Safety
ex factory.

Econic 2635 as a future-proof industrial fire-fighting vehicle for the factory fire brigade in the truck assembly plant in Wörth.

Fire protection, hazard control and rescue – true professionals who are prepared for every eventuality are required for the many different tasks of the factory fire brigade in the world’s largest truck assembly plant: in Wörth am Rhein the fire-fighters are responsible for the safety of more than 10,000 employees and a factory covering a surface area of more than 2,800,000 m2.

In the coming year the team of 34 and its fleet will be further reinforced by a professional from the factory’s own production line: the Econic 2635 will join operations as the new industrial fire engine. In a series of articles we will be accompanying the vehicle – from the precise planning stage to the moment it is officially handed over to the fire brigade.

Good planning instead of nasty surprises.

At present Sebastian Schröder, deputy station manager and Marc Knoll, deputy head of the factory fire brigade are involved in the planning phase for the bodies on the new Econic: they are responsible for the purchase of vehicles and the design of operating resources and as such must consider possible future operations as well as suitability for tackling daily challenges.

The everyday routine of the plant fire brigade consists of maintenance and repair of machinery and numerous vehicles, manning the control centre, daily service tasks and of course operations such as removing leaked oil or providing rescue or recovery assistance. It is essential that the fire-fighters know the entire area of operation at any given time and that they practise routines repeatedly – because at a plant of this size it is inevitable that incidents occur which only good training and vigilance by the crew can prevent from turning into nasty surprises. "All of the team must be fit," as Sebastian Schröder so aptly puts it.

A special body for the all-rounder based on the Econic.

The Econic, a flexible all-rounder, is now also being made fit for its home game: it rolled off the production line in Wörth in the summer of 2021 and at the moment it is to be found at Paul, a special-purpose vehicle company in Passau where the chassis is being adapted. In a next step it will be transported to EMPL in Austria where work on the body will continue. Here it was important to perfectly arrange and utilise the body area in advance so that the vehicle is equipped for all potential types of operation. In doing so the professionals from the factory fire brigade looked to the future because "just as the plant continues to develop, the hazard control plan must be adjusted in line with evolving conditions," explains Marc Knoll.

In this case the Econic is a perfect fit for the concept: with its excellent all-around visibility, it is ideal for operation as a modern industrial fire engine. On the one hand the driver maintains an overview in the busy traffic on the factory premises and on the other a good all-around view of fire-fighting operations from the cab is guaranteed. The new fire-fighting assistant is being equipped with a water cannon which is fitted to the bumper and which can be operated from the cab with a joystick when the vehicle is in motion.

More space, greater agility.

Another reason in favour of the Econic in hazardous operations is its agility; because the short wheelbase and the steered trailing axle provide for extraordinary manoeuvrability which conventional truck chassis cannot match. Furthermore the crew fits into the spacious cab which means there is no need for a crewcab in the rear of the vehicle. As a result there is more space for equipment and the chassis can be shortened – an advantage regarding agility.

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Fire-fighting operations in any situation.

A standard feature of the Econic is its fast entry for fire-fighters via only two steps, and its large area for logistic use is utilised in full thanks to clever planning. It includes a liftgate and special extinguishing agents such as CO2, dry powder for metal fires or ABC powder – which can be of great importance at the plant in Wörth as there are paintshops here which are located on upper floors. If there was a need, the fire brigade could react flexibly thanks to the system on roller containers and take the CO2 fire extinguishing system to an upper floor for operation.

Basis for the future.

The new vehicle concept was not only planned with classic potential operations in mind, but also with due consideration to alternative drive technologies which will be implemented at the plant in the coming years. Fitted with modular technology, the design of the Econic will allow it to implement future operating resources without the need to purchase a new vehicle.

The Econic is due to be finished in the summer of 2022. Next year in June, the Econic 2635 will be presented at the Interschutz, the leading international trade show for the fire-fighting industry. Following that it will take up its duties in its home town of Wörth – fitted with well-thought-out equipment for a safe and flexible future.

A story worth continuing?

We will be accompanying the Econic for the factory fire brigade in Wörth over the next few months until it is put into service. Don’t miss any articles – get a free subscription to the Econic News.

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