February 12, 2009 With Mother Nature currently demonstrating unprecedented wildfire power in the Australian state of Victoria, cost-efficient firefighting solutions will come increasingly into focus over the coming months. One seemingly viable solution emanating from Kubota Tractor is a drop-in high pressure fire suppression system, which is performance-matched and hydraulically-powered by Kubota’s RTV900 Worksite Utility model. The new “Assault Force 70” is designed to provide a low-cost quick-response unit for a diverse range of fire situations.
The Assault Force 70’s state-of-the-art high pressure unit uses a fraction of the water volume versus lower pressure systems, resulting in better run times and less damage to property. “Using biodegradable Class A foam at a two percent mix rate, the unit runs for a minimum of 13 minutes at continuous full-discharge using only 70 gallons of water,” said Kevin Quinn, President and Founder of E.J. Metals which designed and manufactured the drop-in units for Kubota. “This unit can extinguish a fully-engulfed car fire with less than 25 gallons of water.”
Because it is powered by the RTV900’s remote hydraulic circuit, this fire suppression system does not require a separate gas engine, eliminating the risk of flammability. The Assault Force 70 system requires only minor electrical and hydraulic hookups, along with the removal of the standard cargo box sides and tailgate; a four-pin system securely retains the unit on the cargo box floor and allows for easy removal.
A remote hydraulic utility valve system with a redundant hydraulic oil cooler, reservoir, and filter for continuous-duty use comes standard equipment for the RTV900 Worksite Utility model. Additionally, eight complementary heavy-duty hydraulic tools are available for the RTV900s – adding even greater usefulness and versatility to the hard-working machines. A key tool for fire-fighting applications is Kubota’s hydraulic submersible pump, which can be used to quickly refill the Assault Force 70’s or other water tanks from remote water sources such as pools, ponds or lakes at a rate of 250 gallons per minute. Other Kubota hydraulic tools such as the chain saw and breaker can be used for maintenance duty when not fighting fires.
The RTV900 Worksite model is powered by a 21.6-horsepower, three-cylinder, liquid-cooled Kubota diesel engine. Another Kubota exclusive is the Variable Hydro Transmission (VHT) that gives unmatched performance and durability with three ranges to enable tractor-like torque, power and durability, solid traction, reliable hill-climbing power and excellent hill-holding capabilities when traveling downhill. Handling and operator comfort are further enhanced with the RTV’s standard hydraulic power steering, an exclusive feature among 4wd utility vehicles in its class.