1. #1
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    Default Tower Ladder Survey

    Our Department is currently putting together specifications for a 100'ft Rearmount, Tower Ladder and with 1750gpm Pump capacity..

    The tower we will be retiring ot selling is: 100'ft. LTI/SIMON-DUPLEX .1989 with 20,000 miles..

    We have put feelers out,, and the only manufacturer's who have shown any interests are Alexi/ with R L Ladders , Smeal , Ferrea and Crimson...

    Question:
    Any Departments had any dealings with the above manufactureer's ?
    Please response with pro and cons of them...

    Any really signifiicant problems with any of those manufacturers?

    Thanks for the help..

    GregMedic2529.

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    We looked at Ferrar, Crimson, Smeal and an RK on a Central. We bought an 87' Smeal RM w/ 2000gpm pump and EHL.

    Reasons

    1. Ferrar uses the Smeal Aerial and we didn't really care for the Ferrar cab, it made alot of noise didn't seem to sit right on the chassis. Also the fact that it wasn't there aerial really pushed them away.

    2. Crimson it really concerned us they have not built many aerials and they seemed to be having some difficulties. We 2 engines in our area that severe issues and a heavy rescue that was sent back to the factory. Just made us very nervous.

    3. RK aerial, this is a knock off of the Smeal. It moved alot had alot of sway and snap. We also had a department that had an issue with liabilty for there truck catching fire in the station.

    We looked at a few others as well but in the end we bought the Smeal. WE are very happy with our choice and the dealer service is great. The dealer service was the deciding factor in the end.

    Good luck

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    Default

    What part of the country are you in? Service after the sale always makes a huge difference. Ferrara is very strong in some areas especially due to a particular dealer (example: Houston area), while Smeal in others, etc.

    Just because I know/sell RK (not selling it here), but keep in mind they now have a 3 section and 4 section aerial in the 100 foot range. The three section was designed to eliminate some of the complaints people had with the 4 section.

    I think each aerial brings something to the table. Since my department doesn't have one, I'll refrain from giving opinions of each...
    "Share your knowledge - it's a way to achieve immortality." - Stolen from Chase Sargent's Buddy to Boss program

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    In my opinion, the Ferrera aerial package is far more robust then a Smeal aerial package. I spent all my time at FDIC this year looking at rear mount platforms because like you, we are in the market for a new aerial device. The Ferrera body is fully extruded aluminum where as the Smeal is simply a formed aluminum body, way cheaper to build and no where near as strong. If you notice, all Smeals are heavily undercoated and line-x interiors to hide what they don't want you to see.Good body builders want to leave the compartment interiors bare because they have nothing to hide. Also a standard Ferrera aerial will have all the options Smeal offers, where as they are exactly that on a Smeal, options.

    Just my opinion

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    We have a few Ferrara/RK 4 Section 104' Platforms (back when RK supplied aerials for Ferrara) on Spartan chassis and the weak point on those rigs are definitely the aerials. They are the worst performing aerials I have ever operated from. There is so much flexing in the aerial it feels like you're on a pogo stick even when the operator is on "low" and is feathering the controls.

    That being said, the Ferrara built portion of the rigs are rock solid. The rigs are 8 years old and the bodies are in as good of shape as the day they were delivered (minus the usual paint scratches, etc). Now, after seeing a Smeal demo tower and with them supplying their aerials to Ferrara, I would strongly consider Ferrara again.
    I can't believe they actually pay me to do this!!!

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    Do yourself a favor and drop the pump, it is a ladder truck afterall, and buy an aerialscope!

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    Default Thank You All

    Appreciate the feedback.. It helps...

    We have a local Crimson Dealer, who's bending over backwards and has already gotten us some of drawings of what we would like and we've had an Alexis / RK Aerials send drawings too..

    Ferra and Smeal both have visited with Aerials, which when it came to the aerials both seem compariable or lets compatible..

