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  1. #1
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    Default Aerial Truck Questions

    Our dept is in the process of replacing our old 1972 American Laf Aerial. We are leaning toward a stick or a 75' or 85' platform. We are located in the mountains of NC so we have some tight roads. I was wondering if anyone knows of a websites or articles that has reviewed trucks for areas like ours. I was wanting to know turning radius, wheelbases and etc. For some of the truck manufactures before we start contacting ever dealer. Some of the manufactures will give truck dimensions like Sutphen but most of them will not. Anyone have information that you can give or know of?
    Some of the manufactures we are thinking of is- Sutphen, Pierce, KME and Rosenbauer.
    Plus if anyone knows of any problems with any of those companys feel free to share.
    Thank you LT. Justin Setser Franklin Fire and Rescue Franklin, NC

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    Our company just received a Federal Grant for a new Aerial Truck and we've gone through alot of this. If you want to send me an email, maybe I can provide some of what you are looking for.

    lfernbaugh@verizon.net
    Lynn Fernbaugh
    Washington Fire Co. #1
    Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
    www.washies.org

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    Any way you can drag your heels until LTI begins being offered on a Spartan Gladiator?

    That would make you a great machine. My personal preferences off your list would be KME or Pierce, and I would add Smeal.

    Work with the brand whose dealer will give you the best service, even if you have to sacrifice your first choice in apparatus. Please listen the voice of experience: Customer service is a lost art in the fire service like most everywhere else. The difference in the fire service is you are entering into a 15-20 year relationship.

    One last thing: On aerials, make sure you get the wall-to-wall turning radius as the front and/or rear overhangs will be factored in. As you already know, turning radius will also be affected by axle weight and suspension type.

    C6

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    Very likely your dimensions will vary depending on what cab you chose, etc. Hence the likely hesitation in providing solid info from some builders.

    I'll look for it and post on here if I find it, but a prior employer had a spreadsheet program that factored in overhangs, cramp angle, tire size, etc. to give you a turning radius that the tires would make, as well as the wall to wall radius. If I find it, I'll get your e-mail and send it to you. Regardless of who builds it, those factors will determine how it turns, nothing else.

    We just bought a Smeal 75' stick, and so far I'd not hesitate at all to recommend them for your consideration.
    "Share your knowledge - it's a way to achieve immortality." - Stolen from Chase Sargent's Buddy to Boss program

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    Having driven through the Mountains in North Carolina, regardless of what brand you buy, get it with a tandem rear axle for the extra braking capacity as well as a transmission or Telma retarder. Some of those roads are just fricken scarey. I don't think they heard of GUARDRAILS.

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    Toyne now offers the LTI and Squrts with the Spartan, HME or the Eagle Chassis.

    Quote Originally Posted by Command6 View Post
    Any way you can drag your heels until LTI begins being offered on a Spartan Gladiator?

    That would make you a great machine. My personal preferences off your list would be KME or Pierce, and I would add Smeal.

    Work with the brand whose dealer will give you the best service, even if you have to sacrifice your first choice in apparatus. Please listen the voice of experience: Customer service is a lost art in the fire service like most everywhere else. The difference in the fire service is you are entering into a 15-20 year relationship.

    One last thing: On aerials, make sure you get the wall-to-wall turning radius as the front and/or rear overhangs will be factored in. As you already know, turning radius will also be affected by axle weight and suspension type.

    C6

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    Quote Originally Posted by shag23 View Post
    Our dept is in the process of replacing our old 1972 American Laf Aerial. We are leaning toward a stick or a 75' or 85' platform. We are located in the mountains of NC so we have some tight roads. I was wondering if anyone knows of a websites or articles that has reviewed trucks for areas like ours. I was wanting to know turning radius, wheelbases and etc. For some of the truck manufactures before we start contacting ever dealer. Some of the manufactures will give truck dimensions like Sutphen but most of them will not. Anyone have information that you can give or know of?
    Some of the manufactures we are thinking of is- Sutphen, Pierce, KME and Rosenbauer.
    Plus if anyone knows of any problems with any of those companys feel free to share.
    Thank you LT. Justin Setser Franklin Fire and Rescue Franklin, NC
    We have a 100' Smeal Platform(09 MM). It will go practically anywhere our Engine will go but you DO have to watch the "tail slap".Each Mfg SHOULD be able to furnish the information you seek on request. Both Sutphen and Smeal have MM units that will turn quite sharply,perhaps more so than you would think looking at them. T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 07-02-2011 at 01:16 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by donethat View Post
    Having driven through the Mountains in North Carolina, regardless of what brand you buy, get it with a tandem rear axle for the extra braking capacity as well as a transmission or Telma retarder. Some of those roads are just fricken scarey. I don't think they heard of GUARDRAILS.
    It will diffidently have a retarder on it. Does anyone know the dimensions of kme's 81' midmount platform and Rosenbauers 75' and 85' platforms?

