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Wildland Vehicles Debut at Firehouse World

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Apparatus at Firehouse World went wild this year – wildland fire that is, with five major apparatus manufacturers debuting urban interface vehicles or straight up Type III wildland vehicles.

Coverage of Firehouse World  2011

Showing new wildland vehicles in the western show were E-ONE, KME, Pierce, Smeal and Sutphen.

E-ONE, a builder based in Ocala, Fla., showed a brand new wildland vehicle at the show in San Diego, a first for the company. Built on an International 7400 4x4 cab and chassis, the new design features a stainless steel body with an integrated 500-gallon inverted T-tank.

The apparatus was built at the E-ONE New York plant in Hamburg, N.Y., and features a stainless steel subframe as well as painted composite fiberglass panels for a superior fit and finish and appearance, said William Savage, the president of E-ONE New York.

Fire suppression is achieved with a Darley 2-stage PTO, 500 gpm pump, but it can be equipped with pumps made by Hale and Waterous as well, according to E-ONE. Pump and roll capabilities are achieved with a separate diesel-powered auxiliary pump, producing 120 gpm. Savage explained that it is plumbed right into the apparatus’ E-ONE built pump manifold which provides water to all the discharges on the apparatus.

KME, a builder in Nesquehoning, Pa., also had a new Type III wildland apparatus on display. Wildland apparatus is a new market for KME and the apparatus shown at Firehouse World is a first of its kind for the manufacturer, according to the builder.

The new apparatus, which is also built on an International 7400 crew cab, 4x4 cab and chassis, features a 99-inch Galvaneal steel body with a 500-gallon poly tank by UPF. The one shown at the convention was also equipped with a Hale Qpak 1,000-gpm pump and a Darley 26-hp auxiliary pump to provide pump and roll capabilities. A unique feature on the apparatus is a remote-controlled turret on the front bumper.

Smeal Fire Apparatus, a builder in Snyder, Neb., showed its very first Type III wildland apparatus at the show. Bryan Smeal, a regional sales manager for the company, said it is a brand new venture for the company.

“When we decided to go into the market, we wanted to do it right,” Smeal said, noting that the apparatus on the show floor was the product of much research and customer feedback.

“We wanted to take care of all the problems people were having with Type III apparatus,” he said.

One of the biggest challenges is body twisting that not only makes it difficult to open compartment doors, but damaged the bodies as well.

Smeal said the company developed a body and mounting system that can easily accept 6.6 degrees of twisting with no ill effects.

The body also features coffin-style compartments on the top of the body, adjacent to the hosebed. Smeal said it will be a great place for the crews to put their personal belongings. He added that research showed wildland firefighters wanted more space for their personal items rather than trying to stuff it all in the cabs.

The new Smeal apparatus, called the RAGE, is built on an International 7400 crew cab, 4x4 cab and chassis and features a 12-gauge Galvaneal body and a 500-gallon tank made by UPF or Pro-Poly.

Fire suppression is achieved with a Hale TPD 750 gpm pump with a Hale HPX100 auxiliary pump for pump and roll capabilities.

It also has a full-enclosed 20-foot ladder and hard suction hose storage compartment and aluminum hosebed cover which can either be powered hydraulically, or manually.

Pierce and Sutphen also both debuted new wildland products at the show, both Type I urban interface units.

The Pierce apparatus, built in Appleton, Wis., is an extension of the company’s PUC (Pierce Ultimate Configuration), according to Chad M. Trinkner, Pierce platform manager for pumper, fire suppression and military products.

“The PUC has gone wild,” Trinkner said.

The product is so new for Pierce, Trinkner said the sales literature hasn’t even been printed yet.

The one at the show was built on a Pierce Arrow XL cab and chassis and is available in other cab configurations, he said.

One of the big features of the new apparatus is its 162-inch wheel base with a 29-foot overall length, Trinkner said. And, because it is a PUC, it features a Darley PTO pump which gives the apparatus pump and roll capabilities without the need for an auxiliary pump.

The unit also features a Pierce brand Husky foam system with a 1,500 gpm pump, a 500-gallon water tank with a 30-gallon foam cell, he said.

Trinkner said the apparatus received good feedback from the show and Pierce is encourage that it’s the right apparatus introduced at the right time.

Sutphen Corporation, based in Amlin, Ohio, was showing a new Type I wildland urban interface apparatus at the show in San Diego.

David Rider, Sutphen’s inside sales manager, said the new apparatus was a first for Sutphen, breaking new ground.

The cab and chassis is built by Sutphen and has all the characteristics of a Sutphen, with some subtle differences, like a painted front bumper and flush headlights, built into the front of the cab – a significant appearance change from traditional Sutphens.

The apparatus is built on a Sutphen custom cab and chassis with a 167-inch wheel base and an overall length of 27 feet four inches.

For fire suppression, it has a Hale Qmax 1,500 gpm pump, and a 650-gallon tank. It is also equipped with a Hale Foam Logix 3.3 system with a 20-gallon foam tank. The extruded aluminum body features Sutphen’s signature Huck bolt fasteners.

Rider said Sutphen decided to enter the Type I market after being requested to by requests from customers of its aerial and pumper lines.

“We think it’s a good market for us to be in,” Rider said.