Chassis Update - Part 2

In the August 1997 issue, FirehouseĀ® Magazine presented the first part of a report providing information from manufacturers on the latest developments in the fire apparatus chassis industry. This article continues that report.

Emergency One Inc.

If you're looking for the latest developments in the industry, look for E-One. Emergency One is the industry leader in quality, advanced-design fire rescue vehicles. Emergency One engineers and manufactures the Cyclone II, Hurricane and Hush vehicles. Each Emergency One chassis features advanced designed and integrated operation systems.

Photo courtesy of Emergency One
The Hush chassis allows for uncommon versatility and options for customization to meet a fire department's needs.

The following information covers the newest developments found in Emergency One fire rescue vehicles.

Cyclone II. The advanced design of Emergency One's Cyclone II provides exceptional safety, comfort and performance abilities in an integrated chassis. Designed for outstanding crew protection, the Cyclone II is formed of heavy-duty aluminum extrusion framing with an integral structural roll cage covered with a 3/16ths-inch-thick cab skin for the most rugged and durable cab on the market. Focusing on safety, the Cyclone II's advanced design was specifically developed to comply with the latest NFPA 1901 standards.

The Cyclone II's flexible engine-forward design maximizes comfort and space with four cab size options. In addition, Vista roof options of 12, 16 and 20 inches are available. However, even on medium-length cabs featuring the current larger in-line six-cylinder engines, the forward design allows for ample crew space in the back with forward-facing seats on the rear wall. Furthermore, the comfort of easy crew entry and exit is provided by E-One's standard full-height rear doors on all Vista roofs.

Maximum crew comfort is also maintained through a new air conditioning system designed and tested specifically for the Cyclone II. The new system not only cools fast, it incorporates fresh-air inlets which greatly improve defrosting and de-icing.

Photo courtesy of Emergency One
The Hurricane chassis has been redesigned to include the cab tilt as a standard feature.

For driving performance, the Cyclone II has a steering cramp angle up to 45 degrees, providing excellent maneuverability and responsiveness. Furthermore, the new steering system is certified up to 18,700 pounds GAWR without an assist cylinder and features a high-capacity power steering pump for greatly improved slow speed steering response, exceptional tracking and handling ability.

With engine certifications for Detroit Diesel engines up to 500 hp and Cummins engines up to 525 hp, E-One's Cyclone II is equipped with the highest capacity engine cooling system available. This is the first cooling system designed to accommodate the high heat loads of the new transmission retarders on the MD and HD series of Allison World transmissions. E-One's Cyclone II is engineered to ensure reliable heavy-duty performance.

The advanced design of the Cyclone II chassis is engineered to match all Emergency One fire rescue vehicle types, from pumpers to aerials, enabling the creation of standardized fleets with consistent maintenance requirements.

Hurricane Tilt. E-One's Hurricane chassis has recently been redesigned to include the cab tilt as a standard feature. The cab tilt function provides unparalleled access to the engine, transmission, radiator, charge air cooler and batteries.

Accommodating new developments in our Bronto product line, the Hurricane chassis is now configured with a tandem front axle design incorporating tandem front steering for outstanding maneuverability. In addition, full independent suspension is available on both 4x2 and 6x4 chassis configurations for the highest performance suspension, axle and braking system, available today. Incomparable to any other system, E-One's fully independent suspension provides shorter stopping distances, minimal brake fade, long brake life, smooth ride and outstanding directional control.

New developments in the Hurricane chassis include a redesigned engine cooling system with a 1,249-square-inch radiator which accommodates engines up to 500 hp. The Hurricane's new cooling system eliminates the need for an engine cooling tunnel between the officer and driver, and allows for an open seating arrangement in the front cab section. The significant increase in cab space and comfort provides more flexibility in seating arrangements, storage areas or equipment mounting locations. The standard Hurricane cab length of 67.5 inches maintains seating availability for up to seven personnel and has options for a shorter 58-inch cab. In addition, the Hurricane is available with Vista roofs featuring full-height doors in non-aerial applications.

Hush. E-One's Hush chassis allows for uncommon versatility and options for customization to meet a department's needs. Initially, Emergency One developed the Hush chassis with a rear engine and rear-mounted radiator. However, through continuous innovations at E-One the new Hush chassis is also available with mid-engine layouts or rear engine with side-mounted radiators.

