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  1. #1
    BUGGY5632
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    Thumbs up Tiller Man Driving

    I just started tiller training on our Ladder. I have to admit that at first it was very intimidating.

    Does anyone have any tips/tricks on steering? Especially backing. That seems to be my weakness at this point. Thanks in advance.


  2. #2
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Backing: hold the wheel at the bottom, and turn it in the direction you want the trailer to go.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  3. #3
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Try not to hit things.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    If it hasnt been done already, you need to mark an arrow on the wheel when the wheels are pointing exactly forward.

    When turning corners, using the mark on the steering wheel, you need to keep an exact count of the number of turns, I do it by "halves." Count out loud when you are turning the wheel- "Half.....One....One and a half......then when you return the wheel, count it out backwards.

    This is important, because if you dont straighten the trailer out after making a corner, you can "dogtrack" or "crableg" and the corner of the trailer will wipe out a parked car.

    Good tillermen are only as good as their drivers allow them to be, and vice-versa. Drivers should be reminded to take it easy on new tillermen- dont jump on the gas pedal after you turn a corner, or else the tillerman wont be able to recover quickly enough and embarass both of you.

    A good tillerman and driver that know their piece can put it anywhere. Tillering is a form of art. Dont expect to get good overnight. It takes practice practice practice.

    And, it's the best f*cking job in the fire department!!!! Women ALWAYS wave to the tillerman!
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  5. #5
    Forum Member jlcooke3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    And, it's the best f*cking job in the fire department!!!! Women ALWAYS wave to the tillerman!
    No truer words have ever been posted!!!

  6. #6
    BUGGY5632
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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    Try not to hit things.
    I wouldn't be the first if I did.

  7. #7
    BUGGY5632
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    If it hasnt been done already, you need to mark an arrow on the wheel when the wheels are pointing exactly forward.

    When turning corners, using the mark on the steering wheel, you need to keep an exact count of the number of turns, I do it by "halves." Count out loud when you are turning the wheel- "Half.....One....One and a half......then when you return the wheel, count it out backwards.

    This is important, because if you dont straighten the trailer out after making a corner, you can "dogtrack" or "crableg" and the corner of the trailer will wipe out a parked car.

    Good tillermen are only as good as their drivers allow them to be, and vice-versa. Drivers should be reminded to take it easy on new tillermen- dont jump on the gas pedal after you turn a corner, or else the tillerman wont be able to recover quickly enough and embarass both of you.

    A good tillerman and driver that know their piece can put it anywhere. Tillering is a form of art. Dont expect to get good overnight. It takes practice practice practice.

    And, it's the best f*cking job in the fire department!!!! Women ALWAYS wave to the tillerman!

    You know, I noticed that. And the view is INCREDIBLE!!!!

  8. #8
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    Yo Buff,

    Does Mrs. Buff know what you're talking about on here!!!

  9. #9
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedBaronl32 View Post
    Yo Buff,

    Does Mrs. Buff know what you're talking about on here!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    And, it's the best f*cking job in the fire department!!!! Women ALWAYS wave to the tillerman!
    How do you think we met?
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BUGGY5632 View Post
    Especially backing. That seems to be my weakness at this point. Thanks in advance.
    Disclaimer: I have never worked with, or driven a tiller, but...

    I seem to remember watching a FDNY (i think) ladder company back into quarters some time ago. The tillerman was kneeling on the deck outside his cab, looking straight down at the rear wheel and painted line, with one hand on the steering wheel.

    Anyone else ever seen/done this?
    The opinions expressed in this post are well-reasoned and insightful. Needless to say, they are not the opinions of the government that I work for.

  11. #11
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    If he is facing the rear of the truck that makes it easy, just like steering the front end.

  12. #12
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    No, he was facing forward, but I'm sure that reversed steering is no big deal once you've practiced and you're used to it. I just thought that it was interesting because it gave him a clear view of the wheel and line, plus a good view of the tractor.
    The opinions expressed in this post are well-reasoned and insightful. Needless to say, they are not the opinions of the government that I work for.

  13. #13
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    Talking Tiller Driving

    If you have an electric door opener it's best if you have control. On more than one occasion an officer has closed the door before the tiller cab clears the door. Somewhat embarrassing!

  14. #14
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    A good driver can make the tillerman life a wonderful thing. If he is a terrible driver, cutting corners, the tillerman is in trouble.

    I always drove the truck like a road t/t and the tillerman just held the wheel and had little to do, except if we went into a tight street or alley!!
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  15. #15
    BUGGY5632
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    We have a guy on the job that drives like that, I have very little to do when I'm back there. Everybody else makes you work.

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