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?
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Thread: Tiller or Rear Mount???
02-05-1999, 10:04 PM #1InfernoFirehouse.com Guest
Tiller or Rear Mount???
02-15-1999, 03:03 PM #2LadderCo13Firehouse.com Guest
#1 reason to buy a tiller: maneuverability
02-16-1999, 07:16 AM #3dc14398Firehouse.com Guest
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.
04-06-1999, 03:35 PM #4InfernoFirehouse.com Guest
Thanks for all (2) replies! I am interested in what others have to say on this topic. Keep them coming in.
04-09-1999, 09:17 PM #5Tim SchaffnerFirehouse.com Guest
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!!!!!!!
04-09-1999, 09:23 PM #6JOHN J. DELUCAFirehouse.com Guest
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."
04-10-1999, 10:17 AM #7FFE3BFDFirehouse.com Guest
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
04-10-1999, 03:13 PM #8JOHN J. DELUCAFirehouse.com Guest
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.
04-11-1999, 01:58 PM #9STA2Firehouse.com Guest
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.
04-11-1999, 11:32 PM #10cfdtruckmanFirehouse.com Guest
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.
04-12-1999, 10:19 AM #11STA2Firehouse.com Guest
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.
04-22-1999, 11:31 AM #12Drive P17BFirehouse.com Guest
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.
04-23-1999, 03:24 PM #13InfernoFirehouse.com Guest
Thanks for all of the replies. It was decieded to get a tiller 9 to 1. Sorry for all those rearmount fans.
04-23-1999, 04:55 PM #14JOHN J. DELUCAFirehouse.com Guest
NOW THAT YOU MADE YOUR DECISION, YOUR NOT GOING TO LEAVE US HANGING !
WHO IS GOING TO BUILD YOUR TRUCK ?
04-26-1999, 08:15 PM #15InfernoFirehouse.com Guest
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.
05-21-1999, 01:29 PM #16rsFirehouse.com Guest
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.
06-26-1999, 04:49 PM #17InfernoFirehouse.com Guest
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?
06-28-1999, 10:37 PM #18Halligan84Firehouse.com Guest
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.
07-26-1999, 04:50 PM #19Kevin WhiteFirehouse.com Guest
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.
07-27-1999, 08:46 AM #20Bob SnyderFirehouse.com Guest
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.
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