1. #1
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    Default AERIAL LADDER VS PLATFORM

    I'm in the middle of specing a new 100 ft aerial.I'm leaning twords the platform can anyone give me some advantages of the platform over a ladder.

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    We operate a 100' ladder tower.

    1. Creates a more stable working platform for FF's on a roof or rescue, and more room to work.
    2. You don't have to lug as much up the ladder; you can pre-position tools in the basket. (axes, pike pole, roof ladder, hose, etc.)
    3. Your guys don't have to climb up and tire themselves out; they can ride.
    4. Easier for guys to use aerial master stream (I'd also highly recommend remote control for these...they're great).

    Platforms are great and really versatile, but they tend to be big and heavy. Driver's ed is a BIG must...also they take up a LOT of outrigger room...average is 9' either side of the truck. BUT, this is mostly balanced by how useful they are at fires, rescues, and public service (lots of flagpoles...).

    Hope this helps.
    I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine.

    --Kurt Vonnegut

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    My dept. recently went from an old straight stick to a tower and found the tower to be more versitle to our needs.

    Without knowing the specifics to your response area, generally speaking, I would say a tower ladder is more beneficial.

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    Ask yourself these questions.

    1. What is your department intending to do with this piece of apparatus?

    2. What is in your first due? Urban, suburban, rural?

    3. What do your neighboring departments that you work with have?

    We currently use a tractor-drawn aerial for our truck co. It works great for us, we are able to manuever everywhere. I can say this if we had somesort of rear-mount tower we would not be able to do so.

    Recently a neighboring dept transferred their tower to our station. When they pulled out to go on calls they had to stop and back up, they couldn't make the turns. Another dept has a Bronto-Skylift, I have seen it on a call where it could not reach the building off the side, but our truck could. It also does not turn very well and is very big, and has next to no compartment space.

    That does not go the same for rear-mount ladders though, they seem to be a lot more manueverable compared to a rear-mount tower(not as much weight, shorter in length).


    I would say the best tower to go with would be a Baker-Aerialscope. Great to work with and you can get just about everywhere. If you go with a tower I would say go for a mid-mount tower.

    Oh our neighboring departments have:
    a 100' rearmount stick
    a 100' rearmount stick
    a 100' Seagrave tiller
    a Bronto-Skyjunk tower
    100' rearmount LTI tower
    100' rearmount Seagrave tower
    135' E-ONE rearmount stick
    95' Baker-Aerialscope tower
    The above is my opinion only, it doesn't reflect that of any dept./agency I work for, am a member of, or deal with. Also, I do not intend to bash anyone, I'm just stating what I do, and have seen. If anyone is offended I apologize.

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    OK, I'll bite,

    ::::1. What is your department intending to do with this piece of apparatus?

    Save lives and property. Vent, squirt water, perform water rescue, put up signs, perform aerial rescue.

    SO WHICH RIG DO I NEED?

    ::::2. What is in your first due? Urban, suburban, rural?

    Rural.... SO WHICH RIG DO I NEED?

    Suburban....SO WHAT RIG DO I NEED

    :::3. What do your neighboring departments that you work with have?

    Nothin, SO WHAT RIG DO I NEED?

    :::::We currently use a tractor-drawn aerial for our truck co. It works great for us, we are able to manuever everywhere. I can say this if we had somesort of rear-mount tower we would not be able to do so.

    WOULD YOU BE ABLE TO GET AROUND IN A TRACTOR DRAWN TOWER???

    DON'T YOU ALL FOLLOW ANY KIND OF CODES FOR STREETS?, WIDTHS, TURNS, DIPS, ETC???

    HOW DO THE SCHOOL BUSES GET AROUND?

    :::Another dept has a Bronto-Skylift, I have seen it on a call where it could not reach the building off the side, but our truck could.

    I BET THE PERFORMANCE ENVELOPE OF THE TRUCK SPELLED THAT OUT BEFORE THEY BOUGHT IT. ODDS ARE A 50 FOOT TELE SQUIRT WOULDN'T WORK EITHER, BUT THEN AGAIN DC'S FAIRFAX'S 135 WILL DO THINGS TYO CAN'T DO TOO.