    Would like to hear from those who have had more dealings with RK Aerials and Crimson Aerials, if possible.

    Looking for pro's and cons

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    As the regulars here know, I'm not a ladder person. But I spent a good part of the summer of 2007 driving and operating Toyne's demo quint. It is equipped with a 75' RK aerial, rear mount. It does not have the electronic control system.

    Before last summer I had zero experience operating ladders. My ladder training before then consisted of two weekends at the University of Maryland Fire Service Extension (now MFRI). One weekend was on ladders, one on Snorkels. For the old timers here, one of the speakers was Hubert Walker of American LaFrance, Elmira.

    After a crash course from an RK rep at Toyne's factory, and after the Harrisburg, Pa. expo, I took it to different departments in a dozen states everywhere from Enosburg Falls, Vt. to Branson, Mo. and, along with the local sales rep, demonstrated it.

    To me, the ladder set up quickly and functioned well. It is easy to operate. My SOP was to take it through its paces, then ask the locals to operate and/or climb it. Many of the people who climbed it remarked on how stable it felt. They were also impressed with how easy it was to set up and operate.

    I don't know where you are, but the truck was recently sold to a department near Lexington, N.C. If it isn't in service yet, it soon will be. You can look it up in Toyne's web site, www.toyne.com. Hope this info helps you.

    Stay safe out there, everyone goes home!
    Last edited by chiefengineer11; 08-10-2008 at 07:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregmedic View Post
    Appreciate the feedback.. It helps...

    We have a local Crimson Dealer, who's bending over backwards and has already gotten us some of drawings of what we would like and we've had an Alexis / RK Aerials send drawings too..

    Would like to hear from those who have had more dealings with RK Aerials and Crimson Aerials, if possible.

    Looking for pro's and cons
    My dept set out 1.5 years ago to replace our 1988 platform. We looked at 9 different brands, and about a dozen differnet apparatus.

    They all make good a good product; but as in your case, Crimson was the most accomodating and eager to earn our business. We too were initially concerned about the company being new to the aerial business. Those concerns were eliminated once we were introduced to the people at the Lancaster aerial plant. Many of them have years of experience in building aerials. While they may be a relative newcomer, Crimson is very agressively promoting their aerial products.

    I can provide more information if you send me a private message.

    C6

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    Default Do your homework

    Since it's been so long since you specked a new ladder I would sugest doing your homework. Putting "feelers" out to see who is interested isn't a bad Idea, but your committe should get out there and do some hands on up close and personal home work. So much changes with apparatus over the years that it is in your best interest.
    Look at what is important to your department in your tower, bucket capacity, water flow from the bucket, ground ladders and equipment carried, what would you want to change.
    The easiest thing I could tell you in the R&D of a new truck is to use yours as a template. Granted alot has changed on the newer rigs, but you are familiar with it, and you can use that as a the foundation of the new one.
    Ask yourself this...... If I could totaly moderinze our current rig, what would I do?
    And as far as manufatureres, tlak to as many as you have time to. What we did was some preliminary home work, then chose 4 mfgs to sit and talk to....found out what they had to offer, then looked into what worked best for us. We went with E-One. They were willing to make modifications to the body and ladder tunnel that we wanted, and one of the biggest deciding factors was the ladder itself. With the aluminum ladder you get a lesser GVW, and lower center of gravity, a larger ladder (width of ladder sections and heigth of hand rails) and one of the most important stats (in my opinion) they have NEVER had a ladder failure at the fault of the mfg.
    Now everyone has their own opinions on who and why you should choose, and these are mine. Good luck on your new rig. Feel free to pm with any questions.
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  11. #11
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    Default

    Whos selling your old rig?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dano8696 View Post
    Whos selling your old rig?
    Hey Dano,

    From another post gregmedic made he asked about parts for the old Simon-Duplex Ladders, sounds to me as if he's looking to keep in as a spare.

    http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?t=102736

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    Default Ladder Tower Questions

    1. Anyone have any good or bad situations dealing with an Aerial Manufacturer who wasn't a single source vendor with warranty issues ?