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    Quote Originally Posted by shag23 View Post
    It will diffidently have a retarder on it. Does anyone know the dimensions of kme's 81' midmount platform and Rosenbauers 75' and 85' platforms?
    1) I recommend you reconsider a transmission retarder. They are better at cooking your transmission than providing auxiliary braking. A Telma drive line brake is excellent, although expensive. The old Jake brake is still probably the best auxiliary brake for the money. A Jake along coupled with the variable geometry turbo technology is a good set up.

    I like the KME mid-mount platform; not a big fan of Rosenbauer. The Mid-mount design will lower your center of gravity as opposed to a rear mount; an advantage on curvy mountain roads.

    C6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Command6 View Post
    1) I recommend you reconsider a transmission retarder. They are better at cooking your transmission than providing auxiliary braking. A Telma drive line brake is excellent, although expensive. The old Jake brake is still probably the best auxiliary brake for the money. A Jake along coupled with the variable geometry turbo technology is a good set up.

    I like the KME mid-mount platform; not a big fan of Rosenbauer. The Mid-mount design will lower your center of gravity as opposed to a rear mount; an advantage on curvy mountain roads.

    C6
    It probably will have a jake. We have a pierce custom with a jake and another pierce tanker with an exhaust brake. I like the customs jake way more than the exhaust.

    Just so everyone knows our old 1972 amer Laf aerials wheelbase is 272" and TL of 44.8. So anything we get should turn better than that. I believe our truck committee is more worried about the over hang we might have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by donethat View Post
    Having driven through the Mountains in North Carolina, regardless of what brand you buy, get it with a tandem rear axle for the extra braking capacity as well as a transmission or Telma retarder. Some of those roads are just fricken scarey. I don't think they heard of GUARDRAILS.
    I am not so sure a transmission retarder is such a great idea with modern engine cooling problems.

    Just my 2 pennies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shag23 View Post
    Just so everyone knows our old 1972 amer Laf aerials wheelbase is 272" and TL of 44.8. So anything we get should turn better than that. I believe our truck committee is more worried about the over hang we might have.
    My .02 from having driven rear- and mid- mount aerials as well as articulating devices, it's a matter of choosing your poison.

    Rear mounts have everything hanging over the cab so you can see what;s hanging over. Problem is, you can't see anything else, including stoplights because the aerial device is obstructing the view. A rear mount has everything hanging over the back out of the way, but "out of sight, out of mind" syndrome can occur. With an articulating boom, you have both front and rear overhang to worry about.

    Your mechanics will prefer a mid-mount, since they don't have to raise the aerial every time the cab is raised.

    C6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Command6 View Post
    My .02 from having driven rear- and mid- mount aerials as well as articulating devices, it's a matter of choosing your poison.

    Rear mounts have everything hanging over the cab so you can see what;s hanging over. Problem is, you can't see anything else, including stoplights because the aerial device is obstructing the view. A rear mount has everything hanging over the back out of the way, but "out of sight, out of mind" syndrome can occur. With an articulating boom, you have both front and rear overhang to worry about.

    Your mechanics will prefer a mid-mount, since they don't have to raise the aerial every time the cab is raised.

    C6



    Not all rear mount aerials stick out over the cab and blocks out the drivers view of traffic lights.

    If you design them correctly, there isn't any problem.

    The only one that would be a rear mount aerial platform, with the platform hanging out front. If the Platform is tilted upwards some then you can see the light.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    Quote Originally Posted by shag23 View Post
    It will diffidently have a retarder on it. Does anyone know the dimensions of kme's 81' midmount platform and Rosenbauers 75' and 85' platforms?
    The Kme 81' MM tower is 42'-3" long with a medium 4-door cab !

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    Right now myself and three other guys from my company are looking to replace our current 1994 scope which is 43' 10" long but that is the old style boom on it plus pump, tank, and hose. The issue we have is we canít go over 44í in length and 11í in height for a platform not including the Q2 mounted in the bumper which we could squeeze passed when walking in front of the truck when it is in the fire house.

    We are looking to get a new scope but there are problems with trying to get it the same way have it now due to the new scopes being a lot heavier and loading up the front axles to the max. Talked to our Seagrave rep and they are working on fix but donít know if it will help. I also passed some info to him about trying to get the new scope the way we have our current one. Canít beat how strong a scope boom is.

    But we are open to other mid mounts also.

    Talked to Ferrara aerial head and or rep they make a mid mount 85' that can be as short as 43' 6". They are making one for Amityville NY that is 44' 8" long.

