Our department is looking into purchasing a new ladder, the question is what kind. We have round-a-bouts in our community, other than that the roads are fairly wide and easy to manuver on. Basically I want pros and cons to each kind. Feel free to email me also, firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for your time.
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Thread: What kind of stick?
03-31-2001, 08:51 PM #1eelambFirehouse.com Guest
What kind of stick?
04-03-2001, 09:31 PM #2ADSN/WFLDFirehouse.com Guest
We have a 105' tower and a 110' stick manufactured by E-One.
The stick is a good rig over all. It has a very small jackspread, (if the doors can open it will set up). The ladder is a bit bouncy but you get used to it.
The tower on the other hand is crap. The 18+ jackspread makes it almost impossible to setup on small streets. It's slow and has this ramping feature that makes some operations more difficult. I have also used the 95' tower from E-One and like it much better than the 105'.
Overall E-One makes good ladders, but everything that the ladder is attached to is poor in quality and breaks down frequently.
04-04-2001, 02:09 AM #3LHS*Firehouse.com Guest
We use straight sticks with plumbed waterways with the narrowest jack spread, the fewest outriggers and we can reach the roof of any structure in our community. We can make any turn on any street with the rigs. We can lay hose and carry plenty of water. We'd buy the same rigs again if we did it again. The device is really quick to setup, raise, rotate, extend and flow water (90 seconds). All we've ever done is routine maintenance.
Take your time, look around, read and don't believe every add when the operating books conflict with the add guys. Allow plenty of growth for the future. Spec performance not what looks nice. Odds are your aerial will be your most expensive and least used rig. A bad choice lasts a real long time.
May I ask a few direct questions and comments about your rather pointed statements about your ladder choice? Don’t take this personal just the facts please.
//The tower on the other hand is crap. The 18+ jack spread makes it almost impossible to setup on small streets. It's slow and has this ramping feature that makes some operations more difficult. I have also used the 95' tower from E-One and like it much better than the 105'.
Did you have small streets when your department spec'd the tower or did they come after you bought the rig? I bet the department could have spec'd the tower either as a 102'er with the really wide jacks or the 95'er with narrow jacks so it would have matched your narrow jack space ladder truck.
Why didn't you buy the tower you said you liked best? I don't think E-One forced the department to buy the 102'er. I bet the FD wrote the specs. I know for a fact it wasn't even close to low bid. I'm sure the jack spread data was available to the public or to someone doing a demo. You bought the biggest, strongest, widest, highest tip load, highest supported load and greatest water flow in any position, most produced ladder period, that has never had an in service failure of any aerial device on the market.
Are you sure that is really E-One's problem or the purchasers mistake? Was that 7 extra feet and all that extra tip loading, water flow and supported load that important to give up ease of setup?
Now if the E-One is really impossible to set up on a small street so would every other tower ladder on the market with H style jacks with the same or wider jack spread, right? So is this rig for sale now? If it is "almost impossible" to setup surely you are getting rid of it?
As far as the device being slow, did it meet NFPA 1901 at the time of purchase? If not why did you accept it? Is it still meeting NFPA performance standards? Is the rig up to its own spec and properly maintained? Was the ramping feature part of the specifications for the device that you agreed to accept? Or did E-One sneak it in on you?
Complaining about issues that were easily identifiable at the time of purchase is like complaining about the fact a 50 foot quint ladder won't reach when someone could easily have measured what was needed before it was purchased.
//The tower on the other hand is crap.
Now to slam the builder by name is really sorry. What you should have posted was, The "XYZ FD" screwed up and didn't look at all the options and features, all the benefits and short comings as they relate to the community before committing 3/4 of a million dollars. There was no need to mention a manufacturers name when your department chose the wrong aerial device when a large selection was available, including the one you said you liked.
//but everything that the ladder is attached to is poor in quality and breaks down frequently.
