1. #1
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    Default Rear-mounts, Mid-mounts, or Tillers

    My department might be looking to re-place our ageing 1974 Seagrave Ex-FDNY 100 rear admiral. I was wondering which type of ladder would better suite our needs? We have some very tight streets in our area and manpower is an issue. Also, we have always been loyal to Seagrave but over the past couple years we have bought 2 Pierce pumpers. Which manufacture produces the best ladders? (Seagrave, Pierce, Sutphen , etc)?







    Thanks,
    Brennan Rummell Jr. FF

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    Quote Originally Posted by S.B.6.F.D View Post
    My department might be looking to re-place our ageing 1974 Seagrave Ex-FDNY 100 rear admiral. I was wondering which type of ladder would better suite our needs? We have some very tight streets in our area and manpower is an issue. Also, we have always been loyal to Seagrave but over the past couple years we have bought 2 Pierce pumpers. Which manufacture produces the best ladders? (Seagrave, Pierce, Sutphen , etc)?

    Thanks,
    Brennan Rummell Jr. FF
    Well, if manpower is an issue, rule the tiller out... need to have 2 qualified people to drive it. Though they are the coolest thing since string on a tampon.

    Tight streets... we had a single axel aieral scope when I worked in the Northeast... our streets were built for horse and buggies, our neighboring town's dual axel couldn't turn onto some of our streets and we had to tell them a route that would work when they came into town.

    Too bad you can't find many single axel truck anymore... maybe a quint style if manuverability is a big problem.

    Only thing about a mid mount I would say is that they have a large tail swing to them. I always found spotting a mid mount was easier for the driver, you could spot any overhead hazards and estimate your aerial's throw better from the cab.

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    Our streets were also built for horse and buggie. Most of our streets are old cow paths. Some are still brick. With our Seagrave now the tip of the ladder hangs over the cab, and the turning radious isnt that great either. We also need something with reach. One of our sister departments runs a 110' stick and can barely make turns on some of our streets. Thanks for the reply.





    Brennan Rummell Jr FF

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    If manpower wasn't an issue I'd say get a tiller for sure. 15 of our truck companies are tillers and I love them. They can get into anywhere if the drivers are good.

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    Default I remember doing this

