Articulated All-Terrain Aerial Platform Fire Truck From South Africa

Lee Wilson found this one, and shared on social media. Would you believe a converted Caterpillar 740B articulated all-terrain construction vehicle converted into a heavy-duty fire truck complete with aerial platform? Cobra Petro Projects built the thing which is believed to be a world’s first. (At least with the aerial platform added. We’ve seen similar trucks in decades past with just water or water/foam capabilities, such as used at airports.)

Carries 21,000 liters (5547 gallons) of water that incorporates an ARFF foam system. The Bronto SkyLift platform can extend nearly 45 meters (147 feet). Or reach a vertical height of about 28 meters (91 feet). The pre-piped nozzle can flow 2,900 LPM (766 GPM).

The platform is powered from the truck’s diesel engine, while the pumps operate off the hoist hydraulic system. Other features include an on-board fire suppression system (!). Gross weight is about 70 tons.

Built for Kumba Iron Ore’s Sishen mine, which is located near the town of Kathu in the Northern Cape Province. (One of the largest open pit mines in the world, says Google.) Pictures below from the Cobra Petro web page. More detailed information from this Modern Mining magazine story. See also this CPHA magazine story (PDF), which has a few additional photos.

Click to slightly enlarge:

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  1. Reader Kurt Drew via Facebook posted this auction link to a former Dallas Love Field Caterpillar-Klein articulating airport crash truck. I remember seeing these in books in my early days, but never had the pleasure of seeing one in person: https://www.purplewave.com/auction/141112/item/H9027

    Military fire and ARFF apparatus Pete Brock adds this historical perspective:

    When the Air Force was looking at building a large capacity ARFF rig in the late 1970’s, Cat-Kline and Oshkosh built test units for what would become the P-15. One Cat-Kline rig was placed in service for testing at Travis Air Force Base. It was a 4×4 unit (like the Love Field rig) with a 1600 GPM pump, 7000 gallons water, and 700 gallons foam.

    Oshkosh won the contract and built 66 of the P-15s. How many of the Oshkosh/Cat-Kline rigs were built? I know of only two.

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