Everything huh? Gee the Hale pump, the Allison transmission, the Detroit Diesel, the Rockwell axles, the Akron valves, the poly tank, Class One gauges, the Eberhardt latches, Federal warning lights, paint, aluminum, everything huh????? Did you specify a fleet wide defect clause in your specs? Spending 3/4 of a million dollars would certainly make that a logical choice. The big boys do it. You know 7 years later the warranty is as good as it was on year one?
The largest or second largest builder of fire apparatus in the US who according to you "The stick is a good rig over all" can't make a good tower? Your FD of course inspected the rig at the factory and at the dealer before handing over 3/4 of a million bucks right? Of course you hired an independent third party to make sure the rig was right? And did not accept the rig until things were right? Every flaw has been reported to the dealer for service in a timely manner in writing? The manufacturer didn't cheat you on the warranty did they? Did the dealer do his job? You took them to court and what happened? What is really going on here? Who didn't do what they were supposed to do?
No I don't run E-One's in my town.
04-04-2001, 10:13 AM #4ChiefMcDFirehouse.com Guest
When did LHS* become GOD?
04-04-2001, 01:11 PM #5FDMichiganManFirehouse.com Guest
I don't think there are too many people that haven't disagreed with LHS at one time or another. I know that I have at least once.
However, what I believe LHS is saying, and correct me if I am wrong, is that it was your department that wrote the specs on the truck and your department that bought the thing. If you wanted a ladder that had a small jack spread or fast movements, then you should have speced it to do so. You can't fault the builder for building to the specs you wrote and then be dissapointed with the performance. Your department must take the responsibility of buying the right truck for your needs. The manufacturer can't do that for you.
04-04-2001, 01:17 PM #6LHS*Firehouse.com Guest
04-04-2001, 05:30 PM #7ADSN/WFLDFirehouse.com Guest
Larry, sorry I just skimmed your reply but here are a few answers to what you mentioned.
Our 105' tower was originally going to be a 95' tower. E-One just came out with the 105 and wanted one in northern IL. They gave us the rig for the cost of a 95'. The department jumped without looking. The 105' HP has the widest jackspread in the industry. We have normal two lain roads in much of our town and set up the rig goes almost from one curb to the other. any cars parked on the street prevents us from setting up.
As for getting rid of it, it's not likely. Most of our buildings are under 4 stories so ground ladders reach. Most of the time it's a big tool box only.
The general over all quality of our truck is poor. We have had several hydraulic leaks that couldn't be reached without extensive dismantling of the rig. After one repair E-One themselves put the body back on the hydraulic lines causing them to leak.
04-04-2001, 11:04 PM #8ADSN/WFLDFirehouse.com Guest
Sure Larry, they (my department), could have done a much better job inspecting and specking out the tower ladder.
E-One made the majority of decisions on this rig that have caused us problems.
The engine and trans themselves are fine, The rig doesn't have a pump or tank, so no problems there.
We have had a problem with the doors staying latched, not a latch problem the body flexes enough to open them (E-One)
The lights are poorly grounded and go out frequently because of grounding problems. (possibly could have been specked better, personally don't know)
Paint and body: None of the doors fit tight, the cab door handles have broken and needed to be repaired or replaced. All of the NFPA approved grab rails have broken at least once due to trapping water and freezing breaking the brackets. The rig has minor to moderate corrosion (not as bad as our engine, also E-One).The wire chase on the ladder broke because of an abrasion problem while the ladder is extended and retracted (and that is in an enclosed wire chase). Basically the overall quality is poor
I hope that cleared up my earlier statement
The 105' HP does have one of the best tip loads and flows. None have had a catastrophic failure (to my knowledge) although I heard Boston melted one (?) I trust the ladder itself, I just don't feel the quality is there any more, and overall their are better rigs out there.