    SB6... I ran into this very same problem about 4 years ago when we started R & D for the replacement of our 135' E-One. We spoke with every manufacturer, and went out ant spoke with different departments all over PA to find out why they have what they have, how it works for them, how they use it, it's pros and cons, and of course we drove and flew each one. Taking notes the entire time. I would have to dig through mounds of information to give you everything we found out about all the posibilities, but I'll do my best to touch on the Key points....
    I'll start with the aerial itself.....you have quite a bit to choose from....mid mount bucket and stick, rear mount bucket and stick, artiulating aerial platform, and the crowd pleasing tiller...wich when you think about it is a mid mount stick that bends in the middle. When we got down to it we found there was one thing that alot of people didn't consider.....the out rigger span and/or the number of out riggers. There were quite a few companies we talked to that liked their rig, but found rue to the jack span, ran into problems with having room to set it up....or not being able to get all 4 to line up between parked cars. Granted with short jacking capabilities now, it's not as big a problem as it would be, but still an issue. So no matter what type of aerial you choose...keep that in mind.
    Another thing to consider with the type of aerail is steel or aluminum....and no, not because one is better than the other.....in reguards to use in an aerial that is. From what we found, aluminum is better over all. Why... a few reasons.....first its a lighter material wich helps reduce vehicle weight and center of gravity, it also, generaly (not all the time) has a shorter out rigger span. Second, becase it is a lighter material, they can afford to make the ladder sections wider and taller, giver you more room and making it much more easy to work off of. Third, and the one that stuck out the most...no aluminum aerial mfg has ever had a failure (excluding operator error of course) That ment a lot to us...after all it's our asses dageling 100' in the air.
    In all actuality, when we came down to choosing the manfacturer for our new one the bennafits of the aluminum was the deciding factor.
    Rear mount sticks haven't changess mutch over the years...they pretty much are the same....just more modern....you have one know so not much i need to tell you about them.
    Rear Mount towers on the other hand are way different.....usualy heavier and you have that big *** front porch hanging out in front of the cab, making it a little harder to get into places. Theres one in my town, and it runs mutual aid to a little old town down the road tight brick roads with parking on both sides and so on, and if I had to guess, they can't get it into 85% of that town. It's just too big for that area...now here in Monroeville, it's not as mutch a problem...theres 2 or 3 streets they cant get to, and a few kils they can't take becasue of the quick steep transition.
    Mid Mounts, in my opinion, are the way to go if you get a tower. The vehicle has a lower center of gravity, easier to get into the bucket, gets the turn table closer to where you need it when you pull up to the scene giving you a better scrub area. They are usualy a little more pricey cause theres a lot more engineering in them. Another down fall is the rear overhang of the rig itself (centerline of reaer tandoms to rear of vehicle) THey have a bigg ol butt. It's something you have to be aware of when making quick tight turns, if not your taking sometthign out...it can also be a problem with hills as well... getting hung up where the hill transitions to flat and visa versa. There is an intersection about 1/4 mile from our fire house that we travel through often....we made EVERY mid mount demo try it....not all of them made it. I will say that if you decide on a mid mount...get a scope. They are that good. From the strength of the boom to body design and only 2 out riggers....when it comes to mid mounts you cant beat them...and they set up in 24 second with 1 button. (we timed it 5 times that was the average taking into consideration human error with the stop watch)
    Articulating aerials...I will say they are truly impressive....I'm tlaking bronto sky lifts and the like....but they all lacked compartment space and ground ladder capabilities we wanted. They definitly have their place in the fire service, but in my opinion, not as a front line truck. When we picked up our E-One engine, there were guys fro mSurprise FD in AZ, just outside Pheniox i believe, and they were a "special" truck company. THey were used on calls but they didn't replace a "trational" truck, they were more of a supliment. THey said the systme worked well but even they agreeed, its not a "first due" truck.
    Last.....is the tiller. Everyone loves a tiller...and yes..it really is that cool to drive. I can see wherre some say staffing can be an issue.....depends on how many you roll on a rig on average. We are a 100% volunteer station (with a live in program) and we havent had problem.....yet. But we considered that..... right now the minimum you can roll with is 2....soon to be changed boro wide to 3, wich is the minimum we require to roll the tiller. We didn't "add" a position for the tiller man, we made him the outside vent man... even if we're running short with just 3, the tiller man is still part of the crew. Also here in PA, you only have to be 16 to be a tiller man...but we made it 18 at our station. Surprisingly...the younger guys picked it up and are better at it than the older guys.
    When we looked at what we do as a truck company, what we wanted to improve on and thte amount of ewuipment and round ladders we carry....it was a no brainer. BUt there weere other things to consider. 4 of us went to a company that has one and pretty much said "show us how" and they did.....after a day we didn't feel it was really that difficult to learn or do. We spoke with people all over the country about them.... got alot of pointers here as well...a few common things we heard....some people just won't get it....no matter how hard they try they lack the mental capacity to be a tiller man.... they just can't do it, another was....be prepaired to bang it up a little especialy since we are a virgin tiller company...and we have twice in the 10 months we have had it. Both during training and neither were to bad....just minor dings. Since we have had it, we have takin it all over our town, and the little one the tower s due in...in our home town, there is only 1 turn it wont make, and thats becasue of a stop sign and a street sign....so if we absolutly had to...we.d cut them down, and I'd say it's about a 320 degree turn. In the little old town at the bottom of the hill....it's a little tight, but we put it places our engines wont go....I know it sounds crazy.....but i swear on my kids life. Hell, I wouldn't believe it either if I werent there. The compartment space is un believeable....we put 10 tons of tools on it, mainly becasue at every fire our truck gets raped of it's tools. We also have 332' of ground ladders as well. So aside from the second driver hurdle...it offered everything we wanted...and that hurdle wasn't so big after all. Now when we were doing our research on tillers, we looked a lot at what is done to bennafit the tillerman and his visibility. E-One and Smeal have the best tiller cabs for visibility....altho seagraves sliding doors are alot cooler. We payed attention to tiller axel location in reguards to the tiller man. a few of the ones we looked at had teh axle 5 to 6 ft in front of the tiller cab....we found it odd because your were steering the back end 5 to 6 ft in front of where your sitting...with the e-one, they're right at your feet...making it easier to judge your turns.
    Ultamitly Brother, you need to look at things and decide what will work for you. Don't just pick a mfg and go with it, there is A LOT out there. just do your home work and think about everything you find...You only get one shot to get it right, and you have to use it, so do your absolut best to choose and design the aerial that best fits your department.
    If you want any more details on any of it, feel free to ask. Be safe, and good luck