    2. Which Manufacturere provides more cu ft of space in their platform ?

    3. 5" Rear Aerial Intake / Discharge any pros or cons ?

    Thanks

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregmedic View Post
    Our Department is currently putting together specifications for a 100'ft Rearmount, Tower Ladder and with 1750gpm Pump capacity..

    The tower we will be retiring ot selling is: 100'ft. LTI/SIMON-DUPLEX .1989 with 20,000 miles..

    We have put feelers out,, and the only manufacturer's who have shown any interests are Alexi/ with R L Ladders , Smeal , Ferrea and Crimson...

    Question:
    Any Departments had any dealings with the above manufactureer's ?
    Please response with pro and cons of them...

    Any really signifiicant problems with any of those manufacturers?

    Thanks for the help..

    GregMedic2529.
    If you would like pictures of my Crimson 100' platform e mail me at firecaptleal@yahoo.com. And outlook dont work so you'll have to use yahoo.
    Last edited by firecaptleal; 08-11-2008 at 12:41 AM.

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    Like already mentioned, with Crimson, the name may be new to the aerial market but the guys behind it are not. They are LTI and Aerial Innovations guys. There are a number of high tech features in the Crimson aerial line, impressive for a North American made ladder. Features like the roller assemblies and electronics. I spent hours with the two top dogs ( one's the president ) at FDIC going over the ladder starting with the stabilizers and ending at the platform.

    I also spent quite a bit of time with Rob Kreikemeier of RK aerials going over his aerial. Again, a very well built aerial and has many hi tech features borrowed from Metz I believe. Although I am familiar with the RK aerial, I cannot comment on Alexis who you mentioned showed interest.

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    Does RK have a website? I've tried searching RK aerial and cant find anything.

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    Gregmedic - I can provide you quite a bit of RK info. The odds of you being in my sales territory are pretty slim, so it would be that - just info. Shoot me a PM and I can e-mail you or send you something on paper.

    Wbensm - Most of RK's aerial info is available on Rosenbauer's site. Rosenbauer markets the product as Rosenbauer Aerials and owns (I believe) 50% of RK, but Rob continues to sell his product to other builders.
    "Share your knowledge - it's a way to achieve immortality." - Stolen from Chase Sargent's Buddy to Boss program

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    Van Isle,you sure you didn't compare those rigs BACKWARDS?The Smeal ladder has several niceties that aren't offered at the Ferrara level.After all,Smeal sells to Ferrara not the other way around.I've been to Smeal,and their bodies are as well built as any I've seen,and over my years I've seen a few.The Line-X is applied to high corrosion/hi wear areas not as a cover up mask.There is nothing in their body construction that they would have to "hide". We had a Ferrara demo in town,nice, but in my opinion not superior to the Spartan/Smeal.Since we just got done ordering a Smeal LT,I didn't see a HUGE option list,ours came with what we wanted right from the factory.We didn't have to make very many changes from their "stock" unit. Autolevel came standard,although I don't know how much we'll use it.I don't even know if Ferrara can offer it yet. T.C.

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    Post E-ONE 100RM Info

    Gregmedic,

    If you would like some E-ONE info, please feel free to send me an email or visit the website.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregmedic View Post
    1. Anyone have any good or bad situations dealing with an Aerial Manufacturer who wasn't a single source vendor with warranty issues ?


    2. Which Manufacturere provides more cu ft of space in their platform ?

    3. 5" Rear Aerial Intake / Discharge any pros or cons ?

    Thanks
    My opinion, I would NOT purchase an aerial that wasn't single source. Granted dual source (pumper cab/ body) has come along was in dealing with warenties, and i could probably swallow a pumper in that situation...but there is, in my opinion way to much involved with an aerial for it to not be single source. It just donsent sit easy with me.