04-05-2001, 11:00 AM #9res7cueFirehouse.com Guest
I personally prefer a good limber hickory or willow stick. LOL
04-05-2001, 02:29 PM #10LHS*Firehouse.com Guest
I'm not sure you made an effort to answer my questions, but here is one comment to what you did.
//The 105' HP has the widest jack spread in the industry.
Not really. KME 18’. LTI 18' on midship 93'and 100'. Pierce 18’ to more than 18’. 85’ RK 16’. Ferrera 16’-18’. Smeal 18’ 6” – 23’ 6”.
The E-One 105 tower has a 17’ 6” outrigger spread. I’d say it is the narrowest in the industry unless you compare it to the E-One 95 footer which has a spread of 13’ 8”.
04-06-2001, 07:45 PM #11FEOBobFirehouse.com Guest
What you want depends much on what your requirements are. Consider your local conditions, ie: turning area, height of buildings, set back distance from curbs, weight restrictions, low clearance problems, et al.
Then envision your fire challenges. Will rescue be a primary function? Obviously it's the first priority, but will there be mostly elderly/invalids or what. A stick gives you a continuous path down from a height, but a bucket allows you to bring a group down more safely. What work will you be doing from the tip? Spraying water doesn't make much difference, but cutting, pulling siding, and such is easier from a bucket. You get the idea.
Given my preference, I'd take a tower ladder. You get the bucket, but also a ladder down to the ground from it. These are also usually the heaviest, longest (vehicle length), and tallest types, so your restrictions may preclude this type of equipment.
04-08-2001, 12:53 AM #12ADSN/WFLDFirehouse.com Guest
Don't have any experience with Smeal, but the rest sound about the same to me. One point that I feel factors into jack spread is the ability to short jack the rig. While it is better to set up the rig fully, in a pinch it is nice to be able to short jack the side opposite from where you are working. Our 105' tower's outriggers must go all of the way out before going down. Therefore you can't short jack the rig.
LHS, It's also nice to know that your quint's can reach the roof of all of your buildings. By us we need real aerials not squrts. The average setback is 60+ feet. So the average squrt won't reach. In many cases even a 75' quint will come up short.
eelamb, the first thing I would do is look at your district and see how long your aerial needs to be. Then you can start looking at manufacturers and types: rear mount, mid mount, tiller.
04-08-2001, 02:15 AM #13LHS*Firehouse.com Guest
//but the rest sound about the same to me.
Acutally thay aren't. Most are not measured outside to outside of the jacks. Most are much wider than what you currently run.
//One point that I feel factors into jack spread is the ability to short jack the rig.
Nice feature. It is responsible for more ladder failures and firefighter deaths operating ladders than any other factor. It is also why E-One has never had a operational failure.
//While it is better to set up the rig fully, in a pinch it is nice to be able to short jack the side opposite from where you are working.
Exactly why all these rigs(3 in one month recently) are falling all over the US.
// Our 105' tower's outriggers must go all of the way out before going down. Therefore you can't short jack the rig.
Wasn't that in the specs when you were considering the rig??
//It's also nice to know that your quint's can reach the roof of all of your buildings.
Yes it is
// By us we need real aerials not squrts.
That is nice we don't run squrts, our outriggers fit our streets, we never need to short jack, our rigs work fine,
//The average setback is 60+ feet. So the average squrt won't reach. In many cases even a 75' quint will come up short.
We fully sprinkle anything over 1 story state law you know for all new and existing buildings. Plus the buildig code allows for drive on matting under lawns to address setback so you can drive your squrt or whatever right up close.
//see how long your aerial needs to be. Then you can start looking at manufacturers and types: rear mount, mid mount, tiller.
So say he needs a 360 foot ladder, what would you suggest?
04-09-2001, 12:55 AM #14ADSN/WFLDFirehouse.com Guest
"That is nice we don't run squrts..." OK substitute Nova Quintech or whatever Fallon uses. That is where you are a firefighter isn't it?
