The new special purpose vehicle is the first of several operational fire department vehicles with an Allison transmission.
DOS, Germany, June 14, 2022 – The Chemiepark Knapsack in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, is a closed and gated industrial area covering approximately 180 hectares. The industrial park was developed by the service provider and site operator Yncoris and is home to some thirty companies working in the chemical sector. Due to the nature of the fleet’s production, including chemicals, plastics, industrial gases and compressed air, an on-site fire department, which has 14 vehicles and approximately 40 firefighters, is a key component park infrastructure.
Based on the specific requirements of the Chemiepark Knapsack fire department, a unique vehicle was designed and manufactured. Among other equipment features, an Allison fully automatic transmission was specified for the large 12-meter-long firefighting vehicle. In order to move the 40-tonne truck quickly and in a controlled manner around the winding industrial site in an emergency, the engine’s power and torque must be fully and continuously transferred to the wheels. The Allison transmission’s patented torque converter and full-power uninterrupted shifts deliver exceptional acceleration and continuous traction. In case of emergency, firefighters should go to any place in the chemical park within 5 minutes to start firefighting operations.
“We mainly do short distances at the factory. There are a lot of turns, turns and intersections, so we constantly have to slow down and speed up. It’s very impressive to see the improvement in acceleration during the use of a fully automatic transmission. speed right away and there’s no bottoming like with automated manual transmissions. And the control of the vehicle is just superior, which our employees really appreciate,” explained Dennis Scholzen, Technology Manager of the Chemiepark Knapsack On-Site Fire Department.
The large tank pump of the MAN TGS 41.480 8×4 BB with Empl body is equipped with an Allison 4500 fully automatic transmission and a 6-cylinder diesel engine with a displacement of 12.4 liters. Powered by the MAN D26 engine with an output of 353 kW (473 hp) and a torque of 1,900 Nm from 1,000 rpm, the 41-tonne vehicle can reach a top speed of 100 km/h ( 62mph).
The largest part of the vehicle body houses the 9,500 liter extinguishing water tank, together with an additional 4,500 liter foam tank and a 500 kg powder extinguishing system. The centrifugal fire pump is installed in the aft technical compartment and has a capacity of 8,000 l/min at 10 bar. The 360° rotatable Skorpio extinguishing arm located on the roof can be extended up to a length of 25 meters using a remote control system. Its flow rate in this position is 3,500 liters per minute. This makes it possible to hit targets at a distance of up to 90 meters – a significant advantage for emergency services.
The Allison transmission’s pump and roll feature allows firefighting operation to continue while the vehicle is in motion. “This is a huge advantage, as it allows us to maneuver the vehicle safely and at the same time operate the water pump via the PTO, which is essential for effective firefighting. With an automated manual transmission, that wouldn’t be possible,” said Denis Scholzen. “Overall, the two transmission PTOs for the water pump and hydraulics work extremely well with the equipment.”
“We really like this vehicle setup with a fully automatic transmission. It delivers the power to the wheels much better than an AMT. We didn’t expect such a big difference, so as a result we have already ordered three more vehicles with Allison transmissions from Empl: two 4-axle trucks and one 2-axle truck,” says Ralf Lassmann, chief of the plant fire department at Chemiepark Knapsack.
“Allison fully automatic transmissions have proven superior performance in terms of acceleration, reliability and ruggedness under the most demanding conditions and are therefore used by many fire departments worldwide,” said Stephan Marker, Regional Sales Manager Allison Transmission. “They also differ from other technologies because of the special fire performance calibration. The only way for a fully automatic transmission to truly relieve driver pressure during emergency journeys is if the shift strategy is precisely suitable for these vehicles and that the transmission works efficiently in conjunction with the driver.”
EMPL exhibits at Interschutz the large firefighting tank truck of the Chemiepark Knapsack factory fire brigade, as well as other tailor-made vehicles (June 20-25, Interschutz, Hannover, Germany, hall 27, stand B30) .