4x4 Fire Engines.
The Country Fire Authority (CFA) has to deal with fires in paddocks (fields), forests, steep hillsides and other difficult terrain. For this reason many of its fire trucks are fitted with four wheel drive. This one (right) is based on an Isuzu four wheel drive truck.
Smaller four wheel drives are often converted into fire tenders. It is relatively easy to drive pumps from gearbox power take-off points (PTO) and to fit specialised bodywork to the underlying chassis. The fire engine pictured left is an ex-army one, based on a Land-Rover series-II 109".
Such four wheel drives usually act as rapid-response units, reaching the scene of a fire before a larger truck can be brought in, and perhaps staying around to damp down afterwards.
Water is very heavy, approximately 10lbs (5kg) per gallon,
as anyone who has lifted a few jerry-cans can testify.
Just 100 gallons weighs about half a ton.
The amount of water that a light-weight four wheel drive can carry
is limited but by getting in close to a fire quickly it may be
able to deal with it or control it until backup arrives.
If there is a dam, stream or other source of water close at hand it
is in even better situation.
Old fire engines are often good restoration projects for collectors. Most have travelled only limited miles and have been kept garaged and well maintained in a state of readiness. Besides, the bells, sirens, special brass fittings fascinate children of any age.
This Austin Gipsy 4x4 fire engine (right)
resides at the Transport Museum, Howth, Co Dublin, Ireland.
Most ordinary Austin Gipsies would be suffering terminal rust by now.
fire engine (right) was used on
the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme in its younger days.
4WD Vehicles A-Z
4WD Toys & Models
History of 4WDs