Modern German Fire Apparatus

Modern German Fire Apparatus

Germany has been keeping pace with the improvements being adopted in the fire service of other countries; in fact it may be said to have made considerable advance over others especially in the matter of motor power. Recently, an article on German apparatus was printed in this journal, but the motor apparatus lately adopted in that country, shows more modern construction, as will be seen by the illustrations shown herewith. The first illustration shows the test of a German motor engine at Hanover. The four streams of seven-eighths-inch diameter hold well for a considerable distance, being solid up to the roof of the fire station, and 100 feet over that distance they are broken and not of much strength. The other illustrations show the types of apparatus now in use, all motor propelled. Some of the German electric fire cars are designed to carry brigade staff and instruments with extension ladder and others are combined with steam fire engine and gas fire engine. All of these trucks have two electric motors of 15 to 25-horsepower each, the transmission being from front wheels direct-driven by means of gears. There is a foot and lever brake on back wheels, and electric brake, and the speed is from 22 to 25 miles per hour. These cars are 5 feet 2 5/8 inches wide and have a wheel base of 12 feet 3 5/8 inches, with solid tires measuring 950 x 120 in front and 2 x 90 x 100 mm. in rear. These German electric lire engines are 12 feet 6 3-16 inches long, and are equipped with a storage battery of 80 cells, with a capacity of 195 ampere hours, the radius of action being 37.5 miles. Lloyd gasoline fire engines are of 30-horsepower capacity. The motors have a bore of 4 5-16 inch, and a stroke of 5 11-16 inches. The motors have four cylinders and the ignition is high tension magneto with accumulators. These valves arc located on one side and the control is by the ignition and throttle levers on steering wheel. The lubrication system is unique, as there is a central automatic lubrication by gear pump. The transmission is by Cardan shaft and chains with four speeds forward and reverse. There is a foot brake on driving shaft and a lever brake on the back wheels. These cars are 5 feet wide, with a wheel base of 11 feet 9 3-5 inches, the total length being 13 feet 2 1/8 inches, and the maximum speed 25 miles per hour approximately.


The Daimler gasoline motor fire engine has a chassis equipped with a four-cylinder motor, the cylinder having a diameter of 120 mm., and a stroke of 150 mm. This motor develops about 45-horsepower at 1,000 revolutions per minute and has governed inlet and exhaust valves. It may be stated that the carburettor allows the use of gasoline, heavy benzine and benzol, but not oil. The feed of mixture, main air and auxiliary air, is governed by means of a throttling piston in the carburettor. In this way the speed is adjusted according to the requirement. The controlling of the speed of the engine is regulated by a hand lever placed above the steering wheel and acting on throttle, the normal speed when running, being controlled by the governor. It is of interest to note that the ignition is effected by low tension ignition, the lever working through plates and pin, separately fitted into the top of cylinder, so that it may be easily removed for cleaning. The apparatus is of the Bosch system, sometimes a second ignition is provided with accumulator with trembler. The bearings of the motor are automatically lubricated by means of a piston pump fitted in the chamber bottom part. In order to control the regular working of this pump, a simple sight feed is fitted at the dashboard. The engine is cooled or water circulated by a pump operating through water jackets and a Mercedes type radiator with a fan in rear of the radiator. When the motor drives the fire pump the cooling of the water is increased by a special system, the pump itself having a jacket through which the water is passed. A friction clutch connects the motor with drive. The disconnecting is done by pressure on a foot lever, whereby the clutch cones are removed from each other against the pressure of the springs and are out of contact. The clutch being lubricated, easy starting is secured and a universal joint is fitted between clutch and gear box. It may be stated that the gear box contains the driving wheels for four speeds forward and one reverse gear, operated by a single side lever control through gate change. The normal speed is about 19 miles per hour. The transmission from gear box to differential cross shaft is effected by a shaft fitted with universal joints. At the outer end of the cross shaft are pinions geared directly to internal gear ring on road wheels. The wheels are of steel castings, fitted with solid rubber tires, with the dimensions stipulated in the estimate. There are two brakes provided, one foot lever brake acting on the shall of gear box and one hand lever brake acting directly on the back wheels. The side and cross members of the frame and the bars are of pressed steel and the carrying capacity of the frame is about 3,000 kilograms. The fire pump is driven by the propelling gasolene motor. The gear shaft is lengthened and has a clutch which connects the motor with another gear drive transmission, the revolutions of the pump being 2,100 per minute. The clutch of the pump can be operated by a lever mounted in the rear of the pump. By a second lever the revolutions of the motor can be regulated and also the output of the pump. Only one is required to attend a motor and pump, and it is impossible to start the car when the pump is driven and vice versa. Usually the pump is mounted behind the driver’s seat, but in some cases it is placed cm the back part of the machine. The high tension or centrifugal pump is capable of delivering about 286 gallons per minute. The maximum quantity of water which can be delivered by the pump is about 100 gallons per minute. In order to enable the pump to start, a special water tank, with a capacity of about 300 liters is provided. With about 70 liters of water in this tank, the suction pipes ara filled in about one minute and the centrifugal pump begins to act. Besides this a small air pump is mounted and driven by the motor which sucks air and water until the main pump itself will be able to act. The water in this tank may be also used for the first emergency fire service. This motor fire equipment is constructed to carry 14 men, seven on each side and two in front, the seats themselves being boxes for carrying different tools and materials. On this motor car there is a 35-foot trussed telescope extension ladder in two lengths, carried above the machine. Besides this there is provision made for standpipes, hydrant keys, ambulance keys, branch pipes, hand pump and all necessary tools for engine and pump to be transported.


These motor fire engines have a length over all of about 20 feet 1 1/2 inches, and a width of 6 feet. The wheel track is 5 feet 5 1/2 inches for front wheels, and 5 feet 8 inches for back wheels, and the wheel base measures 14 feet 4 inches. The length of frame behind driver’s seat is 11 feet 9 3/4 inches, and the normal speed is about 19 miles per hour, making a maximum grade of 12 1/2 per cent. The Daimler motor fire engine is utilized by the fire brigades of Frankfurt, Main, Breslau, Hamburg and Stettin, and was designed and constructed at Marienfelds.

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