Body conversion specialist Pickup Systems has just launched a new fire-fighting vehicle based on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.
The prototype ‘Compac’ vehicle is based a 5.0-tonne Sprinter 519 CDI chassis.
Managing director John McGauley explained: “Fire and rescue services, just like everyone else, are facing pressure on their budgets and looking for ways to operate as efficiently as possible – and that includes running the most cost-effective vehicles.
“At the same time, largely thanks to the excellent work they do in spreading fire safety advice, fitting free smoke alarms, and generally raising awareness, the number of callouts is falling. Yet the standard size of a fire tender has remained the same.
“We believe there’s a growing need for a smaller, lighter, more efficient vehicle, one that provides a high level of fire-fighting ability but with much lower running costs. Our Mercedes-Benz Sprinter conversion meets this requirement perfectly.”
The Sprinter Compac is powered by a gutsy 190 hp Euro VI engine, which drives through an automatic or six-speed manual transmission, and has a factory-built steel crew cab with seating for up to five firefighters. Its body is constructed from high-strength polypropylene and includes lockers and slide-and-tilt drawers to carry tools and equipment safely and securely, as well as an 800-litre water tank and Godiva KP2 PTO-powered pump. A nine-metre ladder is stowed on the roof.
“The vehicle is just like a standard fire tender, but downsized,” continued McGauley.
“It can easily cope with the majority of fire situations and is also well suited for responding to road traffic collisions and water rescues. It really comes into its own, though, when attending incidents in areas where access is restricted, such as tight inner-city streets or narrow country lanes.
“At the same time its lower initial purchase price, and greatly improved maintenance costs and fuel economy, mean it can be as much as 60% cheaper to operate than a traditional truck-based fire engine.”
He added: “The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis was the obvious choice when we decided to develop this concept. It’s the clear market leader in the emergency services sector, thanks to its well-deserved reputation for reliability and class-leading safety standards. The chassis was also very easy to work on and we had full technical support from both Mercedes-Benz and Ciceley Commercials – we’re now working closely with the Dealer to offer a ‘one-stop shop’ arrangement for customers.”
Pickup Systems has already presented the Sprinter Compac at the Emergency Services Show, at the NEC in Birmingham, and is now touring the country carrying out demonstrations. “Our vehicle has generated a real buzz of interest and is in great demand from fire and rescue services all over Britain who want to take a closer look at it,” said McGauley.