    Our tiller; http://www.mvfd5.com/truck-5.php
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    If your streets are that tight that turning radius is an issue, you better spend some time investigating jack spread for your aerial. It's no good if you manage to get it there and can't get the jacks out.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Talk to Mount Penn about their rebuilt Seagrave TDA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    If your streets are that tight that turning radius is an issue, you better spend some time investigating jack spread for your aerial. It's no good if you manage to get it there and can't get the jacks out.

    I concur. Being able to get down the tight streets is important, but only half of it. They jacks need to be able to get down once you get to the fire.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    If your streets are that tight that turning radius is an issue, you better spend some time investigating jack spread for your aerial. It's no good if you manage to get it there and can't get the jacks out.
    That is one thing that many of the depts we spoke with over looked. They all managed to work around it in some fashion, but still ran into problems.
    Too many people we spoke with were either set on a mfg or aerial type (or both) before they even begin thinking about the aerial they were about to buy.... and in heinsight regreted, even just a little, the decision they made. Trucks arent like engines....not everyone has one.....take the time, do your homework and get it right as best you can the first time.
    It takes a little intelligence to enjoy humor,satire & wit, but none to be offended by it.

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    What Trucky said. T.c.

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    As usual Bones is on the money.

    We factored jack spread on our mid mount platform purchase. From memory (and at my age that can be dangerous), E-One had the most narrow jack spread, and Sutphen had the widest at 20 ft.

    Sutphen SPH100- One set of outriggers (20 ft spread). One set of stabilizer "down jacks" at the rear.

    Crimson 100 MM- Two sets of outriggers with a 16'8" foot print.

    E-One 95 MM- 15'6" with one set of outriggers.

    We also looked at Pierce, KME, ALF, and Smeal.

    As far as maneuverability, obviously the tiller is first, followed by the mid mount (because of its shorter wheelbase), an then the rear mount. As mentioned earlier, there is a lot of tail swing on a MM. The best way to attack this problem is to burn some diesel fuel and do lots of driver training.

    C6
    Last edited by Command6; 06-03-2010 at 10:46 PM.

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    Here is a shot of the spread (at least on the Sutphen's):
    95'/100', tandem axle trucks (old style):



    95'/100' new style:


    70'/75' single axle:

    Last edited by 93Cobra; 06-04-2010 at 08:44 AM.

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    The first one is a 110', hence the dual midship outriggers. That's got a 20' jack spread on it. We don't have a big problem with setting ours up, but we're a nice suburban community with wide streets and cul-de-sac's.

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    Default Jack Spread

    Years ago, E-One used to run an add about their ladders that if you could open the cab door and get out of the truck, you had room to set the outriggers at full extension.

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    If tight streets and set up is a problem maybe its time to look for somthing else. The Rosenbaur Raptor aka Metz might be the most advanced ladder in the world. It has a very fast set up time 20 seconds,a self leveling feature, 8000 lbs lifting capacity, it can pick up a car. The rescue basket can be removed. I think american aerial devices have gotten too big I have been on calls where the 100 ft Platform could not make it to the structure due to its size. A million dollar fire truck and cant do its job. I would rather be able to get my equipment to the call. I dont flow 2000 gallons every day. I think the ladder truck should be able to go where the pumper can go. Maybe we need to stop thinking bigger is better. I found Metz's web site for europe nice promo video a single axel ladder truck the american chassis's have their nfpa compliance of equipment. I know of one American fire department that has combined the american and euorpean concepts and have some very interesting equipment, Most companys have americanized their Metz Ladders.http://www.rosenbaueramerica.com/app...erials/raptor/
    http://www.metz-online.de/
    http://www.youngstownfire.com/forums...ic,1479.0.html
    http://www.firestation24.com/index.cfm?fs=public.home
    Last edited by rescueraver; 06-05-2010 at 09:46 AM.

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    that was a very nice ad you wrote there.

