American LaFrance Introduces the New Continental Body Style
American LaFrance Corporation introduced a new universal body design, the Continental, on its pumpers at the Fire Department Instructor's Conference (FDIC) in Indianapolis, Ind. The new Continental body allows the overall appearance of customer fleets to look similar and uniform while maintaining flexibility and compartment customization.
"Making it easier for our customers to answer the call has been a long-standing tradition at American LaFrance," said Freightliner President and CEO Jim Hebe. "This new classic body design and its adaptability to all materials gives the industry a look they can appreciate with the custom quality they expect."
The Continental body has been styled to blend the traditional features of American LaFrance vehicles of the past with the company's new and up-coming styles of the future. Bodies, available in 5052-H32 aluminum, 304L stainless steel, and Galvanneal steel, are extremely durable and have been engineered and tested to withstand an extensive service schedule.
The Continental features a strong and proven steel sub-frame that isolates the body from the truck frame and allows it to be installed and removed in a modular fashion. This allows the custom body to be configured and built at the same time as the chassis is being constructed thereby shortening overall delivery time.
"A modular built body has many design and manufacturing advantages," said Tom Furdek, Fire Body Engineering manager. "Add to that completely documented engineering of pump module plumbing and the body module and our customers will receive higher reliability and faster deliveries."
An engineered electrical system provides superior circuit logic and reliability with pre-made electrical harnesses and a power distribution box rated at NEMA 4 standards by the National Electrical Manufacturer's Association. The box, located out of harm's way on the upper section of the pump module, is equipped with an as-built wiring diagram for easy serviceability and maintenance.
The pump module, made of 304L stainless steel, provides for a long service life in extremely harsh environments. Pre-engineered pump installations and plumbing systems provide long component life and expected flow rates with minimal pressure drops.
Paint options include a conventional topcoat or a proprietary Dragonhide Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) lamination process, that allows the body to withstand a variety of environments and weather conditions.
Currently, the Continental body is available on all American LaFrance pumpers.