1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post midmount or rearmount

    My dept is arguing over weather to buy a midmount Arial or a rear mount Ariel please tell me which do you prefer and why and by what mfg. thanks

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I like the mid mount platform over the rear mount platform for the following reasons:

    Lower overall height – you can get mids that come in around 10’ while some of the rear mounts approach 13’.

    The center of gravity is a lot higher in a rear mount.

    Having driven both, the main over the front axle of the rear mount also affects the ride quite a bit too, very bouncy and rough ride.

    The platform hanging over the front end can be a challenge when negotiating corners, etc… The rear over hang on a mid mount requires an adjustment as well, but not as much.

    Shorter main ladder length – Most rear mounts are 3 sections while you can get mid mounts to 5 sections. When working to the side or bringing the platform to the ground the shorter length is a big advantage.

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I am no "expert" (although I atteneded a training session and they gave me a patch that says, AERIAL SPECIALIST on it), I have been on departments with both kinds.

    Halligan84 covers most of my thoughts on this. I have worked with a Sutphen mid-mount and our current LTI rear-mount. One other advantage I see in the mid-mount is that the operator can set the out riggers up from the pump panel and not have to jocky around the back of the truck using two control panels to set them up. I also think it works better to have the turntable operator in closer proximity to the pump operator. While we have head sets on our LTI, communication is still 60% visual and you usually can't see your pump operator from the rear-mount turntable.

    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

  4. #4
    Truckie from Missouri
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I'll be non-commital--I have used both and they both have advantages.


  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    My experience leads me to same conclusion as Halligan's. I prefer a MM based on experience with a Pierce 100 RM Tower and a Mack AerialScope MM.
    A great deal has to due with driving the truck. I've driven a fairly wide variety of medium and heavy-duty trucks both inside and outside of the fire service and no matter how much I drove the RM, I was never totally comfortable. As Halligan described, I think it is due to one, the higher center of gravity with the RM, and two, the weight on/in front of the front axle. The MM's on the other hand, handle just like any other heavy-duty truck with a similar axle weight distribution and center of gravity. Also, the basket out front, from my perspective, is tougher to drive with than the MM basket in the rear.
    Maybe with a great deal of time behind the wheel, some of the RM driving issues could be overcome, but how do you get all potential drivers with that kind of road time, particulary on the volunteer side.
    Other replies have provided some feedback when the truck is on scene. I'm partial to the AerialScope, but from my experience I don't have any major issues with either once you are in an operating position.

    You might want to do some surveys with the some of the busier city depts that run towers. Just thinking here for a second, MM's (AerialScopes, Sutphens, etc.) might lead RM's. Stations height restrictions might have a lot to do with it, not sure.

    Good Luck.

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I think the choice has a lot to do with your requirements. Rear mounts are generally longer (the 100' area) and usually have more compartment space.
    Midmounts are generally lower, which helps if you have low overpasses or firehouses. They are also more manueverable in city streets.
    Overhang can be a problem with both types of towers. I once saw an Aerialscope, with an overhanging bucket, take out a parked rescue truck while trying to make a turn (after a parade no less).

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I think my dept is going to wait for e-one to come out with there midmount. E-one is the only smart mfg waiting to perfect there product in till it is the best and then release a product much superior to any other mfg's

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    Good Idea "ladderman"!!!!
    Wait for the best, or at least one of the best, in my opinion. E-1 is a very impressive Company. Our department just ordered a 75 Quint and probably will have two new Hurricane style engines ordered by the end of the year.
    Whatever your Department's choice is make sure that the ladder company they choose builds quality ladders which stay in compliance with the NFPA 1901 standard. That is, in my opinion is where you need to start.
    The chapters you need to review are 6(Aeiral),7(Quint),18 of the NFPA 1901 "NEW" code approved in late of last year but came official in January 2000.

    Again, I'm just trying to help. I'm sure someone out there will disaggree with me.
    Good luck in your purchase of the ladder and whatever Company you decide to go with.

    [This message has been edited by geodude40 (edited September 08, 2000).]

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Both have their advantages as have already been pointed out. There was a wonderful ladder made by Aerial Innovations (Engineer Garland Kierkandahl) that was a 4 section 105' tower with 0 overhang. It was as solid as a rock. I would really take the time to learn the effects of heat on metal before making a decision on aluminum vs steel. There is a major difference with the fact that aluminum has cumulative heat stress.

    Leo Vincent
    Seeking Firewolf Industries Items!

  10. #10
    Firehouse.com Guest


    //There is a major difference with the fact that aluminum has cumulative heat stress.//

    And that aluminum reflects 93 to 97% of the radiant heat load and that aluminum transfers heat more than other metals used for ladders so heat load isn'rt as big an issue. Even a steel ladder eposed to direct flame is supposed to removed from service, right?

    Sutphen has made aluminum midship ladder towers since the 60's can you name anyone else who has built their devices as long? Essentially the same device for 40 years. Same payload and safety factors. No steel ladder tower on the market can claim even 10 years can they?

    KC, Chicago, Syracuse, Detroit, Houston, Boston all use aluminum.

    Most turnouts are not designed for direct flame contact, almost all ground ladders are aluminum, helmets are not designed for direct flame contact, .. are you sure we really do direct flame contact?

    Heat must not be too big an issue.

    Want to talk about rust? Ladders falling over? Tip loads, jack spread, warranty, what you can and cannot do with some of the ladder towers on the market?

  11. #11
    S. Cook
    Firehouse.com Guest


    You didn't specify tower or stick, so I'll go with the stick.

    You trade apparatus length for apparatus height. A rear mount can have the same (or longer) length stick on a shorter but taller vehicle. Mid mount is the opposite.

  12. #12
    Firehouse.com Guest


    The last 3 sections of what is considered by most to be the strongest aerial out there , the Aerialscope, are aluminum

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