You may not have heard or seen the Magirus name very much in Australia up to this point, however the long-established German brand intends to make deeper inroads into our market in coming years.
In operation since 1864, the business was established by Ulm firefighter Conrad Dietrich Magirus after he developed a wooden 14 metre freestanding ladder.
The ladder, which was fitted with wheels for easy transport, proved to be a great asset to firefighters and the business took-off.
Since then, Magirus has gone on to be at the forefront of firefighting equipment development, particularly around the design of ladder trucks.
Today, Magirus is owned by the giant CNH Industrial and produces firefighter vehicles for use in markets across the globe.
I was invited by CNH Industrial to tour the Magirus headquarters and factory in Ulm and even had the opportunity to sample some of the Magirus products.
My visit also included a memorable trip 42 metres up in the sky in the basket of a Magirus ladder – remarkably, the business has ladders that extend up to 68 metres into the air – for me 42 metres was far enough!
The Ulm facility also has a merchandise shop, museum and massive firetruck showroom/customer hand-over area (below).
Complete and ready to run firetrucks (on Iveco chassis), the production and fitting of firefighting bodies to chassis from other manufacturers and firefighting equipment.
Marc Diening is the CEO of Magirus, he told Behind the Wheel that Australia is a big priority for the brand.
“Australia is a market where we see great potential for our products,”
“We see that Australian authorities are keen to look at new ways to fight fires and that should provide opportunities for us.
“Australia is also a very diverse country and we are ready to provide a suitable vehicle to meet local requirements.”
That last point is an important one because no two Magirus trucks are the same.
Mr Diening said every Magirus truck is designed and equipped to meet the specific requirements of the customer, be that a government or military customer, or a local fire chief.
“There is no one-size fits all solution to fire trucks.” – Marc Diening
The Ulm plant currently produces, on average, 2.5 trucks per day and models range from remote control firefighting equipment to airport firefighting vehicles, like the three-metre wide, twin-engined, Dragon X6.
Perhaps the thing that stands out for me after my visit to Magirus HQ, aside from the customisation/personalisation offerings, is how fire trucks differ in design and focus to a standard haulage truck.
Mr Diening said most fire trucks only travel around 3,000km annually and need to work sporadically, where a normal truck covers big miles and is working as much as possible.
“That’s why we proud ourselves on making products that are reliable so that when they are needed they are ready to work.”
We will keep you updated with further info on the Magirus brand in our Magirus News section.