Allison transmissions equipped with fire trucks for U.S. Army in Germany. A few months ago, fire departments of the U.S. Army in Germany started operating eight new Scania fire trucks (structural pumpers) equipped with Rosenbauer-body and Allison 4000 Series™ fully automatic transmission. The U.S. Army has opted for this vehicle configuration for some years now due to its advantages in terms of training, deployment and maintenance.
“So far, the transmissions have fulfilled all requirements of the U.S. Army with regards to performance, operation and maintenance,” said Sigurd Mack, Fire Protection Specialist at the U.S. Army Installation Management Command’s European Headquarters in Sembach near Kaiserslautern. “This also applies to the integrated hydraulic retarder and the Power Take-Off with the pump and roll function. It enables us to maneuver the vehicle safely and, at the same time, operate the water pump via the Power Take-Off – which is indispensable for efficient firefighting. For our operations and emergency responses good acceleration, easy handling and robustness are essential.”
According to the American NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) 1901 (Standard for Fire Apparatus) directive for firefighting vehicles, fully automatic transmissions are mandatory for heavy firefighting vehicles. In its solicitation, the U.S. Army has not only specified fully automatic transmissions, but also identified the specially designed transmission software for emergency vehicles. “A fully automatic transmission will only properly benefit the driver during operation if the shift pattern is tuned to the vehicle and the transmission works together effectively with the driver. It has to meet the specific mission for emergency response,” said Mack.
Allison fully automatic transmissions differ from other technologies. Among other things, their specially developed shift calibration programs for fire services which, combined with continuous powershifting, result in improved acceleration, higher average speed, and thus faster response times.
The fully automatic Allison transmission with its patented torque converter and Continuous Power Technology™ multiplies engine torque during vehicle start-up and acceleration. Gear changes are made without interruption, resulting in the smooth transfer of power to the drive wheels and maximum efficiency between engine and transmission.
“The transmissions shift smoothly at precisely the right moment, allowing the driver to concentrate fully on the road, which contributes significantly to accident prevention,” said Mack.
“In addition, to have competent and highly skilled service technicians, as well as spare parts service locally available greatly limits down time and contributes to our readiness,” said Mack. “The transmission manufacturer infrastructure has also supported our goals so far in this regard.”
Allison fully automatic transmissions have demonstrated their outstanding reliability and durability under extremely difficult conditions, and are consequently used by numerous fire brigade fleets worldwide. There are currently about 70 Allison fully automated vehicles in the fire truck fleet of the U.S. Army in Germany.