1. #1
    Forum Member
    gunnyv's Avatar
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    Jan 2001
    SE MI

    Default Aerial ladder certification

    Has anyone ever heard of an aerial ladder being certified at a lower weight due to age or inability to make the original rated capacity?

    We have a 1990 75' aerial which was rated at 500lbs until 2012. The last two years it has been tested at 400lbs. Testing was conducted by a third party and certified as compliant with NFPA 1911, but all I can find in 1911 is a reference to "rated capacity". Can someone other than the manufacturer change the rating? If they can change the rating, isn't it supposed to be in 250lb increments? I called the testing company but they gave me the run around and no answers.

    I know we still exceed the minimum 250lb rating, but I'm concerned with the age and reliability of the rig-especially since they are in the process of putting a new motor in it.

  2. #2
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    DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Aug 2000
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!


    Ask the testing company if they will assume responsibility for the "lowered rating" if the aerial fails for any reason.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  3. #3
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    Aug 2005


    I would be curious to know the manufacturer and the model of the aerial device. Also I would communicate with the manufacturer as to there feelings on how it was tested. I have started to see a lot of companies in the last couple of years doing NFPA 1911 aerial testing that do not meet the requirements of NFPA 1911 to do the testing. I would ask the testing company to provide documentation that they meet the requirements to preform aerial testing.


  4. #4
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    Nov 2009


    Where do you post the sign on the rig for the lower limit???

  5. #5
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    Sep 2006
    Northeast Coast


    We had our Maxim aerial de-stroked from 100 to 80 feet. I 'assume' that as long as the unit has been properly "derated" to a still allowable standard (250 lb tip load?) that it could remain in 'compliance" with that section of the standard. Not by all a good situation and seemingly proof of failing structural integrity and overall ability, but possibly "acceptable"?

  6. #6
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    SFD_E73_RET's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    KC area


    Seems like a good time to push for a replacement.


  7. #7
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    Aug 2007
    West Burlington, IA


    I'd be leery of any reduction in the original manufacturer's rating on any apparatus. This to me would indicate the need to remove it from service until the device can be repaired or replaced and put back into service at the originally intended rating/specification and then only after a follow-up testing by a third party. Until then, I wouldn't use it.

    I'd follow the two chief's advice - contact the testing company and ask them if they'll accept the liability for decreasing the original rating, along with standing behind the new rating they designated. Plus I'd contact the original manufacturer and discuss the testing methods, along with what their feelings are about reducing their original rating level(s).

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