Regardless their size, specific task or where they’re based, Dutch fire trucks always come in one and the same shade of red with identical graphics. In this case, the starting point was a short wheelbase DAF CF 4×4 chassis-cab and the Ziegler company made the final product.
About the graphics/striping, this particular design is also the norm for other emergency and official vehicles (most common: ambulances, police, military police, customs).
The DAF is powered by a 6.7 liter, inline-six PACCAR PX-7 engine, sourced from Cummins.
DAF doesn’t make front drive axles, so I was wondering about the origins of this one.
Well that’s cleared up then. Since the summer of 2019, AxleTech is owned by Meritor.
For this application, the gross axle weight rating of 7,500 kg (16,535 lbs) must be enough. A front drive axle on a heavy-duty truck or tractor is rated at 11,500 kg (25,353 lbs), which is the same as a rear drive axle’s rating.
And finally, after all these years, I was able to take some clear, obstacle-free pictures of all the gear and equipment inside a modern fire truck. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but this vehicle must be what they call a wildland engine or brush truck in North America.
The steps popped out, the firefighters are leaving the scene….
…and just look what they have done! A signed Picasso, completely ripped apart. Beyond repair it is.
I don’t recall Picasso doing car design in his illustrious career, but it may be time to call on Fuzzyman to generate a production of say a 1932 Ford V8 during Picasso’s Cubist period. He was around during the 1960s so could he make a 1962 Dodge look any weirder? He died in 1973 so I’ve limited to when the Master was around.
I’m not a fire truck expert but most US wildland fire trucks with all driven axles (usually 4×4) are higher ground clearance. And of course, because this is the US, most are conventional-based, typically IH but also Freightliner.
I’ve always been curious about fire trucks like these. Do they carry water or pumps? They don’t seem large enough for a water tank. US fire trucks always seem so much larger, I would guess because they are carrying 750 gals or so.
The water tank capacity aboard such a truck is around 1,500 to 2,000 liters (400 to 530 US gallons).
At the rear side you can see where the main hoses can be connected to pump water from an other source, like a fire hydrant.
Great article and photos Johannes, thank you! Very nice packaging.
Haha, I was wondering about the Picasso comment… and of course, a Citroen Picasso, best known in UK culture as the trusty steed of Ronnie Pickering.
I did remember Ronnie Pickering (quite famous here too…the footage I mean), but not that he drove a Picasso. It’s still in one piece, I assume. But you never know, with Ronnie behind the wheel.
Nice looking fire truck!
Axletech has a weird history, being originally the off-highway division of Detroit-Timken, later Rockwell-Standard, later Rockwell International, which was spun off as part of the breakup of the latter. Now it has been merged back into Meritor, the “other half” of what became of the automotive business of Rockwell. Companies keep doing this, spinning off two divisions that do largely the same thing, just for different customers, only to merge them back again later. “Financial Engineering”.
Thanks for that. I had never heard of the name AxleTech before. But Timken, Rockwell and Meritor all sound very familiar.
Sisu front drive axles (from Finland) are often used here for heavy on-/off-road applications, like AWD dump trucks.
My image of a typical US college campus was all gardens & ivy surrounding classical buildings. My college (UW-O) had a large Rockwell axle factory right next to campus. My daily walk from a student apartment took me past the factory twice daily. You could feel the sidewalk shake as you walked by. It kind of destroyed my preconceived stereotype of a college environment, but then this was a local branch of the main State University system. It attracted mostly students from working class parents who either couldn’t afford or couldn’t qualify for the main campus in Madison. I met both criteria. I think these axles were used by local custom truck manufacturer Oshkosh, but I suppose factory output could have gone anywhere – even as far as Holland.
Rockwell had a complicated history, for sure. I worked at corporate headquarters in Seal Beach California before the aerospace division was sold to Boeing. The main lobby, which I nicknamed the “truck axle museum”, had samples of products made by Rockwell, but only models of aircraft, rocket engines and space vehicles.
I was looking at a used Xsara Picasso on trademe exactly that colour recently they look better fully assembled, Luv the DAF, Ive got to get away from American trucks and back into something nice to drive.
DAF is testing the brand new Cummins X15d (15 liter) engine in Australia as we speak. DAF’s -and thus PACCAR’s- biggest own engine, the MX-13, is 530 DIN-hp max.
That’s simply not enough for many regions, for example Scandinavia (> 70,000 kg gross weight), Australia (much more) and for extra long/heavy “ecocombis” in general.
