The heavy vehicles that do much of the grunt work for industries such as mining, logging and mass transit come with a hefty purchase price, so there is no room for error when it comes to protecting such machinery.

The vehicles often have to run 24 hours a day, seven days a week in hot and harsh environments, exposing them to significant fire dangers. The engine compartments and breaking systems are especially vulnerable, with mechanical and electrical failures accounting for most of the fires. Fuel-line ruptures and the presence of flammable liquids in engines add to the volatile mix.

As a result, these heavy vehicles need around-the-clock fire suppression systems to safeguard drivers and their equipment in the face of potentially catastrophic fire threats.

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Sophisticated fire protection systems are available for at-risk industries.

In the mining sector, for example, vehicles such as ore haulers, draglines, haul trucks and dozers are crucial to the smooth running of operations. Such vehicles must withstand very high temperatures in the engine compartment while also combatting the impact of vibrations and dust. As a result, they need to be fitted with tailored fire-protection systems to protect everything from the wheels to the cabins.

This machinery is extremely expensive to buy and often very time-consuming to fix or replace. So any fire damage can result in substantial downtime for sites and upset business continuity and profitability. There is also a very real threat to drivers and other equipment operators if shortcuts are taken.

What can site owners do to sleep well at night? The nature of the fire hazard that these heavy vehicles present has to be carefully considered if the detection and suppression solution is to work efficiently. All systems must also comply with strict international codes and standards.

A number of specially developed vehicle fire protection systems are available to address these particular challenges on high-risk sites. They are linear or spot detection-based dry chemical powder systems (which discharge a dry powder into the risk area to suppress liquid fuel fires), or foam spray systems (which discharge a continuous stream of foam water spray that quickly suppresses flames and cools hot surfaces).

The systems have a range of cylinder size options and are designed to provide early detection and warnings that allows extra time for drivers to safely evacuate, while also dousing any fires to minimise damage to vehicles.

Heat from a fire activates the linear or spot-detection devices, which are located strategically throughout the at-risk areas of the vehicle. The module then alerts the vehicle operator that a fire has been detected and activates the fire suppression process. The systems can also be operated manually.

Rely on trusted fire-safety experts

As with any fire suppression system, the stakes are high because lives and businesses can be lost in the event of a serious fire. So it is crucial for site owners and operators to engage a team of fire-safety specialists to offset such risks.

They can help identify the level of fire risk for a particular vehicle in its operating environment and then suggest and install workable and reliable fire-suppression systems that incorporate the most up-to-date technology.

With such protections in place, drivers and their heavy vehicles can back to what they do best.

Fires that destroy or damage heavy vehicles on mining, mass transit or other high-intensity sites can put lives and business at risk. So click here to find out more and contact Australia’s leading provider of industrial fire suppression systems.

Also see: Bell Bay Aluminium case study



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