    :::It also does not turn very well and is very big, and has next to no compartment space.

    SOUNDS LIKE A SPEC ISSUE DOESN'T IT? PORTLAND HAS PROVED ALL STEERS WILL DRIVE THE WHEELS OFF THEIR TRACTOR DRAWN QUINTS WITH 20 YEAR VETS BEHIND THE WHEELS OF THE tda'S.

    :::That does not go the same for rear-mount ladders though, they seem to be a lot more manueverable compared to a rear-mount tower(not as much weight, shorter in length).

    it is not a weight issue, it is a wheel base issue and cramp angle of the front axle. their are brontos that will turn the wheels off a rear mount and others that won't.

    ::::you can get just about everywhere.

    That certainly isn't true. Major overhand, extremely heavy, poor cramp angle, etc, etc, etc.

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    I think the important thing to evaluate is the trucks purpose. In the past have you had to do a lot of rescues with the ladder. I have found a stick is much better for rescue than a tower (remember to keep the waterway out of the picture). The stick can almost be placed in the window to facilitate climbing.

    Most towers have too much crap mounted to them to get in close. you have doors or the drop from the top rail to the basket floor to deal with. Towers are also limited because they have one way that you are supposed to get in them, which means you have to be spotted correctly EVERY time. (E-One at the corners, Sutphen straight on.)

    Towers are great for surround and drownd or for venting several windows on a larger structure, getting to peaked roofs is nice in a tower also. If you do a lot of rescue don't get a tower, and i'd go one step further don't get a prepiped waterway. For rescue it just gets in the way, and also for getting on flat roofs, you put the ladder up higher in many cases to protect the waterway. Take Chicago, Boston and New York's examples and keep the waterway off the stick.

    When the ladders go up the building comes down, you have time to set up a ladder pipe.

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    ::::Towers are also limited because they have one way that you are supposed to get in them, which means you have to be spotted correctly EVERY time. Sutphen straight on.

    All Sutphens ever made have two doors but you can simply ask for a theree door model.

    E-One makes platforms when the enire platform can turn 90 degrees or rise and fall. Once again before you buy explore.

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    Not all sutphans made have two doors. We have an older Sutphen (1989) and it only has one door dead center of the bucket. That is unless you count the one getting to the escape ladder.

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    One plus one equals?????

    Yeah, two!

    Two doors

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    The 95' tower nor the hp 105' has a basket that turns 90 degrees. That is a feature of the bronto's, and they are a completly different animal.

    And what, the hell, use is the door to the rear of the basket when someone is hanging out a window.

    Both towers and ladders have their uses. their is some good info in these posts. As an option try a lease. With E-One you can dump the vehicle after 7 years. It may be an option if you want to try something different.

  11. #11
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    Let me add something to my post regarding platform rescue and placement. We looked hard at this too when we shopped around.

    Yes, Sutphens need to be placed EXACTLY dead-on due to their door design. This means the turntable also needs to be right in front of your rescue target, just as a stick is supposed to be placed. This means you have to be REALLY on the ball with your apparatus placement (and not just the truck; this means ths engines, too--they always seem to get in our way...).

    Some other manufacturers have doors at the corners, and a SMALL (say, 8'-12') ledge on them. Rear-mount platforms are designed to be operated off the back of the truck whenever possible (they also suggest you try to BACK into your target). If this isn't possible, since fire scenes rarely go according to plan all the time, the corner doors can help make up for not being able to get the truck EXACTLY where you need it to be. Instead of lining up wrong with a front door and having a gap to jump across, the corner doors and ledge will work whatever angle you find yourself with at the wall. We've found that the master device isn't really an issue as far as getting in the way.

    If you operate in a city with older neighborhoods and narrow, older streets, a rear-mount WILL cause some headaches for maneuverability. But these same streets mean you probably won't always get your ideal tower placement. Maneuverability concerns can be addressed with training; reach and access issues can be resolved with a more versatile design.

    Disclaimer: Sutphens ARE good trucks. We simply found a rear-mount to work better for us. Shop around, and take into account your geography, power lines, streets, etc.
    I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine.

    --Kurt Vonnegut

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