Emergency One's Hush chassis has always stood for a large, open cab interior with the lowest noise levels possible and the highest performance abilities. Maintaining the stringent noise standards of the original Hush, the new engine offerings coupled with a redesigned transfer case provide even lower noise levels and the highest performance. E-One's Hush is available with the Cummins M11 engine up to 450 hp and the Detroit Diesel Series 50 engine up to 350 hp. In addition, a special EMS patient transport configuration is available with the Cummins 6CTA at up to 325 hp. Furthermore, for a short wheelbase and exceptional maneuverability, the Hush is available with a Detroit Diesel Series 50 engine featuring a side-mounted radiator and charge air cooler. This design allows for excellent engine access through a rear grill and keeps the rear overhang to a minimum.

Photo courtesy of Emergency One
The Concept 2000 is a prototype vehicle designed and developed to represent the next era of fire-rescue vehicles.

The Hush becomes the best balanced and highest performing chassis when coupled with E-One's fully independent suspension system. This system, which has been thoroughly field tested in one of the most demanding fire-rescue environments in the world, is available with the Cummins M11 engine up to 450 hp or the Mack E7 V-MAC up to 350 hp.

The latest offering in the Hush series is our all-new mid-engine Hush for aerial devices. This system is designed around the Cummins M11 450 hp electronic engine located immediately behind the cab. The radiator and charge air cooler are mounted on the right side pump panel area and are cooled by a hydraulic fan system. This package allows the personnel riding in aerial apparatus the benefits of a large, open cab area that has a lower interior noise level than any other aerial chassis available. The water pump is mounted under the cab and is driven off the crankshaft of the engine. The cab is designed with a fully hydraulic tilt mechanism allowing excellent access to the pump, water plumbing, and engine for routine maintenance.

Concept 2000. Emergency One's newest member is called the Concept 2000. The Concept 2000 is a prototype vehicle which Emergency One has designed and developed representing the next era of fire rescue vehicles. E-One's engineers and technicians have designed the Concept 2000 with exceptional advancements in safety, performance, endurance, dependability and efficiency.

Photo courtesy of Emergency One
The Cyclone II's advanced design of Emergency One's Cyclone II provides exceptional safety, comfort and performance abilities in an integrated chassis.

The Concept 2000's outstanding aerodynamic styling and unprecedented ease of long-term exterior maintenance are made possible by Millennium III, an extraordinary new composite polymer material. Millennium III enabled Emergency One to incorporate geometric curves for enhanced looks along with increased functionality in performance and maintenance. This emerging technology of materials provides an automotive finish with corrosion resistance, unparalleled dimensional stability, resiliency to cracks or dents, with an inherent energy-absorbent system resulting in impact strength, and an overall weight reduction of 20%.

The Concept 2000's cab construction transcends the ultimate in crew security. The frame is engineered with large aluminum extrusions, while the exterior is fabricated with large thermoformed panels of composite Millennium III material. The Millennium III thermoformed panels are precisely molded for a perfect fit and finish.

Each Emergency One fire rescue vehicle maintains the highest levels of quality, safety, comfort and performance. Through advanced chassis design and engineering, E-One continues to set the pace for technological advances in the industry.

Pierce Manufacturing Inc.

During the past 15 months, Pierce new product development experts have been collecting direct customer input on its fire apparatus and the future of firefighting. As a result, Pierce is in the midst of re-engineering its popular line of fire chassis to incorporate this customer feedback.

With three major new products this year, it means that Pierce, in just over three years, will have introduced its new Quantum and Hawk models, redesigned one of its existing chassis, unveiled a concept first-response vehicle, introduced ALL STEERĀ® all-wheel steering system, introduced independent suspension to the fire industry and offered the first easy-to-use Husky multiple-class foam systems.

The three projects Pierce Manufacturing introduced this fall are the all-new Dash 2000 chassis, its first independent suspension and the Hawk Wildland Rapid Response Vehicle.

Dash 2000. The Dash 2000 is all new from the ground up the cab interior has been revamped to be more open; maneuverability has been improved for quicker response times; and the chassis offers a smoother ride.

Photo courtesy of Pierce Manufacturing Inc.
Pierce's Dash 2000 is all new, with a roomier cab, increased maneuverability and a smoother ride.