The point is that Churchill / Fallon is not like the rest of the country, and what works there may not work in communities that have been established 100 + years before fire departments had aerials or modern building codes. I think you need to compare apples to apples. 65' or 75' quints are not the end all, be all of the fire service. Even St. Louis has regular ladder co.'s.
If eelamb really needs a really long ladder for access then I guess he'll just have to go with Bronto, or Iveco Margirus they won't get you to 360' but they can get you to almost half that. Or he can do what every other big city does, and just make do with what is available.
As for the short jacking issue, if you are familiar with your rig and don't short jack the side you are working off of then you can preform a rescue reasonably safe. That is a decision the chauffeur and the officer must make.
I thought the leading cause for ladder failures and associated injuries and deaths were from older ladders working outside of the ladder load charts or being overloaded. At least that is what the USFA reported.
Back to the short jacking issue. Have you ever worked with an old Pirsh or Seagrave ladder? When working off of the side (within the safe limits of the ladder) you often saw the outriggers on the opposite of the ladder lift off of the ground. Now how would short jacking that side (that isn't even touching the ground) cause the ladder to tip over?
Now I know todays ladders are built stronger and more solid that trucks from just a few years ago, but that principle still applies. You can tell that some of the weight is taken off of the opposite side on our E-One, never tipped over, tower and stick. It all comes down to training. Very few trucks just fail when being used properly. The firefighter is usually found to be at fault for the failure.
04-09-2001, 01:49 AM #15LHS*Firehouse.com Guest
Well never thought any thing was the end all, but one thing for sure, I know I've bought and spec'd more ladder trucks in enough places in large numbers and they are living happily ever after. There are close to 2000 65 to 75 foot ladders that work just fine in big, small and huge fd's.
Oh, it won't be half way it will be 81%. The point is simple most FD's with ladders cannot reach a large number of what they allegedly protect. In many cases they can reach only one side. At some point codes are the only show in town. Without them, you are doomed.
Training, eh? Gee you can by heavy duty, light duty, towers that when used as a master stream have to be level or less or risk dumping, ladders that have reduced capability at various elevations and angles, corrosion issues, a majority of the ladders cannot offer distributed loads at all angles...ie no continuous egress..
There is a heck of a lot more than training.
04-09-2001, 05:56 PM #16eelambFirehouse.com Guest
Our district runs mutual aid with Vail, the Marriott fire was the most recent one. Our community is very mountainous, but has fairly wide streets. We need a rig able to climb and handle in the snow well.
04-09-2001, 06:19 PM #17LHS*Firehouse.com Guest
//We need a rig able to climb and handle in the snow well.
A neighboring department has a 6 x 6 100 foot ladder with CAFS and 2000 feet of 5" for their 6200 to 10500 foot heavy snow response area. It will rum 45 mph up a 6.6% grade for 4 miles. IT is a KME on a short wheelbase.
04-09-2001, 07:00 PM #18ADSN/WFLDFirehouse.com Guest
eelamb, considering the terrain remember to watch the angle of approach and angle of departure. Many trucks have very large overhangs front and rear that could cause problems. In the relatively flat plains (Northern IL) we still have problems getting into one or two driveways and parking lots. A smaller wheelbase may also be needed.
I'd look to your neighbors with similar terrain for advise. In Breckenridge, the VFD has a 6 wheel drive 100' LTI. See how theirs works for them, it's old '77 but I'm sure you could get something similar. Also North Lake Tahoe, NV has a 6 wheel drive 100' KME. I'm sure if you call they will be more than happy to tell you how their rig handles.
Since you described your topography I'll change my opinion on what is most important. Chassis selection and the ability to get their is probably a little more important that the specifics on the aerial itself.
Good luck with your rig.
04-09-2001, 07:05 PM #19ADSN/WFLDFirehouse.com Guest
"It will rum 45 mph up a 6.6% grade for 4 miles."
What happens after 4 miles, does it stop rumming?
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