How Big Is A Fire Truck/Engine?

How Big Is A Fire TruckEngine

With all of this taken into consideration, these vehicles are large. You may have found yourself wondering just how big they are. While fire trucks and engines are terms often used interchangeably, they are actually two different types of vehicle.

When looking at fire trucks, they will typically be around 40 feet long, and 10 feet wide. When it comes to their height, they can be around 12 feet tall. They are huge vehicles, but their size is important.

When it comes to fire engines, these are usually smaller than a truck. They will be around 9 feet wide and tall, and 35 feet long. 

In this article, we will be talking you through everything you need to know about fire trucks and their size. We will be going into more detail about the different types of fire vehicles too. 

What is the exact size of a fire truck and engine?

In this section, we are going to discuss the most popular types of fire engines, and what their typical size will be. While this is the average size, it is worth noting that the size can vary. 

Fire Truck

A fire truck is the vehicle that you will be probably more familiar with. It is one of the larger fire vehicles, and it is used in many emergency situations. The fire truck will typically be around 40 feet in its length, and 10 feet wide.

However, some variants, such as the Tiller truck can be up to 60 feet long, which is significantly larger. 

A fire truck is this size because it is necessary when it comes to transporting all the equipment needed, and to carry all the firefighters.

Firefighters also need to be around 8 feet of space away from the truck while they are working on fires and emergency situations. Given this, the apparatus attached to the truck needs to stretch this distance. 

When looking at the height of a fire truck, they will typically be around 12 feet, which is large. This is before the ladders on the truck have been extended. With these extended too, the height increases significantly.

Fire Engines

As we have already touched upon, fire engines are significantly smaller than fire trucks. Even so, they are still far larger than your average vehicle. They will also vary in their size. 

What are the different styles of fire engines and trucks?

As we have already touched upon, a fire engine and a fire truck are two separate vehicles. While the same word may be used to describe them both, ultimately they are very different vehicles, especially when it comes to their size, and their purpose. 

Apart from the size, there are two easy ways to tell these two vehicles apart. The first has to do with the equipment that it carries. A fire engine is typically used when there is a fire that needs to be extinguished.

This is because it carries a fire hose, tools, and equipment needed for extinguishing fires. 

In addition to this, they also have an onboard water pump built into the vehicle, which is needed for fire purposes.

The second way to tell them apart is their exterior. A fire truck will feature a large ladder on the outside of the vehicle that can be used when someone needs to be rescued from high ground, a window needs to be broken, or upper floors need to be ventilated. 

They are able to reach far larger heights and are the best option to deploy in a search and rescue situation given this. 

While you can typically tell the two types of vehicles apart when you know how to, there are a number of factors that do make this more difficult. For example, while there is a rough estimate of their height, size, and width, this will vary depending on the individual truck.

The vast majority of fire engines will have enough equipment and water that is needed to begin putting out a fire. These will not be the largest vehicles, because their purpose is to get to the incident as soon as possible and start the process of putting out the fire. 

They are the engines that most of the firefighters will travel in, and they hold most of the equipment needed. After they have arrived, then they will be followed by the larger trucks that will have a larger amount of water. 

When it comes to the amount of equipment needed and the standard equipment that is carried, this will vary. What may be used frequently in one state, may not be as popular, or needed in another. 

As a result, some items are changed based on this. In addition to this, if there is assistance needed extra equipment is required, this will be added to the vehicles too.

For example, extra equipment may be needed like ladders, or if there is a large stretch of water during the rescue process, equipment for this will be needed too. 

However, the majority of fire vehicles will always carry items such as floodlights, ladders, extinguishers, and ladders. Equipment for the firefights is important too, such as self-contained breathing apparatus, helmets, and gloves too. 

Fire trucks often have a deck gun, which can sometimes be called a deluge gun. This gun is important when it comes to putting out larger fires. It is powered from the vehicle itself, and will help to gain control over the fire. 

Types Of Ariel Apparatus

In addition to the equipment that is carried in the trucks and engines to combat the fire, there is a whole host of potential ladders that may need to be used too.

While the ladders are not always necessary, they are important when it comes to height with fires and rescue missions. If there is a tall building that needs to be scaled, the firefighters need a suitable ladder for this.

