1. #1
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    Question Tower Ladder which do you perfer?

    My department is currently in the process of purchasing a 95' Mid- mount Tower Ladder. The company is dead set on going with a Sutphen. The Chief's office has done extensive research in to this project and has decided to recommend a Pierce 95' Mid-mount to the board of fire commissioners.

    The Department currently has (2) 1989 Pierce Lance 1250 GPM Pumpers that has served us faithfully for the past 14yrs., with very few problems. The only major problem to date, was that we had to rebuild the pump on one of the engines, and believe me this truck has seen some heavy fire duty in my district throughout the years.

    We use Firematic Supply to service our apparatus. Firematic Supply is also the long Island, New York distributor for Pierce. They have an excellent reputation for sales and service. They are also a one stop shopping vendor, that carries all necessary equipment to outfit any apparatus.

    There is an on going joke on Long Island (NY) about Firematic Supply!
    It is said that they have sold so many Pierce fire apparatus on Long Island that the water table has risen!

    Let me know what you think!

    www.firematic.com

    www.sutphen.com
    Last edited by Engine731RFD; 02-03-2004 at 01:32 PM.

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    We just awarded Sutphen a PO worth about 2.5-2.8 million for three 90+ midmount quint platforms.

    We had Sutphen, Pierce, E-one and Ferrara bid and show their trucks. Pierce truck was NICE from what the evaluators said. The major downfall was it was VERY heavy. About 20k lb more that the Sutphen.

    Our sutphen's we have now have served us better than ANY trucks we have had. We currently have 3 platforms (86, 92 and 94 all with over 100k miles) and two 2002 75 midmount stick quints.

    Good luck on the new truck, whatever it may be.

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    I just went through research for my dept on a mid-mount Platform.
    Sutphan and Pierce are good trucks but we decided on going with the
    E-one Mid-Mount for a number of reasons.

    The E-one only has 2 extending stabilizers with a jack spread of only 15'6, while the pierce, sutphan, KME, and ALF all have 4 extending stabilizers with a much greater jack spread.

    The E-one has this self-leveling capability, which makes setting up the truck faster.

    Those were two of many reasons, which made us, go with e-one.
    I highly suggest you look into E-one also, we will be receiving ours in a few months.
    If you have any questions please let me know.

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    Originally posted by FIRECOMMAND
    The E-one only has 2 extending stabilizers with a jack spread of only 15'6, while the pierce, sutphan, KME, and ALF all have 4 extending stabilizers with a much greater jack spread.
    Sutphens have only two outriggers. Their jack spread is 18 feet. More than an E-One...but still, only 2 outriggers.

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    Smeal!!! All the way.

    Most advanced aerial device on the market and operates smoother than all the others.

    Try one and you will see what I mean.

    I am sure I will get blasted for making this comment on here from Station2.

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    I like this one....
    Last edited by Bones42; 03-15-2011 at 09:38 AM.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    isnt that the one from out west ?
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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    Kind of like Beetlejuice, if you mention her name three times, she appears!
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Hey engine,

    You in Ridge or Riverhead FD? Of did I miss another R department?
    I am also on Long Island.
    B Holmes

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    The picture of the wooden ladder on the back of the truck, isn't that the Smeal that ff43065 was talking about?

    As for most afvanced, I don't know if Smeal can claim that title. All of the BIG aerial makers have come along way in safety features and little nice things that make the job easier. As for smoothness, it all comes down to training. I could put a guy on the "Smooth" Smeal and have it jerk around more than someone well trained and experienced on a 1975 WLF/Maxim in 30MPH winds. LOL.

    I still prefer the E-One aerial line-up. I ride on an E-One CR100 at my fulltime job and a 95' LT at my volunteer department. Simple set-up, superior design and material, widest aerial made and an outrigger system you simply can not beat. Oh, and they have never had a failure. Just some thoughts.

    Stay low and move it in.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

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    Originally posted by Bones42
    I like this one....
    GREAT PHOTO BONES !!!!!!!!
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    343
    CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
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    FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
    FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
    FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
    FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
    FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
    FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

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    The picture of the wooden ladder on the back of the truck, isn't that the Smeal that ff43065 was talking about?
    Larry, where the heck are you getting your information? I'm surprised you would say that about high-quality Smeal aerials - that was a WOODEN ladder in the back of the truck, not a CORNSTALK ladder.

    Bones - That's a very tempting purchase, but I think we'll have to wait until we get a new station - I'm not sure the 10' height limit would quite cut it for that one.
    Last edited by HFDCLanger; 02-07-2004 at 06:45 PM.

