HME Completes Acquisition of Ahrens-Fox

March 15, 2016
HME, Inc., has announced that it has finalized the acquisition of the Ahrens-Fox brand name in 2016.

HME, Inc., has announced that it has finalized the acquisition of the Ahrens-Fox brand name in 2016. Since 2000 HME has licensed the use of the Ahrens-Fox brand for its fire apparatus products. The acquisition of the Ahrens-Fox brand provides HME with complete ownership and licensing of the Ahrens-Fox name, logo, symbols, assets, parts and documents.

“The licensing of the Ahrens-Fox brand, by HME paid tribute to a great American Fire Truck Manufacturer,” said VP, Engineering Ken Lenz. “Ahrens-Fox represented an iconic fire apparatus manufacturer that was renowned for its innovations and the superior quality of its fire trucks. The final and complete acquisition of the Ahrens-Fox brand assures the preservation of this great fire industry treasure, as well as a continuation of its legacy of innovation.”

Both HME and Ahrens-Fox have made their mark on the fire industry through notable contributions and innovations. Ahrens-Fox, founded in 1910 by Chris Ahrens and Charles Fox, produced its first motorized fire apparatus in 1911. Recognized for the introduction of the innovative “Chrome Sphere” that held air and smoothed the water flow from the pump, Ahrens-Fox also led the way with a number of other advancements that included the introduction of the booster tank, in 1913, which eliminated the need for firefighters to handle dangerous sulphuric acid bottles and made triplecombination pumpers (pump, hose, and booster tank) practical.

Other Ahrens-Fox innovations included double banking of ladders, an aerial ladder hoist powered by a small engine-driven compressor and a hydrant thawing device consisting of a small boiler attached to the exhaust manifold.

In 1917 an Ahrens-Fox was the first pumper to drive water over the then tallest building in the world, the 60-story Woolworth Building in New York City. Ahrens- Fox fire apparatus were frequently referred to as the “Rolls-Royce of Fire Engines” for their beauty and fine quality.

HME also traces its roots back to another industry giant, the Hendrickson Motor Truck Company, founded by Magnus Hendrickson, an innovative designer of truck chassis. Through the years, and mergers, HME (Hendrickson Motor Equipment) became a dedicated manufacturer of premium fire apparatus chassis and eventually evolved into a manufacturer of complete fire apparatus.

HME became known, like Ahrens-Fox, for its innovations and industry “firsts.” HME was the first apparatus manufacturer to introduce the tilt-cab concept to the fire industry in 1983.

A succession of other firsts followed such as an advanced engine fan-shroud design and cooling systems that offered improved cooling performance. HME also introduced the first compressed natural gas powered fire truck, touchscreen controls, tandem steer-axle aerials and automatic suspension control systems.

HME Ahrens-Fox apparatus also became renowned for their industry leading turning radius and corrosion resistant stainless steel bodies, featuring aircraft quality construction for longer service life and more efficient and lower cost body repairs. Most recent innovations include proprietary CAFs systems, several patent pending features for its own line of HME Aerial Products, introduced in 2014.

“At HME we are dedicated to living up to the Ahrens-Fox legacy by striving to build smarter and better performing fire apparatus,” said Lenz. “Our recent move to total vertical integration of all of manufacturing process in the last year has given us the ability to quickly incorporate new innovations and technologies. We really are building “smarter” fire apparatus on a daily basis."

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