The German federal states of Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern will receive a total of 46 new forest fire pumper trucks (TLF-W BB) on Tatra Force chassis with Allison 4500 Series fully automatic transmissions in the course of 2022. After successful testing and approval, the first vehicle was handed over on February 8th, 2022, in the Czech manufacturer’s plant to the fire brigade of the municipality of Kolkwitz, further vehicles are to follow quickly. The LSTE (Landesschule und Technische Einrichtung für Brand- und Katastrophenschutz - state school and technical facility for fire and disaster protection) Brandenburg together with representatives of municipal fire brigades, decided on such a vehicle configuration in order to achieve maximum robustness, off-road mobility and performance in forest fire operations
MAINZ, Germany, February 2022 – The German federal states of Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania) invest heavily in equipping their fire brigades to fight forest fires. Both states have large forest
areas and have experienced numerous, and in some cases devastating, forest fires in recent years. Former military training areas and the presence of ammunition in the ground, legacies of former ammunition depots from the Second World War, significantly
hamper firefighting efforts. Following a Europe-wide transparent tender, the LSTE Brandenburg and the central police service of the state of Brandenburg have ordered on behalf of the ministries of the interior of the two federal states 46 identical
vehicles on Tatra Force 815-7 4x4 chassis in Euro VI standard, THT body and Allison 4500 Series fully automatic transmission. The new firefighting trucks have specifically been designed to fight wild fires in rough terrain and will complement the
existing fire engines. All vehicles will go to volunteer fire departments, 11 are destined to go to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and 35 to Brandenburg.
The LSTE required these special vehicle properties in order to maximize the vehicle's robustness, off-road capability and power, while at the same time providing enhanced control and comfort for the crew. Moving an 18-ton truck quickly and efficiently
in extremely rough terrain requires complete transfer of engine power and torque to the wheels. Allison's fully automatic transmission with its patented torque converter and uninterrupted full-power shifts delivers excellent acceleration and continuous
"We absolutely depend on uncompromising performance and safety," said Maurice Kuhnert, Head of Technology at LSTE. “Drivers must be able to trust the performance of the vehicles and be in control of them at all times. A fully automatic transmission
makes the work for our volunteer emergency services much easier. The intelligent transmission logic thinks for itself and supports the driver both on the road and, above all, off-road."
The Tatra Force 815-7 4x4 has the TLF-W body type Brandenburg from the Czech body builder THT Polička and is powered by an Allison 4500 Series fully automatic transmission and a 6-cylinder diesel engine with Euro VI emission standard. Powered by a Cummins
engine rated at 291 kW (390 hp), the 18-ton truck reaches a maximum speed (limited) of 100 km/h (62 mph). The all-wheel drive delivers off-road capability at all times. The TLF-W has a water passage capability of 110 cm (and is able to drive through
water up to 110 cm) and an enormous high hill-climbing capability of 78% (equivalent to approx. 38 degrees). The extinguishing water tank holds 4,800 liters and there is an additional 180 liters of foam compound. The pump-and-roll function enables
the extinguishing process to continue while the vehicle is being moved at the same time. The entire capability profile of this vehicle type was specially adapted to the operational scenarios encountered in Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
“In recent years we've had an increase in large forest fires, which requires more of these powerful special vehicles”, said Maurice Kuhnert, Head of Technology at LSTE. “The forested area in Brandenburg is approximately 1.09 million
hectares which represents about 37% of the state’s total surface area. Large parts of it are already considered at high risk of forest fires and climate change has not even been taken into account. We expect the new TLF-W to be significantly
more effective in fighting fires and to relieve our emergency services.”
The Allison 4500 Series™ fully automated transmission — supplied and supported by NIMDA, the official Allison Authorized℠ distributor for the Czech Republic who supplies to Tatra — has been specifically designed to meet the requirements
of emergency vehicles.
“We recommend fully automatic transmissions for such vehicles, especially since the fire crews are often volunteer firefighters with comparatively little driving experience”, said Stephan Marker, Area Sales Manager at Allison Transmission.
“The easy and straightforward operation of the vehicles and the jerk-free driving simplifies the job of the drivers immensely. They do not have to change gears and can concentrate fully on the task. Allison's patented torque converter multiplies
engine torque during start-up and acceleration. And when changing gears, there is no interruption in traction, but a seamless transfer of power to the wheels.”
The integration of body and pumping equipment is also crucial to the overall efficiency of a firefighting vehicle. “Having an Allison transmission in the drive train enables the chassis, body and pump to operate together efficiently,” said
Lars Friedrich, Sales Manager Germany for THT Polička / TATRA Trucks at the German Tatra distributor Friedrich GmbH und Co. KG. “In addition the torque converter powershift transmission enables the Cummins engines to unleash their full torque.
As a result, the Tatra Force chassis can implement uncompromising traction and acceleration to emergency vehicles.”
Allison fully automatic transmissions have demonstrated outstanding reliability and robustness in the toughest conditions and as a result are used by numerous fire departments worldwide.