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Thread: Outrigger Spotting/Placement Systems

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    Default Outrigger Spotting/Placement Systems

    Anybody have any experience with the relatively new outrigger spotting/placement systems on aerial apparatus that use either laser lights or focused spot lights to help with truck spotting and jack pad placement. I know several of the aerial manufacturers (Spartan ERV, Pierce, and KME just to name a few) offer these systems. I'd really like to know how well the operator can see the lights in bright daylight and if it's worth it to consider adding one of these systems to an aerial truck. Would appreciate any and all input!


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    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Can I ask what the purpose of the lights is? If it's to light up the area to see if the jacks are making contact or whatever....daylight won't be a problem.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Can I ask what the purpose of the lights is? If it's to light up the area to see if the jacks are making contact or whatever....daylight won't be a problem.
    Here's the description and photo of Spartan ERV's system from their website:

    "Laser guides provide visual representation if your apparatus is clear to set-up and also marks where to place your outrigger pads before the need to extend them."
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    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Gotcha. Thanks.

    Wonder if time would be better spent by the manufacturers if they simply designed big enough pads already attached to the downriggers instead of having to place separate ones?
    "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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    Aerialscopes for years have had spot lights to mark where the Tormentors are to be placed. Very simple. Yes you can see it in the daylight.

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    We studied and talked about this with a few engineers at ALF back in 2005/6 when we were buying our tower. At the time we couldn't ensure the visibility would work from the cab, (laser dots too small, lights ineffective in daylight/bright lit streets) so we went with the standby of the operators training as much as possible. On trick we did was mark the 6' hooks stored by the front jacks (actually all hooks on the truck) with two reflective rings that marked the front and rear outrigger distance from the side of the body so personnel could quickly gauge if the jack could fully deploy and where to set the pad. After a while most personnel could do it by eye and abandoned the hooks, thought all newbs are told to use the hook until they're sure.

    I'm interested to see user feedback on the actual trucks that are so equipped?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    I'm interested to see user feedback on the actual trucks that are so equipped?
    Me too! That's the real purpose of this thread.

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    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Wonder if time would be better spent by the manufacturers if they simply designed big enough pads already attached to the downriggers instead of having to place separate ones?
    Technically, they do. You don't "have to" use the pads on solid surfaces.

    To the original topic, I have never seen or used such a system and have never had a problem figuring out where I can set up.
    Last edited by MemphisE34a; 01-28-2014 at 06:08 PM.
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    Default Outrigger Lasers

    I was at Sutphen for our new Engine delivery last month and the engineer was explaining a laser system they were designing for a department that wanted it. Apparently, it is a fairly expensive option to get lasers that could be easily seen in the daylight. Neat idea I guess, that is "if" you have too much money in your apparatus replacement fund.
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    MembersZone Subscriber Halligan84's Avatar
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    We've used the spotlights for about 11 years. Make sure you loctite in place. Lasers were a pretty cool idea but really expensive. I'd do the lights again, works well

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    I heard from Spartan ERV that the lasers they use for their system are expensive (cost about $600 each) but can be easily seen during the day. I would hope so for that sort of price!

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    I have been using an outrigger spotting system since 1991. It was not a new/novel concept back then, it is your two eyes!!! My personal feeling is if you have to equip your new apparatus with laser sights to spot your outriggers, you have a operator training problem. As a well trained operator you should be able to know when pulling up if you can set your outriggers. This goes to wider topic of not training properly which is another topic in it’s self. Guys wonder why apparatus cost so much, its because we want stuff on our apparatus now that will do the work for us, so we don’t have to train!!! Just my point of view.

    Chief1ff
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    Forum Member FFWALT's Avatar
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    We put a small set of lights on our Sutphen SPH100 after we saw them on another truck during final. All they do is light up the general area where the outrigger will go. Like them because at night you can clearly see where the outrigger will be going and if there is a manhole or something similar. The cost was $500 for the pair and they turn on when the hydraulics are engaged.

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