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  1. #1
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    Default retiredchief Aerial Ladder Safert

    Today's aerial ladders? I would like information from knowledgeable persons on what they would considered to be the safest built aerial ladder in the industry today. What type of innovations and technoledgy were implemented by the manufacturer for them to be considered as the safest built aerial in the industry today. I am not looking for a response from a person (Firefighter) who is just loyal to one manufacturer and feels that his aerial is the best, but from persons who are knowledgeable relating to the construction of various ladders.
    Last edited by retiredchiefone; 09-24-2009 at 11:57 PM. Reason: Addition to title


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    I don't really see the point of looking for the "safest" aerial ladder. All the aerials put out by the major manufacturers I'd be more than happy to use. It comes down to all the other factors that dictate an apparatus purchase that are more important.

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    THEY ARE ALL SAFE.

    none of them are falling out of the sky.

    all of them can be ruined in 5 minutes.

    all of them need constant maintenance and inspections.

    none of them are foolproof or firefighter-proof.

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    I asked the guy who inspected my ladders his opinions on aerials. regarding some, he surprised me. regarding others he didnt. You should do the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ffmedic20 View Post
    I asked the guy who inspected my ladders his opinions on aerials. regarding some, he surprised me. regarding others he didnt. You should do the same.
    I agree. A third-party who performs aerial certifications would likely provide the most impartial recommendation.

    Firefighters would likely not offer objective opinions.

    C6

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    Quote Originally Posted by deputyhunter View Post
    THEY ARE ALL SAFE.

    none of them are falling out of the sky.

    all of them can be ruined in 5 minutes.

    all of them need constant maintenance and inspections.

    none of them are foolproof or firefighter-proof.
    Nicely Put!

    Make your calls out to the manufacturer and speak with their engineer, they'll all tell you the same thing....

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    There you go RetiredChiefOne, now you can see why we are where we are today.

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    By the way,where ARE we? T.C.

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    Chief,
    I did research for about 3 years on ladders becasue my dept. was specking one. What the Guys are saying above is quite true, they are all safe. There are differences in they way they are built and the materials used, that is where some people will choose one over another, and some will choose a mfg. simply becasue they like "them" for what ever reason.
    In my homework there were was one thing that stuck out the most, although every mfg has had some degree of failure due to "user error", no Aluminum aerial mfg has ever had a failure that was due to the way it was built or the materials used. The other thing we liked was the dimensions of the ladder sections on an aluminum v. a steel. the sections are wider, and the hand rails higher, give you, what we felt was a safest working platform (in regards to working off a straight stick) Another thing to look at is the mfgs. weight ratio, some offer a greater ratio than others, this is mainly because of the material used and how it is engineered. Other things we liked about the Aluminum vs the steel were the lower center of gravity and vehicle weight, Aluminum dissipates heat faster than steel and it wont rust.
    When it comes down to it, you will ultimately choose what you want, the above were just some of the reasons that we decided to go with E-One for our aerial.
    Last edited by RoofTopTrucky; 09-27-2009 at 04:44 PM.
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    RTT, those comments come nowhere close to addressing anything for real. You have the possibility of mentioning something for real but you skirt the issue. Why don't we have a discussion about what happened in Texas. The year is 2009, a little box in your car can take you to an exact location 3,000 miles away, a tiny cell phone has more power than than the lunar lander, a 4 cylinder Honda can kick the crap out of a 409, robots can paint cars, do fine machine work and if necessary beat you playing chess.

    Don't you think that it is time that the fine folks building aerial apparatus start to add some of the many safety items available in the marketplace to the end users. You just bought a piece of equipment that you know can catapult your guys like they were coming out of a sling shot. Doesn't that concern you?

    I hear it on here all the time when the guys talk about the good old days, they were good old days and I was there and I'm telling you now that if we could have gotten our hands on some of the neat stuff that's out there now we would have had it in a heart beat.

    We must remember that there is nobody backing up the aerial operator even though the technology is available. I think it makes good sense to have the truck thinking along with the man and stopping him if necessary. I more than anyone knows that the sensitivity of these systems can fail on occasion but they fail on the side of safety, a problem I can deal with.

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    I simply gave some of the things we found and reasons we chose the E-One, if I am missing something, then by all means, please enlighten me.

    But I gotta say...I agree with the Technology part of your post, however.. there are some things that shouldn't be left to a human. I know of a dept. with an aerial that has what I'll call a "smart" system built into it and they routinely have problems with it. The "tip load" manager gets all screwy and when they are working off of it it has a tendency to pick up one of the jacks. So to say the technology isn't there or being used isn't exactly a correct statement...but I think the technology needs a little refining. With that said, if I were an aerial mfg. I would want to be sure that the "smart system" i place into service was as issue-less as possible. THats a hell of a lot of liability when you put FF's on the end of the stick or in the bucket you built.
    It takes a little intelligence to enjoy humor,satire & wit, but none to be offended by it.

