New medium tankers on tour

Posted by Admin on 23 July 2012 | 0 Comments

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New medium tankers on tour

Two of CFA's new medium sized tankers are making their way around the state for members to see and operate.

The 2012 model is built on a Hino 1322 4x4 crew chassis with seating for five, and the pumping and engine power of a larger, heavy tanker.

It's smaller, lighter, more manoeuvrable and more versatile than ever before. An improved power to weight ratio gives it the power of a 3.4C cab chassis but only pulling the weight of a medium tanker.

Although the outside of the new truck looks virtually the same as the recent 2.4C tanker it replaces, there are a lot of internal changes and upgrades that improve the vehicle's durability and effectiveness.

The tanker features a two-staged pump powered by a 22kW diesel engine. The pump puts out 900 litres of water a minute at 700kPa pressure - double the output of the last model and on a par with a large tanker.

An ultra-high pressure pump can spray low levels of water at high pressure - ideal for blacking out and even cleaning the truck.

The high pressure pump feeds two 60-metre lightweight hoses that are half an inch in diameter, each equipped with a trigger style handheld nozzle fitted with an aspirator that allows air to enter and create aspirated foam to avoid embers being sprayed around. The tankers have Class A foam capacity.

Input from district mechanical officers (DMOs) during the design and prototype stage has made the new model a lot easier to maintain, from small improvements such as the low current LED lights fitted throughout the vehicle to the new 'CAN bus' electrical control system that allows them to easily fix faults from their computer.

The monitor on the bull bar is controlled by an electrically-operated joystick in the cabin, which is a lot more robust than the previous cable-operated system. The new electric system increases the flow by 250 litres a minute and is a more reliable and commercially available product.

The introduction of an electrically-operated three-way pneumatic valve will make it a lot easier to switch between tank supply and hard suction. Switching between water sources is now as easy as flicking a switch and a lot easier than the old hand wheel gears that created maintenance issues.

All fibreglass parts have been replaced with aluminium or plastic to make the truck a lot more recyclable and environmentally sustainable. The new water tank is made from polyethylene, which is easier for DMOs to maintain and can be sourced in a few days rather than months.

While the cabin deck access hatch is no longer included in the design, a crew protection drop-down awning is now provided for the deck area.

The vehicle is fitted with a rear-view reversing camera and comes with stowage area for an esky - holding 24 bottles of water.

The $25 million project is due to be completed by June next year and will see 74 new tankers distributed to rural stations across the state, built by Victorian manufacturers SEM Fire and Rescue at Ballarat and Bell Environmental at Sunshine.

Posted by Jason Leigh CFA Member

Friday, 06 July 2012