PICTURE OF THE WEEK – 4×4 all-terrain Tatra Force

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* 4×4 all-terrain Tatra Force will provide rapid response capability in high fire risk areas of Germany

A fleet of Tatra Force T815-7 firefighting vehicles with 4×4 all-terrain capability, powered by the Cummins L9 engine, are being deployed in the pine forest areas of north-east Germany, where the intensity and frequency of fires has increased in recent years. The 8.9-litre engine rated at 400 hp (298 kW) provides an ideal power match for the T815-7 by offering premium power characteristics for rapid response, for both on and off-road operations.

The first of 46 firefighting vehicles arrived in early 2021 in the states of Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-West Pomerania to begin familiarization with volunteer fire brigades (Freiwillige Feuerwehr). Although specially equipped to suppress forest fires, the twin water jet capability of the T815-7 is ready to deal with all types of fire and rescue emergencies.

The high-power density of the Cummins L9 contributes to the remarkable 62 mph (100 km/hr) top speed of the 18-tonnes max. permissible weight T815-7. The impressive 1700 Nm peak torque is fully utilized by the Tatra all-wheel driveline to enhance mobility over rough ground and when climbing steep gradients, with the powertrain protected against excessive heat and aggressive environments.

The Tatra Force T815-7 cab accommodates the driver, plus two crew with tilting access to the engine. The chassis is integrated with an equipment superstructure built by THT, featuring two water jets providing all-round fire extinguishing cover. The high rotating turret on the vehicle roof is manually operated, while the low turret mounted on the front bumper is activated in-cab with camera viewing. The body features a 4600-litre tank for the water jets and a 150-litre tank for foam concentrate, with proportioning and pumping pressure driven by power-take-off from the L9.

The vehicle is designed for operational self-sufficiency with an electrical generator, self-recovery winch, lighting mast, and it carries all necessary rescue equipment. Both the Tatra Force chassis-cab and THT superstructure are manufactured in the Czech Republic with the L9 engine meeting Euro 6 very low emissions standards, supplied from the Cummins Darlington Plant in the UK. The L9 engine uniquely combines the robust, heavy-duty performance of a higher displacement engine together with the efficiency and lower operating costs of a smaller, midrange engine.