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    Some of the stuff people are selling as technology ranks right up there with the deer whistle. Technology is expensive and takes years to develop but when you get it right you've got it. If that Smart Truck guy has a system measuring other things that are happening at the same time the outrigger is up you might be ok (doubt it) Most of the safe aerials get their safety from being overbuilt, the truck weighs about 80,000# and if you can get it where it has to be rock and roll. RC1 was asking about safety, when you did your research how did you address safety? I find that after 10 years of selling aerials safety is not a big deal, the number one question I get asked is "how much water can she flow"
    The unfortunate accident in Kilgore could have been prevented with a relatively inexpensive piece of equipment which could be "stand alone". I think these are the kind of things we should be discussing on the forum.

    I will admit I was glad when they started putting beer in Aluminum cans it hurt when somebody slapped you in the head with a steel can.

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    The unfortunate incident in Kilgore COULD/SHOULD have been prevented by a operator KNOWING(and understanding)the TOTAL equipment operation before trying a evolution you wouldn't catch me dead doing in the first place.On a MECHANICAL aerial,you can be reasonably assured it will work,EVERY TIME! On the new ones: NOT SO MUCH. And Tony,even YOU have experienced this,and I KNOW this for FACT. Two old,experienced operators were able to get it to work,.......BUT it might not have.Time to be getting the troops so they know WHY,not just get the equipment dumbed down so anyone can use it.I've seen many aerial problems and MOST were caused by ignorance or indifference.If it's run electrically,it BETTER have a MECHANICAL override if it's going to work here.Levers,I have faith in,electrics are OK if the have overrides.All that being said,the aerial products today are well built and,for the most part,quite safe. T.C.

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    Cool Aerial Controls

    NFPA 1901 Section 19.17 : Aerial Control Devices
    Section 19.17.11 : "When electric over hydraulic aerial device controls are incorporated, a readily accessible, manual means of overriding the electric controls shall be provided."

    I wonder why the NFPA committee made this a requirement? Maybe because of all the wonderfully reliable computers on todays trucks.

    When the local grocery store's computer went down, they couldn't check anyone out. It was real comical watching the checkout clerks trying to total and figure sales tax with an ancient "electronic calculator"

    How did man ever survive the last 5,000 years without computers and cell phones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by donethat View Post
    When the local grocery store's computer went down, they couldn't check anyone out. It was real comical watching the checkout clerks trying to total and figure sales tax with an ancient "electronic calculator"

    How did man ever survive the last 5,000 years without computers and cell phones.
    Easy - they didn't have sales tax. Not to mention, schools taught arithmetic.

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    redbaron....I have read you posts a few times....and I still dont get it. What are you insunuating when you mention Kilgore, TX? You are doing alot of dancing here. Speak in plain English. As a former chief, if you wrote a fire report in that style, I would tell you to do it over. Say what you mean brother!
    Last edited by firepiper1; 09-28-2009 at 11:23 PM.
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    I'm not dancing, I'm making the point that most of the people on the forum make a big deal about minor things but refuse to address the real issues facing us. A brand new truck throws 2 guys to a horrible death and guys sit on this forum and tell people all manufacturers are building safe equipment. BS every model truck like that one should be grounded until somebody figures out how to fix it. The people I rep for have been here eleven years, we have a system that will stop you from making that mistake, there is no patent on that function, what would be the reason for everyone not to have it? While you're trying to figure out what I'm saying what are you thinking about Kilgore, what would be your plan for preventing this from happening again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RedBaronl32 View Post
    While you're trying to figure out what I'm saying what are you thinking about Kilgore, what would be your plan for preventing this from happening again.
    Training. Without it, even if you make the "perfect aerial" firefighters will be injured or killed. I'd note you're use of the Kilgore incident is pretty cavalier given the report I've seen regarding this incident.

    So how would owning a Metz have prevented the Kilgore incident? Maybe NIOSH needs to make buying Metz aerials one of their "copy and paste" recommendations.

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    I've read the Kilgore report. MORE than once.When it's all said and done I STILL don't understand WHY you would operate a platform in that manner.Or WHY you would set a platform ON a paraphet in the first place.Goes against any aerial training I ever took. As does operating an aerial device without a harness.No,I'm NOT crapping on Kilgore,I just don't know how this was allowed to happen.Everybody looks out after everybody,ALL THE TIME! T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    Everybody looks out after everybody,ALL THE TIME!
    Sadly, this isn't true in a lot of places. Certainly many issues to find fault with, but I'm not convinced the aerial itself has any part in it. Sure, with a system that did not allow the aerial to contact the structure, things would have been different. But, the same could be said of fingerprint recognition on firearms, BAC detection on vehicle ignitions, etc. At some point we humans have to take some responsibility and stop imposing all this technology on our equipment when training and common sense are all that we really need.

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