Germany’s fire department training facility, The Institut der Feuerwehr NRW (IdF NRW), has ordered 109 Magirus LF20-KatS vehicles on behalf of the North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of the Interior. The Euro 6 emission standard vehicles, on MAN TGM 18.340 BB 4x4 chassis with Allison 3000 Series™ fully automatic transmissions, form the largest ever order for firefighting vehicles in the state.
A total of 38 vehicles have been delivered to local fire departments, with another 30 scheduled for delivery by September 2021 and the rest to follow by the end of 2022, reflecting a delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
IdF selected fully automatic transmissions with a torque converter, allowing the continuous supply of power to the wheels The IdF NRW opted for this vehicle configuration to maximize driver control, comfort and economy. Rather than an automated manual transmission (AMT), the institute selected fully automatic transmissions with a torque converter, allowing the continuous supply of power to the wheels.
The key factors behind the decision were the transmissions’ ability to provide improved acceleration, excellent off-road capability, reduced wear and, above all, an increase in driver control and comfort for the vehicle’s nine-member crew.
Intelligent transmission logic
“It is important to us that the overall configuration of this vehicle offers maximum safety for the crew. The smoother and safer the ride, the more confidence the crew has in the vehicle,” said Chief Fire Officer Sebastian Datema, Deputy Head of the Department of Technology and Technical Service at the Institut der Feuerwehr NRW.
"We get very positive feedback from the local fire departments about the Allison fully automatic transmission. The intelligent transmission logic thinks for itself and supports the driver both on- and off-road."
MAN TGM with Magirus body
The MAN TGM 18.340 BB 4x4 with Magirus body is driven by an Allison 3000 Series™ fully automatic transmission and a Euro 6 6-cylinder diesel engine with an output of 251 kW (340 PS) and can achieve a maximum speed of 100 km/h. The all-wheel-drive provides off-road capability at any time.
The LF 20 KatS is able to drive through water up to 90 cm and can manoeuvre at a tilt angle of up to 32 degrees, which has a very positive effect on cornering. The water tank has a capacity of 1,000 litres. The complete package of vehicle and equipment has been adapted to the rescue scenarios encountered in North Rhine-Westphalia and far exceeds standard specifications.
LF20-KatS disaster control vehicles
The LF20-KatS disaster control and civil protection vehicles must be ready for operation in the event of major infrastructure failure such as those caused by nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) threats, and floods. They provide emergency medical services and assistance to citizens. In addition, the vehicles are used for local fire protection in the communities.
“In recent years we have had an increase in incidents for which these powerful vehicles are needed," said Matthias Kalthöner, Government Fire Director and Head of the Technology and Technical Service Department at IdF NRW. “These are, for example, supralocal assistance in so-called large-scale operations and disasters such as floods, forest fires, severe weather conditions or NBC defence. The vehicles are currently enjoying a high level of acceptance among local fire departments."
Allison 3000 Series transmission
Designed for the requirements of emergency vehicles, the drivers don't have to change gears The Allison 3000 Series™ transmission has been specifically designed for the requirements of emergency vehicles. “We recommend fully automatic transmissions for these vehicles, especially since the fire services are largely run by volunteer firefighters,” said Stephan Marker, Germany Market Development Manager at Allison Transmission.
“The easy manoeuvrability of the vehicles simplifies the work of the drivers. They don't have to change gears and can focus fully on the job and the road, moving at speed. Allison's patented torque converter multiplies engine torque during start-up and acceleration. There is no interruption in traction during gear shifts but a seamless transfer of power to the wheels."
“With the series release of Allison transmissions, MAN has responded to the request of numerous fire departments for a drive configuration that offers outstanding performance, reliability and ease of operation in extremely challenging conditions,” said Harald Rosenauer, Account Manager for MAN at Allison Transmission.
“Allison’s torque converter transmission enables MAN engines to deliver full-power shifts. This enables the MAN TGM chassis to provide exceptional traction and acceleration for emergency vehicles.”
Allison fully automatic transmissions have demonstrated exceptional reliability and robustness in the most demanding conditions and as a result, are used by numerous firefighting fleets worldwide.