Last week we wrote about the amazing Romanian Ghe-O Rescue, a fire and rescue truck that can stare down the four horsemen of the apocalypse. It just might have some competition from the other end of Europe. Let me introduce you to the Portuguese Jacinto VFCI.
Portugal has been producing rough and tumble adventurers like Magellan and Vasco da Gama for five centuries, so it’s only fair that we should expect big things from their off-road vehicles. And big they are. The VFCI is based on a MANN semi, and it weighs in at nearly 29,000 pounds. Oh and that’s not including the 792 gallons of water it can carry in it’s on board tanks.
Despite its massive bulk, the VFCI is still light on its feet thanks to a separately sprung cab and rear cargo superstructure. This means when traveling at speed on bad roads – or no roads at all – the truck and bend in separate directions simultaneously.
Jacinto’s promotional video makes this feature look critically important, as they depict Portugal to be nothing but vast swaths of forest. I guess Lisbon is in some other Portugal.
That is only the start of the bad ass features, though. Components that are important for not dying, like electrical and brake lines, are protected in a fireproof sleeves that travels along the chassis. And if that weren’t enough, the tires are protected from the fires this truck fights with water sprayers.
While it’s is probably not the case, I like to think that Jacinto stole this idea from Top Gear’s volcano climbing Hilux. Though, the Top Gear Hilux used vodka rather than boring old water. So there’s that.
Because of its size and height, the Jacinto doesn’t look like it can match the Ghe-O in extreme conditions like snow or floating in the water. If your rural Portuguese farm is on fire, though, that probably won’t matter to you.
Still, despite the tech and toughness of this truck, my hat still goes off to the nutters over at Ghe-O. Sorry but I am a sucker for anything you can put tank treads on.
Random Romanian facts: Romanian scientists discovered the process to synthesize amphetamine (as well as Solomon equations and Hydrogen MASERS) and Romanian programmers created the basis for Microsoft’s antivirus software. So without Romania, not only would we not have an incredible truck, we wouldn’t have Breaking Bad or Windows Defender.
I realize that Windows Defender might not be a point in their favor, though.
Regardless, we should all just be thankful that the Jacinto VFCI exists, lest rural Portugal – the source of some of the best smoked pork products on this earth – be consumed in massive infernos.