11-08-1999, 11:50 AM #1ChapCaptFirehouse.com Guest
buying new tower ladder, need info
Our Dept. has formed a committee to spec out a new TL to replace our 106 ft. stick. Our town is relatively small mostly residential with lots of narrow hilly streets. We are thinking of smaller towers, 75-85 ft. Our thinking is to have something that is useful on most of our calls, not just the few commercial structures. Another problem we face is that setbacks from the street are large, so giving up reach is a problem, but the bigger trucks we can't set up in many places due to jack spread and manueverability of the appartus. Any suggestions?
11-08-1999, 02:59 PM #2K AFirehouse.com Guest
..with lots of narrow hilly streets...
If that is the case only one aerial on the market can address your needs.
...so giving up reach is a problem,..
So why switch from a 106 to a 75?
... but the bigger trucks we can't set up in many places due to jack spread...
One makes jack spread fully deployed is less than all the others short jacked.
...and manueverability of the appartus. Any suggestions?...
The same solution to above is the solution to this. A SINGLE REAR AXLE 100 FOOT AERIAL ortandem tower. oNLY ONE VENDOR HAS NEVER HAD ONE DUMPED, HAS THE NArROWEST JACK SPREAD, WILL NOT LET YOU SHORT JACK OR ENDAFGER THE AERIAL,
One other point. When you see the adds that say 2000 gpm, no limitations, towers are a continuous rescue path, etc.
Read the data plate to compare to the add. The 2000 gpm add doesn't give with the 1250 gpm limit on the operators plate. At angles under 39 degrees no one can be on the ladder when it is flowing water...so much for continuous escape path. Did you know 90% of the aerial towers on the market will not let you raise the nozzle above level in fear of dumping the unit? Did you know only one aerial will not let you raise it out of the bed if the jacks are not properly loaded?
The answer to your question is find the rig that is the exception to all the above. Their is only one without the above limits. Oh, and they've built more ladders and towers than anyone else.
11-08-1999, 04:29 PM #3ChapCaptFirehouse.com Guest
So, tell me, which truck should I be looking at?
11-08-1999, 08:53 PM #4e33Firehouse.com Guest
Its most likely a Darley he is referring to isnt it??
11-08-1999, 08:54 PM #5e33Firehouse.com Guest
For some good insights to tower laders..read Tom Brennans "Randon thoughts" column in Fire Engineering magazine this month and last month..Tom always has some really interesting insights.
11-09-1999, 09:18 AM #6ChapCaptFirehouse.com Guest
Thanks, I will check out the column. Darley , huh? One I never thought to look at. I will look them up and request some material.
11-09-1999, 01:09 PM #7STA2Firehouse.com Guest
I have an opinion as always. I believe that K.A. is referring to E-One, not Darley. If he is not then it sounds like the E-One information on the towers as far as flow rates and capabilities at different angles. Darley is another story altogether. Be safe.
11-09-1999, 01:52 PM #8e33Firehouse.com Guest
E-One...thats true..I remember that coming up from before..but for pumpers..I am sure the vote would be Darley
11-09-1999, 04:19 PM #9SBrooksFirehouse.com Guest
E-one makes the narrow spread jacks
E-one advertise as never having had an aerial failure or tip
E-one makes a single axle rear mount
I like the design of the E-ones, but i've heard a lot of rumours to the effect that their bodies have a tendency to crack.
Aerialscopes are tanks and can raise the nozzle above horizontal. Only two outriggers, also.
Sutphens only have two as well.
The LTI-75 only has two outriggers, and has a climbing ladder.
Want a really maneuverable tower that you can't overload (in theory at least!)
Take a look at <a href="http://www.metz-apparatus.com/homepage.html">Metz.</a> It's got a smallish bucket, and not too many ground ladders, but you'll only give up 6' of reach (but gain a bit of strength). As I understand it, they set up really fast, and if you short jack it, the aerial will only extend as far as it is safe. As far as I know they've only sold one in the US, to Kennet Square, PA (Mushroom Capital of the World!), but they're hugely popular overseas.
BTW I too have a LTI QS106 TDA. It's A nice truck, but the trailer is huge (can't see) the right outrigger is REALLY slow, an it's got a P.O.S. Pemfab cab.
