Replacement fire truck feels brand new

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Kakanui Rural Fire Force’s new fire engine may have been made in 1986, but it drives like it was built yesterday.

The force received the new front line machine on Friday evening to replace their 1978 fire appliance.

Kakanui Rural Fire Force controller Bruce Thacker said the appliance felt like it is brand new and drove exceedingly well.

“It drives and operates far better than the other one.

“By fire service standards it is old, but to us it is brand new.”

The main point of difference is that it has power steering and can seat six people rather than five.

“It is such a pleasure to drive and ride in,” he said.

While they had not used it properly yet, they had undertaken training in it and had begun to familiarise themselves with the differences between the two appliances, Mr Thacker said.

The gears were slightly different and the equipment was stowed in different places, he said.

The appliance, which came from Mossburn, was handed over by the New Zealand Fire Service for a small change-of-ownership fee and is now technically owned by the Waitaki District Council.

By RUBY HARFIELD and LINDA MCCARTHY