New guy here... starting FF 1 this month. Just read an article about rural engine companies that depend on mutual aid for truck work being more familiar with the work of truckies in case of a scratch. I'm familiar with the good-natured rivalry between engine and truck companies... that aside, this engine guy wants to learn truck stuff!
what I have found is that unless the fire is a huge one (warehouses ect), only the first two engine companies actually due engine work. the others are on standby or rit or assisting in truck work. However, this isnt true in all situations. You make due with what resources are available, especially in rural settings
Really, we could call it "support" work and get the point across. Truck work is the collection of tasks that support the suppression operation. Laddering, venting, searching, pulling ceilings, opening doors, just generally taking the load off the guys applying water to the fire. Now the engine guys need to remember that while they are playing with their hose, we have some jobs to do that make their lives easier, so they should really stop busting our chops and get with the program.
But regardless of whether you have a truck or not, these tasks must be done. And they're a lot more fun anyway.
Truck work has been described as an art, a science, a craft, a love, a passion, etc...but the one word that truly describes truck work is necessary. Whether your department operates a Truck Co or not, evreyone other than the nozzleman is accomplishing tasks related to Truck work. Anyone who does not believe that Truck work is necessary is really naive.
Nonetheless, if you want to learn some Truck stuff, there are some good groups on FFN and start by reading the book, "Truck Company Operations" by Chief J. Mittendorf. Also, if there is anything that I can do to help stoke the fire that is growing inside of you to join the honored ranks of Truckies, please do not hesitate to ask.
I agree that truck work is absolutely essential at every working fire. Our department lost its truck company in the 80s due to absorbing a district and not increasing staffing. We got our truck company back 3 years ago and I will tell you it has increased our efficiency and safety on the foreground tremendously. We now have companies the continually train on "the craft" and have tremendous pride in their company. The result is the truck work is getting done on every fire instead of it being an afterthought like before. Not every department can have dedicated truck companies but regardless should train on truck function and consider them as just as high of a priority that extinguishment is.