In the United States, ladders are important for use when putting out fires that are high up. However, in Europe, they are used more when it comes to rescue situations. Both uses are valid, and necessary ways of using the ladder. 

The majority of fire trucks and engines will carry a turntable ladder. This ladder is attached to the roof of the vehicle and the firefighters do not need to worry about attaching it. It is a very useful tool that is used in hundreds of different scenarios. 

When it comes to the turntable ladder, the height can vary depending on the truck and the ladder itself. Even so, even the smaller larger reach impressive heights. On average, the height is around 100 feet. However, some can reach over 200 feet. 

Types of Aerial Fire Trucks

Aerial Ladder Truck

As we have already touched upon, there are a number of different types of fire trucks. In this section, we will be discussing these different types, to give you a better understanding of each.

Aerial Ladder Truck

This is the fire truck that is dispatched when an aerial ladder is needed for the height. They are great for rescue callouts as they allow the firefighter to reach higher ground. The platform on the ladder allows for safe rescue of others.

The ladder is moved electronically, and the firefighter can stand safely on the basket attached. The basket can comfortably fit the firefighter and the person being rescued.

Tiller Truck

These are similar to an aerial ladder truck in some ways. However, instead of an aerial ladder, they contain a turntable ladder. This doesn’t contain a basket, but it does reach impressive heights, and is great for many situations. 

The ladder is attached to a trailer, which is then attached to the truck, rather than being attached to the truck itself. While the trailer is attached to the truck, initially it can be detached and operated separately when needed. As a result, two drivers will be needed.

Given that there are essentially two parts to this truck, it can take slightly longer to set up. In addition to this, it will be longer than the average fire truck with the trailer attached. In total, they can be around 60 feet long. 


Did you know that pumpers are actually classed as fire engines too? They are seen as a fire apparatus, even though they are smaller than a typical truck or engine.

They are more commonly called fire engines, and they are used for structural fires. Furthermore, they will carry hoses, and water tanks. 

Different Types of Fire Engines

The majority of the firefighting vehicles you will see driving around on a small scale are actually fire engines. Here in the US, they are more commonly referred to as pumpers.

These pumpers can be split into two different types of vehicles, depending on their purpose.

Wildland Fire Engine

This type of fire engine is more common in areas that contain woodland, and are away from the city. This is because cities do not typically have wildfires. These fires are fitted with these fires in mind, and have the suitable equipment to put these out as quickly and safely as possible.

Some of this equipment includes pumps that can be activated while in transit. These are more hardy in how they are built in order to travel off-road. They will have specifications such as stronger tires and four-wheel drive for this purpose. 

While this type of fire engine is smaller in its width, it is taller than a structural fire engine. 

Water Tenders

When a lot of water is needed, water tenders are deployed. They can carry around 1000 gallons of water, and are a great back up option, especially in a more rural setting when there is no natural water for the firefighters to draw from. 

It is not typically used to put out the fires, but to carry the water for other trucks to draw water from. They are typically up to 35 feet in length, and are created similarly to a structural fire engine. 

Structural Fire Engine

As its name suggests, this type of fire pumper is dispatched to fires. They will typically be used for small scale fires that are in apartments, houses, and also small scale stores and commercial buildings.

As we have already covered, they will be up to 35 feet in length. These are some of the most common types of fire engine. 

Airport Crash Tender

The airport fire engine is one you are only typically going to see at an airport. They are designed specifically to put out fires associated with aircrafts. As a result, they need to have specialist equipment, such as foam tanks and dry chemical fire retardant extinguishers. 

They are equipped for electrical fires too. These tend to be the smallest type of fire engine. 


There are a wide number of different dire engines and trucks that are used across the United States. While you may be familiar with some, there are others that you may have not heard of before. 

As they are all so different, they are all important in their individual way, and will be used in different scenarios.

When it comes to the answer to the question, as you can see, there is no definitive answer. How big a fire engine or truck is will depend on the type that is being used. Even then, the height, width, and length can vary slightly. 

How Much Does a Fire Engine or Truck Weigh on Average?

The weight will all depend on the truck or engine that is being used. However, on average, a truck will typically weigh around 60,000 pounds. A fire engine will weigh less, at around 40,000 pounds. This does not including any equipment added.