The Ahrens-Fox Wildland Urban Interface, or AF-WUI™, is a fire apparatus effectively merging the capability and functionality of its Type-III Wildland with its Type-I Interface apparatus. Ken Lenz, HME Ahrens-Fox Vice President and Director of Engineering spoke about the development of the AF-WUI™ during its introduction at the 2018 FDIC, in Indianapolis, Indiana.
“We’ve continually evolved the capability and functionality of both our Type-III Wildland and Type-I Interface designs over the years, ”noted Lenz.
“The development of the HME Extreme RAT and the HXR significantly improved overall wildland design and functionality. We essentially combined all of the best elements in the development of the Ahrens-Fox WUI, for example incorporating elements we developed specifically for the HXR, such as its high-clearance SFO®, 4×4 chassis, wide float Super Singles tires and automatic inflation system. The WUI incorporates many of those features while also merging advanced technologies with the functionality and expanded storage capacity of the Type-I Interface. The AF-WUI also features a two-speed transfer case to provide a low range for traversing rugged terrain.”
The Ahrens-Fox WUI also introduces a patent-pending Distributed Water System™. The Distributed Water System™ optimizes water inlet and outlet configuration, around the truck, eliminating wasted space. The system incorporates two, bumper 1 ½” lines, a 2 ½” line on each side of the truck, a cross lay bed, dual 2 ½” rear lines, two booster reels for structure fires, truck protection overall firefighting capability. On the side of the truck a 6” steamer and 2 ½” pony facilitates relay pumping, along with a 2 ½” rear tank fill. Rear I-Zone brackets are also provided for quick re-deployment.
A 1500-GPM pump, with a foam and deck gun provide additional structure protection capability. A diesel driven pump, featured on both Type 1 and Type 3 apparatus, supports pump-and-roll operations. All pump functions are controlled by configurable, Glass Screen Technology™ which can be operated outside of the truck, or from inside the cab. Optional Ahrens-Fox MadDogxl Compressed Air Foam Systems, available in three ratings ranging up to 200-CFM, are also available.
The space-savings created by the Distributed Water System™ and its compact touch-screen controls economizes interior storage space. The additional compartmentation makes room for Rapid Intervention Team tools, Confined Space and High Angle Rescue Equipment, along with a host of traditional Type-1 Interface gear. Additional equipment and tools, including hard suction hoses, long handled tools and up to a 26’ 3-section ladder, can all be easily accessed from the rear of the engine. Hard covers over roof top compartments keep burning embers out of the hose beds and Out-of-County compartments for crew gear. These top compartments, and the deck gun, can all be easily and safely accessed by a rear egress ladder. A corrosion resistant, stainless steel interface-style body, features modular, aircraft quality construction for efficient and economical repair. Roll-up doors provide immediate access to equipment and gear.
The clean, flat roof lines of the 96” wide Ahrens-Fox WUI cab, protect truck and equipment from overhanging obstacles. The cab roof is free of air-conditioning evaporator obstructions and the deck gun has also been lowered for improved clearance. Booster reels, on each side of the truck, are also integrated just below the roof line. These features work to lower the effective overall height of the apparatus and compensate for the increased height of the all-wheel-driven engine.
The AF-WUI features the company’s proven 4×4 SFO™ custom chassis with an MFD-xl cab to enhance comfort for traveling firefighters. The SFO® chassis, featured on the HME Model 18 Type-I Interface and HXR™, delivers a tight-turn radius for responsive handling over rugged and twisting terrain. With an overall length 15” shorter than a Model 18 Type-I, and precisely balanced weight-distribution when fully loaded, The AF-WUI has been designed to offer exceptional handling and agility both on and off-road. In addition, Super Single tires, or optional conventional dual rear tire configurations, are capable of providing superior off-road stability and traction. An optional Central Tire Inflation System (CTIS) is also available for improved traction control. The extreme off-road front bumper features a cooling system skid plate as standard equipment, ground sweep nozzles and underside fire lagging to allow operation in Black or Red Zones.
A Rigid Industries off-road lightbar, on the front bumper, with Active View Technology, cuts through the night and dense smoke. It automatically employs eight beam patterns, from wide angle to spot lighting, based on vehicle speed. Whelen V-Series™, Combination 180° Warning and Perimeter Lights, provide operational lighting around the vehicle. Cab steps, cab and compartment LED lighting offer selective red or white lighting.
“We have merged the high-clearance capability of the Wildland with the capacity and functionality of the Interface and added advanced technologies and innovations to take this truck to the next level in wildland and interface effectiveness,” said Lenz. “The Ahrens-Fox WUI is destined to set the standard as a replacement combination engine for the single purpose Type-1 and Type-3 engines of today.”