The red buffalo in action.

Zetros BUFFALO: the off-road firefighter from Rosenbauer.

Rain, dirt and mud: nothing stands in its way. When lively sports cars are taken out onto the test track, it is often under perfect racing conditions. But the Zetros would not be the Zetros if it needed the sun to be shining. Quite the opposite, in fact: As a truck built for situations in which it really matters, the Zetros is not going to shy away from extreme weather or terrain. Reason enough for the bodybuilder Rosenbauer, following the development of its modular technology product line and construction of the new airport fire engine, to arrange a test drive of the more unusual kind. At St. Valentin in Lower Austria, the Zetros 3048 6x6 was set to live up to its name: the red BUFFALO.

Expert at the wheel.

The characteristic cab-behind-engine truck is impressive enough even in appearance alone. And sure to make even the hearts of seasoned professionals beat a little faster. Including that of Matthias Reisinger. In his day-to-day work, Matthias is a product manager for industrial and special-purpose vehicles at Rosenbauer International AG. However, he took two days out of his busy schedule to take the wheel of the new Zetros. After planning to visit the test track anyway, and being in possession of a truck driving licence, he was not going to pass up the opportunity: "I'm going to drive myself". In his role as manager for heavy-duty vehicles, he usually acts as the interface between sales and development. At the wheel of the Zetros, he is first and foremost an enthusiastic driver.

Form follows function.

The Zetros BUFFALO has what it takes to be a real hero. After all, it is designed among other things as a fire engine for international aid organisations and assignments in crisis zones. Since the adage of "form follows function" applies especially to commercial vehicles, it is no coincidence that this vehicle is an imposing sight. For the Zetros, this means a design which emits a sense of great strength and absolute dependability. Its distinctive bonnet construction and the attachments serve to provide a truly unique and impressive appearance.

The new Zetros – more power than ever before.

On his very special business trip, Matthias Reisinger is quick to realise that this colossus of a fire engine excels both on and off-road thanks to the substantial engine output. No less than 476 hp combined with a wonderful driving experience: "I noticed straight away how well it drives. The Zetros feels particularly at home when it comes to environments with rough terrain," enthuses the expert from Rosenbauer.

Robust on the outside, comfortable on the inside.

With its three axles, all-wheel drive, Allison automatic transmission and an impressive fording depth of up to 0.8 m, the BUFFALO is the superior choice among fire tenders. It makes child's play of tough-to-reach off-road terrain – true to the Zetros slogan: "Accept no limits".

Testing environments need not push drivers to the limit. Despite the Zetros showing its capabilities in the bumpy terrain, Matthias Reisinger was still comfortably in control behind the wheel: "From outside, it looks much more dramatic than it was for me. Inside the cab, I didn't notice the potholes too much."

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Full power right where it matters.

Emergency situations can arise anywhere. However, bodybuilder Rosenbauer had two areas of operation particularly in mind when constructing the new Zetros BUFFALO: one of them was forest firefighting, where the Zetros would help contain and put out vegetal fires in off-road terrain. The other was airport operations. Here, the Mercedes-Benz Special Truck provides the ideal solution to the special requirements with regard to engine output, ground clearance and off-road capability. If a plane doesn't land on the runway, but instead in front of it, to the side of it or behind it, the BUFFALO is quickly on site thanks to its all-wheel drive and full power.

A genuine firefighter.

The full benefits of the Rosenbauer attachments are reaped during firefighting operations: the state-of-the-art pump model, the large water and foam tanks, the powder extinguishing system as well as the roof- and front-mounted water cannons ensure that the entire spectrum of firefighting techniques is covered. The additional equipment with pump-and-roll system means that the Zetros is even able to extinguish while driving.

Rough terrain is the environment in which the Zetros feels at home.

Matthias Reisinger, Productmanager, Rosenbauer International AG

Perfect adaptation thanks to modular system.

Customer wishes are fulfilled with the new Modular Technology body concept: Rosenbauer's modular system allows customers to individually configure the size of the major assembly compartments, extinguisher tanks, extinguisher equipment and crew spaces. Customers are provided with a constructive tool based on the principle of the ready-made systems. This means the Zetros can be easily adapted to special requirements, which is particularly important in view of the different areas of operation. A bit like "building your own truck with Lego," Matthias Reisinger says with a twinkle in his eye.

A special experience.

The Zetros is the result of over 120 years of manufacturing expertise. Like many of its predecessors, the latest model is being built in the world's largest truck assembly plant in Wörth. Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks and bodybuilder Rosenbauer worked hand in hand for the BUFFALO Zetros: "That shows what a good basis you have there. The technical preparation work and collaborations were managed really well," believes Matthias Reisinger.

The Rosenbauer product manager doesn't have to think long when asked about his favourite memories with the Zetros: "That's easy: the days on the test track. First the combination of our new attachments together with the new chassis of the Zetros, then the test drives "in the wild" and finally seeing it all afterwards on photos and videos – that what something really special." Just like the Zetros.

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