Apparatus Chief Engineers Roundtable

Firehouse conducts a Q&A with the chief engineers of apparatus manufacturers and discusses 2007 vehicle emissions standards.


Firehouse Magazine recently asked fire apparatus manufacturers to join a roundtable addressing the important issue of the 2007 vehicle emissions standards. Specifically, we invited apparatus manufacturers' chief engineers or their representatives to describe the ways in which they are working with...


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Firehouse Magazine recently asked fire apparatus manufacturers to join a roundtable addressing the important issue of the 2007 vehicle emissions standards. Specifically, we invited apparatus manufacturers' chief engineers or their representatives to describe the ways in which they are working with their customers to meet those standards. We asked each company to discuss what the new standards mean to fire departments purchasing apparatus, installation of new engines, and ways in which manufacturers are helping departments design and build apparatus capable of carrying all of the equipment and supplies needed to respond to all types of emergencies. We thank the companies that participated in this roundtable and invite all apparatus manufacturers to participate in upcoming exchanges of important information.

AMERICAN LaFRANCE

Doug Kelley
Pumper Product Manager
American LaFrance
Doug Kelley, the pumper product manager for American LaFrance, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1991 with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering. He served in the Navy until 1996. During that time, he graduated from the Navy's Damage Control Assistant School with training in firefighting and rescue. He also was a 2.5-year member of the damage control training team on the cruiser USS Mississippi out of Norfolk, VA. From 1996 to 2003, Kelley was chief engineer for S&S Fire Apparatus. He oversaw the development of many new products, including the industry's first commercial non-metallic elliptical tanker. Kelley has worked for American LaFrance since 2003.

Firehouse: What do 2007 emission standards mean to the fire department buying an apparatus when these standards change? What does it mean to the fire apparatus manufacturer that must install a new engine?

Kelley: American LaFrance has been working closely with engine manufacturers to manage the implementation of the 2007 standards. This will be a major change in engine and emissions control. The heart of the issue is that the new standards require significantly lower nitrous oxide (NOX) and particulate emissions.

Engine manufacturers are each handling the technical details in their own way. However, there are three universal consequences. First, the engines will be getting bigger and more complex, especially for larger horsepower configurations. Second, the engines will require a significant increase in heat rejection, so the cooling packages will need to be redesigned and enlarged. Third, the aftertreatment and exhaust systems will greatly increase in complexity and importance.

The increase in size of the engine and cooling system means that most manufacturers are going to have to make major changes in cab design. The engine and radiator will require more volume and air flow, and thus, the cab tunnels will be wider and/or taller. The exterior dimensions of the cab may also change to preserve interior room.

The increase of complexity means that there will be several new devices, both electronic and mechanical, mounted on the engine to make sure the engine is functioning properly. This will impact the ability of many service facilities to maintain the engines at their current level of training.

The change to the aftertreatment systems means that it will no longer be acceptable to simply relocate the muffler at will. The muffler/diesel particulate filter will be increasing in size, and therefore the body and pump systems will need to be specifically designed to accommodate it. In addition, there will be electronic sensors installed in the aftertreatment system, including near the tailpipe, to monitor system performance. There will be an operational impact in that periodically the system will require a regeneration cycle in which the engine operates at a higher RPM and higher temperature to clear the particulate filter. Finally, the aftertreatment system will become a serviceable part of the vehicle with periodic maintenance required.

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