    We are also looking at that KME 81' like WoodbridgeFFII has said. There is one that is 3 towns over from us that is basically the size that was just said.

    Also another thing to look out for is the wheelbases. Some of them can get big. Our current scope has a 241" the Amityville has a 258". Donít know about the KME.

    So for the order of what we would it is for us:
    1. Aerialscope 75'
    2. Ferrara 85'
    3. KME 81'

    But this can change as we are only in are being stage of looking around to see whatís out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Command6 View Post
    Your mechanics will prefer a mid-mount, since they don't have to raise the aerial every time the cab is raised.
    C6
    Not true. Seriously, what am I giving up to raise a ladder.... 5 minutes, tops??!!

    All I ask for on an aerial is full access to the swivel and hydraulic valves. Nothing else.

    FM1
    Last edited by FIREMECH1; 07-02-2011 at 02:42 AM.
    I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FIREMECH1 View Post
    Not true. Seriously, what am I giving up to raise a ladder.... 5 minutes, tops??!!

    All I ask for on an aerial is full access to the swivel and hydraulic valves. Nothing else.

    FM1
    I'd say that C6's statement may be more fitting in a smaller FD where the "mechanics" do not have an actual shop. Without a large open enclosed space, it's damn difficult to deal with when it's bitten cold outside, or at least that's been our experience. Our station with a short apron would have put a tilted cab out in the street if we had to raise the ladder, otherwise it'd be a trip to the unpaved back parking lot on a grade. In fact this was an unnoticed potential issue at the time we were determining MM vs. RM.

    On the other side of things, I'd hope any FD with municipal or staff mechanics would ask them what would make their lives easier (and down time shorter).

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    Shag: Knowing a little about your area (very little, as my grandson was just fishing the gorge last week and his other grandparents live on that stretch). I would seriously discuss weight restrictions, as a newer tower will weigh at least 50,000 lbs and depending upon length and builder be as much as 80,000 lbs. Then you will need to address tactics and aerial placement. Do not simply look at the height of your buildings, but also consider set-backs and engine placement. It may be necessary for the ladder to reach over the engine, and then stretch to cover the set-back from the road. Carefully consider the footprint of the outriggers, as some (KME - Aerial Cat) require 21 ft set-up width for full 360 operation. By short jacking the away legs, you might be able to get away with a 14 ft. roadway. A mid-mount will require setting up slightly past the address, or cocking the cab away from the address to allow for clearing the back of the cab. I would begin the process by looking at the top 20 or 30 target hazards where you willbe using this apparatus like Walmart and the older down town sections. Decide upon placement and then look at reach & set-ups. Once you get a feel for how you would like this ladder to function, then your committee can set about trying to get a piece that will perform properly for your community.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOWER412 View Post
    The issue we have is we canít go over 44í in length and 11í in height for a platform not including the Q2 mounted in the bumper which we could squeeze passed when walking in front of the truck when it is in the fire house.
    Maybe something like this could work for you guys. Also helps protect the Q.




    On our new engine at work the Q sticks ridiculously off the front bumper. I give it a month before someone tears it off.
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    These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
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    You haven't mentioned what your budget is but have you looked at or considered the Rosenbauer Raptor a.k.a. the Metz L32. The most common configuration has a wheelbase of around 215" with an overall length of 36' AND a 105' aerial. If you can open the drivers door, you can set the jacks to full extension. The aerial can set-up AND operate on a slope up to 14 degrees.

    I don't represent them just have first hand knowledge, experience and lots of seat time!

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    Quote Originally Posted by VanIsleEVT View Post
    You haven't mentioned what your budget is but have you looked at or considered the Rosenbauer Raptor a.k.a. the Metz L32. The most common configuration has a wheelbase of around 215" with an overall length of 36' AND a 105' aerial. If you can open the drivers door, you can set the jacks to full extension. The aerial can set-up AND operate on a slope up to 14 degrees.

    I don't represent them just have first hand knowledge, experience and lots of seat time!
    Budget isnt an issue we have thrown around the idea of getting us an aerial that will work but not spending all our money on one truck. Instead of spending a million on a 100ft platform. But spending 3/4 of million on a stick or shorter platform and using the rest to get another commercial pumper or heavy rescue / Service truck. We also have our ISO coming up next year. But all that depends on if something shorter will work for us. Right now I believe our top picks are the (not in any order)
    1. Pierce 75' PUC Wb 212"
    2. Pierce 85' Platform WB ?
    3. Sutphen SP 70 WB 215"
    4. KME 75' Aerialcat WB 210"

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    It sounds like you have a good grasp on what you're looking for, except comparing platforms and straight ladders to each other is a little odd as they both serve similar purposes, but in unique ways.

