Case Study: Green Climbers in Fire Prevention, Rescue, and Cleaning

Zhengzhou Linji Machinery and Qingdao Jiannuo collaborate with firefighters in China

This case study highlights how Zhengzhou Linji Machinery Equipment Co. Ltd. promotes MDB Green Climber remote controlled machines in China for forest fire prevention, rescue, and cleaning. Zhang Xvyan, Managing Director of Zhengzhou, has collaborated with Qingdao Jiannuo Trading Co. Ltd. to import Green Climber machines, while working tirelessly with multiple fire departments and forestry services to demonstrate and train team members for this specific use case.


In the last decade, the number and seriousness of forest fires and wildfires have been on the rise. The destruction they cause results in extensive loss in natural resources and has a profound impact on lives, property, ecology, political crisis, and social stability.

The country of China presents an interesting case study with vast differences in terrain, climate, and human activities. This leads to greater regional differences in the number of forest fires and the methods of prevention.

From 1986 to 2020, nearly 40% of China’s forests were disturbed by forest fires. In the early 1990s, the number of fires in China exceeded 60,000 while in general the number of fires in recent years has declined to less than 2,000.

This reflects the dramatic changes that have been made in legislative development that established an accountability system from administrative heads to local residents. Despite the progress over the last 30 years, there are still significant hidden dangers, specifically proper forest management to prevent fires.


There has been a great focus on forest fire prevention to minimize occurrences and impact of forest fires. One of the main techniques used is creating a fire break fire and trench to essentially stop the fire from spreading.


Figure 1 - Example of a fire break.

To set up a fire break (see Figure 1), a worker traditionally used a backpack brush cutter (see Figure 2) to cut shrubs and weeds, and then collect and burn the cut material. The challenges with manual cutting methods are:

  1. manual cutting is very inefficient,
  2. the workers are susceptible to injuries from scrapes and scratches from sharp branch ends.
  3. pile burning of cut materials near the forest, in essence, is risking ignition of the very forest fire that you are trying to prevent.


Figure 2 - Example of worker using a backpack brush cutter.


There are three distinct areas where the Green Climber machines are used:

  1. Forest Fire Prevention
  2. Forest Fire Rescue
  3. Forest Fire Cleaning

In forest fire prevention, Green Climber machines provide a new method for fighting forest fires that removes the operator from the equipment for safety reasons. The machines can effectively clean up the forest fuel in the undergrowth, unblock roads by pushing trunks and branches out of the way, and broaden existing fire breaks.

Between 2020 – 2023, Zhang Xvyan has worked across 18 locations in China using Green Climber machines for Forest Fire Prevention.


Figure 3 – Green Climber historical locations for Forest Fire Prevention in China.

In forest fire rescue, Green Climber can quickly blaze the emergency rescue route at the fire site, goods and materials transportation channel, and safe escape routes in the forest, and set up the fire break to block the spread of the fire. In one instance, an MDB LV 500 PRO worked for 140 hours continuously in a rescue situation.

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Figure 4 – LV 500 PRO Green Climber in action for Forest Fire Rescue.

In forest fire cleaning, the Green Climber can set up raw soil breaks to isolate fire and forest fuel, clean up smoldering material to prevent rekindling, and push down standing burning trunks.

The Green Climber produces significant efficiencies in two use cases. The first use case is when the Green Climber is compared to a Backpack Brush Cutter for clearing grass and shrubs. Figure 5 illustrates that the Green Climber can cover 23 times the area at 26% of the cost per hour than a Backpack Brush Cutter.

Equipment used for 1 hour Area in Hectares Cost per Hectare (Yuan)
MDB Green Climber LV 500 + TF 130 0.500 383
Backpack Brush Cutter 0.022 1455


Figure 5 – Area and Cost comparisons of 1 hour of work for clearing grass and shrubs.

The second use case is when the Green Climber is compared to Domestic Equipment for mulching branches and debris piles. Figure 6 illustrates the Green Climber can cover 20 times the area at 12% of the cost per hour than Domestic Equipment.

Equipment used for 1 hour Area in Hectares Cost per Hectare (Yuan)
MDB Green Climber LV 500 + TF 130 0.500 383
Domestic Equipment 0.015



Figure 6 – Area and Cost comparisons of 1 hour of work for mulching branches and debris piles.

Zhang Xvyan of Zhengzhou Linji Machinery Equipment Co. says “The use of the MDB remote-controlled Green Climber machines has been a game changer in our quest to prevent, reduce, and fight forest fires. The reliability of the machines is paramount to the success of the operations. At the same time, it also ensures the safety of firefighters and saves labour costs.”

In the future, there will be ample opportunity to expand the use of MDB Green Climbers to prevent and combat fires. Many other countries that are dealing with the same issues of fire prevention can look to China as a model for using remote controlled Green Climbers for this specific use case.

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