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    Rescueraver, where are the ground ladders, I don't see them....and I dont mean one 28 and one 12....or one 35 and one 14.....I mean a real american truck company complement...... Hmmmmmmm
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    Thanks a lot for the replies. On our Seagrave now, the outriggers really aren’t an issue but it very well could be with a new apparatus. We are located in the Laurel Highlands region of Pennsylvania (Appalachian range), so hill transition to flat or vice versa would definitely be an issue. A couple of months ago I visited the Monroeville Fire Expo, and Monroeville Truck 5 is awesome. If you get a chance, check it out!



    Our Ladder: http://www.fdnytrucks.com/files/html...rownsville.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Rescueraver, where are the ground ladders, I don't see them....and I dont mean one 28 and one 12....or one 35 and one 14.....I mean a real american truck company complement...... Hmmmmmmm
    Better study the MODERN Metz Complement. There is a FEW more than that on a Metz. Would that Metz be in Ladder or Quint configuration? OH WAIT,You Don't believe in pumps on Ladders so that would make the STANDARD Metz complement 115' of GROUND LADDERS,UNLESS you ordered more. And Buff, they fit UNDER the turntable,you won't see 'em UNLESS you OPEN the DOORS! hehe T.C.

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    I prefer MM over RM any day. I would also love a tiller but that's not an option for us.

    Reason I like MM is ease of spotting the turn table and less scrub area over the truck (I know you can back a RM in to get maximum ladder use but I think setting a MM would be faster and we also hit enough stuff backing up without being in a hurry). I prefer the lower overall height for both travel and climbing on top of the apparatus along with ease of getting into the bucket. Not to mention that MM have more room for hose if you chose to carry it.

    I really like the Sutphen SPH100. They improved a lot of stuff over their SP models. Most of all I like the improved bucket but appreciate a shorter overall length and improved turning radius. The box frame construction also makes for a solid aerial that protects the waterway.

    Smeal builds a good product as well. There is a reason that they have been building ladders for two different apparatus builders for decades. First it was Pierce and now Ferrara.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FFWALT View Post
    I prefer MM over RM any day. I would also love a tiller but that's not an option for us.

    Reason I like MM is ease of spotting the turn table and less scrub area over the truck (I know you can back a RM in to get maximum ladder use but I think setting a MM would be faster and we also hit enough stuff backing up without being in a hurry). I prefer the lower overall height for both travel and climbing on top of the apparatus along with ease of getting into the bucket. Not to mention that MM have more room for hose if you chose to carry it.

    I really like the Sutphen SPH100. They improved a lot of stuff over their SP models. Most of all I like the improved bucket but appreciate a shorter overall length and improved turning radius. The box frame construction also makes for a solid aerial that protects the waterway.

    Smeal builds a good product as well. There is a reason that they have been building ladders for two different apparatus builders for decades. First it was Pierce and now Ferrara.
    Walt, are you back from the sandbox yet?

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    chiefengineer11,

    Yes I am. Rolled into the hometown on 16 April. The department arranged it so I could drive our 09 Smeal Engine, another member with me got to ride shotgun, and lead the procession to the auditorium where our families were waiting. Even got to drive under the 20'x30' flag our department had suspended from the aerials.
    First meal was at Whiskey Creek, 20 oz. porterhouse and a few beers. Slowly getting back into the swing of things. At work on the paid side for a month and will go back active on the volunteer side 1 July.

    Thanks for checking up on me,
    Walt
    Train like you want to fight.
    www.kvfd.net

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFWALT View Post
    chiefengineer11,

    Yes I am. Rolled into the hometown on 16 April. The department arranged it so I could drive our 09 Smeal Engine, another member with me got to ride shotgun, and lead the procession to the auditorium where our families were waiting. Even got to drive under the 20'x30' flag our department had suspended from the aerials.
    First meal was at Whiskey Creek, 20 oz. porterhouse and a few beers. Slowly getting back into the swing of things. At work on the paid side for a month and will go back active on the volunteer side 1 July.

    Thanks for checking up on me,
    Walt
    It's good to have you home to your family safely, and super that you were able to drive the engine under the flag. Again, thanks for your service. I just received a Marine Corps story from my sister in law that I would like to pass on to you. Are you on Facebook, or can you send me an e-mail address to chiefengineer11@verizon.net.

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