Article Archive
American LaFrance
National Foam Make Joint Effort
Vol. 20 No. 5

Historically, American LaFrance has not been a name immediately iden-tified with industrial fire fighting. That is slowly changing, said David J. Rider, American LaFrance's manager for government and industrial sales.

"To put things into perspective, we are taking baby steps," Rider said. "We may not be attacking industrial fire protection as much as our competitors, but we are taking time to think through what we are doing to be sure it meets industry needs."

American LaFrance is now offering the National Foam pump module with the American LaFrance chassis, aerial and body to give another dimension to its product line. The resulting package will offer a chassis similar to American LaFrance, a National Foam pump, an American LaFrance aerial device and a body of choice, either American LaFrance or National Foam, depending on what the customer wants.

American LaFrance is also excited about the industrial fire applications of its 102-foot rear mount aerial tower complete with six-inch waterway and a 3,000 gpm capacity, Rider said.

"Because of the requirements of having 1,000 gallons of foam is the rule of thumb for industry, we use an older torque box design," Rider said. "If the foam capacity isn't an issue we have a 12-foot jack spread that we are very proud of. That truck comes with a 110-foot aerial, 750 pound tip load and 1,500 gpm pump."

A 12-foot spread could be a big advantage in a congested industrial setting, Rider said.

"If we can use a National Foam 3,000 gpm pump, the maximum we could do is 1,500 gpm at the tip," Rider said.

Engineering fire trucks to meet the needs of industrial customers is unique and interesting, Rider said.

"A good example of this is a tanker pumper recently delivered to Fairbanks, AK," Rider said. "It's basically everything you need in an industrial truck, including a compressed air foam system that operates at -50 degrees F or colder. It has an insulated pump panel, special exhaust systems, rugged heavy-duty undercarriage and heavy duty front and rear suspension."

The body is American LaFrance's typical extruded aluminum product, Rider said. It has a 2,500 gallon tank that could be stretched to 3,000 gpm with foam.

To date, American LaFrance is in the process of building its third truck for that same Alaskan department, Rider said.

Building big trucks like those used for industrial fire fighting is nothing new to American LaFrance, Rider said.

"The biggest trucks we've ever built were for National Foam," Rider said. "They had a 312-inch wheelbase and Schwing booms. Refinery Terminal Fire Company in Corpus Christi, TX, has one of them. So we have built industrial trucks before and can meet any client's needs."

Backing that claim is the combined engineering prowess of DaimlerChrysler and Freightliner, one of the largest heavy truck maker in the U.S., Rider said.

"We draw on 173 years of experience to know what works and what doesn't," Rider said. o


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