Going with the Flo

Christening Flo, the tankerThe new  12.2, 12,000 litre bulk water tanker, was christened Flo, Monday, at the brigade’s Thornton Road shed.  Stevo gave a detailed rundown of the truck’s features to most of the brigade’s members.

As Yards describes it, it is an Isuzu: 2 seater; similar to the 4.4 but longer, heavier, dual rear axles, 6 speed automatic, 7.7 litre turbo charged diesel.

The PTO pump is rated at 1800 litres p.m. and the auxiliary portable pump is a Honda – 1100 litres p.m., so filling appliances is quite quick. The vehicle is for use on the blacktop, however it does have an inter-differential lock, and cross-axle diff locks at the rear, so it may be able to get itself out of trouble if some of the wheels are on the bitumen.

There is a locker on the driver’s side containing hoses, tools, branch etc, and there is a hydraulic side lifter platform on the near side to allow the collar tank and the auxiliary pump to be lowered to ground level and re-stowed. The work platform is at the rear with storage or things like fuel, rake hoes, fire extinguishers, suction hoses, road cones etc.

The collar tank can be deployed for ground support or for helicopter re-filling. It is the red “swimming pool” in the photos. The procedure would be for the collar tank to provide a supply of water for other appliances, while the 12.2 runs shuttles to keep it filled. Water is supplied to appliances (excepting possibly helicopters) by the portable pump. Alternatively, or in conjunction, appliances could be filled directly from the 12.2

There is a (small) hatch on the tank top for overhead filling. There is a Tank to Pump valve, but no Pump to Tank as on the 4.4, so if drafting is required, the portable pump needs to be used. A 25mm delivery is on the near side for a hose for verge mopping up, but there is no Monitor.

It is a two person truck and 12 people have been trained from different Busselton brigades. It will live at Thornton Road, next to the Light Tanker.

There is some debate whether Flo refers to Flo, the Hambug Damselfish in Finding Nemo, or Flo, the 1950’s Motorama V8 showcar in Disney’s Cars, or indie band Florence and the Machine. It has been suggested its theme song should be Florence and the Machine’s What the Water Gave Me.

The 12.2
Flo, the 12.2 water tanker
Filled collar
The portable water collar
Filling the water collar
Filling the water collar
Flo in the shed
Flo, sharing the shed with the Light Tanker