My department is in the end stages of purchasing a ladder truck. It has boiled down to a 100', midmount, platform made by either Sutphen or American LaFrance. I would appreciate some feedback on the reliability and/or maintainance issues regarding both apparatus. Also of great importance is their customer service track record. Thanks for your help!
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Thread: Sutphen Vs Am. LaFrance ladder
08-06-2003, 01:57 PM #1
- Join Date
- Jul 2003
- Western Washington
Sutphen Vs Am. LaFrance ladder
Last edited by TucksMedicAided; 08-06-2003 at 02:03 PM.
08-06-2003, 04:05 PM #2
My department has three sutphen platforms (1985, 1992, 1994) and two Sutphen quints (2002). The tower at my station has 110k miles (1992 model). It has Detroit 8V92, which of course leaks. All of our towers have the engines in the rear of the cab (which they no longer make any more). We had slight cooling problems with these configurations. Sutphen, along with ALL other manufacturers no longer make this configuration. Sutphen's have been VERY good to us. We used to have total Sutphen, but no longer buy custom cab engines.
I have no experience on AL. I have been to Sutphen and their operation is very good compared to other manufacturers I have been to.
08-07-2003, 09:54 AM #3
- Join Date
- Oct 2002
Well,I can't give a lot of feedback on ALF. We had a sales rep with ALF in 2 months ago with a 75' single axel demo. He was very knowledgable and the rig performed flawlessly. There was a descent amount of miles on the demo as well and seemed like it just rolled out of the factory. It just came back from the west coast actually.
Now, as far as the aerial, we currently have a 105' LTI rear mount ladder platform on a 1995 Simon chassis. We love the platform, no problems at all. 1500 GPM flow with 2 monitors, 1000 pound rated load while flowing water. Just a very solid and well built ladder.
I have no experience with Stuphen, sorry.
Hope this helps! Good luck!
By the way, if you do want some good info, contact someone at LaFrance, I'm sure they would be happy to get you in touch with people at Indianapolis FD to give some of their feedback. I believe they are running 3 midmounts right now (dont' quote me on that number)
08-07-2003, 11:33 AM #4
- Join Date
- Aug 2003
- Butler, Pennsylvania
I have no experience with the sutphen. My department does have a 1998 ALF 105 Mid-mount straight stick. It has just recently failed it's aerial ladder inspection and needs rebuilt. It experiences some kind of major/minor structural, mechanical or electrical failure everytime it's on an incident. We are specing a new engine and the chief joked that we can't get an ALF demo because "they want us to pay the towing fees just to get it here to demo". We do have two older ALF engines that work great. However they were made by American LaFrance. As far as I can tell ALF now is a commercial chassis at a custom price. I should also point out that we preform routine maintenace every monday on all our apparatus. That is still not enough to keep it working properly. It is a nice looking truck. it's just not really suited for firefighting. Hope that helps.
08-07-2003, 02:21 PM #5
- Join Date
- Dec 2001
No experience with ladders, but we have a 2000 ALF Pumper/Tanker with nothing but problems. We have had the warranty extended even.
The comments around the station are that we need to bring the mechanic on full-time to the fire department.
If you want any more info PM me.Remember,
If you don't respond.....who will
IACOJ EMS Bureau Member
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