Thread: Sutphen Aerial
01-27-2000, 09:33 PM #1LtDanCobbFDFirehouse.com Guest
I would like to hear from ya'll about your experiences with the Sutphen aerials. We are looking to buy a platform and really like the low overall vehicle weight. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks
01-28-2000, 12:14 AM #2
- Join Date
- Feb 1999
- Roswell, GA, USA
Lt. Cobb of Cobb Co:
Look just a bit east to Roswell. We have 2 platforms. I'm new to the dept, but call the dept. office and someone there will help you. BTW, I work in Cobb Co. Contact me offlist if you'd like.
Do it right, do it safely, do it once.
01-28-2000, 01:52 AM #3smithepsFirehouse.com Guest
Sutphen makes a fantastic piece if you can afford one....aluminum ladders save weight, they have a great safty record, their mid-mount designs are great if you have bridge clearance concerns they are available with short wheel bases AND as far as I can tell, they offer the best "tower/quint" on the market. ie, Large hose bed, acceptable tank size, hale QSMG 2000gmp, etc. Also, other alternatives that I find to be fine pieces of apparatus...Seagrave/Baker 75 or 95ft towers (toughest piece in the history of the fire service), E-one rear-mount aluminum 95 ft tower, and Smeal 85ft mid mount tower
01-29-2000, 10:21 PM #4MetalMedicFirehouse.com Guest
My former department has a Sutphen. Compared to the LTI where I am at now, the Sutphen is a much more stable platform. The only drawbacks it had was a lack of side rails and an open area where you stepped from the ladder into the platform. I understand Sutphen has overcome these problems in later models. The sutphen also had two monitors compared to the one on the LTI which was a plus. And I prefer the midship over rear mount for easy of set-up.
Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.
01-31-2000, 03:01 PM #5FIREKRAUTFirehouse.com Guest
AT THE PRESENT TIME OUR DEPT. HAS 3 SUTPHEN AERIALS, 2 75 FOOTERS, AND 1 1999 100' TOWER. IT IS MY OPINION THAT SUTPHEN BUILDS BY FAR THE BEST IN THE COUNTRY. OUR 100' TOWER HAS A 2000 GPM PUMP, 500 GALLONS OF WATER, 50 GALLONS OF FOAM, 800' OF 5" LDH, AND 600' OF 3" HOSE, HIGH SIDE COMPARTMENTS ON THE LEFT, FULL LADDER COMPLEMENT ON THE RIGHT, AND WEIGHS IN AT 60,000 POUNDS EVEN. LOOK FOR IT ON THE 2000 SUTPHEN CALENDAR ( AUGUST ). YES I KNOW IT'S YELLOW. IF YOU WANT MORE INFO E-MAIL ME AT FIREKRAUT @ AOL.COM
02-01-2000, 12:47 PM #6ladder 20-21Firehouse.com Guest
Our 95? sutphen 100' tiller has given us nothing but headaches. Problems with hydraulics and electrical system. Alternater too small when sitting on scene we had to shut down all lights to keep working. On at least 2 occasions hydraulics failed, could not rotate ladder. Also one time could not move ladder off building due to low voltage screwing up ladders computer safety system.
Smaller problems Compts falling off from bolts loosning, screws falling out all the time.
Before we recived this rig i never herd anything bad about sutphen and this may be just a lemon but i would be hard pressed to recomend sutphen to anyone now.
02-01-2000, 04:48 PM #7FDTrainerFirehouse.com Guest
My FD replaced a 1980 Sutphen Tower with a new Sutphen Tower last year. We loved the old one and the new one is also working out well. The old one did not have the high hand rails, we did put the high hand rails on the new one (for daytime, low manpower situations so it could be used like a conventional aerial if necessary). The high handrails are a good option! We also changed the bucket design. The old one had no work platform outside the bucket. We worked with the Sutphen engineers and had a custom bucket designed with a work platform. This has worked very well. If you want more information, please e-mail me at WAMMFD71@aol.com. Good Luck!
02-07-2000, 10:27 PM #8slimmer88Firehouse.com Guest
I work for a dept. that has always bought Sutphen appratus. We have two twin '84 engines, '94 engine, '00 rescue/engine due for delivery after FDIC, and an '87 100' ladder. As to some of the replys of negitivity towards the Sutphen Tiller, well you must be one of the few depts that has one. We have had a few problems but most are due to age. We have some firefighters that have worked at Sutphen Corp. and Towers. so are problems are easily cured. As for set up and use of our tower it is great! Under 60 sec. if you know what your truck is capable of, handling is great as long as you have a big enough engine. Durability is wonderful ours is almost 14 yrs old and still works great. Water flow is supurb with two mounts and ease of control from turntable or bucket is great. Hope this helps you some.
02-26-2000, 09:08 AM #9JAPFPEFirehouse.com Guest
Why would anyone purchase a Sutphen tower given the other products available on the market ?
My comment is based on the fact that the Sutphen tower does not have a usable/climable ladderway. If you desire to place additional firefighters on the roof, in the bucket, etc., you must cycle the basket to grade level. This severely limits the applications for this truck. Additionally, I would think that it would lead to longer rescue times if you're picking people out of windows/off balconies since you would again have to cycle the basket to grade to unload rescued occupants.
Since we have a 1998 Sutphen tower, these comments only reflect my personal opinion.