    If your looking to consider a straight ladder, the Sutphen SL75 or SL100 should both be looked at heavily as well. Both are some of the strongest weight rated ladders with the least amount of travel weight. Both are also available in Quint configurations with industry leading compartment space.

    I am a Sutphen rep, however I do not work for your area. However, if you have any questions or would like any more information, please do not hesitate to ask either on the boards here or privately.

    Thanks and Stay Safe!

    Quote Originally Posted by shag23 View Post
    Budget isnt an issue we have thrown around the idea of getting us an aerial that will work but not spending all our money on one truck. Instead of spending a million on a 100ft platform. But spending 3/4 of million on a stick or shorter platform and using the rest to get another commercial pumper or heavy rescue / Service truck. We also have our ISO coming up next year. But all that depends on if something shorter will work for us. Right now I believe our top picks are the (not in any order)
    1. Pierce 75' PUC Wb 212"
    2. Pierce 85' Platform WB ?
    3. Sutphen SP 70 WB 215"
    4. KME 75' Aerialcat WB 210"

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    All 3 of your choices are very strong and reputable rigs. Not to sell you anything, because you are out my territory, but both the Sutphen SP75 and SPH100 can be configured to fit in your firehouse with no problems, and still offer full Qunt capability if so desired. As I also mentioned to our NC brother in an above post, both units offer high weight ratings (Sutphen's website needs updating) and the ability to only have one set of side protruding jacks, which your currently used to. In the SPH's case, it can also be shortjacked not only giving you the ability to go where your current Scope goes, but it can work in even tighter areas. Additionally, both versions, loaded, are going to weigh in significantly lower then the other options you have mentioned; which will translate into significant savings in wear and tear as well as fuel consumption.

    Have you spoke to Tim Moots yet? He is your area representative and would be more then willing to help you out. If there's anything else I can answer, please don't hesitate.

    - Woodbridge.... How's my Burlington City Scope still doing? Still bleeding yellow????

    Quote Originally Posted by TOWER412 View Post
    Right now myself and three other guys from my company are looking to replace our current 1994 scope which is 43' 10" long but that is the old style boom on it plus pump, tank, and hose. The issue we have is we canít go over 44í in length and 11í in height for a platform not including the Q2 mounted in the bumper which we could squeeze passed when walking in front of the truck when it is in the fire house.

    We are looking to get a new scope but there are problems with trying to get it the same way have it now due to the new scopes being a lot heavier and loading up the front axles to the max. Talked to our Seagrave rep and they are working on fix but donít know if it will help. I also passed some info to him about trying to get the new scope the way we have our current one. Canít beat how strong a scope boom is.

    But we are open to other mid mounts also.

    Talked to Ferrara aerial head and or rep they make a mid mount 85' that can be as short as 43' 6". They are making one for Amityville NY that is 44' 8" long.

    We are also looking at that KME 81' like WoodbridgeFFII has said. There is one that is 3 towns over from us that is basically the size that was just said.

    Also another thing to look out for is the wheelbases. Some of them can get big. Our current scope has a 241" the Amityville has a 258". Donít know about the KME.

    So for the order of what we would it is for us:
    1. Aerialscope 75'
    2. Ferrara 85'
    3. KME 81'

    But this can change as we are only in are being stage of looking around to see whatís out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EES_SEAN View Post
    All 3 of your choices are very strong and reputable rigs. Not to sell you anything, because you are out my territory, but both the Sutphen SP75 and SPH100 can be configured to fit in your firehouse with no problems, and still offer full Qunt capability if so desired. As I also mentioned to our NC brother in an above post, both units offer high weight ratings (Sutphen's website needs updating) and the ability to only have one set of side protruding jacks, which your currently used to. In the SPH's case, it can also be shortjacked not only giving you the ability to go where your current Scope goes, but it can work in even tighter areas. Additionally, both versions, loaded, are going to weigh in significantly lower then the other options you have mentioned; which will translate into significant savings in wear and tear as well as fuel consumption.

    Have you spoke to Tim Moots yet? He is your area representative and would be more then willing to help you out. If there's anything else I can answer, please don't hesitate.

    - Woodbridge.... How's my Burlington City Scope still doing? Still bleeding yellow????
    The old truck is doing pretty good, except she blew a high pressure power steering line a few weeks ago and bleed fuild all over the street in front of the fire house. Here is a few photos of 4-2-5 setup at Fords Fire Co, N.J. 100 years of service!
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Last edited by WoodbridgeFFII; 07-07-2011 at 06:59 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WoodbridgeFFII View Post
    The old truck is doing pretty good, except she blew a high pressure power steering line a few weeks ago and bleed fuild all over the street in front of the fire house. Here is a few photos of 4-2-5 setup at Fords Fire Co, N.J. 100 years of service!
    **it happens to even the best of trucks.

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