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LFB New Command Unit


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“From the people that brought you the unique Warks TL”

Only joking, popped up on twitter today, LFB have gone with the bus style command unit to i guess replace the Mercs. Seems to not have much ground clearance and a severe rear overhang. Also Optare as a make, must be trying to get their foot in the door of the fire service. Bodywork by WH Bence, another coachbuilder that hasnt got a large share of the fire service market ( i think Merseyside used to use them )



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I wonder if it has that air suspension like ordinary buses that lower or kneel down to allow easier access for the mobility impaired and senior officers carrying huge egos? 🤔 

  • Haha 2
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Bence is a choice they’ll regret, they got the contract for our last round of pumps and the build quality is truly appalling. Too many issues to list in full, but some highlights have been pull out trays designed to give you back injuries, lockers full of water due to no drainage holes and every nut/bold/screw on the bodywork being loose. 👍🏻 We’ve thankfully learned our lesson and binned Bence for Angloco after 1 order, but it’s disappointing to see other services wasting their money on them.

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Hopefully it will always be late as the fourth part of the combustion tetrahedron is actually all the white helmets this cutting edge spectacle of modern engineering will ferry to the fireground. Take said white helmets away and the fire goes out..

  • Haha 1
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It is certinally something different to look at but can it perform is a good question.  Based on the Optare Solo chassis its quite a sucessful bus chassis and has been used for some time and never really been any issues.  The only concern I have is the turning circle out of stations might be snug!

Ok Bence are not a big player in vehicle convertion in the UK Fire sector and there maybe some issues and nice looking designs might not be their strong point but this sort of work is probably more their norm due to the fit out work they do on vehicles/trailers used for medial trailers but also other conferencing type vehicles used for sports/hospatality and actually they have converted quite a few of the bigger Volvo based ICU's in the UK.

I've seen some of these and its not been bad, based on the specification given to them by a Brigade they have converted as asked, weather that is right for operational use thats not their concern if they have delivered as asked.

My only concern would be turning circle and perhaps length compared to the current ones and that it could be more pleasing on the eye.

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Hereford & Worcester, Tyne & Wear, West Sussex were all to name a few that had buses converted, think West Sussex still have theirs, nearly 30 year old and still serving its purpose.

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Not too dislimar to what West Sussex run now!!

From pen to paper to computer like pumps none of it has really changed.  You could put that on the run with a computer and modern radio in and it would still do the job!

  • Agree 1
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The LFB introduced technology on the next iteration of CUs when they supplied microfiche water maps and scrapped the paper ones

But the generator on the CU caused hideous vibrations in the unit, so the only way to read the microfiche maps was to turn the generator off and run on batteries for a moment or less efficiently,  a crew member would lift the microfiche reader off the work surface and hold it!!

So it became a 2 person job to read a map. Not exactly an improvement 😉😊

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