parents across the world.

I'll also bet that his fire truck can stop better than you think, especially if he has left the ~500 gallon water tank empty.

As someone whose job involves driving a maintained 1996 Pierce Arrow (same model as his, but 15 years newer - funny, the body looks near identical), I promise you, the fire engine (random detail, in the US fire service, this is an engine, a truck is a ladder truck) can NOT stop better than you think, even empty.

On the other hand a new tender (or water pumper) CAN stop on a dime, as its brakes are based on it carrying three to four thousand gallons of water, so when it is empty...

As a kid I watched a UPS truck run down my dog on a quiet residential street.

Sorry about your dog. A school bus got my cousins' dog under the same circumstances. The two of them had to helplessly watch the whole thing from the bus.

better keep kids away from school buses, clearly dangerous


You'd be surprised to know how many kids are run over by school buses every year.

Looks like about 15 per year.


then watch your kids like a parent should

I like living in a place where my kids can play in the front yard without non-stop surveillance. Every parent has had a kid run out of sight in the back yard, a store, or the mall. The idea that jerks like you say things like that every time something bad happens to someone's child really pisses me off.

While thezach's comment does come across as being from a jerk, keep in mind too the same reaction applies to "every parent" who expects the rest of society to curtail every possible activity that might hurt their unsupervised child.

Does anybody really think it's a rational argument to make, that this guy _shouldn't_ buy and drive his own fire truck because it's a risk to "the children"?

Kids bike and play in neighborhood streets. Surely you recognize that some untrained guy driving a massive firetruck up and down that street just to get groceries is a problem.

No. I was always taught not to play in the street.

If only it had some kind of noise making device that could be used to warn kids.

Like an air horn. ;)

I'll agree with you that "watch your kids 24/7" is unfeasible. But I did think of something that would get the same results in this case: teach your kids to respect the property of others. It always confused me that, for example, trampoline owners could get in trouble because local children, without the permission of the owner, came over to jump on it and fell off and broke a bone. The kids are at fault, and that reflects on their parents.

This is long established common law. Just because it is your property, you cannot escape your obligation to mitigate obvious hazards, particularly where children are involved. So hanging a tree swing that is unsafe and snaps, injuring a child playing on it, still creates liability for you even though the child was trespassing.

Parental neglect is a well established law as well.

One that is not defined by watching your kids 24/7 as you seem to think

To be fair a trampoline is pretty irresistible to a child. It's like leaving a big barrel of sweets unattended.

Then make sure your kids are responsible and know that if they hear a big hearty diesel fire up in the fire truck that they should GTFO ...

My kids know not to run out into traffic and they know to stay at my side when walking in a parking lot because they have been told over and over that it is a dangerous place (and punished for doing otherwise). But, no matter how well they know it if I pull into a parking lot of a restaurant and Grandma and Grandpa are standing there, the kids run for them in excitement. They are smart for their age, but they are still little kids.

That's why public safety has to be a balance between rights and responsibilities that may not always seem "fair" to some. I can not say what my kids would do if I pulled into that cul-de-sac and they hopped out of the car and saw a firetruck sitting right there. I know I would not want any old belligerent "its-my-right-of-way" guy driving that thing but I doubt there will be some sort of epidemic of firetruck driving in my area any time soon.

(As a farmer I think I come to this with a different perspective than most. I work with heavy equipment all the time in a yard where my kids run around, but in a remote yard with just your kids it is pretty easy to do a head-count before you move something.)

I'd be glad, wouldn't it be cool? Probably he also shows it to neighbours. And you could tell everyone "I live two houses from the firetruck".

I joke that their proximity to my firetruck should reduce the cost of their home owners insurance. They should be thanking me :)

won't they please think about the children!

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