Just a few thoughts from a guy who spends a lot of time thinking about firetrucks.
11-09-1999, 04:54 PM #10ChapCaptFirehouse.com Guest
We have looked at the Metz, we saw at the show in Syracuse and they brought to our firehouse to play with for a few hours. The truck is really amazing. Sets up anywhere on almost any grade. It is small and very manueverable, great for us and all our narrow hilly streets. Setup is a dream. Safety features out the wazoo, you could not tip this thing over regardless how hard you try.
One big problem, no waterway or nozzle. The bucket is detachable which presents a problem for a water way and nozzles.
Smaller problem - only one in the country, not sure about reliability and service.
We looked at the Sutphen 70+, impressed with arial device, but not the truck overall, I thought the workmanship lacking, some parts cheap, the cab configuration is cramped for the guys in the back and the cab leaked air from the outside like crazy. We had all the doors and windows shut, the ventilation system off and there was wind in the cab.
We had a Smeal over last weekend and I liked that much more. Lots of cool (and practical) things they did. A repelling bracket off the bucket, it can also fold into position to secure a stokes basket on the bucket. Eyes on the bottom of the bucket for lifting up to 500 lbs. It was well built, nice roomy cab design. Only draw back is it was 48 feet long. We would really like something closer to what we have now, 40 feet. I just don't know if it will be possible.
Thanks for all the input, keep it coming, any help we can get is greatly appreciated.
11-09-1999, 07:39 PM #11STA2Firehouse.com Guest
As always I'll chime in here on this topic again. At the risk of upsetting SBrooks, there are some discrempencies to the info he put forth. First the rumor of their bodies cracking I have heard before, but there is a twist on it. We heard at my station that Ladder Co. 6 had "cracks" in the body area. Well we know how rumors are, that rumor mutated to the point that the whole ladder was cracked. Turns out that it was a small bracket under the cab that had a crack in it, nothing else. That was caught during either apparatus maintenance or at our Motor Repair Facility during P.M. So all I can say is that unless you have seen the cracks then don't believe it. If I went with all the rumors I have headrd about apparatus makers I would never ride on an Engine or Truck again. As far as the Aerialscope goes, SBrooks is right, its a good unit if you want to only place master streams or use the bucket. With no real ladder on the boom it is not a continuous path to the ground. And every single 75' scope I have looked at or saw pictures of has ATLEAST six (6) outriggers. 2 front, 2 middle by the turntable and 2 behind the rear axle. As far as outrigger spread goes they are on the wide side because of the two (2) huge middle outriggers. The Smeal 85'tower has four (4) outriggers also. And Sutphen has five (5) on their 95' or 100' models.
As people who post here alot will tell you, I like E-One. As far your situation, with what little I know about your community, I would prioritize your needs. You want a smaller length rig with a descent or small jack spread. But on the other hand you need to overcome some serious setbacks from the streets. You can but a 75' tower that can run down every street you have. But when it gets on scene can it reach were you need it to reach. I would go with prioritizing your ariel device first. How long do you need. After that then address jack designs and spread. Don't waste time on figuring out wheelbase and overall length, if you do that then you aren't being honest about your main ladder. The length will come with your main ladder choice AND compartment and ladder compliment choices you make. Don't scimp on the ladder. Buy the heaviest duty type. E-One makes a 95' platform that is manuverable. It isn't small, but its not a Bronto or anything. Excellent design on the jacks with I believe a 13' 8" spread. Quick set-up time and as said before, they have never had one fail - No exceptions. The most water and personnel at any angle. A real tough rig. So endith the sermon. Be safe.
11-09-1999, 11:18 PM #12WRENCHFirehouse.com Guest
while personally I am a Pierce fan you might want to look into the 95ft aerial scope.They are midship mount so that might help you on lenght. they are built well as New York city has used them for years. The city has many narrow streets and beat and abuse there trucks.
11-10-1999, 07:41 AM #13SBrooksFirehouse.com Guest
An aerialscope has 2 outriggers on the 75' and 95' versions. It has four downriggers with no jackspread. It is much much easier to place one outrigger a side than two, as you can just slip it into any spot. I will give it up for the E-one jack spread and the jacks in general, they're probably the best design out there. I don't believe you have to pin the jacks either. They now offer their 90' tower on their cyclone chassis...reducing the wheelbase to about 240", which is what most towers are at anyway.
