Each year the AFAC convention gathers fire and emergency people from around Australia for a series of displays, lectures, seminars and general good times focused on improving safety and effectiveness in protecting and rescuing the community.
This year Perth got the gig and truck manufacturers were out in force to display their solutions for mobility in crisis.
Volvo brought its new team of sales and tech people.
They leave the local government stuff to the dealers, but this new division is aimed at converting as many big government fleets to Volvo as possible.
Prime position on its stand was the Volvo FM fire truck, based on the FMX chassis.
It’s a European-build spec for fire and emergency and is available in virtually any configuration, from 4×2 to 8×6.
There is a 450hp limit and the biggest version I’ve seen is a military crane at the Wacol HQ in Brisbane.
Hino got busy with its highly successful 300 Series 4×4 crew cab.
One of them was a local adaptation — an Allison automatic substituted for the standard manual gearbox, but was developed and fitted locally by Penske Power Systems.
Hino’s Daniel Petrovski guided the fitment and was coy about factory approval. “I think we’re ahead of the factory engineers here, so I might be asking for forgiveness when they find out,” he said.
Another 300 Series fully fitted as a fire truck was also there and has developed a strong following in the Eastern States’ F&E community.
Fuso stumped up with a local build body on the Canter short wheelbase chassis. This unit attracted strong interest due to the low tray height — a result of the stepped chassis — and car licence GVM. The cab-over configuration meant it offers a larger tray, heavier payload, and tighter turning circle than a Landcruiser, with a healthier centre of gravity to boot.
Isuzu had an N-Series single cab with a service body on it but there was no external fire gear on board. But the WA F&E Services F Series incident truck was parked up for display.
Scania seems to have a mortgage on metro fire trucks — the image of a blaring Scania with a LandCruiser nipping at its heels is common across Perth, and I’m told the crews love the cab features and comfort.
The company is proud of its new NTG crew cab. The version on display was a cab chassis only so the abrupt, box shape of the new cabs was obvious.
The Czech Republic’s Tatra isn’t on the list for Perth metro appliances for some reason, but the bullet-proof chassis and driveline has carved a niche in the mining, drilling and construction services market.
Two heavy-duty units were on display, one an emergency fire and rescue rig for Roy Hill, and the other a striking Phoenix cab chassis with gargantuan wheels for a central Australian government application. Both are to be completed and delivered following the show.
Organisers reported about 3000 registered attendees, including 450 volunteers from WA, across the four-day event.