More Forward Control Fire Trucks

Conversions by fire departments and unknown firms


At least fifteen apparatus manufacturers built Jeep Forward Control Fire Trucks but there were also many interesting units put together by local fire departments or by firms I haven't yet identified. Those are the trucks found on this page, and any further information on them is welcome.

Aspendell Fire Company This 1962 truck from an unknown builder was delivered to General Atomics in San Diego CA, where it reportedly served into the 1980s.

It subsequently went to Aspendell Fire Company in Bishop CA, and had 6,450 miles on the odometer as of 2023 when it was for sale online. See more details and photos of this Jeep FC-170 Fire Truck at General Atomics.

Sheboygan WI FC With its gas-powered pump, and a Federal siren mounted behind the cab, I would guess brush truck 5 of the Sheboygan, Wisconsin FD was built by the department. The photo was taken in August 1991 when the truck was being sold; thanks to AJ Illenotna.

See also a front view (200K JPEG) of the truck.

New Buffalo City MI New Buffalo City FD in Michigan retired their Brush 3 "Lil Squirt" some time ago -- I'm not sure if it's still there. Nice design packs a lot into a slightly modified FC-150. Photo courtesy of Randy Warren.

Salt Spring Island Jon Denney took this photo of a 1960 Jeep FC-170 at a 2018 car show on Saltspring Island in British Columbia, Canada. The builder is unknown; the ladder rack is similar to some FCs built by Howe Fire Apparatus, but there's no Howe badge on this truck.

Noble Twp., Ohio Noble Township VFD in Ohio built a couple of unique FC-150s. Unit 1008 carried a big motor in the rear, but rather than running a generator, from what I can see it powered a pump mounted behind it.

Noble Twp., Ohio It's a Jeep, so why not? Unit 1006 was a 1960 FC-150, originally built in the late 1970s as a topless brush rig and later converted for parade use (200K JPEG). Thanks to Greg Risk for the photos.

Deal NJ Deal Fire Company #2 in Deal, New Jersey has to deal with large oceanfront homes at the end of long, narrow driveways. They set up this 1961 FC-170 with 500 feet of 3" hose which could be laid down a driveway from a large pumper at the road, to feed two attack lines or a deck gun with three 3" inputs. The truck also carries lighting and a generator, and is still in service as of 2018. Thanks to Mike Nowacki Jr. at Jersey Shore Fire Photography.

Deal NJ This photo courtesy of Jacob Pawelek shows what the deck gun will do with one input.

In a 2023 photo from DealFireCo.com, the FC poses with the rest of the department's apparatus (110K JPEG) including their 1953 Mack hose wagon. It shows how small a Forward Control Jeep is in comparison to a modern fire truck.

Klickitat County WA When Klickitat County Rural 7 Fire & Rescue in Goldendale, Washington was established in 1959, they started with three FC-170 Jeeps! Jeep News announced the purchase of two of them with this photo and a brief article.

Klickitat County WA Rural 7 now has eleven stations. They still have white apparatus, and they still have one of the original Jeeps, restored for use in parades and special events. Photo by Matthew McInturff-Hill.

Timken This FC-170 belonging to the Timken Company looks like it might have been converted in their shops. I don't have any details on the truck or the photo, which may show the truck as part of the Chrysler collection.

Bower Hill PA I wish I had a better photo of this rescue and generator truck with a Stahl body on a 1962 FC-170 DRW cab and chassis (serial 61568-15-10389.) Bower Hill VFD in Scott Township PA bought it through Corwin Sales and Service in Hickory PA, and had the generator installed by Doerr Brothers in Pittsburgh. It was only in service until 1973, when it was sold to a private owner in West Virginia. Photo by Tony Blum.

National Museum of Fire Service History Photos from the archives of the National Museum of Forest Service History show an FC-170 that looks like a Jeep right off a dealer's lot, with a pump and tank added on a skid unit.

National Museum of Fire Service History The only other special equipment is a big PTO winch on the front. Thanks to Nick Dowling for finding the photos. Anybody know where they were taken?

Willys AmericaPaul Barry at Willys America has this 1959 FC-170, serial no. 61568-16924, from the Pembina Volunteer Fire Dept. in North Dakota. It has a Hale pump driven by the central PTO. Paul says, "I think it rolled off the line as a pick-up and had the bed removed and the hose bed and PTO pump installed by a small independent fire apparatus builder. The interior of the cab is painted green as well as the upholstery is green. You can see the green bleeding through the red on the front below the windshield."

DRWMany fire trucks were built on the dual-rear-wheels version of the FC. Joe Esdale brought this 1964 FC-170DRW from Pennsylvania to the 2003 Spring Midwest Willys Reunion with rear frame exposed, providing a good look at the drivetrain including T98 transmission. See also the rear chassis and the heavy duty front wheel (100K JPEGs.) Photos by Wes Knettle.

1958 FC150Jim Canavan restored this unusual 1958 FC-150. It was apparently converted as a foam truck which would be used in conjunction with a tanker or other source of water. The funnels (see a rear view, 80K JPEG) are filled with a high expansion foam, which is mixed with water coming in the 2-1/2" lines from a pumper/tanker. Jim fabricated the gleaming new diamond-plate bed in his shop in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

With trailersAnybody recognize the trucks in this unidentified archival photo? A pair of FC-170DRW Forward Controls pull tank trailers, apparently at a refinery.

FJ-3A Fleetvan

Gilpin Twp. Fleetvan This is something that to my knowledge is unique. It's not exactly a Forward Control truck, but this FJ-3A Fleetvan is a cab-over-engine Jeep, and the only example I know of where one of these little two-wheel-drive vans was put into service by a fire department. Great idea for a compact, maneuverable unit with lots of interior storage.

Gilpin Township VFD in Pennsylvania purchased the FJ new in 1961. It was used a a rescue truck, squad truck and cascade air truck, and was in service until 2003, when it was sold to a private owner. Current location is unknown.

Note: Charles Underwood has told me that another Pennsylvania department used a later FJ-6A Fleetvan as an equipment truck circa 1990, apparently after it was retired by the US Postal Service. A rare photo (220K JPEG) shows the FJ-6A in the green and white of the Heidlersburg Fire Company in Gettysburg PA. Kaiser Jeep built about 3000 of the longer, wider two-wheel-drive FJ-6A during the 1966 model year, and supposedly on the CJ-6 chassis.

Thanks to Gary Dreyer, Craig Brockhaus, Ken Buchanan, Stuart Warner, Andrew Harvey, Steve Hagy, Jim Allen and Shad Seibert. -- Derek Redmond

For more about Jeep Forward Control trucks, see Brooks Stevens' Forward Vision on CJ3B.info.

See more FC fire trucks in Fire Service Jeeps on CJ3B.info.

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Last updated 11 April 2024 by Derek Redmond redmond@cj3b.info
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