1. #1
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    Question Sutphen aerials/ladders

    Need some input/experiences with Sutphen aerial devices/ladder trucks, especially any info about the construction of the aluminum ladders. They are "fastened" together, and not welded, I understand. Also, opinions of steel vs. aluminum construction of the aerial. The people who push steel say that aluminum runs a big risk of being severely damaged if exposed to heat. The aluminum models boast being less than half the weight of a comparable steel unit.

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    We have a 1978 Sutphen quint that is awesome, it runs as truck, fills in as a truck and is set up as an ALS truck, we have NEVER had a problem with it. We have a yearly maintence agreement with Stuphen to come up anfd give it a once over and we call ahead any known repairs for them to fix. I would recommend them to anyone as they havent really changed constuction ways since we have had the truck.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    Wow Weruj1, I'm surprised your ladder passed its ladder testing. My department got rid of our 82 LaFrance mid mount because it failed it's ladder test and not to mention it was just old. We now operate a rear mount e-one platform. (Really nice) But I enjoyed that LaFrance

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    Oh yes .............has never not passed .......and yes it gets tested before that gets started.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    Default 1982 Sutphen Tower

    We have had ours since new. It will run fully extended at ground level at 90 degree angle to truck. You can actually touch the tip to the ground off the side of the truck. The safety record of Sutphens towers is better than any other ladder boasting it has never had a failure due to rivots vs. welds. Ours failed inspection once due to leaking hydraulic cylanders. It's a little tricky to drive with rear overhang of bucket but I prefer it to any other truck. Bar-none The best truck for your $$. You can see pictures of it at our website www.wheelingfire.com . Hope this helps
    http://wheelingfire.com

    Burnie Yoho (member)
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    "Wheeling Firefighters"
    Wheeling, WV. 26003

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    We're on our second Sutphen tower - the current one is a '92. It's a 95'aerial platform, and, as someone else said, there's a LOT of overhang behind the rear axles. Ours sits at our #1 station, which has a short ramp. The policy is that you don't THINK about turning the steering wheel until the front wheels drop off the ramp and onto the road!

    Got no complaints about the contruction of the tower assembly - it's solid as can be. The automatic leveller for the bucket reacts in ten degree increments rather than continuously, but it's not a bother when you're working up there. There are emergency override valves reachable from the bucket, so if something does break you can get it down, and the truck also has a backup electric motor to power the hydraulics in case the engine quits.

    You can set up all the stabilizers from one spot - I've seen trucks where you set up one side, then went to the other side of the truck to set those stabilizers. Everything's in one compartment on the Sutphen. Because they're literally hand-made, you can get them configured any way you want.
    E-4-A
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    Thanks for the replies/info. We are preparing to purchase a new truck to replace our 1968 ALF, thanks to a FIRE Act grant we receieved. We have been checking out a Ferrara with a steel ladder (Smeal), and I was just wondering how the Sutphen compared. The Ferrara seems to be a solid truck, and is easy to operate. The Sutphen is about three feet longer, so that's a concern. We have a lot of tight streets here. We may be checking out a Sutphen demo, soon. I really liked the way the Ferrara had its ladders through the tank, and not on the side, like the Sutphen. Any more suggestions will be appreciated.

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    Thumbs up Check out the Demo Unit.......

    Bob, Check out the demo unit before you do anything. I have no problems of any kind with Smeal, I like what I have seen from them. Quality workmanship is quite evident in their apparatus. But, back to Sutphen, we bought one at Glenn Dale in 1970. After 21 years of kicking butt on fires in the Washington DC suburbs, we sold it to the Fire Department in Honey Creek Ind. They recently sold it again, and it's still at work (I don't know where, anyone out in IND./Ill. heard anything?). We were more than satisfied with it thruout the time we had it, always passed all tests, certifications, etc. With a 8v71 Turbo and a Allison HT70, it was quick off the line despite the weight of 56,000 lbs. Our current Tower Ladder is a 1992 Seagrave Apollo 105' which weighs in at 70,000 lbs. It also has an 8V71 but with a MT740 transmission. This sucker is Slowwwwww getting started. They can both be found at www.gdvfd18.com Oh yeah, final note, extend the ladder to 75 - 85 ft. at a 30 degree angle, and direct a stream from one of the guns back at the rear tires on the truck! ONLY a Sutphen can do it! Been There, Done That. Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

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    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

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    Harve,
    Thanks for the info. We had the Ferrara for about a week; it seemed to be a good truck. It drove well, had pretty good take off, and the cabinets seemed really solid. One question about a Sutphen; it seems from the photos that removing the ground ladders while the truck is jacked would be difficult, due to the reach.

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    ThNozzleman wrote: "it seems from the photos that removing the ground ladders while the truck is jacked would be difficult, due to the reach."

