1. #1
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    Default Deployed tower ladder, should the wheels come off the ground?

    Got into a debate about this after speaking with a professional crane operator. We have a pierce 95' aerial platform. For as long as I can remember, i've been taught that the outriggers should be extended until the bubble is taken out of the tires.

    Problem is, with removing the bubble I have on multiple occasions been able to get the outriggers to actually rock off the ground by an inch or so, which would imply that the tires are still bearing the weight and the load is unsteady.

    I was told by a professional crane operator that a mobile crane is NEVER to be operated unless every tire is fully off the ground and the outriggers support 100% of the load. Reason being, we want the point pressure of the outriggers in order to obtain much higher stability.

    So whats the right way to go here? I doubt the crane operator is wrong.

    Also, at work we have the aerialscope seagraves and they also have to come off the ground fully to operator. But they have 6 outriggers instead of 4.

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    Newer aerial apparatus usually recommend all tires in the air. I have a problem with this in slippery and icy conditions, and have in fact had an 80,000 lb aerial walk about 15 feet down a slope in a parking lot at a winter drill. We now allow the automatic deployment feature to take the wheels off the ground and auto-level. Then we lower the truck until one wheel touches the ground. That is the wheel that gets chocked for safety. We also have several bags of crushed limestone "anti-skid" and this is spread beneath the out-riggers before the "Level Truck" button is hit. This has solved the problem with movement in icy or snowy conditions. All officers and operators have been instructed to place the truck on the down hill side of the address if possible to prevent walking the basket into the structure, should the aerial move down slope while working. NEVER use anti-skid with salt as it will allow an otherwise solid support surface to sink under the weight of the outriggers. When using air suspension, be sure to "dump the air bags" before raising the wheels off the ground. Although the dump valve is supposed to keep the bags from over inflating, when the outriggers make the initial raise, it is possible to over-extend the bags & bend the leveling valve control arm. Dump the air when you leave the cab and by the time you are ready to lift the chassis, the air will have escaped preventing this problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrooklynBravest View Post
    Got into a debate about this after speaking with a professional crane operator. We have a pierce 95' aerial platform. For as long as I can remember, i've been taught that the outriggers should be extended until the bubble is taken out of the tires.

    Problem is, with removing the bubble I have on multiple occasions been able to get the outriggers to actually rock off the ground by an inch or so, which would imply that the tires are still bearing the weight and the load is unsteady.

    I was told by a professional crane operator that a mobile crane is NEVER to be operated unless every tire is fully off the ground and the outriggers support 100% of the load. Reason being, we want the point pressure of the outriggers in order to obtain much higher stability.

    So whats the right way to go here? I doubt the crane operator is wrong.

    Also, at work we have the aerialscope seagraves and they also have to come off the ground fully to operator. But they have 6 outriggers instead of 4.
    Seems to me you answered your own question. If the outriggers are coming off the ground, are they doing their intended job? I'd lower them further.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kuh shise View Post
    Newer aerial apparatus usually recommend all tires in the air. I have a problem with this in slippery and icy conditions, and have in fact had an 80,000 lb aerial walk about 15 feet down a slope in a parking lot at a winter drill. We now allow the automatic deployment feature to take the wheels off the ground and auto-level. Then we lower the truck until one wheel touches the ground. That is the wheel that gets chocked for safety. We also have several bags of crushed limestone "anti-skid" and this is spread beneath the out-riggers before the "Level Truck" button is hit. This has solved the problem with movement in icy or snowy conditions. All officers and operators have been instructed to place the truck on the down hill side of the address if possible to prevent walking the basket into the structure, should the aerial move down slope while working. NEVER use anti-skid with salt as it will allow an otherwise solid support surface to sink under the weight of the outriggers. When using air suspension, be sure to "dump the air bags" before raising the wheels off the ground. Although the dump valve is supposed to keep the bags from over inflating, when the outriggers make the initial raise, it is possible to over-extend the bags & bend the leveling valve control arm. Dump the air when you leave the cab and by the time you are ready to lift the chassis, the air will have escaped preventing this problem.
    I've gotta call you out on letting the drill incident you described even occur. Snow plus ice plus hill? What did you think would happen? Operating at a fire is entirely different; you do what you have to according to risk vs reward. IMO, unacceptable at drill. Whoever was in command dropped the ball.

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    We "Always" maxed out the outriggers. That was what the manufacturer recommended.
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
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    Refer to owner manual....... Seems like the logical and safest way to go.

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    captnjak: The operation of the aerial on that drill was done exactly as instructed by the delivery engineer sent to instruct our operators. This was the first time we operated the aerial on a drill, after having had a 75 ft. Snorkel for 40 years. Never had a problem when following Snorkel's procedures. Why would we question a delivery engineer from a different company, who just delivered a 100 ft. ladder tower. The 3% slope in the parking lot wasn't anywhere near the 10% grade specified as a limit for the new apparatus. Sometimes you get lucky, and live long enough to be able to discuss procedures with some very experienced Truckees that have very different ideas than the delivery engineer who never sets-up under the sort of adverse conditions faced by firefighters in the real world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kuh shise View Post
    captnjak: The operation of the aerial on that drill was done exactly as instructed by the delivery engineer sent to instruct our operators. This was the first time we operated the aerial on a drill, after having had a 75 ft. Snorkel for 40 years. Never had a problem when following Snorkel's procedures. Why would we question a delivery engineer from a different company, who just delivered a 100 ft. ladder tower. The 3% slope in the parking lot wasn't anywhere near the 10% grade specified as a limit for the new apparatus. Sometimes you get lucky, and live long enough to be able to discuss procedures with some very experienced Truckees that have very different ideas than the delivery engineer who never sets-up under the sort of adverse conditions faced by firefighters in the real world.
    What did the delivery engineer say about ice and/or snow?

    I'll admit I wouldn't expect movement on 3% slope either but I don't know what the ground conditions were.

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