UW-Madison Bucky Wagon Project

October 7, 2011

Building the Bucky Wagon: Hidden Additions

Filed under: Bucky Wagon — Tags: , , , , , — markonfire @ 11:01 am

Engineers at Pierce Manufacturing didn’t just re-create the stock 1932 LaFrance fire wagon. They have nearly a century’s worth of experience in designing fire engines, and it made sense to use the benefit of their experience to improve on the original design for the Spirit Squad’s unique needs. They redesigned the bed of the truck with better seating and storage than ever before. And new diamond plating and reinforced rails will keep the running boards firm and able to support any number of Spirit Squad members.

Pierce also helped Glenn Bower retool the wagon to better fit the mission of creating a greener vehicle. LED emergency lights now top the wagon and will cut back on electricity use.  Pierce also supplied what appear to be fire hose hookups … but don’t try to use them: Bower and other engineers removed the vehicle’s heavy water pump to reduce strain on the electric motor.

While the engine might not be able to actually fight fires, it will be able to carry more Spirit Squad members further distances. And that’s probably more important in the long run. Bucky isn’t a trained firefighter, after all.

The wagon bed, now with more storage.

The wagon bed, now with more storage.

LED lights replace traditional spinning lights.

LED lights replace traditional spinning lights.

Gauges that disguise the fact that the Bucky Wagon cannot actually fight fires.

Gauges that disguise the fact that the Bucky Wagon cannot actually fight fires.

LED lights replace traditional spinning lights.

The pump facade in place.

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