EMPL can look back over almost 65 years of vehicle construction. During recent decades, the family business from Tyrol has advanced from its comparatively humble beginnings by a combination of lots of energy and a high level of innovation, to become a prestigious manufacturer of special vehicles in its domestic and in international fire-fighting vehicle markets throughout the world.
The foundations of the fire-fighting and commercial vehicle manufacturer EMPL were laid directly following the 2nd World War. In 1948, Josef Empl founded the "Alpenländischen Fahrzeugbau J. Empl" and started manufacturing agricultural trailers in what was then a small forge. Even at that stage, genuine innovations were introduced into the market. Thus EMPL presented the first trailers with pneumatic tyres at the commercial vehicle show in Klagenfurt.
Around 30 years ago, EMPL commenced the production of fire-fighting truck bodies. A customer from Saudi Arabia, who had been purchasing special civilian vehicles from EMPL, ordered the first fire-fighting vehicles. Since then the company has achieved great successes in the fire-fighting technology sector. For example in 1999, EMPL was able to supply 372 human decontamination vehicles to the German Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs. At the same time the export activities were substantially increased with great success. Since that time, countless vehicles from Tyrol now operate throughout the world with the export share amounting to 70%. In total the company supplies 2,000 vehicles per year.
INTRODUCTION OF ALUMINIUM-PLASTIC HONEYCOMB TECHNOLOGY
An in-house team of developers is continually engaged in pushing the development and construction and fire-fighting technologies forward; devising and testing innovative fire-fighting concepts. Thus for example in the year 2000, EMPL was able to set a significant benchmark, being the first Austrian manufacturer to present a pioneering construction technology for manufacturing fire-fighting vehicles – the aluminium-plastic honeycomb. This construction technology had already been successfully used by EMPL since 1998 for manufacturing commercial vehicles.
MODULAR CONSTRUCTION FOR OPTIMUM FLEXIBILITY
In 2004 the company was able to take another quantum leap. EMPL presented a new generation of fire-fighting vehicle, the fire fighter "MOD-Tech" with CAN-bus control system. Here an innovative method of construction is involved in which the driving cab, passenger cabin and equipment compartment are mounted completely separately from each other. By this means the flexibility of the chassis remains unimpaired; a factor which has been successfully demonstrated in numerous tests.
Meanwhile the CAN-bus control system has been replaced by a new optimised generation. The EMPL H.I.T. control system introduced in 2011 has exemplary operator ergonomics, fast reactions, maximum stability and reliability and is significantly different to other products on the market.
VEHICLE TESTED UNDER EXTREME CONDITIONS
EMPL recently opened its own in-house test circuit. Fire-fighting vehicles, often forced to operate under the severest conditions, can be tested and put through their paces here. As well as vibration testing to assess the mountings and attachments of accessories, tests are carried out to check the diagonal dynamic flexing (20-50 cm) of the vehicles complete with bodywork. Every vehicle is subjected to intensive testing before delivery. This ensures that the user can rely upon the vehicle performing optimally even under the most severe conditions. An electronically controlled test rig for pumps and a tilting platform are just part of the EMPL standard testing equipment.
UNIQUE AND INDIVIDUAL
Every fire-fighting service has its own ideas about the ideal vehicle and its own special requirements. EMPL is specialised in producing unique vehicles that are adapted to the requirements and needs of the service. Based on a modular system, every EMPL vehicle is unique and has been individually developed with and for each customer. By working closely together with the user it is possible to design the optimum vehicle for the operating conditions and one which fulfils the highest demands in quality, design, safety and functionality. At the end of the day, subject to technical and statutory limitations, every fire service is free to determine the specification of their own vehicle.
QUALITY WHICH CONVINCES
EMPL is not just an important factor in export markets however, having made its name in the market for industrial fire-fighting vehicles too. Attracted by innovative system solutions, prestigious companies such as OMV, Borealis, Audi, EADS, Thyssen Krupp, BASF, … to name but a few, have become satisfied customers. In this sector, innovative solutions and concepts requiring further development, dependent upon a close working relationship with the user, are particularly in demand.
Body construction technology has changed radically over recent years. EMPL continually has its finger on the pulse and develops and improves in the interests of users. As far as safety and long service life are concerned, EMPL wins, predominantly because of the synergy created between the three production sectors - commercial vehicles, fire-fighting and logistic products. In the logistic (military) sector for example, EMPL must meet extremely high demands on the length of service life and functionality, whereas in the commercial vehicle sector, payload is the absolute priority. At the same time, the knowledge gained in one of the sectors is still relevant for the manufacturing of all vehicles. This means that optimisation is a continual process which is of considerable benefit to the user.