Detroit Diesel, a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America, has entered into an exclusive agreement to supply Pierce Manufacturing with DD13 engines in five sizes between 350 hp and 450 hp.
Pierce, the nation’s largest fire apparatus maker, delivers about 2,000 fire trucks a year and will be the only fire manufacturer to offer the new12.8 liter, in-line six-cylinder, turbocharged diesel.
The deal is a reversal for Detroit Diesel, which announced a year ago that it planned to get out of the fire truck market in 2010, when another round of federal Environmental Protection Agency emissions standards are scheduled to take effect. The DD13 will comply with the new standards, the companies said.
Because the DD13 was designed for Daimler trucks, Pierce has been working with Detroit Diesel engineers to adapt the engine to custom fire truck chassis, according to Mike Moore, Pierce’s director of new product development.
“We are putting a significant amount of engineering work into that engine,” he said. “There are quite a few modifications that have to be made.”
He said he considers the agreement a partnership because of the time both companies are investing in it. “We feel that it’s mutually beneficial for us and Daimler and also for the fire market, having multiple choices out there for fire departments.”
Detroit Diesel says the new DD13 will also be available with a built-in Jacobs Engine Brake system, fulfilling NFPA requirements for secondary braking.
The DD13, according to Daimler, uses BlueTec selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology, which can deliver near-zero nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions – a smog-causing pollutant – yet still produces efficient engine power and torque, according to the companies.
In February 2008 Daimler announced its plan to pull Detroit Diesel out of the motor coach and fire industry supply business beginning in 2010. Oshkosh, understanding its customers had already invested in Detroit’s service and technology, recognized a need and approached Daimler in hopes of continuing the relationship beyond 2010, according to Oshkosh officials.
Replacing The Series 60
“We understand that a lot of fire departments out there have a lot of sunken costs with fleets with Detroit engines, whole fleets that way,” Moore said, “and we’re excited that we’re able to offer that choice going forward.”
The DD13 will replace the existing Detroit Series 60 engine, which Pierce had been offering its customers. The company will round out its engine offerings with the Cummins ISX and the Cummins ISL, which also use SCR technology.
“The strategic relationship with Daimler allows our customers the choice of advanced emissions control technology and the proven performance and reliability of Detroit Diesel engines,” said Oshkosh Corporation Executive Vice President and Fire and Emergency President Wilson Jones. (Pierce is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oshkosh Corporation, NYSE: OSK.)
Customer reaction to the new lineup has been very positive, according to a Pierce spokesperson, with several customers already committing to purchasing the new engine.