WIX® Filters Develops New Fire-Resistant Air Filter for Florida Forest Service

Thursday, 17 August 2017

New Filters Installed in John Deere Crawler Dozers Statewide



Florida has a 12-month wildfire season because as little as two weeks without rain at any time of year can result in dry conditions that can lead to wildfires threatening forests and homes. December through June are the most active months for wildfires. The greatest numbers of wildfires typically occur in February, when killing freezes leave grass and brush dry and ready to burn, but the largest wildfires usually occur in April and May, when much of Florida experiences a spring drought. The spring drought conditions occurred early this year, which increased wildfire activity across the state. Florida averages more than 3,000 wildfires a year that burn over 163,500 acres.
This year, the Florida Forest Service (FFS) had purchased nine John Deere 650K Final Tier 4 Crawler Dozers, a staple in firefighting, for use in the service’s 15 Field Center/Districts across the state. However, to prevent an engine air filter fire, it was in dire need of a fire-resistant air filter, as a standard filter would otherwise combust after prolonged exposure to intense heat or embers.

“There’s not a day that goes by when we aren’t fighting a fire somewhere in the state,” said Ron Worrell, Government Operations Consultant for the Florida Forest Service. “This fire season was our most active in the past five years and with these new model dozers we needed to be proactive in finding a fire-resistant air filter.
“It takes only the smallest of embers to light the filter media of a standard air filter, and once an ember comes in contact with the air flowing through the filter it’s like taking a blowtorch to it,” Worrell added. “There was not an aftermarket fire-resistant air filter available for the 650K Tier 4 dozers.”



Since 2011, WIX® Filters, a global manufacturer of filtration products, has provided the Florida Forest Service with fire-resistant air filters, which helps extinguish embers if contact is made with the air filter, for earlier models of John Deere dozers. However, the rollout of the new John Deere 650K Final Tier 4 dozers would require a new fire-resistant filter – and time was of the essence.

“As the fire season escalated, the Florida Forest Service came to us as they were in immediate need of fire-resistant air filters for the new dozers,” said Jerry Parker, District Sales Manager for WIX Filters. “Every time dozers are deployed into a scene, the risk of injury due to air filter ignition grows worse, and the issue is magnified in larger fires.”

The challenge for WIX was that it not yet cataloged a standard air filter for the new John Deere dozers, much less a fire-resistant filter. But once the product team at WIX identified the proper John Deere filter, it quickly moved to develop a fire-resistant version.

“Once the product team identified the filter, it launched a flurry of activity across multiple departments to develop and deliver the new fire-resistant filter,” Parker said. “Engineering quickly confirmed we had the materials necessary, change orders were written and manufacturing was scheduled.”

WIX produced more than 200 fire-resistant filters – WIX 49035FR – less than 30 days after being contacted by the Florida Forest Service. The filters were then dispatched by the FFS’ Lake City Central Shop to field units across the state.



“WIX stepped up at a tremendous time of need and helped us solve a vexing safety issue,” said Earl Seagroves, Operations and Management Consultant Manager for the Florida Forest Service. “Florida has the highest number of wildfires east of the Mississippi River, so it’s important to have partners who understand our unique needs.”
Seagroves added that WIX’s fire-resistant filters play a critical role in keeping the department’s dozers in service longer while also making the vehicles safer for its 750 firefighters statewide. WIX has provided the service with about 2,000 fire-resistant filters since 2011.

“We can’t have equipment failure in our line of work given the potential jeopardy a stalled dozer could have on both the lives of our firefighters and the success of our mission,” he said. “Fire-resistant filters are one of the tools we rely on to help our dozers last longer when pushing through flames.”

For Parker, the partnership is not only about a sense of pride for job well done, but one that involved a supporting cast at WIX that included product development, product management, engineering, R&D, manufacturing, purchasing and materials, customer service and marketing.

“It is a privilege to work with the brave men and women of the Florida Forest Service, who often work in some of the most hostile environments on earth,” said Parker, a resident of north-central Florida. “WIX takes great pride in providing a quality product designed to withstand these incredible elements.”

About WIX Filters

Since 1939, WIX® Filters has been an innovator in filtration products. WIX designs, manufactures and distributes products for automotive, diesel, agricultural, industrial and specialty filter markets. Part of the MANN+HUMMEL family of brands, WIX's product line includes oil, air, cabin interior, fuel, coolant, transmission and hydraulic filters for automobiles, trucks, off-road equipment and manufacturing applications. For more information, visit www.wixfilters.com, or any of our social channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube.

Contact

Christy Marion
704-926-1359
cmarion@wrayward.com

03/18/2019

WIX Filters Named Title Sponsor for the 2019 U.S. Legend Cars International Legend Car Series

03/07/2019

Nominate Your School For Tomorrow’s Tech ‘2019 School Of The Year’

02/28/2019

WIX® Filters Returns as Official Technical Partner with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing As Driver Sage Karam Enters the 2019 Indianapolis 500 in No. 24 WIX Filters Car

02/26/2019

WIX® Filters Announces Sponsorship Extension with Team Kalitta for 2019 NHRA Season

10/12/2018

WIX® Filters Named Presenting Sponsor of NHRA Carolina Nationals

11/14/2017

WIX® Filters Globally Releases 398 New Parts in First Three Quarters of 2017

11/08/2017

WIX® Filters, Babcox Media Present Tobi Klunder-Edmonds, Edmonds Import Auto with Fourth Annual WIX Driving Performance Award

11/07/2017

WIX® Filters, Babcox Media Select Two 2017 Counter Professionals of The Year

10/31/2017

WIX® Filters Launches Groundbreaking Senzit™ Smart Air Filter Monitor

11/01/2016

WIX® Filters Launches New Heavy-Duty Air Filters

04/14/2016

WIX® Filters Extends Partnership with Richard Childress Racing

02/11/2016

WIX® Filters Named 2015 O`Reilly Auto Parts Supplier of the Year

11/18/2015

WIX® Filters Honored With Auto PlusSM Diamond Award During AAPEX

11/13/2015

WIX® Filters Wins AWDA 2015 Pursuit of Excellence Award

11/09/2015

WIX® Filters Awards $44,341.25 to National FFA Chapters

09/17/2015

WIX® Filters Reveals Top 20 Schools in 2015 School of the Year Competition

06/30/2015

2015 EXECUTIVE TRENDS: MID-YEAR REVIEW

06/12/2015

WIX® Filters Named Seventh Healthiest Large Company By Charlotte Business Journal