Magirus eyes Australian fire fighting market

By: Anna Game-Lopata, Photography by: Michael Ward

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Magirus CEO Antonio Benedetti Italian-born Magirus CEO Antonio Benedetti says technology investment is worth it even if only one more life is saved. Magirus CEO Antonio Benedetti
Magirus manufacturing facility at Ulm in Germany The busy production line at the Magirus manufacturing facility at Ulm, in Germany Magirus manufacturing facility at Ulm in Germany
Precision welding a Magirus ladder Precision welding on the extendable ladders production line Precision welding a Magirus ladder
Two Magirus fire engines in the Customer Two Magirus fire engines displayed at the Customer Experience Centre Two Magirus fire engines in the Customer
World s highest ladder At 68m the Magirus M68L is the longest ladder in the world World s highest ladder
New Farm machinery editor Anna Game Lopata New Farm Machinery Magazine Editor Anna Game-Lopata has a go at the the high powered hose. There's some kick-back! New Farm machinery editor Anna Game Lopata

EXCLUSIVE: The New South Wales Fire and Rescue Service is the first in Australia to lay its hands on the latest award-winning fire fighting technology from German company Magirus

For a cool sum in the vicinity of €250,000 (A$367,446), the New South Wales Fire and Rescue Service recently purchased an AirCore TH F20 fire fighting robot, released to the market in June.

The unit is designed and manufactured by Magirus, an innovative German company best known for its 68m high-tech articulated ladder, the longest of its kind in the world.

The AirCore technology is part of a complete refurbishment to the company’s product range and corporate vision launched at this year’s Interschutz Fire Fighting Trade Fair.

It follows the company's centralisation in 2014 at its home city of Ulm about 1.5 hours south of Munich.

"For us, the vision is not just about building the longest ladder in the world," Magirus GmbH CEO Antonio Benedetti tells New Farm Machinery.

Italian-born Benedetti asserts the Magirus vision is about pushing technology to the limits of physics to enable "even just one more life to be saved".

"If our investment in high levels of cab safety for fire fighting crews inside them, or trucks with the software, power and mechanics to manage the challenges of emergencies means we save one more life, it’s worth it," Benedetti says.

"Our new slogan is ‘Serving Heroes. Since 1864’, because that’s what they are and it’s what we do. It’s what drives our work."

With the ability to maintain complete control over all the aspects of water usage, the AirCore is the latest in fire fighting technology.

It has a total water flow capacity of up to 3,500 litres per minute and achieves up to an 80m throwing distance.

Magirus product management manager Andreas Wenzel says the AirCore is very efficient for big fires and large surfaces, especially liquid fires.

"The AirCore enables much faster heat absorption compared to current methods," Wenzel says.

Magirus is a brand of CNH Industrial, among others including New Holland, Case IH, FPT Industrial and Iveco.

Wenzel adds the company is working on developing a stronger presence in Australia.

"Australia is a key growth market for Magirus, and while we’ve sold a large number of fire trucks under the Iveco brand, we’re hoping the full range of high tech Magirus fire fighting technologies will quickly gain more recognition," he says.

Magirus was founded in 1864 by an Ulm, Germany-based voluntary fire fighting commander Conrad Dietrich Magirus.

Driven by the loss of many lives, Magirus aimed to develop a longer, more flexible ladder capable of reaching the top-most windows in burning buildings.

The company he formed presided over the first ever 14m wooden fire fighting ladder, the longest of its type at the time.

Over the next century Magirus brought several fire-fighting innovations to the market including the first multiple function vehicle, the first turn table articulated ladder with telescopic arm and a plethora of pumps and hoses.

The company also prides itself on state-of-the-art safety and efficiency standards with a specialised ‘TEAM Cab’ design and modular rescue vehicle.

With a turnover of €300 million (A$440 million), it now has a manufacturing capacity of up to 2,000 fire trucks and up to 220 aerials per year.

On a corporate transformation journey for about five years Magirus rebranded to its original identity after a series of incarnations, the most recent being Iveco-Magirus.

Having merged with Klockner Humboldt Deutz (KHD), one of the original founders of Iveco, in 1936, Magirus has held a long association with this more familiar trucking name in the Australian fire fighting industry.

While the company still fits many of its fire fighting range of bodies to Iveco chassis, manufacturers utilised now include a variety such as Scania, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo among others depending on the customer’s brand of choice and requirements.

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