1. #1
    Jeff Bixby
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default Tower ladders

    We are looking to purchase a new tower ladder for our department. As this will be our first tower (we have a straight stick now), I am looking for info, both good & bad on various manufacturers and their finished product. If you don't want to post your comments here, please email me at jbix@ameritel.net

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    STA2
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Jeff look at E-One for sure. Very good product and there in service problems are few. There 95' platform is great. In an apples to apples comparison there is no other with the same distributed load, platfordm load and operational ranges. My department has 17 E-One ladders and they are loved by the crews. Very few problems and they have NEVER had a tip over or structural failure. No one else can say that, either new or established companies. Just something to think about. be safe.

  3. #3
    TK
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    All I can do is echo Sta2. We also have a 95' EONE. Took our committee appox. 1 1/2 years to write spec.. Did a lot of research on capabilities and weaknesses. Nothing else came close. Also look and ladder width and hand rail height. This is needed if you plan on using the truck for rescue and don't want to waste time raising and lowering the platform. Ours has been in service for 4 yrs without problem.

  4. #4
    Drive P17B
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    We have one of the E-One 95' platforms in our station also. The guys love it. We have had a few repairs done to it and they have removed the self leveling system out of it, but other than that it works fine. It sounds like we will be getting some of the first E-One tillers and can't wait to try them out

    [This message has been edited by Drive P17B (edited May 03, 1999).]

  5. #5
    JOHN J. DELUCA
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Questions on the removal of the self leveling system, Why ?
    Was it a problem, and what do you use now to level the apparatus.
    What was E-One's reply on the removal ?

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

    Default

    Questions on the removal of the self leveling system, Why ?
    Was it a problem, and what do you use now to level the apparatus.
    What was E-One's reply on the removal ?

  7. #7
    STA2
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    P17 when you say you removed the leveling system I assume you mean the automatic leveling system of the platform right?
    I am kind of curious like John as to how you level the bucket now. Be safe.

  8. #8
    Drew Smith
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    We have a 94 Pierce 100 ft platform. We have had few if any problems. My only two complaints: 1) The year after we took delivery Pierce came out with thier full width basket which holds fire fighter more comfortably and the doors allow you to walk out the front of thebasket without having to lift bars. 2) The cabinet space is not enough. We have a standard arrangement. I have seen custom arrangements by Arlington Hts.IL, Downers Grove IL and Emmitsburg MD. Some of these cabinet arrangements are elimination of one hose chute, elimination of right side pump panel and installation of cabinet with doors, lowering of floor in side compartments below rub rail. If I could, I would eliminate the stairs to the turn-table on one side of the vehicle and put a cabinet there. Another idea would be to remove the chains on the turntable railing and install Mansaver bars (Fire Research makes these)as they are easier to use getting on and off the rig and cannot not be used. Finally, we do not have any warning lights on our basket which sticks out about four feet past the cab. Next time we would put some lights on the basket, either hanging down or flush mount on basket sides.

  9. #9
    RescueTech
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    We are considering buying an LTI or KME tower. Anyone out there have any strong positives or negatives about these two?

  10. #10
    Drive P17B
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    I'm sorry guys I haven't checked in here for awhile. The automatic leveling system I was talking about was for the Jacks not the bucket. Their reasoning was that they couldn't find the problem and are looking into it. We level it manually now. the buttons still work the auto leveler doesn't.
    Before you get the LTI check to make sure that it works within all its limitations and that it has an anti-lock braking system. We had a 100' tiller with one man on the tip fully extended 45 degrees over the cab of the tractor with the waterway charged the tiller wheels would come completely off the ground. LTI came out and said Well Then!! and changed the safety enevelope so that we weren't allowed to do that any more. Also we had a brakes overheating so badly that the drums would explode. So, I would see if I could get disc brakes or as I said before antilock.

    Mark


    [This message has been edited by Drive P17B (edited May 03, 1999).]

    [This message has been edited by Drive P17B (edited May 03, 1999).]

  11. #11
    DeChant Pete
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Make sure you look at Sutphen. I have bought most and the latest is a Sutphen platform.It meets all DOT axle requirements, is very manuverable,service is great and our departmentloves it. Do the proper research and don't let false stories sway you. Deal with facts.

