1. #1
    Inferno
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default Tiller or Rear Mount???

    Our volunteer deparment is debating the type of arial that is going to replace our aging Mack tiller. We also have a '93 100 ft. rear mount platform. It seems to get around fairly well but there are a few places that it can't maneuver into. Can you help list the pros and the cons of a rear mount and a tiller?

  2. #2
    LadderCo13
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    #1 reason to buy a tiller: maneuverability

  3. #3
    dc14398
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    We operate two tiller trucks. they are great for getting around and the large amount of storage space for ground ladders and equipment. Looking into new truck and looked at rear steers. The rear steers could get around pretty good but did not carry as much ground ladders and equipment as the tiller trucks we have.

  4. #4
    Inferno
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Thanks for all (2) replies! I am interested in what others have to say on this topic. Keep them coming in.

  5. #5
    Tim Schaffner
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    Rode them all, Tillers for manuvering and space and cost. rear mmounts for 1 driver and station requirements. This new rear steer is good but $$$$$. your mightbe surprised at the $ saved with a tiller TRUCK WORK RULES!!!!!!!

  6. #6
    JOHN J. DELUCA
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    I AGREE WITH LADDERCO 13, THE #1 REASON FOR A TILLER IS MANEUVERABILITY.
    I AM FROM THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, A CITY WITH A LOT OF LITTLE STREETS.
    WE HAVE JUST PURCHASED 13 AMERICAN LaFRANCE/LTI TILLER LADDERS, ALL OUR FRONT LINE AERIALS WILL BE TILLERS.
    IF YOU HAVE EVER TILLER, THEN YOU KNOW THE SECOND BEST REASON,"IT'S SO COOL TO TILLER."

  7. #7
    FFE3BFD
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    Default

    Hey John,
    How are the new ALF's hanging in there? I was able to see Philly"s Truck 10 in Atlantic City last Nov. Nice looking rig but I have heard a few horror stories about the new ALF's

  8. #8
    JOHN J. DELUCA
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    WHEN THE FIRST EIGHT TRUCKS WENT INTO SERVICE,WE DID HAVE A FEW ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS BUT WE CHANGED THE ALTERNATOR AND ALAF CHANGE THE BELT DRIVE SYSTEM FOR THE ALTERNATOR AND EVERTHING HAS BEEN GOING GOOD SO FAR.
    IN ALL NEW ORDERS, THERE ARE AWAYS A FEW BUGS THAT HAVE TO BE WORKED OUT. AMERICAN LaFRANCE HAS BEEN GREAT IN DOING THEIR PART IN HELPING US WITH CORRECTING THE PROBLEMS.
    NOBODY LIKES CHANGE (ESPECIALLY FIREFIGHTERS)
    BUT ALL IN ALL THE GUYS ARE COMING AROUND AND THEY ARE GETTING USED TO THE NEW TRUCKS. ONE OF THE BEST THINGS THEY DO LIKE IS HOW EASY IT IS TO MANEUVER IN AND OUT OF OUR SMALL STREETS AND NEIGHBORHOODS WITH THRE NEW TILLERS. RIGHT NOW THE BIGGEST PROBLEM WE ARE HAVING IS WITH THE AMPS GENERATORS THAT ARE ON THE TRUCKS.

  9. #9
    STA2
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Are the places the platform can't fit because of the platform or bucket itself? Or would any type of rear-mount apparatus be limited also? I am not from a part of the country famous for tillers, we have nothing but rear-mounts and platforms here. All the responses definetly are pro tiller but is it NEEDED by your department? I am not trying to slam the dept.'s that use them b/c they have there places for sure like in Philly or L.A. or New York. But are you trying to keep a tiller b/c you allready have one or is the need there. I understand narrow streets, double parking, and low trees and power lines and all the reasons. Now look for just a minute at a dept. that DOES use them. FDNY uses I believe about 15 of them out of all there 142 or so Truck Co.'s. That city has every problem with manuvering you could think of twice over and they only have 15. Then look at there accident rate also. Last I looked there tillers have a much higher accident rate then all there other Truck Co.'s. I am not advocating not buying something b/c of what might happen, its just something to think about. Some dept.'s buy stuff b/c the next city over has one or its the "in" thing to get. Don't get caught up in all that if you can help it. I have my opinion like everyone else and what works here may not work there and the other way around. What about dept.'s that have problems and DON'T use them. Newark FD has nothing but rear-mounts and its just as bad as New York with problems on the streets. They apparantly worked it out and they are a good dept. with a good reputation. Boston was once a "tiller town" if you will but not anymore. All of there 15 front line truck co.'s are in rear-mounts. They have as bad a problem or worse with there streets than New York. They solved it by buying rear-mounts on single rear axles and still have 110'ladders. If anyone knows truck work its Boston and they have not bought anymore tillers since the first E-One rearmounts in the 80's. There Tower unit is even tandem axle and it works out good for them. All I am saying is research your builders and your needs together before buying into one type or the other. Oh, and finally don't forget tip load limitations. Alot of dept.'s have gotten into trouble buying light weight ladders and end up with them on the ground. Ask around and you'll find out some of the biggest dept.'s in the country have learned that lesson. That applies to rear-mounts, tillers, and platforms alike.
    On another matter. John don't give up on the AMPS generators. They are good products and work great. They are built about 4 miles from where I live and are agreat company with a proven tract record. I hope your ALF/LTI combos work out. If you see this John, why did Philly go with ALF/LTI setups? From what little I know about the ones you got it looks like they are 250 or 500 at the most tip load ladders. What are they?
    Be safe and carefull.


