Original Year
# of pieces
Cars & Trucks:  Fire Trucks
Lifting boom, steering
ratcheting hose,
aiming water cannon
Other Views

8280 Fire Truck

iso revolve
Click the image to download the LDraw file of this model.
Model by Benjamin Wendl

Set 8280, released in 1995, was the first Technic fire truck.  This very rectangular vehicle was the largest "Tech Play" set of 1995, and therefore its design is centered around playability.  It has front wheel steering, two poseable firefighters with helmets, a water cannon mounted on a remotely operated boom, and a ratcheting hose reel in the back.

This set makes use of both of the new gearbox parts and 4 of the new crank handles.  As a Tech Play set, construction is fairly straightforward and most angles are square with the exception of the windshield posts which are pinned at an angle.  There is nothing in the construction of this set which could not have been accomplished in previous years, but the addition of some of the new parts makes the assembly much simpler.

There are a large number of stickers used in this model.  There are 4 headlights on the front, a coupe of identifying numbers on the top and back, some decorations on the water cannon, a water control panel near the back hose reel, and 5 control panels and gauges in the cabin.


The front wheels can be steered using an overhead "hand of god" control near the rear of the vehicle.  The overhead control drives an axle connected to a pair of 12 tooth bevel gears housed in one of the new gearboxes.   The second axle drives an 8 tooth pinion gear.  The gear drives a flexible rack.  The steering mechanism itself uses steering arms and toothed links.

The steering knob uses a steering wheel like the one in the cabin.
steering    steering
Click for an animation of the steering in motion.
Lifting Boom
The boom can be pivoted from a position parallel to the ground up to an angle of about 45 degrees.  A crank on the left side of the vehicle uses one of the new handles to drive the motion.  The drive axle connects to a pair of 12 tooth bevel gears.  Next, one of the new worm gearboxes connects a worm gear to a 24 tooth spur gear.  This spur gear rotates a pair of liftarms which are used to lift the boom.

The boom (yellow), the liftarms (tan), and a pair of vertical members (green and gray) form a 4-bar linkage which keep the liftarms and the boom parallel at all times.  Another 4-bar linkage is formed by an axle (red) which runs the length of the boom on the underside to the triangles (blue) which support the water cannon.  This keeps the water cannon mount level as the boom raises.
lift    boom
Click for an animation of the boom lifting.
Water Cannon
There is a firefighting water cannon at the end of the boom.  Presumably this cannon is controlled remotely because there is no way for the operators to access it.  It can be aimed up/down and left/right manually.  It is pivoted on friction pins which tend to make it hold its position wherever pointed.

Sprayer    cannon
Click for an animation of the water cannon in motion.
The rear side of the vehicle contains a hose reel which uses a large diameter string as hose.  This is the only Technic set to contain this type of braided string.  At the end of the hose is a nozzle which can be held by one of the firefighters.

The hose is mounted to a reel attached to a lateral axle.  A crank on the right side drives the reel using one of the new handle parts.  A 16 tooth gear on the left side of the wheel acts as a ratchet which engages a pole reverser handle used as a pawl.  A lever on the left can be used to disengage the ratcheting mechanism so the hose can be extended.
Hose    reel
Click for an animation of the hose reel in motion.
This set comes with two Technic firefighting figures in red, both unique to this set.  They each have a white helmet which can be stored on a horizontal post in the middle of the vehicle.

I call them "Ace" and "Gary".
Dudes    Dudes
Wheels and Tires
This set uses four of the rubber 20x30 balloon tires and wheels.

Other Views

Side View
side view
Top View
top view
Front View
Back View
back view
Computer Render

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