1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Mid-Mount Aireals

    Our department is planning to purchase a 65' mid-mount aireal for delivery in 2002. A few of us have been asked to spec this unit out. We have mainly Pierce apparatus and have been pleased with these. I am interested in what you think is the ideal mid-mount aireal and why. I am particularly interested in thoughts on Stutphen's units. We have not really heard of them around here.

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Why only 65'. The first thing I'd do is push for a larger ladder.

    Why a mid mount? They have considerably less storage than a rear mount or tiller.

    Pierce makes a quality rig and while I haven't seen the new mid mount from Pierce I'm sure it is of equal quality with the rest of their products.

    Have you considered an Aerialscope they are a workhorse in the busiest FD in the country.

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Since your asking:
    Does anyone have any reasons not to buy a platform? Besides costs. Also mid mount vs. rear mount? compartment space, what else. We like the mid mount for the low travel height and better positioning. Is there a big cost difference between mid-mount and rear mount? I too wonder why a 65', we'd like a 95-110'due to height vs. setbacks.

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Here are the reasons we went mid mount (95')

    5 section boom sets down within 30' of the side of the truck. Nice for using the 1500 GPM ladder pipes in show windows, etc..
    Also good for tight streets and bringing victims to the ground or swapping out crews.

    Low overall height. We went with the larger model of the rigs offered and still have 11' travel height. Rear mount 3 sections start at that height.

    No front overhang, I know there is alot off the rear end, but we have both now and the rear is easier to deal with in our opinion.

    Compartments are reduced, but they certainly handle basic truck company equipment.

    We're going to bid next month, probably KME. Strongest 5 section we have seen, amazing stability, and strength even at high water flows. Haven't seen the Pierce, heard it is very nice, but we were pretty far along in the process and couldn't get their demo here for various reasons. They seem to be a little limited as to what they are willing to change or offer as options as well. We looked at Sutphen, its a nice rig, my only complaint with the Sutphen was the platform arrangement. I don't like how the guns are arranged and the limited space in the bucket to work out of.

    [This message has been edited by Halligan84 (edited 03-17-2001).]

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I have to agree with the rest of the fellas. Push for a 95' - 100' ladder. 65' is extremely limited. Almost a waste.

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    The department in my hometown got a midmount for the simple reason that it's the only way to fit an aerial into the station it was going to. There's a great picture of it on KME's website- it's the midmount, 100', 3-section medium duty.

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Sutphen is my choice for #1 ladder truck. Mid- mount is not bad has advantages and disadvantages.
    1- can enter bucket from ground.
    2- Lower profile.
    3- Sutphen has a useable hose bed.
    4- Rescue style compartments increase your storage area
    I also would suggest going with at least a 75 foot platform. Building setbacks make anything shorter useless. Depts in this area really like the Sutphen.

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We have a 95' Sutphen, 2000 pump/300 tank. We went midship because of overall height, our station is the limiting factor. Very happy with its performance - I'd agree it doesn't have the biggest platform in the business. But it does have very smooth operation, excellent visibility from the cab (no bucket overhang out front), a low to the ground & decent size hosebed (800' of 5", plus some 2 1/2" and 3 1/2"), carries 176' of ground ladders, and still has room for high-side compartments on the operator's side. Two other local departments have Sutphen "70+" mini-towers (70' midship platforms on single-axle chassis). Both also have 2000 pumps, and are very maneuverable and versatile, and work well for them (lots of narrow streets, buildings aren't set back very far). Unless you need the shorter apparatus length due to your streets, go for the longer ladder. We had an ALF rear mount straight stick (no pump) before the Sutphen, and it was OK, but the Sutphen gives us a bunch more options. Overall. we're happy with it.

    R.A. Ricciuti, Firefighter
    Mt. Lebanon Fire Department

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I guess I have to ask, like most of the others who responded, why only a 65 foot Aerial? Why a mid mount?

    What current Aerials do you have in service and what are their pro's and con's?

    Some things you might what to consider for specifying a new Ladder truck is this: Not only height but also reach is important. By that I mean, will 65' be enough to reach a building from the street in your community?

    You may have bought from Pierce in the past but look that other manufacturers that can meet your requirements and getting the most out of your money. Sutphen is a good manufacturer but they make very large rigs. Consider your community and the streets, would you need a truck that can accommedate narrow turns or small streets? If that is the case then purhaps a tiller is an option. (Though I understand Pierce now makes a rig with rear-wheel steering).Height restrictions are another consideration. Will the truck fit though the firehouse door, overpasses tunnels and bridges in your community?(Something Boston FD found out the hard way)

    What is the current purpose of the Ladder Company (aside from the aerial ofcourse)? Do carry specialized rescue equipment such as extrication tools or do you have a ladder tender or support vehicle to carry additonal equipment?

    Based off of this you have to consider compartment space. Having extension ladders stored internally rather than on the side racks externally allows for more compartments.

    In my oppinion, an Aerial with a reach of 75'-100' is probably the best way to go to ultilise the use of an Aerial. But don't just buy a Ladder truck based off of looks or getting a good deal on price. See what will fit the needs of your community and needs of your fire department.

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