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Fire Truck Food Truck Ready To Feed Nebraskans
After 9-11, Josh Hahn’s fire engine food truck was parked within a few blocks of Ground Zero to pump water from a fire hydrant to other fire trucks. He bought it a few years ago after it was retired from service and converted it into a mobile unit equipped with a wood-fired barbecue, large screen TV’s, and a red-and-white striped awning to shade tables filled with diners. He takes it to events all over Nebraska.
    The journey started a few years ago when Hahn was working with a friend and noticed an unused 500-gal. propane tank next to a barn. Hahn was toying with the idea of making a smoker to cook whole hogs for parties. So when the owner said he could have it for free, he took it. After acquiring another tank at a junkyard and picking up scrap and new parts, Hahn built a woodfired smoker for less than $600. He decided he needed an efficient way to haul it and started shopping online for trucks.
    None of the food trucks caught his attention until he found a fire truck used for wood-fired pizzas out East.
    “I didn’t think there were any of them in Nebraska. And I have to do things ridiculously big and stupid,” Hahn says.
    After much searching, he found the New York fire truck online and arranged to have it delivered to Aurora, Neb., costing less than a tenth of what it was when new in 1990.
    He wanted to keep it intact as much as possible, but needed to remove parts like ladder racks, side compartments and nozzle holders.
    “It was welded together so well that it took 2 days to cut the ladder racks out. The whole cab is aluminum and it has so much stainless steel,” Hahn says, adding that he reused many of the parts for other purposes on the fire truck.
    He added a water heater, tanks for fresh and grey water, a 50-amp breaker and 220-volt box and two Honda generators to produce a total of 11,000 watts. They provide plenty of power when 220 power isn’t available to run his freezers and refrigeration, roasters, and 3 big screen TVs.
    The fire truck only has 30,000 miles on its Detroit 2-stroke engine, and all the lights, horns and sirens work. Hahn can activate them at some events - something kids of all ages seem to appreciate. It attracts folks to come out and check the food cooked on the 30-in. by 10-ft. hickory and fruit wood-fired barbecue.
    “I can do 200 steaks at a time, or 60 to 75 racks of ribs or 15 to 18 briskets,” Hahn says. “We’ve served 190 plates in 37 minutes.”
    He finished the truck by September and worked a few events last year in preparation for a full season this year. Hahn says he can do everything from kids’ parties to family and adult tailgate parties to community events and fundraisers.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Josh Hahn, Big Buddy Engine Company, 1733 U.S. Hwy. 20, Gordon, Neb. 69343 (ph 402 631-3505; bigbuddyenginecompany@yahoo.com; Facebook: Big Buddy Engine Company).

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2020 - Volume #44, Issue #4