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    I'd go with an E-One platform.We run a 1992 E-One 95' Platform as well as a 1985 E-One 110' Ladder,both very well built apparatus. As an EVT I've crawled all over these things.Under all the shiny aluminum and paint is where it all happens.The Sutphen is lighter because there's nothing to the chassis.I believe E-One is the only manufacturer that builds their own aerial specific chassis.Access to the ladder turntable on a Sutphen isn't the greatest either.This is just my opinion though.Whatever works for you and your dept.

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    What's wrong with an Aerialscope? Two jacks, tough as nails. You never hear of a Sutphen continuing service atop of a new chassis.
    Many an Aerialscope gets put on a new chassis and is good as new.
    Your area is flooded with them so I'm sure that service isn't a problem.

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    I would have to say I would go with the Pierce, but I would like to ask you some questions. Is there a reason why your chiefs are not going with the company recommendation? Did they do their research? It is not hard for truck committees to see different truck manufactures on Long Island. I think you have Smeal, Pierce, and Stutphen trucks around you. Did the chiefs and company work together or as separate entities? I only ask this because it can cause hard feeling between the chief’s office and the company. When my department spec'ed a tower we worked for 2 years only to have the Board say your getting a Pierce. It would have been allot less work and hard feelings if they said it from the beginning. Good luck.

    Stay Safe

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    What's wrong with an Aerialscope?
    It's a bitch to climb up and down that ladder.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Exclamation Aerialscope

    This is the only tower ladder you'll ever want.

    I used to occasionaly work on a 95' rearmount E-One Tower. I would never go back after being on the scopes. The controls are out of the way to the rear and the buckets are excellent for getting in and out of. The E-ones were not user friendly to realistic fireground operations.

    I would go with the scopes. Although I know Pierce has a better reputation than E-0ne...but that also has alot to do with how much of the BS Bells & whistles you spec.

    FTM-PTB
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    Second to None. Aerialscope
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    Victoria - I'm not sure what Sutphen you were looking at, if any. Our custom built aerial chassis - (design only for aerial use ) has a full length frame liner, 1/4" steel sub assembly and 12 gauge stainless steel body with more compartment space than E-one offers. I Believe E-0ne uses an aluminum sub frame and a 1/8" aluminum body.

    The weight difference is in the aerial. Since E-one welds their aerial, they have to double the thickness of the material since welding weakens the aluminum. Sutphen uses huck bolts so they can use thinner material in their aerial. This is where they save weight. They do this and still maintain a 3:1 safety factor.

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    The Sutphen sounds well built, kinda. If thats the case, why did the first 110' LT built by them fail at the factory? Just a thought.

    Stay low and move it in.
    Last edited by STATION2; 02-09-2004 at 10:57 PM.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

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    And which ladder tower builder has never had a failure?

    Stay low and move it in.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

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    Station2 - Who said the 110' had a failure - It did not happen. Do you have any pics. ???

    If you look at that truck, it re-engineered from the ground uo - stronger chassis frame rails, 4 - angled jacks, instead of 2, larger aluminum extrusions.

    In regards to E-one, it a good truck, wont say it isn't.
    But you keep implying that only E-one has never had a failure. Neither has Sutphen.

  23. #23
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    Default Tower Ladder Cosiderations

    I will not join in the discussion of which MFG’s rig is better than the other. My only suggestion is to make sure you do your homework. Nobody knows your fire district better than you and your brother officers & FF’s. I’ll simply banter about a few items regarding size up of your operations/response area and how they may impact your decision.

    Its obvious that you’ve decided a tower ladder will best fit the operational needs of your FD & community. Keep in mind that if you can’t get - the rig down the block, set up in front of the structure, the ladder/boom out of the bed and onto the structure. That 7 to 9 hundred thousand dollar rig will only serve as a big tool box and personnel transporter, along with looking good in parades. Considering that your one of the busiest FD’s (most working structure fires) in Nassau County and the Busiest of all fire districts with a 2 to 3 square mile response area, I know that you’re looking for a good working rig, Like most of south/central – Western Nassau County FD’s - you operate in a densely populated urban setting similar to Eastern Queens.

    The majority of your structure fire assignments are for residential occupancy’s. The structure types are typically 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 story wood-frame approximately 1500 to 2500 sq ft. The average property dimensions are 60X100 with typical 20 to 30 foot setback from the curb. Your dealing with congested roadways with auto’s parked on both sides of the streets, overhead power lines with narrowly spaced poles and tree’s in-between those power line poles. Bottom line, you’ve got a lot of obstructions to deal with when trying to obtain optimum position for that tower ladder in front of the structure. In some cases you’ll have to position the truck towards the opposite side of the street from the fire building (short jacked due to parked auto’s) in order to make the fully retracted ladder/boom swing between the power poles / trees and under the power lines. Therefore, the jacking system becomes an extremely important feature that (will increase the deployment %’s in your favor) enable you to actually perform truck co tasks from the safety of that bucket & remove incapacitated occupants.