11-10-1999, 09:36 AM #14ChapCaptFirehouse.com Guest
Thanks Larry and SBrooks, good info. A couple of guys on the committee have ruled out E-One already without even considering it. That really chaps my ***, because I had the experience of working part-time for a paid dept in the area and drove their E-One 75' stick, I loved it. I have to convince the committee to reconsider. Time to print out all this info so I don't lose it.
Thanks again and keep it coming.
We have interesting, conflicting problems, we want a short truck with as small a jack spread as possible, but need the reach. I think we will end up with a bigger truck than we have. The new trucks (as opposed to our 1983 Hahn) are much more manueverable even though they are bigger. The next committee battle is Thursday, I will let you know how it goes.
11-10-1999, 03:59 PM #15resqbFirehouse.com Guest
My paid dept. has 2 E-ones & won't buy them again. Mostly service problems. 75' rear mount quint is very unstable on steep hills. Also lost windshield pulling out of station right after delivery. Compartment doors continue to open when body flexes. Rescue pumper has had problems with cracking welds where boxes for compartments are welded to body. This was alleviated when pump panel and body were seperated, after 3 trips to Florida and one to Saulsbury. Overall E-one makes a good piece, but I think we got Friday trucks.
11-10-1999, 05:22 PM #16FireGuyNeilFirehouse.com Guest
E-One aerials have a very good reputation and they have a shorter jack spread. I know Chicago has several of them in service. A volunteer department that I belong to has a newer 75' Quint and a 1987 Ford C/E-One Pumper. They have had no major problem with either piece of equipment. My volunteer has two Spartan E-Ones and we have had alot of problems with both rigs. Most of the problems have been weld and structural. I think E-One has made some changes to try to solve some of these problems but I still warn everyone to ask their dealer the what if questions. I only know of a few departments in my area currently using 95' Aerial Scope and haven't heard of any problems from any of them. (FDNY guys swear by them. Nothing better.) I would recommend you contact a department using one for more information as to good and bad points. Progress Fire Company in Susquehanna Twp. would be a good one to contact. I also know that Sutphen makes a mid-mounted tower as well as a platform. Some major cities like Baltimore Md. and Saracuse Ny. use them. They also have a narrow jack spread pattern and offer alot of reach. They build a decent body but are alos expensive. As far as the cab layout you get only what you spec. I recommend that when you committee talks to salemen from these different companies that you ask for a list of previous customers who have used their apparatus in the field for at least 1 year. Take care and hope this will give you some insite and help. Feel free to contact me if I can provide you with anymore info.
Respectfully, the FireGuyNeil.
11-11-1999, 12:36 AM #17wannabe-EMTFirehouse.com Guest
Actually, I believe Baltimore has practically phased out their older (10 or so years?) Sutphen midmount platforms in favor of Tractor-drawns, notably Seagrave. (Don't hold me to this, though, I'm just going on what I see with my own eyes. ) Still, one or two remain in front-line service, and plenty others in reserve. The ones in service do respond often, and despite being somewhat old and not exactly the cleanest-running rigs in the world, they work well. I believe I can say they've more than earned their keep, as as long as I can remember in my relatively short life, they've been on the roads here and doing a good job.
Maneuverability seems to have been a big factor in the phasing out of the towers, as I remember vividly when AT 114 would be the first-due ladder for my street. The street is narrow, cars on both sides, one-way, and it turns sharply at the end. The rig would be sitting for quite some time going forward-back-forward-back trying to make the turn. Or backing up the hill to the main road. No room to turn around. Baltimore, being an old city, has many roads like that. On main roads, it seemed to work fine, had a good enough reach, but getting it out of some spots was humorous to watch, if not humorous for the men doing so.
Anyway, peace, and stay safe.
Small disclaimer, too: What I say, I say not as a representative of Sutphen, the BCFD, or any other agency, but as a lifelong resident of the City of Baltimore, and an avid buff.
[This message has been edited by wannabe-EMT (edited November 11, 1999).]
11-11-1999, 04:16 PM #18Tower33Firehouse.com Guest
I will chime in as a user of a Aerial Scope. My department operates a 75' Tower on a FWD Chassis. The piece was originally in-service in FDNY and underwent a complete refurb in 1995 which included almost everything except the boom and I believe the outriggers.
