MAINZ, 04.05.2015. For many years, the Dorsten fire brigade used four Mercedes-Benz Vario chassis for ambulances, but Daimler ceased Vario production with the introduction of Euro 6. Local DAF dealer Wietholt provided an Allison-equipped LF45 chassis to test drive with convincing results.
The vehicle has a very low assembly height – similar to Vario – and is equipped with a good dimensioned brake system. The air compressor is mounted on the four-cylinder diesel engine, reducing vibrations and the modern engine technology means a quieter, more comfortable driver’s cab.
According to Stephan Jansen, technical head of vehicle procurement for Dorsten’s fire brigade, with the Vario no longer an option, an appropriate alternative needed to be found.
“The chassis should include an Allison fully automatic transmission,” said Jansen. “And at DAF we finally found what we needed – an Allison-equipped vehicle with rear-axle air suspension, a spacious cab, a small turning radius and a gross vehicle weight of at least 7.5 tons.”
Automatics are recommended by the Technical Commission of Firefighters Association North Rhine-Westphalia, and the Allison Automatic was an important factor in the purchase decision.
“We have had very good experiences with Allison transmissions in the past,” said Jansen. “The smooth, jerk-free gear changes ensure safe, patient-friendly transportation. Additionally, as the driver doesn’t need to shift or use the clutch, he can fully concentrate on driving the vehicle.”
Three additional vehicle replacements are due to follow within the next four years.
“If the new ambulance vehicle proves its worth, we will purchase further DAF chassis,” said Georg Besten, technical administrator at Dorsten’s Fire Brigade. “With the Allison dealer Kronenberg in Kamp-Lintfort, the DAF dealer Wietholt in Dorsten and the body manufacturer GSF in Twist, we have cooperative, responsive contacts nearby.”
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