    How important is the walkway to you on your tower ladder. If you choose a tower with a limited walkway will your second due (mutual aid truck) be a stick that will enable you to operate with continued ingress / egress from the roof and removal of occupants that are not incapacitated. The reason I say a stick is that in most cases you won’t be able to position a second tower ladder (increased size/footprint) in proximity to a residential structure due to limited space. It can become very time consuming moving the bucket to and from the structure due to the lack of a fully functional walkway. If you are moving the tower to and from the structure you need a permanent means of egress from the roof and upper floor windows for those brothers operating in these areas. Obviously, ground ladders will be used in most cases to cover those positions.

    Water flow considerations to me are a mute point. If a MFG touts that they can flow thousands of gallons of water a minute from the tower I’d also ask them to include the hydrant/main with the rig as well. In most cases, I’d consider myself lucky to get 1,000 – 1,200 gpm out of a hydrant/main system in your area to feed the tower ladder i.e. the back streets off main roadways such as Nassau Road & Babylon Tpke. The same applies to dual monitors. I’d chose a single monitor flowing 1,000 gpm as opposed to dual flowing 500gpm each. If you need big flows, call in additional tower ladders and engines and establish additional water sources to supply each one. When the situation allows, position the additional towers ladders to cover as many sides of the structure as possible.

    Smoothness of operation is dictated by the experience and training of the FF at the control console. I believe most of the mfg’s mentioned in this thread have the ramping feature built into their hydraulic systems to enhance operational smoothness. However, it still comes down to the FF at the stick.

    Once again, all of the MFG’s listed in this thread offer an abundance of compartmentation options. Just keep in mind, the higher the compt’s the less ground level scrub area you have to operate from. Ground level scrub area is especially important when operating Tower Ladder master steams defensively from ground level (deluge gun pointed upward between the 10-11 o-clock position) on single story strip malls, taxpayers, fast food establishments - etc. Can the bucket be operated at ground level --- i.e. some type of obstruction extending from the bottom/sides of the bucket that precludes you from doing this? The same would apply to proper positioning to easily perform roof operations from the bucket or entry onto and off of the roof.

    All of the MFG’s listed in this thread offer well built, strong ladders and buckets regardless of whether they’re made from Aluminum or Steel. However, tip loads wet and dry do vary a bit. Some are 4 section and some are 5 section devices. Try -them out using the same member operating each rig to see which type you feel is more stable. Once again, the guy at the controls can make a big difference in how stable the aerial feels.

    Aerial lockout systems in my opinion are ridiculous. Just alert me via an audible or visual device when I’m getting too close to the cab, body or structure with the aerial/boom/bucket. Let the chauffeur make the determination as to how close to come or if the situation dictates (life threatening) to dent the cab or body. I guess most of the MFG’s think we have a bunch of poorly trained inexperienced idiots operating our aerial/tower ladders. I would hope to think they’re wrong. Lets not forget that this $2.00 micro switch can put your unit out of svc unless you’ve got some loose change in your pocket to override it with.

    Roominess of bucket, not to have a party with 5 guys in it. Ease of operating tools from the bucket and platform. Types of doors and their location -- do they lend themselves to easily perform roof and outside vent ops from the bucket along with ingress and egress from roof and window positions.

    Galvaneal, Stainless, Aluminum bodies and cabs. I’d go for the extra couple of dollars for either the Aluminum or Stainless Steel. All MFG’s offer strong well-built bodies. Take a look at their individual warranties and compare.


    Chassis, some are more maneuverable than others. Overall length between them may vary by a foot or so. Is overall height an issue? Make sure you take them for a drive around your district and put them through the paces. Don’t let the salesperson run a scripted demo, you decide what you want to do and see.

    Ground ladder storage. More is better! In my opinion, 115ft - NFPA recomended compliment of ground ladders on aerial ladder trucks is not enough. Get more.

    Dealer service as you’ve stated is an important issue. Contact some customers of the various dealers to see how they would rate their service and support.

    Good luck with your purchase and stay safe.

    Good decisions are based upon acquired knowledge, experience, training, listening and asking questions. Poor ones --- well
    Last edited by tjsnys; 02-10-2004 at 04:12 PM.

  24. #24
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    WOw, that was one of the better posts I've read in this section for a longggg time.
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    Originally posted by STATION2
    And which ladder tower builder has never had a failure?
    RK Aerials?


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