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  1. #1
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    Default AerialCat Tower problems

    Anyone out there have experience with Aerial Cat automatic leveling on a 100 ft tower? Having a continuing problem with the leveling sensor. Finally got KME to agree there was a problem, but I'm a little confused as to the reason/s the needle valve needs to be periodically adjusted. It is temperature / viscosity of the hydraulic oil or the fact that cold weather affects the ladder hydraulics? Hope the new "Horizon " sensor will solve the ocean wave effect on the bucket operators.


  2. #2
    Forum Member FIREMECH1's Avatar
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    We just got rid of our 105' Tower Aerial Cat for other reasons last year (thank God).

    If the gray matter is working right, we had to adjust the sensor every season change. We concluded that with the wide temp changes (-20F to 105F) that it messed with the viscosity of the fluid enough that it needed adjusting twice a year (sometimes more). There is a pressure sensing valve that didn't like viscosity changes due to temp changes. And it got it's pressure reading after the needle valve.

    We never got it corrected through KME, as they said there wasn't a problem, but operator error (???).

    FM1
    I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by FIREMECH1 View Post
    We never got it corrected through KME, as they said there wasn't a problem, but operator error (???).

    FM1
    When researching tower ladders a few years ago, this seemed to be a common theme with KME's. No one seems to have been trouble free with the auto-leveling Aerial Cat's.

  4. #4
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    Default KME Tower

    We have had a new 102' Aerialcat since May this year. We have had no problems with the auto leveling system. Any issue we have had (all of which have been minor) they have been right there and fixed them. We love the truck.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber Halligan84's Avatar
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    Been using a 95' midmount since 2002, with no issues auto leveling. Other sensors on the rig seem to need adjustment and tweaking on about a yearly or slightly longer basis.

  6. #6
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Talk to KME about a synthetic fluid. I think "Arctic blue" is one such trade name. I looked at the KME system once but I'm a little fuzzy on how the leveler worked. The demo I tried was flawlwss. T.C.

  7. #7
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    I got the impression he was referring to bucket levelling, not rig/outrigger levelling.

  8. #8
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    That's my impression too. Several of the builders have gone to synthetic hyd oil to cure this and other issues. As we don't own any KME stuff,what little I know of their systems is on demos and a couple look overs. I know that the synnthetic oil is more viscosity stable over a wider range of temperature. Whether or not KME uses it is unknown to me.Due to the way their bucket leveller is made,it's a bit more sensitive than some.The bucket is almost perfectly balanced. T.C.

  9. #9
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    Thumbs up Thanks

    Gentlemen: KME repair tech was here today and installed the new level sensor. Our engineers report that all is well and rock solid with no bucket movement. I'll let you know after I get some new operators in the basket and do training around "SOFT" objects. (Trees) If it truely is "Rock Solid" it will be the first time since it was delivered. Switch was replaced "in warranty" at no cost, even though the delivery was Dec. 2007. Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment.
    Kuh Shise

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    When researching tower ladders a few years ago, this seemed to be a common theme with KME's. No one seems to have been trouble free with the auto-leveling Aerial Cat's.
    Sorry my mistake. It looks like you were speaking of the auto-leveling of the bucket, my comments were based on the "One-Touch Auto Leveling" that worked the outriggers.

  11. #11
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    Talking

    RFDACM02 : Sorry, I guess I wasn't real clear about the problem. Set-up of outriggers is pretty good unless we are operating on an up slope of over 5% (6" in 10 ft) The front wheels contact before the leveling program is satisfied. This sometimes results in a problem with insuffient down pressure on the foreward outrigger(s) causing an activation of the operators lock out safety switch. The operator training program addresses this and has not been a problem since the changes were introduced. Manually raise the entire rig and then lower until one front wheel just contacts the roadway. For steeper terrain, point the rig down slope and operate on the low side of the building so that any inadvertent movement (sliding) is away from the building. Winters, here in the Great Buffalo Swamp of the Seneca Nation, can present some challenges for operators when doing difficult set-ups.
    Last edited by KuhShise; 12-04-2009 at 06:17 PM. Reason: clarification

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