    Never noticed that with ours - our ground ladders lay on top of the rear fenders/cabinetry. Maybe the unit you're looking at has taller cabinets? We have cabinets fore and aft of the rear wheels, but nothing above them.
    E-4-A
    IAFF 1176

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    Originally posted by ThNozzleman
    Harve,
    Thanks for the info. We had the Ferrara for about a week; it seemed to be a good truck. It drove well, had pretty good take off, and the cabinets seemed really solid.
    We bought a Ferrara aerial with our 2002 FEMA grant money, the truck is great. We looked at all the manufacturers and Ferrara fit the best for us. They use Smeal ladders, so the deciding factor for us was the fact they use extruded aluminum construction vs. Smeal's uni-body design, and we loved the Inferno cab compared to Spartan/HME. The truck is very user friendly, we all picked up on the aerial operation right off and it drives like a dream. 500 horse Cummins gives it pleanty of get up and go.


    -Nick

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    Default quick 2 cents...

    I have some experience with Sutphens and they
    seem to be a strong leader. You can get a lot
    of information from the Orange County Fire Auth.
    at 714 744-0400, ask for the automotive section.

    They have purchased several of their trucks in the
    early 90s and most are still running today.

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    Default RE: SUTPHEN

    iIn response to your request for info about Sutphen equipment; bar none these ladders are the best quality ladder that money can buy. Ihave been lucky to be able to spend all of my short 10 years as a fireman working on these fine pieces of equipment. As a new fireman out of drill school, as a driver, and now as a captain. The quality,dependability,work output and the workability are second to none. My dept in the last few years has been buying E-one trucks, while these rigs are "pretty" they do not and can not hold a candle to my current rig. There has been numerous incidents where our company was called to a scene and the lesser E-One rigs moved out of the way so that we could put our rig to work. We have a 1998 106+ foot platform with twin master streams. The only complaint that i have about our rig is that we run into problems feeding her with enough water. This rig will take and use as much water that you can possiblely feed into it. Unfortunately the powers that be find it necessary to replace this rig with an '03 E-One 95' HP. After many hours of training on this new rig i can honestly say that i still love our Sutphen. I could go on and on about this rig but i don't want to bore any readers. Just one final thought:


    "BUY SUTPHEN, BUY IT ONCE, RUN IT FOREVER, ONCE YOU GO SUTPHEN YOU WILL NEVER GO BACK"

  14. #14
    55 Years & Still Rolling
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    Thumbs up Well....

    Bob, Good point, that does look a bit difficult, but no, we never had a problem grabbing ground ladders after the jacks were down. One thing we did do, however, was a Rescue from a hotel fire in the late '70s where 2 guys took a 24' ground ladder up in the bucket, stood it up, extended it to reach a window, and pulled a victim out. Solid as a rock means something with a Sutphen. Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  15. #15
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    Thumbs up Sutphen

    We currently have 5 Sutphen aerials in service. 1 1986 90+ Platform, 1 1992 90+ platform 1 1994 90+ platform and 2-2002 75' quints. They are the BEST!!! We are meeting with bidders this week to build 3 90' midmounts. The bidders were (SUTPHEN, Pierce, Ferrara, E-One, and American Lafrance). AL didnt have a product ready, so they were eliminated. Of those Sutphen has been building them the longest. My truck (the 1992) has 107,000 miles on it and has been a GREAT truck!!! We are hoping that Sutphen wins the bid!!!

    I GREATLY recommend looking hard at Sutphen!!

    My truck:

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    Thanks for all the input! I think the Sutphen is a very good choice; however, it looks as though the Ferrara is the only one that will fit in our bay. Oh, well. I hope we do the right thing, because we'll probably be stuck with the thing until I'm retired.
    Bob, Good point, that does look a bit difficult, but no, we never had a problem grabbing ground ladders after the jacks were down. One thing we did do, however, was a Rescue from a hotel fire in the late '70s where 2 guys took a 24' ground ladder up in the bucket, stood it up, extended it to reach a window, and pulled a victim out. Solid as a rock means something with a Sutphen. Stay Safe....
    Some guys in my officer classes had the same story. They are in a neighboring city, and attempted a rescue like this in a high rise retirement center that was burning. Sadly, the attempt was unsuccessful.

  17. #17
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    Sorry to hear about that Robert...

    Our neighboring career department has a 95(?) Sutphen midmount, and I think the simplicity of setup is easy. The only problem is that the ladder was made for escape, not climbing, however it can be done. Some of the support bars for the ladder impede with foot placement, and you don't get full footing on some of the rungs. Other than that, they are awesome trucks and a good investment, as long as they don't have all the electrical problems that our engine has...
    These are my opinions, not those of my career department, my volunteer company, or my affiliates. And by the way, I'm not a Junior.

    Buy me a drink, sing me a song, take me as I come 'cause I can't stay long.

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  18. #18
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    We noticed that about the ladder. Some I've seen do not even have side rails on them. This was a concern, also.

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