Wildland portable pumps are an essential tool for firefighting operations, especially in remote environments where water sources are scarce and personnel must travel long distances to hotspots. For nearly 100 years, WATERAX has been dedicated to serving wildland firefighters by being the first to market on several firefighting pump innovations.
The MARK-3® is known as the “heart of the suppression system.” Renowned in the Industry, the MARK-3® was first introduced in 1964 when WAJAX (as WATERAX was known back then) coupled their patented 4-stage detachable pump end to a 185cc 2-stroke engine. It quickly became the standard wildland portable fire pump used by forestry agencies around the world. A truly outstanding and reliable performer, the MARK-3® fire pump is designed to withstand the rigors of firefighting and it is the core of most water delivery system in wildland operations.
Applications include attack line firefighting, long hose lay for remote watering during firefighting operations, tandem pumping over long distances and parallel pumping for higher volumes.
Higher pressure pumps are required by wildland firefighters because they face the challenge of fighting fires at great distances and elevation from water sources and have to operate in remote, and often hilly and rugged terrains. Higher pressure units make it possible to move water through longer hose lays and at greater elevation.
They also provide better safety and fire control for the firefighter since higher pressure produces compact and effective water streams that enable longer and higher nozzle reach. The longer reach creates greater distance between the nozzle and the fire, thereby keeping the operator at a safer distance. The greater pressure also provides for better penetration in thick brush and ground debris.
When fires occur in remote areas such as in wildland forests and mountainous areas, the unmatched power-to-weight ratio of a two-stroke engine provides for a powerful yet lighter and more compact unit. This is critical for quick response, quick relocation, and quick movement of the unit without slowing down or tiring a firefighter.
Always the benchmark in terms of performance, reliability and durability, the MARK-3® benefited from a series of improvements to its key components, namely a Nikasil-coated cylinder, an impregnated crankcase and a field maintenance-free pump end.
The MARK-3® has recently successfully passed the USDA Forest Service 100-hour endurance test in San Dimas and has been requalified under QPL-5100-274 as of August 2015. It is considered to be an integral piece of equipment used by wildland firefighters across North America and other countries around the world.
WATERAX acquired the intellectual property and the rights to manufacture the durable 185cc engine from ROTAX. It invested heavily in new tooling and major improvements on key engine components in order to make the 185cc engine even lighter and more durable.
The WATERAX 185cc engine features the following enhancements:
- Nikasil-coated cylinder
- Impregnated crankcase
- Composite cooling fan
- Longer recoil rope
The new Nikasil-coated cylinder is the most significant upgrade on the MARK-3® in years. In addition, WATERAX has adjusted its recommended fuel mix ratio to 50:1 synthetic. Please note that the change to the synthetic 50:1 fuel mix ratio is also valid for older MARK-3® equipped with cast iron sleeve cylinders.
Today, the WATERAX MARK-3® series of high-pressure wildland firefighting pumps is sold and supported by a network of value-added partners in United States, Canada and around the world. There is no doubt the company will continue to innovate fire pumps in order to meet the evolving needs of today’s firefighters now and in the future.
For more information, go to www.waterax.com