Walk around a new BLM Type 3 heavy fire engine

It has integrated rollover protection.

New BLM Engine
New BLM Engine 6311. Image from Pierce video.

Pierce Manufacturing has produced a video walk around of the Bureau of Land Management’s Freightliner wildland fire Type 3 heavy fire engine, escorted by Scott Kiernan, Chief Engineer at Pierce. The apparatus is designed to carry 3,000 pounds of equipment, 800 gallons of water, and 20 gallons of foam. The rear-mounted pump is driven with a separate engine.

New BLM Engine 6311
New BLM Engine 6311, rear of cabin. Image from Pierce video.

Due to previous fatal rollovers, the BLM wanted a safe cab. The new engine is equipped with side roll protection and public service vehicle (PSV) seats. The roll cage maintains the cab structure in the event of a rollover crash. The vertical framework structure integrated into the body and subframe can withstand a 60,000 pound static load and will not deflect below the cab height in a crash.

On Nov. 24, 2021, the Bureau of Land Management announced that after another fatal rollover that killed two more Department of the Interior firefighters in 2016, they decided that rollover protection was needed. In 2021 they began retrofitting their heavy engines with rollover protection systems (ROPS) and have completed the installation in 14 trucks with a newly developed ROPS.


Chassis: Freightliner M2-106
Seating capacity: 5
Overall height: 10’ 10”
Overall length: 27’
GVW Rating: 40,000 lb
Front axle: Freightliner, 14,000 lb
Rear axle: Meritor RS, 26,000 lb
Engine: Cummins L9 350 hp
Safety: Side Roll Protection, Cage Roll ROPS

Material: Aluminum
Shelving: Adjustable up to 500 lb
Doors: Lap
Pump: Darley, 300 gpm
Tank: 800-gallon
Pump Panel: 36”
Foam: Waterous
Foam Cell: 20-gallon

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

5 thoughts on “Walk around a new BLM Type 3 heavy fire engine”

  1. Why is that tracker near a tank and known water environment? I’d think a hard point on the roof would have a been a better choice….but hell, I’m a former aircraft mech and wildland firefighter, what would I know?

  2. All the money thrown at that in the name of safety and they use split swimming pool noodles and zip ties as cushions on the roll bars!? Anyone care to let the poor guys riding in those trucks know where else corners were cut? There are roll bar pads specifically designed for the purpose and those shown are not it. They were designed BECAUSE race cars had pool noodles for padding and guys got hurt or killed in crashes from slamming in to the rollcage. YES… the part designed to protect actually became the most dangerous part in the vehicle.

    Its great this project was undertaken but why the half baked approach?


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