Two vehicles and more
than 1.000 options.

Thanks to two Econic trucks with swap-body design, Winnenden voluntary fire service is equipped for every mission.

A car goes off the road. It hurtles down an embankment and ends up lying upside down on a stream bed. Are there any people in the car? Are they in danger of their lives? Those are questions the staff of the voluntary fire service don’t know the answers to when their alarm goes off. They get into their gear, climb into the fire engine and set off, prepared for any eventuality. Ready for anything.

Andreas Münch sees this as one of the most important tasks of the team: he says that the fire service requires the creativity and flexibility to be able to react to anything. As deputy department commander of Winnenden town centre section, he plays a leading role in acquiring the vehicles to support the volunteers.

More ground clearance and 8 tonnes of tractive power.

The car at the bottom of the stream was the first mission for the Econic 2635 with swap-body design and cable winch. The Econic has full air suspension so that if necessary there is more ground clearance for driving on rougher tracks. This flexibility combined with the Rotzler front winch with 8 t towing power contributed to the success of the mission – the car was recovered. Andreas Münch was pleased and reassured: everything works in practice as it was designed in theory.

"When they turn out then there's really something wrong."

The Econic with a cable winch is one of Winnenden fire service's two new vehicles. The second vehicle is 95 percent identical, except that it does not have a cable winch. Both of them work on the swap-body principle. The fire service can equip them with different roll-off containers and is thus equipped for any type of mission within minutes. This means there are no costs incurred for special vehicles, because these tend to be parked in the garage most of the time, waiting for an important operation. At the moment the new arrivals are packed full of technical equipment that is particularly needed for car accidents, machinery accidents and operations concerning toxic or dangerous loads. Or, as Andreas Münch puts it: "When the vehicles turn out then there's usually something really wrong."

Technical support is only the first part of the fire service's plan for the two Econic. In the foreseeable future, one of the vehicles will be equipped so that it can be used for firefighting operations. And what follows on from there remains to be seen. With the flexible swap-body principle there are "more than 1000 options," says Andreas Münch.

The two Econic 2635 are 95 percent identical.
The low entry of just 40 centimetres provides safety and comfort.
The swap-body system enables different roll-off containers to be exchanged quickly.
The cable winch of the Econic is from Rotzler.
The cable winch is needed when a car needs to recovered after an accident, for example.
At the voluntary fire service, the focus is on the joy of the job, besides safety and flexibility.
Most of the crew are not professional drivers, which makes simple operation of the vehicles even more important.
The practical roll-off containers of the Econic are equipped with work equipment for heavy-duty technical assistance, for example after car accidents.
The two Econic 2635 are 95 percent identical.
1/8

We're flexible in all directions with these vehicles.

Andreas Münch, deputy department commander of the town centre section, Winnenden voluntary fire service

As straightforward as possible for the machinist.

The two Econic 2635 each have an output of about 350 hp, a gross vehicle weight of 26 t (kerb weight 10 t) and a wheelbase of 4.50 m. Both vehicles fulfil the Euro VI emission standard and are equipped with a Meiller hook lifter. The firefighting equipment is from Hensel. For the team of Winnenden voluntary fire service one of the important features was the Econic's fully automatic Allison transmission: "It was essential for us to make things as straightforward as possible for the machinist so he can concentrate on driving, steering and braking," says Andreas Münch, adding: "You're driving with the siren and the blue flashing lights, you're getting extra adrenalin and you have a lot of road users around you who find it hard to cope with the situation. Especially in urban areas when there's not much space. You have to be prepared for anything and react quickly."

The Econic with turntable ladder from Rosenbauer also masters low and narrow passages.

Fast reaction time in dangerous traffic situations is now possible with the new Econic thanks to their structural advantages and technical extras: three reversing cameras at different heights and angles provide the driver with safety, the trailing axle makes the vehicle extremely manoeuvrable on narrow roads, and the driver's low seat position in the DirectVison cab enables direct vision in traffic. "At the beginning, it was really interesting. You look people in the eye at zebra crossings," says Andreas Münch, "and people were really surprised."

Escort for the next 25 to 30 years.

After intensive planning together with Mercedes-Benz and the body suppliers involved, the vehicles were delivered. Now the challenge was to train all the rescue staff and familiarise them with the Econic as quickly as possible. Andreas Münch was delighted when his ideas turned out to be successful in practice: "It feels good when you train other people and it works out OK," he said.

 

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