ZIEGLER and BUSSE Design+Engineering developed the latest generation of vehicle superstructures together.
As a leading system supplier of fire fighting vehicles and technology, Ziegler has been manufacturing ALPAS superstructures for its fire fighting vehicles since 1998. Since then, more than 10,000 vehicles have been delivered with this aluminum panel system.
For the new generation of a modular box system, Ziegler decided to cooperate with BUSSE Design+Engineering in order to realize the ambitious development goals with an experienced and innovative product development partner that is active across all industries.
In the course of the collaboration, the wide range of functional and normative requirements was reflected upon and potential for improvement was sifted through. In the end, everything was put to the test during development - materials and their combinations, joining techniques, assembly processes, construction configurations, ergonomics, design, and much more - in order to develop new approaches to finding solutions. The development work was optimally supported by the consistent application of research, creative and evaluation methods, state-of-the-art calculation and simulation software, and physical tests.
In the area of vehicle design, the aim was to achieve a clear line image across all chassis and in combination with various cabs. In addition, a progressive, brand-defining design had to be combined with a modular construction kit. A great deal of attention was also paid to designing a wide range of functions to ensure intuitive and ergonomically optimal operation.
The result of this collaboration is a completely revised ALPAS system that impresses with technical refinements, high design quality and a multitude of improvements. The following product features are a novelty:
- Up to 30% weight reduction in the body compared with the previous version, i.e. up to 100 kilograms more payload.
- Up to 10% more space volume in the body can be used for water tank, loading and equipment.
- Modular design comprising front, axle and rear segments, i.e. expanded vehicle portfolio thanks to flexibility in chassis, cab and wheelbase variants.
- Increased stability through self-contained segments.
- Improved handling by optimizing load distribution and lowering the center of gravity.
- The new ALPAS system can be used for all vehicles from medium-sized firefighting vehicles to Z-Class airport firefighting vehicles, i.e. from 6 to 42 tons gross vehicle weight.
- Consistently high design quality on all chassis with continuous lines in height and width. Modern and uncluttered appearance.
- Load paths, allow stepless attachments inside and outside the box body. Customer-side conversion is possible at any time.
- Step height reduced by approx. 10 cm for improved operator ergonomics with regard to loading and unloading.
- Optimum illumination of the equipment compartments with glare-free, cool white LED light for high-contrast lighting.
- In future, the roller shutter modules will no longer be installed in the equipment compartments but on the outside of the roof, making the loading space even more usable.
- The overall design includes a 12-year warranty.
The first prototype test vehicle with the new ALPAS body was put through its paces on test tracks in March and April. Here, it was possible to quickly simulate various load situations using water tanks. With the first demonstration vehicle, Ziegler is now unveiling the new vehicle design, drawn with dynamic edges, an impressively clear line pattern and a lot of attention to detail.
The first fire trucks with the new ALPAS bodies are to be delivered to the first customers at the beginning of next year.