  10. #10
    cfdtruckman
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    I have never understood why rearmounts are so popular. It seems as though many people seem to forget the midship aerial or platform. I do not believe in the rearmount for one main reason....positioning. If,...and I mean if the ladder gets the front of the building you are very lucky. I dont know how many times I have seen the engine park right in front of the house forgetting all about the truck. In a rearmont you lose a whol fly section if you dont get the front of the building, which decreases you reach signifigantly. I have been asking manufacturers what is the advantage of rearmounts...nobody really has an answer. Tillers are certainly nice but depending on your district it might not be necassary. However, my personal choice would be a midship(ie sutphen tower, or any other manufactur). Most importantly spec a rig that has tactics in mind. Dont spec a parade truck, that is what old rigs are for.

  11. #11
    STA2
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    CFD has a point I forgot to mention. Mid-ship mounted ladders are good. Easier to spot as far as your objective is concerned. Also lower road height to fit older stations and avoid obstacles. I guess my point about rearmounts is that its what I am used to using here which is no excuse. Not may mid-mounts in this area except 5 Sutphens (2 100' Towers and 3 65' or 75' Mini-Towers). Only draw back to mid-mount is the overhang at the rear. I have heard of stations with very short aprons and when they made a run in a mid-mount truck they hit the station when trying to turn to sharp. That is no reason not to get one but I have heard of other dept's saying the same thing about the ladder swinging out when turning. Its all in what your used to and trained on. Also a little known fact is that all mfg will build a mid-mount even if it is not in there regular product line-up. E-One has built a few for old stations up north and they have worked out pretty well. Point is buy what you need for the job, not what someone tells you to buy. Be safe.

  12. #12
    Drive P17B
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    If you can go ahead and get a tiller, since you already have a rear mount. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. You can get the best of both worlds. We use both here and it is advantagous. The one thing you need to do is to teach Pumper drivers positioning of their apparatus. Hose is much more manuverable and can be made longer if necessary.

  13. #13
    Inferno
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    Thanks for all of the replies. It was decieded to get a tiller 9 to 1. Sorry for all those rearmount fans.

  14. #14
    JOHN J. DELUCA
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    NOW THAT YOU MADE YOUR DECISION, YOUR NOT GOING TO LEAVE US HANGING !
    WHO IS GOING TO BUILD YOUR TRUCK ?

  15. #15
    Inferno
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    The verdict hasn't come out yet for who is going to build the tiller. It could still be a while before one is decided but as soon as it is released, it will be posted.

  16. #16
    rs
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    I have experience with the all-atear system, by pierce. If you are a person who is a tiller driver and very used to it, stay with it. The all-stear system is nice, but way to expensive to purchase and expensive to repair. We had been going to a call one day, when the all-stear system failed and locked up all rear wheels. Just some food for thought.

  17. #17
    Inferno
    Firehouse.com Guest

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    UPDATE- <Tillers and Tunnels> New determining factors have stirred up, changing the picture. I would like the input of other forum members of what they think of the situation. Due the severe case of tunnel vision that has plagued the truck committee, the new ladder truck was chosen to be a tiller. Along with that tunnel vision came the almost certain decision to go with a manufacturer that our department has been very pleased with. The only thing with this company is that the aerials on their tillers are very weak. In fact, it has only a 250-lb. (ONE-person) tip load below 39 degrees. Above that, 500 lbs. can be put on the ladder. This means that below 39 degrees, a rescue cannot be made! To make matters worse, when flowing water, 0 (ZERO) lbs. Can be put on the ladder below 39 degrees. Think of that! Spending over $600,000 on a truck that can't even get Mrs. Smith out of her window when her apartment building is on fire! And it is very unlikely that another manufacturer with a sturdier aerial will even be considered. If we are going to stay with this certain company that makes quality strait trucks (proven by our '93 platform) that have twice and three times the tip load, why are we going to buy a tiller that has minimal performance. And by the way, since the first question was posted in February, the tiller that we currently own has had to go to the body shop multiple times for hitting something (not getting hit) in at least 6 separate incidents. And the strait truck, well it has only suffered a small scrape on its under carriage. You make the call now: Tiller or Rearmount?

  18. #18
    Halligan84
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Sounds like your department already made the call. Have you been a part of the specification process? It would seem to me the performance of the the aerial would be spelled out in the specs and would have been known long before you got around to choosing a manufacturer.

  19. #19
    Kevin White
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    Post

    I heard something about a new OSHA rule going into effect which says that any aerial over 80 feet has to have tandem rear axles. I dont know if this is effective for everyone or just certain depts. I live in the Boston area and I know that Boston is looking into getting tillers again because of this. I know this rule does effect them because they cancelled an order with E-One for 3 new rearmounts. Look into seeing if this effects you. If anyone else has info on this, share it with me and everyone else. I would go with a tiller though. Better manuverability and more ground ladder storage. But thats only my opinion.

