Industrial Fire Journal - Fire & Rescue - Hemming Group Ltd
Caltex refinery takes delivery of a high capacity response truck from Rosenbauer
Published:  14 September, 2012

Rosenbauer has supplied the Australian minerals group Caltex with a special foam pumper equipped with new extinguishing technology. The giant vehicle has been deployed to protect a petrochemical complex consisting of a refinery and a large tank farm near Sydney. Moreover, due to the fire loads and differing fire risks on site, first and foremost the vehicle has to be capable of emitting the largest possible volume of extinguishing agents in the shortest possible time.

Consequently, it has no less than 4,000l of foam and 250kg of powder on board, while as is usual in the industry, unlimited supplies of water are available from hydrants. The blend of water, foam and if required dry powder, which constitute the extinguishing agent mix, is either applied by means of two monitors, one on the vehicle roof and one at the tip of the turret arm, or via a quick attack. In addition, the vehicle is fitted with fully automatic extinguishing technology and remote controlled monitors and can therefore be operated for days and weeks without interruption.

Made in Austria 

The foam pumper for Caltex was built at the Rosenbauer Group's headquarters in Leonding/Austria on a four-axle Scania chassis with two steered trailing axles. The superstructure of this massive truck conceals a combination of Rosenbauer's most powerful extinguishing components, consisting of an N100 normal pressure pump with an output of up to 14,000 l/min in hydrant operation and the direct injection foam proportioning system Hydromatic The latter provides infinitely adjustable proportioning rates and separate emission of water and water/foam mixtures via differing outlets. Both the pump and the proportioning system represent high-performance extinguishing technology, which has been specially developed for industrial operations.

Two factors were of decisive importance to Caltex's decision to opt for a Rosenbauer vehicle. Firstly, the technical expertise available from Leonding and secondly, the frequently demonstrated reliability of the group's products. Rosenbauer is the branch's leading full-liner with complete series of integrated pumps, foam proportioning systems and monitors. Furthermore, it has been building firefighting vehicles for over a century and since the 1990s has also been using its own chassis. The company possesses specialized know-how in the chassis and drive train field, particularly with regard to the optimum transfer of drive energy from vehicle engines to the extinguishing systems.

As a rule, this power transmission takes place using an auxiliary drive, but in Caltex's case a split shaft transmission is employed, which enables the transfer of the entire power of the engine to the firefighting technology users. In other words, 480hp (353 kW) are available for the pump, the foam proportioning system and the turret, which represents sufficient power for lengthy industrial operations.

Industrial firefighting vehicles are generally produced singly or in very small batches, as they are precisely matched to the individual needs of the customer. In the case of Caltex for example, the Hydromatic system is fitted with ten outlets of differing dimensions instead of the usual six. At the request of the customer, changes were also made to the suction side of the vehicle, which was enlarged to include five hydrant intakes. In addition, various vehicle features such as the lighting, brakes and driving slope angle, etc. were manufactured and certified in line with Australian design regulations, in order that the vehicle qualify for a road traffic license.