Chassis Update

An update of the latest advancements in the chassis industry from manufacturers of fire apparatus chassis.


Firehouse® Magazine asked manufacturers of fire apparatus chassis to describe for our readers the latest developments in the industry. The following reports were provided by the manufacturers. American LaFrance Freightliner Photo by Firehouse Staff American LaFrance...


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Firehouse® Magazine asked manufacturers of fire apparatus chassis to describe for our readers the latest developments in the industry. The following reports were provided by the manufacturers.

American LaFrance Freightliner

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Photo by Firehouse Staff
American LaFrance Freightliner

The new American LaFrance Eagle is a worthy heir apparent to the 162-year-old American LaFrance heritage of classic styling, innovation and superb quality. Its development combined the world-class resources of Freightliner and Mercedes-Benz to ensure that this chassis would represent the apex of fire apparatus performance. Just look at the flowing lines, the bright metal and the luster of the paint. Notice the outstanding fit-and-finish, starting with the smooth closing, tight-fitting doors the result of a highly tooled cab structure incorporating modern design and manufacturing techniques, many pioneered by Freightliner.

The wide offset steps and wide opening doors of our refined entry system lead to one of the most spacious interiors ever designed for custom fire trucks. The driver commands superb visibility, thanks in part to one of the lowest doghouses in the industry. Beautifully organized gauges and a unique Officer Information Display put all the right information right before your eyes.

With four cab configurations (134-inch and 148-inch CBC in flat or raised roof models) and a huge array of seating and other interior options to choose from, the Eagle's interior can be perfectly tuned to your needs.

No one works more closely with body builders to streamline and simplify the body installation process. From our own factory-installed single- and two-stage midship pumps to customized component placement, you'll benefit from less need for rework and no compromise to vehicle integrity.

Finally, American LaFrance Eagle owners can take full advantage of Freightliner's unequalled commitment to total customer support from 24-hour-a-day corporate and dealer operations to leading-edge systems and software that benefits every phase of ownership from chassis specification to service.

HME Inc.

If your fire or emergency service operation is looking for a vehicle with multiple or special response capability, would you be interested in a performance-oriented, custom chassis to put under that unit?

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Photo by Firehouse Staff
HME Inc.

Say you want a rescue or squad unit, a type II or III ambulance, a utility command unit, a brush/wildland fire attacker or a first-response vehicle with rescue, water tank and pump capability as well. Would an affordable, lightweight, custom chassis be of interest?

Would you prefer to purchase a custom chassis, built by a well-known fire apparatus manufacturer with over 75 years of experience, rather than a standard commercial chassis on which to build your unit?

And wouldn't it really get your attention if the custom chassis cost less than a mass-produced, commercial chassis?

Well, meet the latest chassis from HME, the SFO Lite. Along with a host of quality features, the SFO Lite boasts the brand-new ISB 275 Cummins dedicated fire apparatus engine as standard. Package it all at a base price under $68,500 and you'll be certain to get a lot of attention for this custom truck.

The heritage of this new vehicle is HME's successful SFO custom fire apparatus chassis. The SFO, which stands for Short-Front-Overhang, is the only chassis that offers 45-degree angle of front wheel cramp. This advanced steering design makes SFO the shortest turning radius vehicle among comparable length fire apparatus.

With the introduction of the SFO Lite, HME Inc. expands on these exciting features to create a dependable, lightweight chassis specifically designed for other types of emergency response vehicles.

The SFO Lite can accommodate a variety of bodies and configurations. With a 31,000 Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, the SFO Lite is remarkably strong and versatile.

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