1. #1
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2001

    Default Feedback Requested

    We are looking for feedback, good or bad, on platform trucks. We are laying the ground work for a purchase of a platform tower and are seeking any information about features to look for, or stay away from. Also any experiences with manufacturers, or features you would recommend.
    Thank You.

  2. #2
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Jan 1999
    Robbins Hose Fire Co. #1 , Dover , DE


    We operate a Pierce rear mount platform and a tiller. While both of course have advantages, I like the platform for the following:

    1) Good area to work off of on the crappy truss roofs all over the place these days.
    2) Nice place to put saws, tools, etc on peaked roofs.
    3) Easy to attach safety lines to for roof work.
    4) High payload. (Almost all makes are 1000 lbs or so.)
    5) Excellent to remove frightened, elderly, or injured civilians. Very difficult to remove a patient down a stick for example.

    I do prefer a rear mount platform, I like to see the platform in front of me while driving. A mid mount with a long overhang concerns me with the bucket swinging out in sharp turns. With that said however, I still think the Aerial Scope is one fine piece of equipment. And as good as our Pierce has been, I still wish we had one at times!

  3. #3
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Pittsburgh PA


    although we don't have one, i have seen a few, and i feel they are more useful than just a ladder. beyond the equipment stored in the bucket, if you have a pre piped waterway, you could put a gated wye in the bucket and use it as a standpipe. i also feel that it is much safer to work a roof with a platform than a straight ladder. i do believe that any building over 2 floors should have an ariel device on the first alarm, but unfortunately, the powers that be don't and will one day cause us some serios problems!!! good luck

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    raricciuti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 1999
    Mt. Lebanon, PA 15228


    We have a 1992 Sutphen 95' midship platform with a 2000 pump. Very solid, excellent controls (very smooth). It replaced a 1971 ALF 100' straight stick, which wasn't a bad ladder, but nowhere as strong or versatile as the platform. Anything that you can do with a straight stick you can pretty much do with a platform, plus a whole bunch more. As for midship vs. rear mount, I like the low travel height and center of gravity, great visibility, and ease of getting into the bucket of the midship. The downside is the overall length, and you have to be EXTREMELY careful about the bucket swinging into adjacent traffic lanes, over sidewalks, or into utility poles on hard turns.

    I agree with JohnM's list. Add to that:

    6) Most buckets have pretty decent quartz lights enhancing safety and operations. An AC power outlet can come in handy sometimes also.

    7) Can be used as an external standpipe (we did a drill to see what the fastest/best way to get water onto a 4th floor was - the platform won in the "lack of manpower" department, but given enough firefighters stretching a 2 1/2 up the steps was faster).

    8) When used for rescues, firefighters can remove more victims between rehabs since they don't have to climb up-n-down a bunch of times.

    9) You can reposition with personnel in the bucket - not an advisable thing to do with someone standing on a straight ladder.

    10) One very mobile, serious-*** deluge appliance. How many 1000 gpm+ nozzles do you have on the fireground that can flow water from grade level to 70' or more in the air and move left and right with only one person? FDNY has made more than one awesome stop via this device.

    11) Breathing air in the bucket - nice!

    Take your time and research what's best for your area and operations - you'll probably have to live with it for a very long time. Stay safe.

    [ 10-24-2001: Message edited by: raricciuti ]

    [ 10-24-2001: Message edited by: raricciuti ]
    R.A. Ricciuti
    Mt. Lebanon Fire Department

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