The fires that raged in Sweden last summer highlighted the need for fire-fighting vehicles that can maneuver in rough terrain, and Scania’s XT P 370 fire tanker is designed for dense forest operations, the company said.
Scania recently delivered its XT fire tanker to Eksjö Rescue Services in southern Sweden.
Built on a standard XT 6×6 chassis, the truck features a water tank with the capacity to hold 6,000 litres (1,585 gallons).
“What distinguishes this truck is the flexible attachment between the frame and body in order to cope with the uneven movement in terrain,” said Johan Sand at the Atteviks Scania dealership. “With a rigid attachment, the tanks might crack. It has also been equipped with heavy-duty threaded off-road terrain tyres.”
Versatile army veteran
The Eksjö rescue services previously had an ex-army Saab-Scania SBAT 111S 6×6 tactical truck—the acronym for Special Bulldog Allwheeldrive Tandem—from 1976, first on loan and subsequently donated by the armed forces.
“That was a really great truck in terrain, but it was dated after 42 years and spares were increasingly difficult to obtain,” said Micael Carlsson, head of Eksjö Rescue.
Carlsson’s aim was to replace the vintage truck with a modern fire fighter, “(but), we didn’t have the budget for a customized vehicle and were looking at meeting our requirements using off-the-shelf components,” he said.
Following discussions with the Scania dealership, a special-order chassis was designed using standard components, with body work by Sala Brand.
“We’ve not yet actively used the vehicle, but our staff has trained with the new truck,” Carlsson said. “It performs almost as well as the SBAT with another level of comfort and safety.”
Handling with care
The Eksjö area was spared from forest fires last summer, but the firefighting crews stayed busy battling fires in neighboring areas and elsewhere.
“We stand ready to assist others with firefighting resources, but I don’t think that we’ll be taking the truck on the road,” Carlsson said. “With these tires, it’s a bit unsteady on tarmac. Besides, we need to take more care when handling this truck. A few more scratches here and there on the army truck really was of no concern.”
The Scania XT truck seats two, but Eksjö Rescue Services use other personnel carriers for crews.
“The real advantage is not having to pull hose as far when establishing firebreaks,” Carlsson said.
“Considering payload, we could have built larger-volume tanks but that would have adversely affected maneuverability in terrain. And 6,000 liters are normally adequate when spraying for firebreaks, usually using no more than 100 liters (26 gallons) per minute.”