02-26-2000, 11:16 PM #10FF McDonaldFirehouse.com Guest
I personally don't like Sutphen too much. I prefer some of the other aerial out there on the market, my department at home (not here at college) has had a few problems with ours. This could just be our truck- maybe it's a lemon?
That having been said, I feel that I need to set the record straight on something.
JAPFPE -- I don't know who was on the purchasing committie for your Sutphen Aerial, or who is telling you that it does't have a climable/usable ladderway-- My dept has a 75 foot Sutphen aerial, and it has a ladderway. I also visited the Sutphen web site, and found this picture
That seems to be a fully functional ladderway on that piece of apparatus. And I know that they have fully functional ladderways because one of the problems that we have with ours is with the 'rung alignment' light.
I would have had another picture-- but it was to large to post.
Personally, I don't like Sutphen- but that's my opinion.
[This message has been edited by FF McDonald (edited February 26, 2000).]
02-27-2000, 10:32 AM #11JAPFPEFirehouse.com Guest
As you are aware, Sutphen uses a "boxed- truss" construction for their aerials. Due to the telescoping boxed construction, it is difficult to provide a decient climbing ladderway. We unfortunately ordered ours with the low-side ladder rails so all you have is a 2 inch high rail along the length of the ladder. This in conjunction with the rectangular "rungs" (2 in wide by 1/4 in. thick) make for a very scary climbing ladder. I'm curious to know if one can order the truck with circular cross-section ladder rungs in lieu of the rectangular members.
I think I would feel safer rapelling out of the basket !!
My point is that the choosen design results in a ladder with limited applications compared to other platforms.
02-27-2000, 05:41 PM #12FF McDonaldFirehouse.com Guest
You can order the ladder with round ladder rungs, as this is what our ladder is outfitted with.
I understand what you mean about a hard / scary ladder to climb-- ever see the ladder on the top of a Aerialscope!!!!!
02-27-2000, 11:57 PM #13rinoFirehouse.com Guest
The handrails on our platform do not meet the NFPA requirement of a minimum 12" high. The step heights exceed the NFPA maximum of 24" ground to first step and also 18" for any step after that. The ability to operate the aerial below zero degrees is limited due to the midship design. I have been told that the ladder is for an emergency means of egress only. It is of my opinion that there are better units on the market for your money. Why would you not want the capability to use the aerial 360-degree’s around the truck at low angles? You are limited to only a high degree of operation towards the front of the truck. Also limited reach when using the aerial off the rear.
Just my opion!!!!!!
02-28-2000, 10:12 AM #14Tower59Firehouse.com Guest
Rino, Please show me a truck with the ability to work at low angles 360 deg.
we looked at two trucks e-one and sutphen
both were nice both had pros and cons.
if the sutphen has highside rails the only con is it's low angle abilities. and that is
not a factor when u look at the big pro.
Hose Bed! The Hose Bed is fantastic on this apparatus.
Just my Opinion I Do not think There is a
Perfect Truck or engine. every one is Good. All Have Pros and Cons.
02-29-2000, 10:58 AM #15JAPFPEFirehouse.com Guest
Ok, here's the scoop. You can order the Sutphen platform like we did with the "low rail" design and end up without a usable/climable ladderway or you can spec the "highside rails" and get a climable ladderway complete with round ladderrungs and a reasonable height handrail. Per Sutphen, the "highside rail" design is a $9600 option (sounds like really good deal now !!). The highside rail design apparently uses a different boom design eventhough the boom still uses box construction. The climbing ladder is affixed to the box versus being an integral part of the boom. The "highside rail" design does increase the overall height of the truck from 9'-10" to 11'-4".
02-29-2000, 03:49 PM #16NEOgregFirehouse.com Guest
My dept. has a 1995 90' Sutphen, 1500gpm Hale and 300gal tank, Detroit Diesel 8V92 power, Allison auto transmission, on-board diesel generator, 4-man cab (no A/c !!), usual compartment complement, nothing else really fancy. Overall, a decent truck. Relatively simple to set up and operate, drives/handles well for a big rig (a little underpowered, though).
No major complaints to speak of beyond some electrical Gremlins in the drivetrain that have Sutphen, our service dept., and Allision scratching their collective heads. It will, on occasion, lock-up in 4th gear between calls---makes pulling out of the station kinda' slow---then, just as quickly, restore itself. Nobody can diagnose this to a final solution--when we think that we've got it licked, it happens again. Thankfully, this has only occurred a few times over the past years.
Here's more food for thought---Sutphen just sent us a service bulletin on possible structural damage to the rear 1/3 of the body if 1) the rear jacks aren't used while the boom is raised for "routine" work (repacking the hose bed, checking top mount compartments, etc), and 2) the air pressure in the rear duals is above 75psi.
Has anyone experienced this damage and what kind of damage is this tire pressure lowering going to do to the tires, suspension, brakes, etc?
It doesn't seem that the rig handles any different (it NEVER was a Ferrari), but the tire pressure was only recently lowered---it was at 95psi for all 8 rear tires. No changes were recommended for the front tires---still at 110psi.
03-01-2000, 05:26 PM #17rinoFirehouse.com Guest
Are we talking about the same unit? Our Sutphen platform is in my option a very difficult truck to load and unload hose? I agree with you that there is no perfect truck on the market. The other issue is the large jack spread and ability to only lower the platform below o degrees off the sides of the truck. This is not always practical in a rescue situation or on a fire ground.
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