"The past is never fully gone. It is absorbed into the present and the future. It stays to shape what we are and what we do."
Sir William Deane, Governor-General of Australia, Inaugural Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture, August 1996.

Fire Tankers - Lead Article

Barry Marsden (bio)

The two videos connected through this page were produced by Rawdon Sthradher. Rawdon was originally a photographer and video producer with the Soil Conservation Authority and then CF&L in all its various guises for 12 years. He freelanced for the next 20 years, and in that time still did quite a bit of work for Fire Management, Fisheries and other sections of the Department.


This article describes the main tanker versions between 1950 and 2014.

1950: Blitz Tanker 4x4

Purchased from the RAAF in Amberley,
Queensland after WW2.
 Read More....

1960: Bedford RLHC 4x4, Petrol



The early Bedford tankers were designed on the Blitz configuration.  Read More....

1972: International C1300 4x4, Petrol

Twelve International C1300 4x4 fire tankers were developed by the FCV during 1972/73.  Read More....

1972: Bedford “M”Series 4x4, Petrol

The first M series Bedford tanker
was based on a CFA design.
 Read More....

1975/76: Bedford “M”Series 4x4, Petrol

All M series Bedford tankers would now be constructed utilising a ‘V“ bottom tank.  Read More....

1976: Ford D1213 4x2, Petrol

The FCV introduced four Ford 4x2 dual wheel
tankers into the fleet.
 Read More....

1977: Bedford “M”Series 4x4, Petrol

A Bedford M Series tanker, constructed in 1977 incorporated retardant mixing technology.  Read More....

1983: Mercedes Benz 911B 4x4, Diesel

The Mercedes Benz 911B had an 800 gallon
fibreglass water tank.
 Read More....

1983: Isuzu JCS 420 4x4, Diesel

The configuration of the new Isuzu FTS 420 was similar to the earlier tanker build program.  Read More....

1994: Isuzu FTS 700 4x4, Diesel

Installation of hydraulic cabin lift mechanism.  Read More....

1997: Isuzu FTS 750 4x4, Diesel

Fourteen Isuzu FTS 750 fire tankers
were constructed in 1997.
 Read More....

2004: Isuzu FTS 750 4x4, Diesel

A vehicle-mounted spray protection
system was installed.
 Video....   Read More....

2006: Isuzu FTS 750 Dual 4x4, Diesel

Central Tyre Inflation Technology Trial. Video....  Read More....

2009/10: Isuzu FTS 800 4x4, Diesel

A new Isuzu tanker was manufactured during the 2009/10 period.  Read More....

2014: Mercedes Benz Unimog HD Fire Tanker, Diesel


Following an exhaustive national review
the Mercedes Unimog was developed.

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