VERY similar incident from a few years ago:
VERY similar incident from a few years ago:
Was this contributed to poor maintenance practices or something else?
That's what happens when your truck isn't painted red. It forgets that it is a fire truck. :)
Actually, knowing the department and the people there, it would not have been a maintenance issue. They are very good at keeping their trucks in shape and performing maintenance.
there was a parting of the steel cable. That is obvious from the photos.
What caused it to fail will be discovered during the investigation.
according to news release , Sutphen has accepted full responsibility for the failure of the cables that they replaced a few years ago. Truck will be repaired at zero cost to department.
Sutphen's credibility went way up in my book... Every other builder with a failure circles the wagons to defend and discredit, while it took Sutphen less than a week to admit an issue with their parts supply chain or an error in installing the wrong cables.
Sutphen stood up and took the blame for the issue, and relatively quickly. By doing so they left themselves culpable for medical bills for those injured, which I'm sure they'll assume liability for. For some, this will discredit the reputation of their product, but not me.
For a long time we've heard about front suspensions seemingly failing and falling off a particular brand. You'll never see a public admission of responsibility. This is the same reason we're with our current mechanic. He does great work and is reasonable, but best of all - when he's made a mistake, he admitted it quickly, took full responsibility and made things right. In this day and age that's golden. Our prior mechanic (now a dealer for a particular brand of apparatus) was repeatedly caught in lies about services done (or not done) to our rigs. For this very reason he was fired, and the brand he sells will never put a rig in our building until he's not their dealer.
We can all rationalize things differently, this is just my take on things.
I have to agree - the Sutphen Company "manned up" and did so quickly! I happen to represent another brand, but I would hope our people would act accordingly. Kudos to the Sutphen Family!
While I guess it's nice that Sutphen fessed up and took responsibility, with the third failure of an aerial in the past two or three years involving cable failure, I think it is more systemic than saying whoops we messed up. It may have been pure luck that nobody has been killed so far. I think there may be some serious design flaws involved. Just saying.
So where was the issue in the replacement cables or the work? Are there other towers out there with the same potential? It's nice to see a company not use the "deny, deny, deny" routine, but we don't know what the details may have been. If they admit this is on them, they may have a known or probable issue. Let's see how proactive they take this.
#1: Palm Beach County FL: Call them and ask...they will tell you that the cause was a lack of oversight and maintenance on their part.
#2: Arizona: Unfortunately, this case is still in litigation and CANNOT be discussed. I think when the case is over the facts will be enlightening.
#3: PA: Yep...Sutphen's fault and they admitted it. Doesn't make it right, but will make a stronger and safer company.
Bottom line though...EVERY manufacturer and EVERY machine has MAINTENANCE requirements. If they are NOT followed...things fail.
Also, I'd put a Sutphen aerial against any other...any day.
Sutphen has NEVER had a structural failure.
Also, how many aerials can flow 5000gpm at 110' without modification?
No product is perfect, but the Sutphen family is committed to their product and continually stand by what they build. It's a small family owned business, but they build an excellent aerial!!
Like I said, I'd rather that the trucks they build be more reliable. One dept. I'm on has used them for decades, so I'm VERY familiar with them. The other uses a different brand, and we've had very little problems from those, and great service if we do have a problem
The truth be known, we would be hard pressed to find any manufacturer of fire apparatus that hasn't had problems at some point. How they react has been the difference.
One question...have you contacted your dealer? I know if one of my customers were having those problems they would be handled. I'd bet that if y'all are having those problems...they haven't been communicated.
My department has been using Sutphen since 1986. Our newest 4 went in service in the last 2 months and we have 2 that have well over 270k miles.
"2 that have well over 270k miles" That's a lot of miles on a fire truck.
The first was total user maint issue, 2nd...wait until case is settled, 3rd...cause has been discussed here.
All manufacturers have has issues. Sutphen hasn't had a structural failure...ever. Who else can claim that? What manufacturers have the largest number of failures?
You would have a problem if you tried to list current production models of aerials that have had a structural collapse. Since the move to unsupported structures, the 2:1 structural safety factor (dead load plus live load) and the 3:1 stability safety factor catastrophic failures have only been occurring in older, no longer used designs. I can't think of any that have happened off the top of my head.
Having studied aerial failures, even the older designs that failed were generally being used outside of their stated capabilities. There were some notable exceptions though.
Or perhaps, accidental retraction=erectile dysfunction. (Help me out here, snowball.)
Proposed new slogan for the competition, robbed from a flyer I saw by an outfit in New England: At XYZ aerials, we get it up and keep it up.
But yes, all manufacturers have their own issues. Pointing fingers at others simply does not change the fact that this seems to be a recurring theme.
Hall County, GA aerial suffers partial failure today.
Appears to be a Sutphen based on the couple of overhead photos.
Edited to add, press release from Sutphen about an hour ago.
**For Immediate Release**
Date: July 22, 2014
RE: Sutphen Voluntarily Removing 5-Section Aerial Devices From Service
Sutphen Corporation has announced that the Company is instructing customers to remove all SPH 100, SP 110, SPI 112, and SAI 110 Aerial devices from service, until further notice, effective immediately.
The Company states that customers are instructed to use the affected apparatus in the capacity of an engine or support vehicle only. The Company will stay in close contact with its customers to report details and when the units may be place back in service.
“At this time, our priority is the safety of our firefighters,” says Drew Sutphen, President of the Company. “In light of the recent incidents, we recognize there is an immediate need to take precautionary action. I would rather take every precaution necessary than to put firefighters at risk.”
The Company states that it will be contacting customers with the affected units personally to inform them of the events that have occurred and the steps that are being taken to get the units back in to service in a timely manner.
“We feel the need to personally assure our customers that we are working to investigate and correct the situation,” Drew continues.
Sutphen Corporation is an Ohio based privately held, family owned business that manufactures custom built emergency response vehicles. The company's headquarters are located in suburban Dublin, Ohio northwest of Columbus.
For more information contact the sales office or visit http://sutphen.com