What the Groundhog is
The JCB Groundhog is a vehicle designed for off-road use. It's compact and able to travel across extremely difficult terrain, forming part of our wildfire firefighting capability.
It provides an initial response to wildfires, and with the ability to cover what would usually be inaccessible ground, reduces the need for additional crews and appliances.
Where it's used
The two Groundhogs are based at Cheddar and Porlock, providing cover for the Cheddar Gorge and Quantock Hills areas.
Each Groundhog and its corresponding All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) trailer are carried to the fire ground on a Transport Trailer, which is towed by a Land Rover.
How it's maintained
The vehicles and their equipment are maintained by the Fleet Maintenance team, who are based at one of four workshops throughout the two counties.
People who crew the vehicle
An OIC (Officer-In-Charge) and a driver or operator.
Equipment on the vehicle
- The Groundhog carries a small Fire Express low-pressure fire fogging pump. This is complete with a 350-litre water tank.
- It tows an ATV utility trailer, which carries equipment across ground that normal vehicles couldn't drive on.
- The trailer permanently carries a scavenger pump with associated hoses. This is used to pick up water from open sources, such as ponds or small streams, to maintain water tank levels.
- There's room to carry other wildfire firefighting equipment too, for example, beaters.
- The towing Land Rover also carries a Brendon fire fogging pump. This has a 3,230-litre water tank.