GRAND RAPIDS/WYOMING, Michigan—HME Ahrens-Fox is displaying a special edition Ahrens-Fox fire apparatus showcasing the company’s current offering of Ahrens-Fox branded products at FDIC International 2018. The special edition Ahrens-Fox model, designated as AF-1, features an innovative cab design, full cockpit touch-screen controls and the company’s Ahrens-Fox Stainless Steel Centrifugal Pump that is now available for installation on current HME Ahrens-Fox fire apparatus. The AF-1 name matches original Ahrens-Fox model numbering convention from 1915. The AF-1 also showcases next-generation exterior styling and full-cockpit touch-screen controls accessible by driver and officer.
HME Ahrens-Fox acquired rights to the Ahrens-Fox brand in 2000 to preserve the classic American Fire Truck manufacturer’s legacy. “We felt strongly that the Ahrens-Fox brand epitomized American ingenuity and quality,” said HME Ahrens-Fox Vice President of Sales Bill Doebler. “We wanted to ensure that the Ahrens-Fox name wasn’t going to be lost to time like so many other greats in the fire industry. We took full ownership of the brand in 2015 to guarantee the continuation of an irreplaceable part of American firefighting history. With the introduction of our next-generation cab design, touch-screen console, and our Ahrens-Fox Stainless Steel Centrifugal Pump, we felt this model should wear the iconic Ahrens-Fox badge.”
The new Ahrens-Fox cab exterior projects a distinct departure from traditional designs with the integration of globally-influenced elements, including an innovative head-light group, dramatic grille-work styling, integrated windshield wipers, and a sleek front-face radius that dramatically changes the cab’s overall look and presentation. “We have taken some cues from performance vehicles from the around the world,” said Ken Lenz, vice president of engineering. “We have maintained design continuity with our past so that the new look remains distinctly ours—and American. We didn’t want to just borrow style, we wanted to create a fire apparatus that would be immediately be identifiable as a new generation of Ahrens-Fox.”
The interior of the new Ahrens-Fox showcases the company’s own touch-screen control technology for both driver and officer. Introduced at FDIC International 2017, the glass-cockpit concept offers a full-width dash populated with touch-screen controls capable of commanding all apparatus’ systems and operations with just a touch of the finger. “While the driver and officer seating area of original Ahrens-Fox was all about luxury and style,” said Lenz, “which earned it the reputation of being the Roll-Royce of fire apparatus of its day, the new Ahrens-Fox is all about technology and seamless ergonomics. Of course, we should add that we think that the aesthetics of the new Ahrens-Fox interior is something that Charles Fox and John Ahrens would approve of.”
The Ahrens-Fox Stainless Steel Centrifugal Pump, introduced at FDIC International 2017, was the first product
from HME Ahrens-Fox to bear the Ahrens-Fox name, alone. “As our pump engineering evolved, it become pretty clear that this just had to be a new Ahrens-Fox model,” noted Lenz. “We felt that the impact of breakthrough engineering and performance was reminiscent of the impact achieved by the Ahrens-Fox chrome sphere pump. You might say that the pump is what started the Ahrens-Fox ball rolling again.”
Additional next-generation designs are projected to carry the Ahrens-Fox badge in the future. “We’re very excited about some of the new models that are on the horizon,” said Doebler, “and we are diligently working to make sure that they too, will live up the legacy of the iconic Ahrens-Fox name.”
HME is at booth 3901.
For more information, visit www.firetrucks.com.