HME Ahrens-Fox has announced that its innovative HME Scorpion 104' Platform fire apparatus with tandem front steer axles and rear dual drive axles will be introduced to the industry at this year's FDIC (Fire Department Instructor Conference &Exhibition) at Lucas Oil Stadium, in Indianapolis, Indiana this April 26th through April 21st, 2012.
The HME Scorpion is unique in several regards, beginning with its tandem front steer axles and rear dual drive axles. The tandem front steer axles provide extreme maneuverability and the ability to turn in confined areas.
While the HME Scorpion carries a full-sized 104' ladder, its 208" overall wheelbase (the shortest wheelbase platform aerial in the industry today) allow it to turn easily in residential cul-de-sacs and intersections that can limit the access of conventional platforms and large pumpers. The HME Scorpion does not require additional trained operators or a tiller man, essential on tractor drawn alternatives, to safely navigate street corners or intersections.
With four front wheels, instead of two, the front suspension's 23,000 lbs of weight is evenly distributed to maximize stopping power and steering control with four, front brakes. The size of 315/80R22.5 front tires provides proper Ackerman Steering to reduce tire-scrubbing and premature tire wear while lowering tire replacement costs. All eight tires (including the four rear drive tires) on the HME Scorpion are identical (as well as matching most pumper tire sizes today) to further contain tire replacement costs.
The tandem steer axle also provides additional safety in the case of front tire failure. Even in the event of a blowout the HME Scorpion still has enough rubber on the road to control the vehicle and bring it to a safe stop. The smaller size tires also enhance handling, as well as improving fuel efficiency.
The HME Scorpion is also the first fire apparatus in the industry to incorporate a touch-screen for simplified and more responsive valve and pump control. The pump valves of the HME Scorpion's big-bodied split shaft pump are all networked using non-proprietary SAE J1939 controls.
Along with the introduction of SAE J1939 control technology, HME has also moved the location of the pump control panel to the opposite side of the front outrigger to protect operators and crews from being injured or knocked off the platform by charged lines.
While the HME Scorpion appears compact, with the shortest overall aerial length in the industry, it is a full-fledged platform complete with a fully equipped 104' four section rear mount platform, power options up to 500-hp, a 1500-GPM pump, Hydra Technology, and 500-gallon water tank, as well as a full complement of conveniently located crosslays and discharges. Innovative storage systems, integrated into a corrosion resistant HME stainless steel four-door body, with positions for six crewmembers, offers fire departments a tough and agile Platform.
The HME Scorpion will be on display at this year's FDIC at the HME Ahrens-Fox booth #9434.