ACT Fire Brigade goes auto

The ACT (Australian Capital Territory) Fire Brigade has taken delivery of three Allison-equipped Hino 500 Series 1322 crew cab fire trucks which will be used for rural and grass fire operations throughout the bushland that surrounds Canberra and the ACT.

In the past, the ACT Fire Brigade has chosen manual transmissions for trucks used in bush areas because of a perception that manual transmissions offer better speed control on steep descents.

The new trucks however have been fitted with an Allison 2500 Series six speed automatic transmission mated to the standard Hino 8-litre turbo diesel engine.

Technical input by Allison has optimised the transmission’s parameters to provide precise speed control – even on steep descents.

Project Officer for the ACT Emergency Services Agency, John Jenkins said, “The majority of ACT Fire Brigade’s appliances are fitted with automatics, but this is the first time automatics have been deployed in bush areas as part of a shift in philosophy by the agency.

“As an agency, our intention is to move to automatic transmissions in all our appliances and these new Hino’s equipped with Allison automatic transmissions will allow us to demonstrate the advantages of automatic over manual, not just on paved roads but also when driving off road.”

He continued, “With modern technologies, automatics have inherent advantages over manual gearboxes, and our focus has been to provide vehicles that are the safest, easiest and most comfortable to operate, particularly in emergency situations.”

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