  20. #20
    Bob Snyder
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Red face

    If I understood you correctly and your only choices are "light duty ladder on a tiller" and "rear mount heavy duty ladder," then you've got to go with the heavy duty ladder. The tillers are more maneuverable, but it doesn't do any good to get a useless truck to the scene, and anything less than a heavy duty ladder is a useless truck. If you can't work effectively from it, rescue with it, etc., then it's just a parade piece.

    We have a rear-mount heavy duty ladder now. When we replace it in 3 or 4 years, I don't know whether it will be rear-mount, mid-ship mount, or tiller, or what manufacturers we'll consider, but it will definitely be a heavy duty ladder. There's no debate on that.

  21. #21
    TRUCK 110
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    I don't know about Straight Ladder Trucks, but the Quints are now being Required to have Tandems due to the weight of the Piece. I have had the opportunity to have Served on Various Trucks..and Each offers many good things. I think the Size of what we want now Days has Terminated the "OLD STYLE" Single Axle Quint.

    ------------------

  22. #22
    Kevin White
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    Post

    If your city has a heavy fireload, then I would get a rearmount because you can get them with heavy duty aerial devises on them. The best ladder you can get on a tiller is the medium duty tiller from Pierce. But even with that it doesnt allow for much added wieght with the aerial fully extended. E-One will be delivering their first tiller in a couple months to Kansa City so maybe to see what they will come out with, you should contact them and see if the E-One tiller will be any good. I would say that trade one for the other if you had a low fire load but because the added wieght factor doesnt give you room to work with, you always want to be able to count on your piece to do its job and thats saving lives.

  23. #23
    bgilmore07
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    OK- I would love to get a tiller (Cpt DeLuca's reason#2), but my vol. dept. is having trouble getting one driver and a full crew, and we couldn't possibly justify a tiller. We currently have a 100' mid-mount ALF (1975), scheduled to be replaced in 2005. There is a lot of talk going on about what to get: Ideally, we would like an ALF 100' mid-mount (there's that tradition thing again). The dwindling manpower makes us consider the possibility of a quint. Some would rather go to their graves than see a wet ladder ("You'll just use it as an engine, and not do any truck work", "You need two operators, we don't have enough people", "You'll never need that, we have two engines", etc.)

    It is a general concensus that a mid-mount would be preferred (Hey, why doesn't anybody make them?) to minimize re-training of the driver corps (and most of us think it makes tactical sense). The other hot topic is "bucket or not". There are two companies near us that just purchased tower ladders. It seems that people are more opposed to towers than are for them. Our district is mostly residential (twins, small single-family homes, and 3-story Victorians), with a smattering of commercial, warehouses, and a hospital. Most of our truck work could be done from ground ladders, but we frequently use the main anyway (but not to the point of stupidity). I also wonder if the mid-mount could be kept to a single rear axle. your thoughts?

  24. #24
    Inferno
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question

    Can anyone tell me about LTI's craftsmanship? Reliabilty? I doesn't matter if you are talking about a tiller or any other kind of aerial. I would just like to get some general information from all of you about them.

  25. #25
    STA2
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    My thoughts. I have not heard of a tandem rear axle requirement with a main ladder of greater than 80'. The axle requirments are usually related to the GVWR, not the ladder. Boston can get away with the single axle for two reasons. A true truck with no pump or water and an aluminum main ladder. They got very good rigs with alot of time on them in terms of years and fire duty. I also don't know why the tandem idea would scare them, if its true, because the Tower Co. runs a tandem all over town. Yeah a tandem is a little more restrictive, but it just takes training. The Jakes in Boston have been doing a good job for decades with both tillers and straight rigs. I think they will get what works for them either way. It will be interesting to see K.C. with those tiller E-One's. Any idea on delivery time? As far as LTI goes HFD bought 16 of them in one order in 1986 I believe. I just got off work this morning after having spent 24hrs on one. All are now reserves or are going to be reserves. The reserve rig I was on is a good rig in terms of reliability. Dependable rigs overall. They are hot though with open jumpseats and that Detroit between them. As far as the main ladder goes the reserve I speak of was a point of discussion the other day. Our regular E-One rig has a tip load of 750lbs wet I believe. The LTI was discussed so we went a looked. If you can believe it, the tip load of the one we are on is 200lbs. I weigh more than that in my station uniform. Now put me in gear and a panicked citizen and that would be interesting. I am not gonna knock LTI. They have been around forever and are good rigs. Every mfg has problems in one way or another. Our Seagrave, LTI, Smeal, Thiabault and E-One rigs have all had their share of problems. The biggest problem I can see with LTI is that they are still steel ladders. Our Seagrave steel ladders actually started to rust from the inside out. I can imagine that any steel builder will have the same problems especially in an extremely humid environment like Houston. However if I could pick a builder I would go with E-One anyday. All around superior in my opinion. Anyway thats my thoughts. be safe.

    Larry

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