Fire engine in front of building from left

ZIEGLER – ALPAS 3 Next Generation

Automotive projects

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.

Fire engine cropped
Fire engine from left
Fire engine from the rear left
Fire engine from left front

Our skills

Product design

Product development

Value engineering

Design for manufacturability (DFM)

Housing construction

Your contact person
Tobias Neuber, Head of Industrial Design, QM Representative
Tobias Neuber, Head of Industrial Design, QM Representative

Our expertise is not only proven by 400+ awards, but also by the enthusiasm of our customers.



"How can tasks and challenges be solved successfully? To do this, you need partners who can correctly grasp and present a task in all its complexity. Setting the right priorities in the future-oriented field of tension [...] and being able to implement them "down to earth" is part of the success DNA at BUSSE Design+Engineering, which we greatly appreciate."



"As an experienced design partner, BUSSE offers everything from a single source. Creative design solutions, prototyping through to small series production and UX design for software. The solution approaches and methods through to implementation always lead to a result that perfectly meets the requirements."

UI/UX Design


„BUSSE is our design game-changer for snow groomers! Their UI/UX team elevates not only icons and layout but the entire user experience to a new level. Clear operation turns every ride into a pleasure. Reliable from development to series production, BUSSE is by our side. Their interface, based on precise product research, simplifies operation. Flexible, forward-thinking, and reliable – BUSSE is our satisfaction guarantee!"



"BUSSE has been the perfect partner for us to develop new and innovative ideas for over fifteen years. BUSSE offers a very high level of professionalism and a first-class understanding of the brand. The team has completely internalized the high standards of our projects and with exceptional creativity, as well as full dedication, has helped us to set new trends. Many of our bestsellers bear BUSSE hallmarks."


Britax Römer

„Child seats are not only visually complex but also technically demanding. Our longstanding partnership with BUSSE turns development into a creative experience. Design sprints and a versatile selection matrix relieve engineers, minimize time-consuming iterations. We appreciate BUSSE for their timely implementations despite limited resources. The collaboration is not only effective but also truly enjoyable!"



"We were particularly impressed by the enthusiasm and technical creativity of the Busse employees. The atmosphere in the project was characterized by professional looseness and great agility. We turned an idea into a finished product in 4 months!"



„We discovered BUSSE Design+Engineering through online research. Contacting them for a functional model led to a contract for a technical redesign. Due to our concept changes, Redesign II was initiated and realized in a prototype, earning a golden award at the 2019 Ambiente trade fair. BUSSE executed the project with precision, on schedule, and with excellent craftsmanship. We look forward to future collaboration with BUSSE."



„The collaboration with the entire project team was always goal-oriented, constructive and pleasant in terms of communication. Mr. Timm and his project team always kept the functional and safety requirements in mind and understood what is also important to us in product development: can-do mentality, agile mindset as well as flexibility and efficiency in all project situations."



"With BUSSE as a sparring partner, we were able to successfully work out a brand-defining design for our latest products that was appropriate for the target group. BUSSE understood our internal company processes very well and was therefore able to deliver optimal results. Deadlines were always met, you can rely on BUSSE. Anytime again!"



"We were positively surprised by the collaboration with BUSSE in that the focus was not solely on the appearance of our product, but rather on the interplay of economical manufacturing solutions, optimized ergonomics and a functional design. The result now impresses with a coherent, unprecedented design concept."