New Tower Ladder
I'm interested in any information on either the new LTI/Spartan midmount Platform or the Aerialscope on the Spartan chassis. My company currently operates a 1975 Mack CF600 with a 75 ft Baker boom. We're looking to replace the truck and I want to compare both new trucks. If anyone has info or specs on either truck it would be greatly appreciated. I want to hear both good and bad points so dont hold back.
The LTI platform is among the most solid in the industry. Whether you want to go mid ship or rear mount is a matter of preference. Spartan has some problems. Steering wheel boot lets ambient air into cab. Tilt cabs don't have standard manual backup - controller goes - your stuck. Engine inspection port on engine cowling gets real hot and it is real hard to access the dipsticks from above. Auxiliary steps on my unit are cracking after only one year. Spartan sends you warranty parts and expects you to put them in. A suggestion - you might want to look a the American Lafrance cab. Its a beauty. Personnally I love the aerialscope but it is very expensive and you can't move people up and down it like you can with the LTI. For less money you get the best of an aerial and an elevated platform. Good Luck
We have 2 LTI's 1) 100' platform on an American LaFrance and a 75' stick on a spartan. We are looking to get rid of the 100' and replace it w/ the AerialScope 95'. We had no major complaints except they both went back to LTI on numerous occasions for repair. I feel that the Aerialscope is an easier set-up and the boom makes it better for our new Tactical Rescue Team. If you would like to see our trucks goto www.surftheplanet.net/commackfd ( look uner headquarters )
[This message has been edited by CFD TruckLt (edited 01-14-99).]
Just to let you know, Pierce now has a mid-mount, 5-section tower. Just as another option.
Also, there are pros and cons to rear and mid mount aerials. Make sure you investigate this for your area.
I assume that since you have a mid-mount you want to stay with one b/c you mentioned the LTI 93' model and the Arielscope. If mid-mount is your preference ask yourself how your current scope is working out? Has it been a good unit? Good support and parts availability? If yes then why change b/c of some thing new on the block? If your needs have changed then by all means look at the options but don't change for the sake of changing just because something is new. The scope is a proven device with decades of service in every region of our country in some of the busiest companies. The LTI 93' model is what I assume you are speaking of when you say a LTI mid-mount. Remember this is a new model. Everything new has bugs to work out. This model may be the exception and not the rule but I don't want to buy a rig to have it keep going back to the shop. Keep that in mind. As Capttomo mentioned LTI is a respected name in the business and has been around forever. But keep in mind that EVERY ladder truck mfg has had structural failures except one. E-One has never lost one from structural failures. Even the newer companies have lost some already. If you want a rock solid apparatus for a Truck Co. then do look at the E-One. No mid-mount widely offered but they have made one or two before for special reasons. They exceed everyone else in design strength and tip load while flowing water. The one I work on is amazing. It has to have the fastest set-up time in the business. No pins for the jacks and short jack spread b/c of the underslung design. Look at it. Spartan was mentioned as having no manual back-up for the tilt mechanism. I believe that it is now a standard on there chassis. If not it is just a matter of paying close attention to the spec. Spartan has weaknesses for sure just like everyone else. I believe there greatest one is there A/C units. Very underpowered on the two I work on at my volunteer dept. and the one at work. Also very crowded OIC seat with gear up there. Other than that they are very good units. Our pumper at work has 40,000 miles on it and it is a 1996 model Gladiator. It still bumps along good. Its all in how you spec it. As far as the LTI check with the Long Island Dept's. that have been buying a number of them. As far as the scope, check with there biggest customer, FDNY, although they don't have any on Spartan chassis. Just FWD and Seagrave I believe is what they have them mounted on. Also check with a smaller dept. with a scope to see about the difference in mfg service between them and a large dept like FDNY. I believe Edison, NJ has one that is pretty new. American LaFrance was mentioned as an alternate chassis for the scope and the LTI. Keep in mind that their "nitch" in the market is the gap between commercial and custom chassis. That is important. Parts availability is great I'm sure b/c of the Freightliner dealer network across the country and the fact that alot of the same parts are used in the new American LaFrance chassis. A downside to this chassis is that again it is relatively new and that you are talking about putting a large elevating platform on one. Frame strength and durability is to be considered. The ones out there have not been in the field long enough to see about their durability over the long haul. Suspension systems, drive trains, electronics, etc. have not had real hard true "American Fire Service" lifes yet. That doesn't mean they won't work out, just something to keep in mind when you spend that kind of money. If you have any other questions E-Mail me. I hope I helped out.
Larry Di Camillo
Houston, Texas Fire Dept.
Engine Co.68 and Ladder Co.68