  12. #12
    SBrooks
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    A question for those of you who:
    1)Have overseas experience...How do those Metz ladders work...everything sounds good in theory, but how about in operation...ease and speed of set up & operation...detatchable bucket use, etc. I realize the European ladder truck pretty much performs only the rescue portion, and doesn't carry a lot of ground ladders or tools, but anything you have to say would be interesting.
    or
    2)Have recently gotten rid of a CF Mack'/Baker aerialscope (or similar) for a newer midmount tower (LTI, KME, others?) How do they compare--ease & speed of setup especially--four stabilizers & two outriggers vs. four outriggers & two stabilizers, etc.

  13. #13
    rs
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    I agree with Dechant, Sutphens are great, I have worked off of many different ladders and i feel most secure on the Sutphen. They offer the most strength for a midmount unit, and better platform load than everyone else. Also besides Syracuse there haven't been any other incidents involving the sutphen. Remember most of those failures are because of operator error, and most involved rear mount units over extending themselves.

    [This message has been edited by rs (edited May 24, 1999).]

  14. #14
    TRUCK 110
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    I guess I will jump in here..I have an E-ONE Straight Ladder..I teach Ladder Company for State of NY..One Thing that the Rear Mount People did not input..The Basket in the Front Limiting Sight Going uphill to a Traffic Light from the Flat..Know Someone who had to put their Chin on the Wheel to leave the Station to a Street going uphill with a Light at the Station..Also you lose Sight of the Building as you approach it..Basket in the Way..

    Next..Know a Dept. who got there Basket Damaged by Low Hanging Tree during a Storm Run..

    I will say this about E-ONE..They have not Tipped any Aerial yet with that Jacking System..and They are, I believe the only one's who can Boast that..If you can open the doors..you can set it up..

    I live in the Syracuse Area..One positive for Sutphen..They had an Operator and a District Chief Buried in the Basket by a Brick Wall Collapse...I said it before..it grunted and groaned..popped Rivets and Started to Bend the Ladder into an arc..But at 18' off the Ground when it stopped..it did not break or Fail..it flew the whole time..Built like a Tank..and Sutphen Repaired it, ReTested it..and Check Every Piece of it..It is back in Service now..There was virtually just the Floor left in the Basket, and some side rails..but it Flew..

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


    [This message has been edited by TRUCK 110 (edited May 22, 1999).]

  15. #15
    TRUCK 110
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Almost Forgot..Have you considered a Bronto Skylift Tower..They are alittle pricey, but they do offer something unique that the others do not..That is the Gooseneck Last Section..Only one that can operate close to a Collapse Zone.. or Truly Below Grade..I am talking the 95',102',or 111'.. They all Work 10' Below Grade..Have a Horizontal Reach of the Gooseneck of @ 20' and Have a Basket Rating of 1000#..And they are Built on an E-ONE Chassis in Florida and the 95 and 102, has the Famous E-One Small Outrigger Spread of about 16'..The Ladder itself is made in Finland and Shipped to the US...and it does have a Good Track Record so far..This is a E-One Company too..

    There are truly only 6 Major Manufacturers of Platforms in the US Fire Service..E-One and Seagrave each own 2 Companies, the others are KME,Sutphen,ALF,and Pierce.. But ALF has the most Aerial Component Companies with AI,LTI,and SNORKEL..You might be Pleasantly surprised that Brand X maybe owned by one of the Big Players..So choose your Weapon Carefully.. Fit it to what you expect needs will be over the Life of the Rig..and Buy it..

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    [This message has been edited by TRUCK 110 (edited May 23, 1999).]

  16. #16
    Nathan
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Here in New South Wales (Australia) we use 37 m Bronto Skylifts on an 8 axle Mercedes Benz Chassis. The twin steering wheels are just the thing for maneuvering around narrow city streets. Having a tripple articulated platform and a ladder is very handy (Sydney was hit by a huge hailstorm last month and the Brontos have been working overtime. They have really proven their worth).
    I'd really consider a Bronto.

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