In 1986, the traditional Zillertal company EMPL extended the range of its "Alpenländischer Fahrzeugbau", which had been established in 1948 and which specialised mainly in customised bodies for utility vehicles. The new activity was production for fire brigades. In 1990 already, a new production hall had been opened to cope with the increasing demand, to facilitate a better response to individual requests and to allow for the targeted implementation of innovative solutions. Today the company is successfully established worldwide in the "Fire brigade", "Utility vehicles" and "Logistics products" market segments.
In 2002, an ultra-modern EMPL vehicle plant was built in Elster. It currently employs 120 staff members. Since 2006, customers in Hesse have been supported by the fire brigade supplier Horst Schimpf GmbH, which also handles service tasks.
Hessen and the LF 10/6
The LF 10/6 is particularly popular with the Hessian Ministry of the Interior and Sports (HMdIS) because of its flexible operating range. Since 2003, about 129 fire engines of the 10/6 type have been purchased centrally to support the nearly 120,000 active members of the 2670 fire brigades. Of these vehicles, 111 are used in various fire-fighting fleets for disaster protection. To date, all vehicles have been produced by the lorry superstructure manufacturer Iveco Magirus Brandschutztechnik GmbH.
However, the last tender for 45 vehicles was won by EMPL Elster, which specialises in custom-made lorry superstructures. The main reason for this change was the mature overall concept and the good personal relationship with the customer, who got to know the company’s capabilities and staff during the course of a plant tour.
EMPL and the special touch
The LF 10/6 vehicles have not changed significantly since the first procurement and EMPL will install a 1,000-litre quenching water tank on the Mercedes Benz Atego 9 22 off-road, all-wheel-drive chassis. The standard equipment includes a power supply, a motor saw, lighting, a pneumatic light mast and a pneumatically lowerable, portable fire pump with 200 kg weight-carrying capacity for additional loading according to local needs.
The structure is based on honeycomb-type aluminium compound panels that are glued, not riveted. This assures optimal corrosion-protection, stability and low weight. The driver’s cab can still be tilted independently without deformation, in spite of the generous connection to the crew compartment. The vehicles are also equipped with a new type of warning marker that should make it easier to recognise them.
Co-operation between the HMdIS and EMPL is exemplary. The acceptance of a sample vehicle will still take place before the summer. The first LF 10/6 made by EMPL will be handed over for use by the competent Hessian fire crews in the third quarter of 2010. Delivery of the remaining vehicles is planned for 2011.