The best new multi-purpose fire trucks

Apparatus fresh on the market offers enhanced emergency response performance for wildland and structural firefighting


If you've attended any of the fire industry shows around the country so far this year, you would have noticed that many apparatus manufacturers had new wildland-urban interface vehicles on display.

The new apparatus offers enhanced emergency response performance for wildland and structural firefighting, especially in regions of the country such as the West Coast where areas of housing are adjacent to undeveloped wildland vegetation.

It seems there's a growing trend within the fire apparatus industry to build multi-purpose vehicles that are suitable for different conditions and responses.

The E-One wildland vehicle is constructed of stainless steel subframe and painted composite fiberglass panels. It is built on the lnternational 7400 4x4 chassis, and has a 500 gallon inverted T water tank. It also features a Darley 2-Stage PTO driven 500gpm pump with optional pumps made by Waterous and Hale, as well as pump and roll capabilities with an auxiliary diesel pump producing 120gpm.

KME's entry into the market is also constructed on the popular International 7400 4x4 chassis. The truck features a 99 inch body constructed of galvanneal steel with a 500 gallon tank built by UPF. It is equipped with a HaleQpak 1000gpm pump and a Darley 26hp auxiliary pump to provide pump and roll. The front bumper mounted remote control turret gives the vehicle added protection and capabilities.

Pierce's PUC WUI vehicle offers the flexibility to address wildfires and natural disasters, with its standard pump and roll capability allowing the vehicle to simultaneously move position while fighting a fire.

The apparatus features a wheelbase as short as 162-inches and all-wheel drive is available for off-road performance. In addition, the PUC technology frees space while improving function. Because of its space saving design, the PUC wildland-urban interface vehicle offers 200 cubic feet of storage space for rescue and EMS equipment.

The fact that it is available on all of Pierce's chassis should also prove to be a big selling point. Not only will you be able to use this vehicle for the WUI, but it can be also used for structure fires, auto and dumpster fires and could also be fitted with rescue tools and used for auto extrication if need be.

Smeal wanted to unveil a vehicle that had conquered some of the Type III wildland vehicle problems encountered by other manufacturers. Body twisting is a common problem for these types of vehicles, as well as damaging bodies and compartment doors that become out of alignment.
The company developed a new mounting system that accepts 6.6 degrees of twisting with no problems encountered.

The new vehicle is called the Rage and has additional compartment space on the top of the hose bed for storage of firefighter personal gear. The vehicle, as the others mentioned above, is built on the International 7400 4x4 chassis. Body construction is 12 gauge galvanneal, and features a 500 gallon tank that can be built by UPF or Pro-Poly.

The pump is a Hale 750gpm with a Hale HPX100 auxillary pump for pump and roll. The hosebed is covered by an aluminum cover that can be controlled manually or hydraulically.

Sutphen's entry into the market, like Pierce, is built on one of its custom chassis and is a Type I vehicle. The notable difference is that it has flush headlights and a painted front bumper. The body is constructed of aluminum and has a short wheelbase, 167 inches to be exact with an overall length of 27 feet four inches.

The vehicles also feature a Hale Qmax 1500 pump, a larger option and a 650 gallon tank. Also available is Hale's Foam Logix 3.3 system with a 20 gallon foam tank.

Look at these vehicles — they may solve some of your immediate and future goals for a multi-use fire apparatus purchase. If doing more with less is your goal, then all of these rigs may be for you.

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