I will sware by the usefullness and durability of Aerial Scopes. As SPBrooks mentioned they offer only (2) outriggers and (4) downriggers (straight shot down so no concerns) which makes it quite easy to manage in close quarters. Although it isn't that fast, the manouverability I would say is inline with any other 75' aerial and the closest you'll get to a tiller truck in terms of turning radius.
FDNY abuses there pieces and I would say the same about our department. They take all you give them with supurb results. They will take a crew in the bucket ANYWHERE and flow ANYWHERE which can;t be said about most aerials. Although they are not very technologically advanced compared to the MERTZ they are workhorses in the field of aerials.
I would be more than happy to answer any specific questions, and if I can't then I'll forward them to my departments Tower guru.
11-12-1999, 09:53 AM #19ChapCaptFirehouse.com Guest
Thaks T33, I actually work in Manhattan and will stop by the nearest Truck Company to check out one of the ArielScopes. That is another one we did not think about. We will surely give them a look.
11-12-1999, 04:05 PM #20ChapCaptFirehouse.com Guest
Can anybody give me the name of an Arielscope dealer in the Northeast? I could not find any info on the web.
Our Dept. is located in Westchester County about 30 miles north of NYC.
11-12-1999, 04:16 PM #21FFE3BFDFirehouse.com Guest
Aerialscope is exclusive to Seagrave, so your local Seagrave dealer.
[This message has been edited by FFE3BFD (edited November 12, 1999).]
[This message has been edited by FFE3BFD (edited November 12, 1999).]
11-12-1999, 05:05 PM #22wannabe-EMTFirehouse.com Guest
<a href=http://www.aerialscope.com/>http://www.aerialscope.com/</a> is the official website, and has dealer listings.
11-12-1999, 05:45 PM #23e33Firehouse.com Guest
Aerialscope lists Campbell Supply of Edison NJ as a dealer..I do not believe this is still true. Campbell was bought out by American LaFrance/freightliner recently and they may not have updated. I know Campbell will no longer be selling Seagrave apparatus. Too bad.
11-13-1999, 09:25 AM #24Dragonslayer_34Firehouse.com Guest
ONE NAME COMES TO MIND AND THIS CO. WILL SOLVE YOUR LDH NEEDS AS WELL!!!! SMEAL. WE RECENTLY ORDERD A 75' STICK AND WE ARE IMPATIANTLY WAITING... THE RIG SEATS 7 WE HAD 5 GUYS HANG ON THE TIP BELOW 39 DEGREES AND SHE DIDN'T BUDGE THIS TRUCK ALSO HAS AN URGANOMIC HOSE LOAD THAT IS HYDROLIC EXTENDS OUT OF THE BACK OF THE UNIT AND THE TRAY LOWERS DOWN FOR 1,000' OF 5" LDH VISIT smeal.com AND CHECK OUT THE UNIT SLICKEST THING NEXT TO BREAD AND PENUTBUTTER!!!!!!!!!
11-13-1999, 12:14 PM #25benson911Firehouse.com Guest
I have to support E-One. My department has bought an E-One engine, squirt, ladder and ambulance over the last 15 years (and a new pumper is on order.) Every one of those trucks is in great shape and runs very well. The oldest, a 1985 Engine, is due for a refurb and the only disintegration we have is corrosion under the paint where water drips off lights, hinges, corners, etc. The newer trucks have not shown a sign of this corrosion - maybe they eliminated the problem.
I highly recommend the E-One ladder trucks! I believe Boston loves theirs and our 100' stick is great. We did set it up as a quint, but it runs as a ladder and has all the ladder equipment you want. The pump and prepiped waterway are AWESOME! An idiot could pump this truck and we can't make it water hammer (we tried!) One FF can set this truck up and be flying in less than three minutes - no short jacking. It's a great truck.
A community two doors over got a Pierce 75' on a Quantum and have had nothing but problems. They wouldn't consider the E-One because the ladder is aluminum. Well, their ladder whips like a fishing rod and our E-One is stable as a rock. Believe me, I've been up there in pretty bad conditions.
You really should check out the E-One. The only way to know is to try one!
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