    Platform space.... another option that I think people do not put enough thought into. In my town any truck driver from any station can drive any truck in town. My station runs a straight stick, the other truck comepany is a tower. That had an old early 80's pierce RM tower and replaced it in 04' with a newer one with the giant looks like you bolted a dumpster to the ladder type platform. Driving the old one wasn't bad... altho i don't like it mainly becasue of visibility, and the new one.... forget it. I drove it a few times and I HATE IT. you can't see a F-in thing above the widshield. Another question you need to ask is Why do you want more space? I would assume it's not for rescue, sice it's easier to load it up and fly them down, and yes you can fit oneor 2 more with a bigger bucket, but how often do you run into that situation. Getting more FF to the roof? Maybe one more in full PPE/SCBA. For the cost and the obstruction I don't feel it's worth it.

    Most MFG's (and i could be wrong) offer a 4" ladder pipe that necks down to 3" or 2.5" on it's way up the ladder. We used to have a 5" intake, and flow tested it... then put on a triple 3" syamese (sp) and actually could flow more water at a lesser pump pressure, the pipe on ours sits a 110' (it's an e-one 135' straight stick) So the best thing I could tell you is go with what they offer, they may offer a 3" intake/discharge but it may only be 4" going up to the ladder, something to look into. Once you get it, play around with different apliances and firure out what works best.
    As for the intake/disharge, in my opinion it should only be an intake. Trucks shouldn't have pumps.
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    Quote Originally Posted by VanIsleEVT View Post
    Good body builders want to leave the compartment interiors bare because they have nothing to hide.

    Just my opinion
    At least you admit it is an opinion. I believe the purpose of the Line-X interior coating is to leave a pleasing appearance inside the compartments for an extended period of time. Not to mention the fact that it keeps gouges and scratches out when building the unit. The only real reason to leave the interiors bare is to save the coins it takes to apply a coating. Any builder that tells you otherwise is blowing smoke up your backside. If you look around, most of the builders that leave interiors bare also mask to paint rather than disassemble and paint. One of them doesn't even bother to coat the underside in any manner at all.

    My opinion is that "good builders" take the extra step to paint and coat everything and anything that might become a corrosion problem in the future.
    Especially an aluminum body that may be subjected to de-icing formulas.

    Just my opinion.

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    Not that we haven't discussed this before,but: SINGLE source is only as good as the DEALER supporting it.You can have a "Heinz" truck with fantastic dealer support and a "single source"with lousy support.Which is better? I'm thinking the Heinz.So in that scenerio what did "single source" do for you? It's still the same old smoke and mirrors. A GOOD company will support their product whether they are "sole source"or not. T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RoofTopTrucky View Post

    Platform space.... another option that I think people do not put enough thought into.
    There is an optimum size for a platform based on dept. need. We were concerned that some of the units we examined had platforms so large that you might not be able to place them into tight spaces.

    From what I remember, Pierce has one of the larger available platforms. What you give up though, is the catwalk around the outside of the platform, which was important to us.

    C6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Command6 View Post
    From what I remember, Pierce has one of the larger available platforms. What you give up though, is the catwalk around the outside of the platform, which was important to us.

    C6
    I'm with C6: the type of bucket configuration is quite important to us. I can't for the life of me understand why builders are still making square/rectangular buckets with flat faces and either no lip or just on the front. When it comes to being able to best make the objective, those buckets with angled corners and large lip edges are the most versatile.

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    Default Tower Ladder Survey / Rk Aerials

    Thanks everyone for the great feedback.

    Question:

    RK AERIALS.. I have searched and even tried google for information out there on their product and to no avail. The only information I have received is literatue and information about RK AERIALS on the dealers handout and then some of them don't even mention who's actually building the aerial unless you ask them.

    So anyone have pertient information on RK AERIALS ?

    Really don't won't to invest money into a product that can't get information on..

    Thanks again for the help

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