Pierce's engineers and designers completely restructured the cab. The cross tunnel was eliminated and the engine tunnel was lowered by eight inches. Because there is no cross tunnel, the officer's and driver's seats have been moved back several inches for more leg room. The result is a truly open cab.

For the driver, the cab offers better visibility through an expansive windshield. There is better visibility to the sides and the rear via rear-view mirrors because of improved side windows. The new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system is more powerful and integrated into the instrument panel, allowing warm air to circulate upward to effectively defrost the windshield. The driver has a wrap-around cockpit-like dashboard and overhead panel, which places the vehicle's gauges and controls within easy view and reach. The cab insulation is now 50 percent thicker to reduce both noise and temperature extremes.

The steering cramp angle has been increased from 40 to 45 degrees, even on large tires. This makes the Dash 2000 agile enough to navigate through congested traffic, around tight corners and in narrow streets in older cities or newer suburbs.

The Dash 2000 features a heftier deep drop frame similar to the one used on the Quantum chassis and a taper leaf suspension. The larger heat-treated frame rails curtail frame deflection and body roll so that handling and ride quality are improved.

Like all of Pierce's custom firefighting chassis, the Dash 2000 will be available in a pumper, aerial, rescue and tanker configurations. The Dash 2000 offers a range of engines, from 320 to 500 hp, with Allison MD or HD automatic transmissions. Among the options available are ALL-STEER electronic all-wheel steering and the multiple-class Husky Foam System.

Independent Suspension. Pierce also recently unveiled its first independent suspension to the fire industry. This suspension provides less unsprung mass, a softer spring rate and more wheel travel than a conventional suspension. As a result, the chassis provides a smoother ride, increased traction and more maneuverability. On a fire truck, independent suspension can also extend the useful life of the vehicle by reducing the effect of road vibration on the chassis and body.

The suspension geometry improves driver control of the vehicle by minimizing the camber change as the suspension travels up and down over road features. In addition, the torsion bar and shock absorber location together contribute to a compact suspension that allows for a steering cramp angle of 45 degrees.

The independent suspension system was developed by Pierce's parent company, Oshkosh Truck Corp., and is patented. It is similar in design to the independent suspension system used on Oshkosh's Phoenix eight-wheel-drive all-terrain firefighting vehicle.

Hawk Wildland Rapid Response Vehicle. The new four-wheel-drive Hawk Wildland Rapid Response Vehicle (RRV) will easily take firefighters into off-road terrain that can be difficult or even impassable for larger, two-wheel-drive pumpers. The Hawk was created by Pierce specifically for the demanding situations of wildland and urban-interface firefighting. The truck incorporates the latest modern firefighting technology to deliver quick flame knockdown in hard-to-reach locations.

The idea of the vehicle is to be a first-strike truck that can reach fires in rough terrain before they threaten homes and lives. With its four-wheel-drive and high ground clearance, the truck can navigate tough terrain to reach a fire while it's still manageable.

The Hawk Wildland RRV is equipped with the 120-cubic-feet-per-minute (cfm) Pneumax compressed-air foam system that increases its fire suppression capability by seven times that of water alone. The truck features a lightweight polypropylene tank that holds up to 850 gallons of water and can be equipped with integral Class A foam tanks in a range of capacities. In a typical configuration, this gives the vehicle the same firefighting capability as nearly 6,000 gallons of plain water.

Two firefighters can battle a blaze from inside the vehicle's cab. There the crew can control the 300-gpm bumper turret, which can discharge water, foam solution or compressed air foam. The vehicle can be equipped with booster hose reels, cross-lay hose reels and front and rear discharge connections. All of these outlets are supplied by a single-stage, centrifugal cross-mount water pump that is powered by a dedicated diesel engine mounted in the pump compartment. Pumps are available in capacities from 300 to 1,000 gpm and can be driven by a PTO or by a separate engine. A 200-cfm compressed air system is also available.

Four body styles are available, so the cab-to-axle measurement can be as short as 77 inches. All bodies ride on a Navistar four-wheel-drive chassis with diesel engine ratings of 250 to 325 hp.

At Fire-Rescue International in August 1997, Pierce announced that in the coming months it will completely rework another of its popular chassis. This next model redesign will also benefit from Pierce's on-going re-engineering plan to manufacture fire apparatus suited for future needs based on direct customer input.