German reinforcements

New, heavy duty ambulances have been introduced in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein due to a rise in heavier and obese patients. The new vehicles will be safer both for the patients being transported, and the attending paramedics. Based on 7.5 tonne trucks, the ambulances feature lifting gates that can lift loads of up to 1.5 tonnes, and wider stretchers which can carry patients weighing up to 400kg. Otherwise, patient care remains the same.

Photo: RKiSH

“We’ve noticed that many patients don’t weigh 75 kilos these days, but often a lot more – that’s the basic reason we’ve chosen to get these heavy-duty vehicles,” said Christian Mandel, spokesperson with Schleswig-Holstein rescue services spokesman, speaking to Two ambulances are currently on duty, with no plans to order more just yet.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has described obesity as one of the greatest public health challenges in the 21st century. According to an OECD obesity update in 2014, 15.7% of men and 13.8% of women in Germany are considered obese.

Blast from the past – Porsche’s tractors

Some people are often surprised to learn that their favourite supercar brands also produce vehicles that are more at home in a field. The first Lamborghinis, for example, were tractors, and are still manufactured today (after approaching Ferrari about a broken clutch on one of his cars, Ferruccio Lamborghini was told that as a tractor manufacturer he couldn’t know anything about sports cars, a mistake that led Lamborghini to peruse the creation of the perfect grand tourer). Then there’s Aston Martin, which was acquired by Sir David Brown, founder of a company of the same name that began manufacturing tractors with Harry Ferguson in 1936. Brown later purchased Aston Martin in 1947 and, although the two companies are no long aligned, what has become known as the ‘David Brown era’ saw the production of the famed DB series, the best known of which is probably the DB5.

Porsche falls under the same category. Their older tractors are quite rare, and quite expensive if they’re in good condition – late last year a lovingly restored 1959 Porsche Master 419 was put on sale via Done Deal for €49,500.

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