By Chris Mc Loone
During the past few years, apparatus manufacturers have been spending a lot of time trying to increase the room inside their cabs for the driver, officer, and crew and have also been improving the safety within these cabs. At FDIC International 2015, Ferrara Fire Apparatus displayed new safety features for its cabs, some aerial truck safety improvements, and other improvements to its products customers have asked for.
In the cab, every Ferrara-built chassis can now feature frontal air bags. The driver has knee and steering wheel air bags, and the officer has a knee air bag. These air bags are in addition to side curtain air bags in the cab.
Ferrara also made some changes to its midmount turntable access ladders in the name of safety. “On the midmount, we changed up our turntable and our rearbody access ladders so they mirror what we’re using on the rear-mount ladders,” says Paul Christiansen, aerial sales manager. “It gives you a nicer climbing angle than what we had before, so it’s safer to get up and down.”
The company has also made some changes to its MVP product. MVP pumpers now account for about half of its pumper sales. “One of the things that people had asked about with the MVP, is normally the ladders had be [toward the top of the hosebed],” says Christiansen. “They wanted them lower. So, we modified the water tank a little bit to where it didn’t kill our compartment space and not impact the wheelbase. We dropped the ladders down to basically shoulder height for almost everybody.” He adds that the ladders can be stored vertically on the beam of horizontally.
On the MVP aerial, Ferrara compacted the wheelbase from224.5 inches to 218 inches to make it a little bit more maneuverable. “We tried not to alter compartments too much,” Christiansen says. “We reconfigured the tank a little bit. We changed up the speedlays and did away with the upper compartment. All those things together helped us with the wheelbase.”
Christiansen expects one of the biggest draws of the show to be the FDNY 150 truck. “It’s been in service since 2011,” he says. “It did 8,000 or 9,000 runs up there. They sent it back down. We didn’t do a refurb. We did put new paint on it and FDNY custom designed the graphics and we put that on. I don’t know if it’s going to back in service after this year or not. It may, but it’s their commemorative vehicle for this year.”
Christiansen also notes the popularity of Ferrara’s F-Shield. “We hardly ever send a chassis north of the Mason Dixon line that doesn’t have the F-Shield on there,” Christiansen says. “You get the lifetime frame corrosion warranty when you buy the F-Shield treatment on there. So it’s very inexpensive to do that when you think of what you get as far chassis corrosion because the road salts that go down in the winter time is really, really rough on trucks.
Christiansen notes the popularity of Ferrara’s MVP pumpers. “Everybody likes having the big body pump, so they’re not sacrificing any performance or anything like that, and it’s going to be a common pump for them. Then you’ve got the speedlays that are down at frame rail height, so that when the guys are deploying hose or reloading it they don’t have to climb the truck. And, we lowered the floors ahead of the wheels three inches so when you have to lift something up, it puts you in a better position so you’re lifting with your legs, not your back.”
For more information, visit www.ferrarafire.com.
Ferrara Fire Apparatus is located at booth 1837.