Pierce Manufacturing Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK) company, announced the sale of the 300th Ascendant 100ft Heavy-Duty Aerial Tower with mid-mount configuration, purchased by the Austin Fire Department in Texas through authorized dealer Siddons-Martin Emergency Group. Since its introduction in 2018 and following the 200th sale just one year ago, this aerial configuration has proven to offer an unmatched combination of manoeuvrability, operability and serviceability in the industry.
There are many reasons for the Ascendant 100ft Heavy-Duty Aerial Tower’s popularity and significant sales volume. Most notably are growth in cities across the US and the impact on infrastructure, as well as the increased safety benefits of pedestrian-friendly roadways. According to the State Smart Transportation Initiative, fire departments have historically pushed back on the narrowing of roadways because it impedes on the manoeuvrability of large fire trucks. However, trends show the narrowing of roadways to accommodate pedestrian walkways and bikeways, as well as growth in urban and suburban infrastructure, will continue in the years ahead.
‘Public interest in more pedestrian-friendly access to business and residential areas has been on the rise, and in recent years, the City of Austin has added bike lanes to downtown streets,’ said Greg Tatsch, director of sales for Siddons-Martin Emergency Group. ‘As driving lanes narrow, this presents a challenge for manoeuvring fire trucks. The option to have a mid-mount tower with a low overall height and length and without a large tail swing was extremely important for the Austin Fire Department, and we were proud to offer a game-changing fire apparatus with those attributes.’
Features of Austin Fire Department’s new Ascendant 100ft Heavy-Duty Aerial Tower with mid-mount configuration include:
- Pierce Velocity chassis
- Mid-mount 100ft heavy-duty steel aerial tower
- Cummins X15 605hp engine
- TAK-4 Independent Front Suspension
- Short overall height of 10ft 11in and length of 43ft 3in for superior manoeuvrability
- Integrated ground pads
- 20ft setback capacity
- 20-degree below grade operation
The Austin Fire Department responds to 130,000 calls for service annually with 1,200 personnel among 51 fire stations throughout the city. As Austin’s urban and suburban roadways became narrower to accommodate its residential and business growth, the fire department recognized the benefits of the Ascendant 100’ Heavy-Duty Aerial Tower.
‘Austin’s downtown area has experienced explosive growth and having an apparatus with the ability to easily manoeuvre through narrower streets and increased traffic is critical to our mission,’ said Lance Zenkner, battalion chief with the Austin Fire Department. ‘What attracted us most to the Ascendant mid-mount configuration is manoeuvrability in terms of cramp angle and turning radius, it’s also easy to operate, and can be setup and ready within about 90 seconds. As the city continues to grow, this tower has become a necessity to serve our community safely and effectively.’
Another critical factor related to fire apparatus size and selection is firehouse accessibility and layout. Historic firehouses tend to be more compact than newer firehouses, with the National Fire Protection Agency citing over 21,000 firehouses across the US are beyond 40 years of age.
‘We’ve seen remarkable interest in the Ascendant 100ft Heavy-Duty Aerial Tower because its size and manoeuvrability solve a problem for many fire departments without compromising on performance,’ said Jim Johnson, Oshkosh Corporation executive vice president and president, Fire & Emergency. ‘The 300th sale proves the significant demand for this best-in-class fire apparatus, and we are grateful for our customers’ confidence in Pierce’s quality and service support.’
To learn more about Pierce Manufacturing and the 300th sale of the Ascendant 100’ Heavy-Duty Aerial Tower, visit www.piercemfg.com