June 18, 2024

Co-cultivating excellence in agricultural firefighting

2 min read

Veld fires pose a great threat to farmers, as uncontrolled blazes can quickly engulf vast stretches of farmland, consuming crops, livestock and essential infrastructure – wiping out years of hard work in mere minutes. However, the future of farming preparation against veld fires has had a major boost with a proudly South African pioneering solution.

Husqvarna and ANCO Manufacturing have embarked on an exciting partnership, centred around a firefighting product known as the Bakkie Sakkie.

Ruan van Schalkwyk, Husqvarna’s area business manager for Limpopo and Mpumalanga and the project’s pointsperson, explains: “The concept is simple yet remarkably ingenious. ANCO designed a water tank engineered to be mounted at the rear of a bakkie (pickup truck). Powered by a robust Husqvarna multipurpose engine (MPE) and a high-capacity water pump, the result is a mobile firefighting unit that can be rapidly deployed to combat fires, even in the most remote and challenging terrains.”

Reliable engine power

The key component of this firefighting innovation is the Husqvarna HH 163MP multipurpose engine, known for its reliability and robustness. It features a powerful 163cc petrol engine that is durable, water- and rust-resistant, making it ideal for the Bakkie Sakkie unit. “This engine is built to withstand the harsh conditions often encountered during firefighting,” says Van Schalkwyk.

One of the standout features of the HH 163MP is its optimised combustion chamber and air vent, resulting in lower fuel consumption and reduced emissions during operation. Van Schalkwyk says this offers additional benefits for farmers, as it is more cost-effective and lessens the ecological impact of firefighting efforts.

Manufacturing expertise

Casper Pieterse, operations manager at ANCO Manufacturing, says the decision to partner with Husqvarna was an easy one. “The idea for the collaboration originated with Husqvarna South Africa’s managing director, Pieter Smuts. When it was presented to us, we recognised the potential of their product powering the Bakkie Sakkie, offering farmers a game-changing, reliable solution to the very real and ongoing threat of veld fires.”

By combining the Bakkie Sakkie with the HH 163MP multipurpose engine that fits snugly on the back of a bakkie, farmers can respond swiftly and effectively to fires, making all the difference in containing a blaze before it escalates.

“Husqvarna has an impressive reputation for reliability, and we are confident that by combining our manufacturing expertise with Husqvarna’s powerful MPE, we have a dependable resource that will deliver optimal performance when it’s needed most,” adds Pieterse.

The partnership between Husqvarna and ANCO Manufacturing has positioned both companies as innovators in firefighting technology. Their commitment to creating an effective product that will assist professionals, as well as farmers, in their firefighting efforts showcases their ongoing dedication to finding creative solutions that also maximise safety. The Bakkie Sakkie represents a new standard in innovation and another step forward in ensuring first responders have the tools they need to protect lives and property.

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