Low Cab Forward Chassis Joins American LaFrance Line-Up Tanker With Vacuum Pump
American LaFrance Corporation unveiled its new heavy-duty, low cab forward chassis, the Condor, at the Fire Department Instructor's Conference (FDIC) in Indianapolis, Ind. The highly maneuverable chassis makes fire fighting easier and safer. Versatile and rugged, the Condor is able to deliver top performance as a heavy rescue vehicle or a 4 x 2 or 6 x 4 tanker.
"The Condor adds a new dimension to the American LaFrance product line," said Freightliner President and CEO Jim Hebe. "This chassis, combined with a tank body and vacuum system, will allow our customers in the volunteer fire department sector to respond to emergency situations quickly and keep more personnel on the scene."
The Condor's strength and durability comes from its corrosion-resistant aluminum cab, TufTrac™ rear spring suspension system, and a roof that can withstand point loads of more than 300 pounds. The cab was developed to meet European crash test requirements.
A set-back front axle, standard dual power steering gears, and up to a 45-degree wheel cut make it easy to maneuver the Condor in hard-to-reach water drafting points such as river beds, lakes and creeks. A field of vision of up to 273-degrees simplifies this maneuvering power in challenging environments.
Two-step entry/exit, low-to-the-ground cab height, and full-length grab handles add to operator safety while an oversized flat floor and a steering column that tilts and telescopes provides plenty of room and operating flexibility.
The vehicle's integrated electrical system features easily accessible wiring harnesses that can be quickly disconnected for diagnostic performance tests and body installations. Cab panels can also be effortlessly removed to perform service inspections or make circuit additions.
The Condor can be equipped with a variety of engine models guaranteed to provide drivers with the reliability, quickness and power required from a rescue vehicle. Engine options include Caterpillar engines from 250 to 370 horsepower (hp) and Cummins engines from 300 to 370 hp.
The Condor chassis also features:
Six-speed Allison automatic transmissions
Meritor front and rear axles
Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
Front suspension ratings from 12,000 to 21,500 pounds and rear suspension ratings from 24,000 to 52,000 pounds in both single and tandem axle configurations
The show unit featured a tank body with a vacuum suction system by Keith Huber, Inc. The system draws up to 3,300 gallons from a 20-foot vertical lift in less than two minutes, compared to seven- or eight- minute fill times common with small centrifugal pumps lifting water 10 feet or less. It can achieve this rate with only one operator, allowing more personnel to attend to emergency situations.
The vacuum tank and pump system, compartmentation and NFPA componentry were added to this unit at the recently completed American LaFrance Refurbishment Center in Cleveland, N.C. This facility is adjacent to American LaFrance's corporate headquarters and chassis facility where the Condor is produced.