AFTER Valla RFS Brigade lost their first tanker in the incident at Valley Valley Trail, the next tanker to arrive was called Valla 2.
Valla 2 or BF02069 was a 1981 Isuzu TSD 45 purchased in late 1991 from Queensland, using insurance money from the crash that destroyed the Brigade's first tanker.
The insurance paid $16,000.
FCO Wal, Captain Peter, SDC Ron and a council engineer travelled to Brisbane.
They originally went to buy another cab chassis but it was too expensive when they got there.
They found the right one by accident at another truck dealer.
The vehicle cost $8000 to buy, leaving $8000 to fit it out as a fire truck.
Captain Peter remembers the trip well, including Wal heading the wrong way up a one way street....the Queensland drivers were not impressed, but Wal just waved and said "It's ok, we're from NSW".
At one stage Ron and Peter saw that Wal was heading in the other direction of a divided road, Ron simply turned across the grass median and was bound for Valla.
Rust fell out cab the whole way home.
The truck was a basic cab with tray, 900 x 20 super single tyres with no spare, no working fuel gauge and dodgy batteries, they had to find a hill to park on so they could roll start when they stopped for lunch.
The truck sat at council for a long time before they got around to building the fire fighting body, and cut the rust out of the cab.
The truck finally came to Valla in late 1992 and served until December 1998.
It was the pride of the fleet. The best one the area had, it was the first diesel powered heavy tanker for the district.
The configuration when we had the tanker was a Category 2.
It carried 2000 litres in two tanks, and had a Robin Diesel firefighter pump.
It carried six crew, three in the cab and three in the cabin built on the back.
This tanker attended hundreds of incidents and hazard reduction burns.
It was very capable off road, climbed anywhere, although the driver sometimes had to stand up to see over the very long bonnet.
The truck was very handy for recovering other bogged fire trucks. It was used more than once to save our northern neighbours, Urunga RFB from the bog.
When the tanker left us, it went to Headquarters brigade where it was converted to carry 7000 litres of water with three crew.
This is the configuration that has now retired to NSW RFS Heritage.
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