Thank you for the great close up pictures and descriptions! I missed this yesterday, but I’m glad I caught it today. I don’t know much about European firetrucks. They have always been a bit mysterious to me, so this is welcome info. As a FF in the US, I am quite familiar with what’s typical here, and it is very different. At the risk of boring you, I’ll list a few differences:
-Most obvious is the size. Euro firetrucks are generally much more compact. This is where the mystery comes in for me. U.S. trucks aren’t large out of extravagance (mostly), they carry a lot of STUFF and are still limited for space despite being so big. Where do they keep the STUFF on Euro trucks with even less capacity? Your article helps visualize that.
-U.S. fire agencies have a lot of individual pride, so they take pleasure in each coming up with their own graphics, colors, labeling, etc. Even within a metro area, there will be numerous suburban departments and their trucks will all have their own look.
-U.S. trucks are labeled extensively with their unit ID and type of truck they are. E.g. E1 (pumper), L1 or T1 (Ladder , T could be for either Truck, an alternative term for Ladder, or Tower, a particular type of ladder truck), R1 (heavy rescue), B1 (brush or wildland), HM1 (hazmat), etc. The only label I see on this truck is 22-2741, which is written small, sideways and only on the sides. In the U.S., the agency and unit/type identifier would be written large and on every side and even the top.
-4×4 is unusual in the U.S., only seen in rural areas or places with particularly harsh winters. With the very heavy weight over the rear wheels, 4×4 wouldn’t add much benefit as long as you’re on pavement, as you would be in urban/suburban areas.
As to speculation about what type of truck this is, I’d be surprised if it is a wildland or brush type truck. Here, those are on a lighter chassis with probably a two person cab and are single purpose with only the minimum of equipment, small pump, smaller hoses, etc., so they can go off road without the excessive weight of a fully equipped firetruck.
I would guess this is combo pumper/light rescue truck. The crew’s handiwork on the Picasso shows they have Jaws Of Life cutters and spreaders, and have a whole compartment on the truck for the tools, hoses and hydraulic pump. This is not typical of a standard pumper in the U.S., though some may carry it. Takes a lot of space for the STUFF and is usually something a ladder truck or rescue would have. There is a very compact pump panel on the back and attack hoses on the driver’s side. What I don’t see is large diameter supply hose, which a U.S. pumper would have 1000-2000ft of. Takes a lot of space. I also don’t see any preconnected attack hose, which can be immediately grabbed and stretched out to the fire location, without having to unroll and connect. That takes a good amount of space, too. If this truck has a 1500-2000l tank, I don’t know where they hide it. I’d like to know the capacity of the pump. Perhaps it is very compact.
So, all that to say I’m not sure this represents a standard fire pumper, but may be a more specialized rescue unit, that also responds to fires with pumper capabilities.
I’ve did a bit of searching myself, the article’s DAF is what’s called a “tankautospuit” in NL, either 4×2 or 4×4. The basic and standard fire truck across the country, essentially.
Turning the Citroën into a convertible, all tools needed for the job were in the truck, was a very calm and quiet process. Almost peaceful. Actually, there were four firefighters sitting inside the Citroën while their co-workers disassembled it from the outside.
Those cutters are amazing. Cut through automotive steel like soft butter. The spreaders will open up a jammed door like popping open a glove box. Do a lot of violence with very little hub bub. I think they were demonstrating that it is safe to the occupants, since it obviously would only be done if the car were occupied. You just have to protect occupants from breaking glass.
There is little need, in the Netherlands, for a U.S. style wildlands (Type 3) fire truck. The U.S. truck is engineered for extremely rough terrain, and is equipped mostly for fighting brush fires and for aiding escape from the fire in a rough terrain environment. This rig has much more in the way of a wide variety of rescue gear, much lower ground clearance, and appears perhaps more topheavy and tippy on uneven ground. The thing about fire and rescue vehicles, they are always compromised by the physical limitations of what they can carry and how they can carry it. This means a high degree of specialization, to support the exact expected duties and requirements of the emergencies they will be called out to deal with.
The U.S. makes a clear distinction between trucks fighting fires in the cities and suburbs (Type 1 and Type 2), and the rural wildfire rigs (Type 3). Types 1 and 2 generally carry little water, but have powerful pumps for hooking up to fire hydrants. They often have foam firefighting capabilities for various types of chemical or hydrocarbon fueled fires. They carry ladders, cherry pickers, and a wide variety of rescue equipment, for situations such as auto accidents or apartment building upper floor rescues. The wildfire Type 3 carries its own water, some minimal rescue or “shelter in place” equipment, but not much in the way of ladders or a variety of rescue tools. This rig appears to be a cross of “all of the above”. Or, in another way of looking at it, this one is the Swiss Army Knife of fire trucks.
