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With an easy-to-use control panel, a firefighter adjusts the cab's interior temperature using the fire truck’s HVAC system.The interior environment of a fire truck cab is designed to keep firefighters comfortable and safe as they travel to and work on the fire ground—but time is of the essence. When an alarm rings out, fire truck operators must be confident that an apparatus can comfortably transport aid and match nature’s forces on the road.

Pierce Manufacturing’s new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC) is designed to work quickly and efficiently, combating frost and fog and mitigating heat and humidity.

Continue reading below to learn more about the new HVAC system’s performance and how it is designed to enhance operator ease and comfort, and reduce overall maintenance costs with:

  • Improved climate controls
  • Enhanced strategic air flow and discharge
  • New defog and defrost capabilities

#1 Improved Climate Controls

Pierce’s heating, cooling and ventilation system features three functional knobs for fan control, temperature control and air flow.

The new fire truck HVAC system features an intuitive controller style with operational components designed to work in a similar manner to those in an automotive vehicle.

The controller has three functional knobs:

  • Fan Control. The controller and system will include automatic temperature control. Simply push the fan control knob to activate the automatic temperature control.
  • Temperature Control. Operators set the temperature by rotating the dial. Pressing the center of the temperature control knob will activate the air conditioning (A/C) in manual mode.
  • Air Flow Control. Pressing the air flow control knob will activate max defrost that will distribute airflow to the full forward position, set the fan speeds to 100-percent and engage the A/C.

With easy-to-use control features, firefighters can control the cab’s interior environment quickly and efficiently, allowing them to focus their attention on the road.

#2 Fire Truck Air Flow Enhancements

Fire truck cab air flow is the most significant consideration in optimal HVAC performance. Pierce’s HVAC system offers a wider air flow pattern across the entire windshield, which allows cab occupants to better control and maintain a comfortable environment and keep the windshield clear for enhanced visibility.

Watch the performance and effectiveness of the new system in the video below.


The enhanced heating and cooling system directs air flow more strategically. The air is carried from the evaporator, through a center duct and distributed out of fixed louvers along the top of the windshield. There are adjustable louvers on each side of the windshield to direct airflow to the driver and officer side windows.

In addition to enhanced air flow, the HVAC system directly impacts visibility and safety with improved defog and defrost functionality.

#3 Enhanced Defog and Defrost Capabilities

Pierce’s HVAC system in the cab interior is designed to improve fog and frost visibility with more significant air flow coverage.Pierce’s new HVAC system is designed to improve fog and frost visibility. With more significant air flow coverage, an air conditioning system is used to remove moisture from the air, similar to automotive applications. The system is installed above the windshield, which promotes air flow and frees up additional dash space.

Activating the air conditioning (A/C) is the key to defrosting and defogging the cab because it passes the air through evaporator coils to dry the air before it is discharged. The new system can rapidly defrost the windshield and also redirect air to blast the operator and passenger side windows to improve mirror visibility.


Increased HVAC Efficiency and Performance

Air flow vents in the fire truck cab help maintain a comfortable interior environment. The enhancements made in Pierce’s new HVAC have resulted in improved overall performance, including:

  • A significant increase in air output to improve the interior environment for occupants
  • Strategic air flow to keep the windshield and side windows clear
  • User-friendly control panel to make it easy for customers to operate
  • Integrated gravity drains that allow for easy maintenance
  • Automatic temperature control to maintain appropriate cab temperature
  • Reduced cab humidity and temperature in warm, humid environments, which prevents window fogging and condensation

The heating and cooling advancements are designed to support quick and efficient operations so firefighters feel confident the cab interior will comfortably transport occupants and provide optimal visibility in harsh weather conditions.

If your fire department is looking for an upgraded HVAC system designed to improve efficiency, performance and occupant comfort, Pierce has delivered. Pierce’s new HVAC system is now available on the Enforcer, Saber, Impel and Velocity chassis. If you are interested in learning more about the system, please contact your Pierce Dealer.

Do you have questions about the new HVAC system? Leave a comment below.

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Topics: Products

About Pierce Manufacturing
Pierce Manufacturing Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation [NYSE: OSK] company, is the leading North American manufacturer of custom fire apparatus. Products include custom and commercial pumpers, aerials, rescue trucks, wildland trucks, mini pumpers, elliptical tankers, and homeland security apparatus. In addition, Pierce designs its own foam systems and was the first company to introduce frontal airbags and the Side Roll Protection system to fire apparatus. To learn more about Pierce, visit

About Oshkosh Corporation

At Oshkosh (NYSE: OSK), we make innovative, mission-critical equipment to help everyday heroes advance communities around the world. Headquartered in Wisconsin, Oshkosh Corporation employs more than 14,000 team members worldwide, all united behind a common cause: to make a difference in people’s lives. Oshkosh products can be found in more than 150 countries under the brands of JLG®, Pierce®, Oshkosh® Defense, McNeilus®, IMT®, Jerr-Dan®, Frontline™, Oshkosh® Airport Products, London™ and Pratt Miller. For more information, visit

®, ™ All brand names referred to in this news release are trademarks of Oshkosh Corporation or its subsidiary companies.

Forward Looking Statements

This news release contains statements that the Company believes to be “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical fact, including, without limitation, statements regarding the Company’s future financial position, business strategy, targets, projected sales, costs, earnings, capital expenditures, debt levels and cash flows, and plans and objectives of management for future operations, are forward-looking statements. When used in this news release, words such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “intend,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “should,” “project” or “plan” or the negative thereof or variations thereon or similar terminology are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors, some of which are beyond the Company’s control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These factors include the overall impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition; the duration and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic; actions that may be taken by governmental authorities and others to address or otherwise mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on global economies and the Company’s customers, suppliers and employees; and the cyclical nature of the Company’s Access Equipment, Commercial and Fire & Emergency markets, which are particularly impacted by the strength of U.S. and European economies and construction seasons.

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