Compact power pack for the Bad Mühllacken volunteer fire department

Small dimensions, large application range: The new rescue vehicle with crane (RF crane) of the Bad Mühllacken volunteer fire department in Upper Austria can be equipped with a loading crane, a cable winch, a lot of equipment and other practical features. Nevertheless, the vehicle also impresses with its compact design, which is a perfect fit for the application area.


The Bad Mühllacken fire department has to deal with a wide range of operations. Smaller and larger firefighting operations, floods, traffic accidents, and the rescue of people from difficult terrain must be undertaken on a more or less regular basis. Emergency crews have been called out, on average, 90 times per year in recent years. The more than 30-year-old rescue vehicle, which has now been replaced by the new RF Crane from Rosenbauer, has likewise been part of many calls.


"Small, but powerful"

"All of our experience throughout the last 30 years has gone into the configuration of the new rescue vehicle," says Commander Rudolf Gattringer. The idea was to design a vehicle with compact dimensions, which suits the operational area of the fire department. Many operations have to be undertaken in inhospitable terrain, which is often barely accessible by vehicle, and sometimes not at all. Nevertheless, a powerful crane and a powerful cable winch should still - or perhaps because of this - be used.


At Rosenbauer, the Mercedes-Benz Atego chassis that had been selected, was designed to meet the wishes of the Bad Mühllacken fire department: The PALFINGER PK-18502 crane has a maximum range of almost 15 meters and can be remotely controlled. It provides a valuable service in the event of traffic accidents, animal rescues, and other technical operations. Special attention was also paid to the built-in winch: "Maximum pulling force over the entire cable length, and as long a cable as possible were our wishes," says Commander Gattringer. And these wishes were fulfilled with the ROTZLER Treibmatic TR 080: This winch gives a constant pulling force of eight tonnes over the 80-meter cable. This allows the winch to be used effectively even at a great distance from the vehicle. The 30 kVA built-in generator can be used not only to supply the equipment housed in the vehicle, but also to operate the waterworks in Bad Mühllacken in the event of a major power failure, such as during floods or a severe thunderstorm.


Support for the operator

Also important to the Bad Mühllacken fire department were the safety systems and the simplicity of operation, in order to make it easier for the operator. The loading crane is equipped with, for example, vibration damping and ground pressure monitoring, and the entire technology can be operated with the proven LCS 2.0 system from Rosenbauer. With a fully automatic 5-speed gearbox with torque converter, fast and slip-free force transmission is also ensured when driving in the hilly area around Bad Mühllacken. In the selection of the vehicle, the increased watertightness also played a role, due to the occasional need to drive through flooded areas: "This has enabled us to rescue people from a number of acute emergency situations," says Rudolf Gattringer of the motives.


Despite the compact design of the RF Crane, it fits a lot of equipment. Thanks to the COMFORT stowage systems, the equipment can be removed quickly and ergonomically from the full-height lockers and rotating compartments. The extensive illumination with a total of seven LED floodlights around the vehicle and the pneumatically extendable light mast with two 1,500-watt headlights come in handy at night. Three-quarters of the equipment compartment is, incidentally, designed as a removable built-in box. If this is removed, there is a flatbed with space for five Euro-pallets, with a stop bar and retractable lashing points available.


The Bad Mühllacken fire department has collaborated with Rosenbauer for decades. "With the RF crane, we have received yet another great vehicle from Rosenbauer," Commander Rudolf Gattringer enthusiastically stated regarding the new vehicle.