Following on from our reasonably recent post ‘огонь! огонь! – That’s ‘Fire! Fire!’ To You And Me Says Tachoblog‘, we can tell you that Germany’s Munich fire brigade have ordered 58 new Mercedes-Benz Atego fire engines with fully automatic Allison transmissions.

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Every second can count in the daily routine of a fire brigade, and emergency vehicles need to accelerate and brake fast to get quickly and safely through congested city traffic. The Munich fire brigade specified vehicles with a fully automatic transmission and integrated retarder having undertaken extensive tests to compare the performance of a fire truck with an automated manual transmission (AMT) and one with a fully automatic transmission.

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The conclusion was that the behaviour of the AMT during shifting and acceleration was unfavourable, while Allison’s torque converter provided continuous powershifting to the wheels without interruption of traction to enable smooth startability and fast acceleration. Keeping vehicles in close group formation is easier with fully automatic transmissions and its integrated retarder provides additional vehicle braking while extending service brake life.

The Allison-equipped Mercedes-Benz Atego 1429Fs feature bodywork by Iveco-Magirus fire protection engineering creating a package that not only meets all the necessary challenging demands but is also the most economically advantageous.

“We are exceptionally glad that the Munich fire brigade will benefit from the numerous advantages of owning an Allison in so many new vehicles,” Gerhard Voigt, OEM account manager at Allison Transmission in Germany told Tachoblog. “The outstanding reliability and durability of Allison transmissions result in less downtime, only minor maintenance requirements and thus reduced maintenance and repair costs.”

The first two vehicles have recently gone into service. The remaining 56 Ategos will be delivered to the Munich fire brigade between now and mid-2011 in four deliveries where they replace old fire engines. Thirty-two trucks are destined for the municipal fire brigade and 26 to the auxiliary fire brigade.

Munich’s fire brigade has more than 420 emergency vehicles, trailer, swap bodies and settling tanks. Approximately 1.650 people work at the ten fire stations and nine emergency doctor stations. In 2008 the vehicles responded to 61,430 calls for assistance of which 4,070 were fire fighting runs and 17,811 were for rescue duties.