Rosenbauer and Renault Trucks have presented a new wildland firefighting vehicle.
It meets both category 3 of EN 1846-2 for all-terrain firefighting vehicles and specific requirements for protecting the vehicle crew, as defined for example in the French standard NFS 61-517 or NFS 61-518. This standard includes the requirement for a thermal self-protection system and driver’s cab equipped with a rollover cell. With its compact dimensions, low centre of gravity and single tires, the all-wheel-drive vehicle is ideal for rough terrain. The special firefighting equipment on board makes the extinguishing agents extraordinarily cost-effective and efficient. Plus, the crew can fight the fire using a turret mounted on the bumper and controlled from the cab without exiting the vehicle.
Robust, lightweight superstructure
The new forest firefighting vehicle is built on a two-axle chassis from Renault with a total permissible weight of 14 tonnes. The all-wheel-drive can be switched, and the six-cylinder diesel engine (Euro VI) has an output of 206 kW (280 hp). With a length of 6,900 mm and a wheelbase of 3,350 mm, the vehicle is extremely compact and manoeuvrable. The large under axle clearance and a tipping angle of 25° increase off-road capability.
The firefighting body consists of two parts, a tank module made of polypropylene and a pump room module behind it made of a self-supporting aluminium sheet/profile construction. The flexible and high-strength body provides optimum load distribution and lateral stability for operation under off-road conditions – the consistent use of lightweight materials ensures a high loading capacity.
The vehicle water tank has a capacity of 3,500 litres (500 litres of which is for the self-protection systems); the separate foam tank holds 100 litres. The additional equipment required for wildland firefighting operations – fire swatters, firefighting backpacks, backpack sprayers, etc. – is housed in three spacious equipment compartments with dust-tight roller-shutter closures. Two are located on the vehicle’s sides; another is installed across the rear’s entire width. The built-in pump, foam proportioning system and rapid intervention hose reel are also accessible through this compartment.
Firefighting equipment for forest firefighting
The equipment consists of the combined NH25 normal/high-pressure pump and the direct injection foam proportioning system RFC Admix Variomatic. The pump has a capacity of up to 2,500 lpm at 10 bar (FPN 10-2000) and up to 400 lpm at 40 bar (FPH 40-250). In high-pressure operation, the supply of extinguishing water on board can be used very sparingly. The fine atomisation causes more water to evaporate than under normal pressure, thus achieving a high-pressure extinguishing effect. Besides, the firefighting water’s kinetic energy allows it to be driven deep into the forest floor, which means that even hot spots can be extinguished efficiently.
The RFC Admix Variomatic also produces wetting agents, light, medium and heavy foam, and the proportioning ratio is infinitely variable between 0.1% and 6%. With the smallest proportioning quantity, the firefighting water’s surface tension is reduced to such an extent that it can penetrate deep into the flammable material. An excellent extinguishing effect can be achieved with minimal water consumption. The suffocating effect of firefighting foam is used at higher proportioning ratios. The foam compound is injected directly into the pressure outlets, and thus the water pump remains free of foam compound and does not have to be flushed after each use. Water and another mains water or foam can be discharged simultaneously at one outlet, or several injection points can be operated with different proportioning ratios.
A system of spray nozzles protects both the crew cab and the substructure of the vehicle. The water for this comes from a secured tank segment and is pumped by a separate, electrically driven pump. If the vehicle is trapped by fire during a forest fire, this system allows the crew to go over a burning fire border and reach safety.
The Rosenbauer DWD Driver Warning System enhances off-road driving safety. This technology measures the vehicle inclination and the axial lateral and longitudinal forces. It alerts the driver with visual and auditory signals if the vehicle is at risk of tipping over. A rollover cell made of high-strength steel is also integrated into the cab structure to protect the crew in all situations.
The vehicle is also equipped with a light package consisting of high-performance LEDs and a front cable winch with a tractive force of 5,400 kg. An optional fresh air system which creates an overpressure in the cabin to prevent the penetration of fire gases can also be installed. We also have our own protective devices for the battery and electrical equipment.
The vehicle is being built at Rosenbauer’s Linares Forest Fire Competence Center in Spain. It is built to meet, in particular, the technical and tactical requirements of French, Spanish and Portuguese fire departments. It combines everything necessary for efficient and safe wildland firefighting.