Modern structural pumpers typically have complex panels with gauges to read critical motor functions such as RPM, oil pressure and water temperature, an intake pressure gauge, a discharge pressure gauge and a gauge for each individual hose discharge. It will also have, a throttle, primer pump switch, relief valve controls, valve levers or actuator switches, water tank gauge and often other functions such as foam injectors or flow meters. Small brush trucks and older apparatus often have fairly basic pump panels.
At a minimum the pump panel will include a throttle knob, water tank gauge and at least a single pressure gauge. Vehicles capable of pumping while moving may also have a small remote pump control panel in the cab. Pump panels vary greatly in layout and features, this depends primarily on the builder and what the ordering agency specified.
There are four common locations for pump panels. They are usually mounted in the open but panels can be found protected behind a compartment door.
Side mount panels are probably the most common. They are usually found in the middle of the drivers side of the vehicle, but occasionally can be found on the passenger side. On some newer apparatus the panel is located on the side behind the rear wheels, this is typically seen with rear mount midship pumps (more on this type of pump in the pumps section).
Top mount pumps are located behind the cab and the operator stands on the vehicle when operating the pump, this style is becoming popular since it keeps the operator out of the street, and gives them a good view around the truck. Some of these top mount panels are covered by an extension of the cab which protects the operator from the weather and other hazards.
Rear mount pump panels have been common on wildland engines for many years but are becoming more common on structure engines as well. The advantage of the rear mount is the operator can easily see three out of four sides of the vehicle just by taking a few steps. This type of panel typically allows for a shorter overall vehicle length.
Front mount pump panels are usually only used with front mounted pumps. Typically these are fairly basic with simple controls and a couple of pressure gauges. However some are more complex and include similar feature to side or rear mounted pump panels.