Fire protection and firefighting at a surface mine site present challenges and potential situations that are not commonly solved by structural fire apparatus. A viable solution to meet these challenges is through the utilization of pre-owned Aircraft Rescue & Fire-Fighting (ARFF) vehicles In fact, ARFF trucks offer ideal fire suppression capabilities and characteristics for supporting land mining operations. Why is this – and how can you get one?
Having been originally engineered and manufactured to carry extensive amounts of firefighting agents (water, foam concentrate, and even dry chemical or potassium bicarbonate) to manage aircraft and airport incidents, a repurposed ARFF vehicle can easily transport and apply these capabilities to large mine machinery and equipment, mining plant structures, or facilities. Capable of hauling 1500 to 3000 US gallons of water; 200 to 400 US gallons of foam concentrate; and 500-pounds of potassium bicarbonate (aka “Purple-K”), an ARFF truck packs plenty of firefighting “punch” to get the job done in short order!
Utilizing cab-mounted roof turrets (specialty monitors and nozzles for fire extinguishing applications) as well as front bumper turrets, a single truck driver/operator using interior joystick controls can readily apply large volumes of water or foam solution – even while remaining mobile around an incident. Incorporating a power divider and transfer case packaged within the chassis powertrain, a used ARFF vehicle is designed to “pump and roll” so that while moving the truck, the operator can continue applying fire suppression agent to the scene of a fire.
Further, having been designed for rapid acceleration from a full stop position, an ARFF vehicle combines a powerful diesel engine (often a Detroit Diesel, Cummins, or Caterpillar) well in excess of 500 bhp with an Allison automatic transmission to be able to climb and navigate incredibly difficult terrain. The chassis is configured as a 4×4, 6×6, or 8×8 platform with a commensurate engine rated to move the respective large volume of extinguishing agents to the scene. Coupled with a wide footprint, aggressive tread off-road tires, and often with an all-wheel independent suspension system, an ARFF vehicle has superior off-road capability and overall mobility when compared to conventional trucks.
To be expected with any work truck, there is ample compartment storage space in the truck body to carry a variety of accessories and tools. Furthermore, with a potential on-board generator and/or LED scene lighting, full capabilities for night operations and area lighting around the rig open up possibilities on the work site. Depending on the climate and temperature extremes, repurposed ARFF vehicles may have winterization to enable full functionality in any weather conditions. Of course, this may also include cab air conditioning for the comfort of the driver/operator.
As with any pre-owned vehicle, there is variation in age, miles, and hours of operation. In general, because ARFF vehicles are confined to airports and actual emergency incidents are rare, it is possible to find used ARFF trucks that can readily serve new duties at a mining operation.
So, how do you source a quality repurposed ARFF unit?
Believe it or not, there are commercial enterprises with expertise that focus on secondary market applications with used ARFF trucks. These include Company Two based in South Carolina; Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus in Alabama; and Fire Trucks Unlimited in Nevada. Each of them have access to inventories of very capable ARFF vehicles for mining operations. Plus, they each have capabilities to refurbish or remanufacture rigs as needed based on any specific upgrades or enhancements desired by a mine site owner. With years of subject matter expertise, they can make certain you get the best value and performance available on the market. Moreover, if other dependable used fire trucks or ambulances are needed for a site, these same companies have abundant access to quality pre-owned units that are still well-suited for a service life extension in mine fire protection and emergency response.
To note, if leasing is preferred rather than ownership, these arrangements can be fully accommodated as well to simplify acquisition. Plus, additional spare parts, service, and maintenance packages can be offered as needed to assist with site fleet operations.
To answer any questions or for further information on repurposed ARFF vehicles or pre-owned fire trucks and ambulances, don’t hesitate to contact one of these leading companies today.
They have the trained staff and capabilities to help locate what will work best for you.