The roughest yet still very manageable fire trucks you’ll ever find here are Unimog-based.
The DAF does work in the woodsy and sandy area around its station, it won’t get any wilder. So a 4×4 drivetrain comes in handy for the regional off-pavement-jobs.
This Unimog belongs to the The Hague Scheveningen fire brigade. Scheveningen has a great beach front so this ‘tankautospuit’ is designed for the beach, its beach side clubs and dunes. So comparable with the Daf but also a compromise. It will be replaced by, just like other rural fire apparatus, a ‘CCFM’ Camion Citerne Feux de Forêt Moyen the French and Southern European standard in rural and forest fireservices. The CCFM is mostly build on a Renault platform build bij Camiva or GIMAEX. You can find more at this Dutch website that builds the Dutch variant. https://bmt-fireandrescue.com/producten/voertuigen/natuurbrandbestrijdingsvoertuigen/ccfm/
Interesting, thanks for that link. On the subject of AWD fire trucks, I remembered the 1995 Ginaf F3328 6×6 I caught at a show in 2016.
Love the Ginaf but since 2021 out of service since 2021. It’s replacement is the wonderful Tatra Phoenix 480. https://brandbase.hetbrandweerforum.nl/voertuigen/28-2261-tankwagen/
Well well, a Tatra Phoenix, that makes sense! I’d say in NL, Tatra is the new Ginaf when it comes to uncompromising AWD-trucks (everything mechanical).
More details about tjis specific truck, in Dutch I’m afraid, but 2500 liter watertank.
Thanks Pete, very useful!
Indeed, 2,500 liter water tank, that’s 660 US gallons.
Furthermore, also for Jon above, I read LD3.000 and HD250. Which must refer to the pump capacity:
Lage druk / Low pressure: 3,000 liters (793 US gallons) per minute.
Hoge druk / High pressure: 250 liters (66 US gallons) per minute.
Thank you, that gives some clues. 660 gallons is surprisingly large. Typical U.S. is 500 gallons. But the pump must be quite small. Typical here would be 1500 gpm low (150psi) pressure and about 750 gpm at high (250psi) pressure.
How many fire hydrants would be typical in urban areas per block in NL? It’s maybe two here. Unless they are hiding a lot of supply hose somewhere, it seems they are not expecting to have to stretch a long way to get to a hydrant, or maybe they use very narrow supply hose, which would make sense if their pumps are such low capacity. On the other hand, they carry a lot of water like you would if you were not expecting to be able to get to a hydrant right away.
Low pressure, 10 bar / 145 psi.
High pressure, 40 bar / 580 psi.
Those are the numbers I found on several sites.
Hydrants are usually below ground level, example below. You can see the very same piece of equipment (the connection between the main drinking water supply pipe and the hose) in the picture of the DAF’s rear side. How many per block? No idea, plentiful I guess.
Now that is interesting! They carry their own hydrants! One of these is hanging on the back of the truck. Totally different! We have the whole apparatus permanently sticking out of the ground, just uncap it and screw a hose on it.
I could see it being feasible to have one of those valves below ground in front of every property, like a water meter. And yes, the hose that would attach is quite a bit smaller. Maybe 2.5-3 inches, where 4 inch is minimum here, 5 inch more common these days.
The cover might be hard to find in the snow. I guess that’s what the plaque behind it is for.
580psi is crazy high. I guess that’s why their upper volume is so low. They can provide a pressure washing service while putting out the fire and charge extra! Just kidding.
I like the sign on the side that says “blijf-uit-de-rook”, which google translates as Stay Out Of The Smoke, and just in case someone can’t read (like me if I was there), it helpfully shows a person running with an arrow to specify he’s running AWAY from the smoke. The direction you run is key in that situation.
The whole blijf-uit-de-rook website (and a nice job for google translate):
This engine is equiped with a one-seven system. This system is a high pressure foam burst that uses little water for a first attack. So this engine can use three ways of delivering water.
In the Netherlands it’s standard to use high pressure first and later on low pressure with additional units for pumping and supply. The newest approach in some regions is more like other European countries. High pressure out, low pressure in. Even older engines al rebuild to carry more hoses in bundles.
Hydrants are connected to the drinking water system of the Netherlands. Because of a new diameter of new waterpipes and too much loss of valubable water most fire services switch from hydrant to watertankers and pre drilled wells or surface water.
Thanks for this inside-information!
Thanks for the info. That is interesting. Foam use is varied here. Some places use it more than others. In cities at least, I think city drinking water is used exclusively no matter how much is needed. Exception would be if the incident happens to be close to a lake or harbor, drafting is an option for limitless water supply.