1. #1
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    Smile Tillering 101...Your 2 cents?

    Here is a subject I havent seen in here. What
    do you know about tillering a ladder truck?

    I am an ok tillerman. What little I know-

    -If you think youre going to hit something,
    steer away from it.

    -Backing up- stick your thumbs out where
    you want to go.

    -Count your turns, atleast in the beginning.

    What else???

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    Smile

    If you have a good driver, they will make a tillermans life back there a whole lot wonderful. I always love tilling. I love driving too.

    I drove tractor trailers on my day off so when it came to driving the truck, made it a lot easy. Most tillerman behind me really like to till with me driving. Just hold the wheel streight I would tell them and trail the tractor. The bad time was when you are trying to get into a narrow street or alley. Makes a BIG difference when you have a good driver and tillerman.

    If that driver cuts in close or takes a corner back, you are in trouble. There is nothing that you can do but ride it out. You may, I say may, be able to avoid hitting something. This isn't always the case. That is way when a tractor drawn is involved in an accident, the driver may be at fault and not the tillerman or the other way around, OR BOTH!!!

    When backing up you need to remember to hold the steering wheel at the bottom and steer the other way than the tractor.

    These wonderful pieces of apparatus are slowly fading away. We had 11 of them at one time. They are all gone now. :-(



    Stay Safe & Well out there.....

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    Make Sure You Are In the Tiller Cab Before the Truck Leaves the Station.

    I once was assigned to a ladder company with a tiller. That was over 25 years ago and the only communication between driver an tiller was the buzzer. The driver thought he heard two buzzes and pulled out of the station. Unfortunately, the tillerman was still putting on his gear. The truck wasn't damaged too badly. The same could not be said for the cars parked on the other side of the street.

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    Default Re: Tillering 101...Your 2 cents?

    Originally posted by CALFFBOU
    Here is a subject I havent seen in here. What
    do you know about tillering a ladder truck?

    I am an ok tillerman. What little I know-

    -If you think youre going to hit something,
    steer away from it.

    -Backing up- stick your thumbs out where
    you want to go.

    -Count your turns, atleast in the beginning.

    What else???
    Well, for one, Always follow the tractor.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    Originally posted by CaptOldTimer
    These wonderful pieces of apparatus are slowly fading away. We had 11 of them at one time. They are all gone now. :-(
    Not out here, thankfully. Many Southern California departments still use tillers. LAFD runs exclusively tillers for their trucks, and LACoFD has quite a few.

    Our department runs a 1979 ALF (seen here) we acquired from a department on Long Island. We don't use the aerial anymore (failed its last certification), but we still run it for the ground ladders and other equipment...none of our buildings are more than 2 stories anyway.
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

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    Default

    Chicks LOVE the tillerman (so I've heard.)

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    Never had a tiller, it's way too big for our area, you'd never half the turns but I half seen them used in other departments in the area.
    NYS FF1/AEMT-CC
    IAEP Local 152
    "You stopped being in charge when I showed up"

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    Default

    Ah, the tiller. Best damn spot on the job when you're not at a fire and yes, chicks love tillermen.

    I was assigned to a tiller out of probie school and absolutley loved being in the back. The rig went places the engines couldn't go. Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge and taking up all three lanes was a blast. One minus, winter!!!!

    If you become familiar with your district and your driver you will both work as one. No questions, no answers. You will begin to swing opposite the turn he is about to make, he will see it and not miss a beat. A strip of tape at top center will help the newbies recover from a turn and a good bump will teach him to do more squats during his workout.

    Great topic, it brings back fond memories.

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    Anyone want to teach me how to drive one????????????????

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    Post Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    Although I am an Engineman, I am still part owner of a antique Seagrave Tiller.

    The two most important things I ever leared were:

    -Don't worry about the tractor tires, just pay attention to yours.

    -If backing place your hands palms up on the bottom of the wheel and whichever way your thumbs are pointing is the direction you will steer. Also same with before...worry about the back end and the tractor will take care of itself.

    The tape thing also really helped me.

    It is really one of those things that is more of an art than a science. You just have to do it to learn it.

    -FTM-PTB

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    One thing I learned the hard way was actually turning into a sharp curve slightly to hold the trailer into your lane. I was on Rt. 50 coming back from Ocean City and we hit a sharp curve in the road. I kinda just sat there and "held the wheel straight" and next thing I know, I got cars screeching in the shoulder....


    Man, If there is one thing I absolutely HAVE to do before I die, is to Tiller again. I miss that truck!

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    Default Re: Tillering 101...Your 2 cents?

    Originally posted by CALFFBOU
    Here is a subject I havent seen in here. What
    do you know about tillering a ladder truck?

    I am an ok tillerman. What little I know-

    -If you think youre going to hit something,
    steer away from it.

    -Backing up- stick your thumbs out where
    you want to go.

    -Count your turns, atleast in the beginning.

    What else???
    I'm not a tillerman and I don't play one on TV, but I understand that passing the tractor is considered bad form.
    ullrichk
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    Originally posted by E229Lt

    If you become familiar with your district and your driver you will both work as one. No questions, no answers. You will begin to swing opposite the turn he is about to make, he will see it and not miss a beat.
    We used to have problems when we would catch another run while returnig to quarters. Since the tillerman couldn't communicate with the driver, he would have no idea where we were headed. In these situations, the tiller would often start the swing in anticipation of the turn that he thought was coming only to have the driver go straight, or turn in the opposite direction. I was usually in the jumpseat facing the tillerman so I got to see all of the facial expressions and watch him try to recover when the driver made a move he could not have anticipated.

  14. #14
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    Hey TillerMan25, what Ocean City are you talking about?? I know OCFD(New Jersey) had 2 grand old tillers until they were phased out several yrs ago.
    AJ, MICP, FireMedic
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    Cool

    I spent over 10 years as a driver & tiller with an open seat,just a windshield,top and back, the sides were wide open. Despite being an occational target for snowballs,cans,rocks,bottle rockets,potatoes and even a spark plug it was tons of fun.Although, winters were cold,especially returning from a fire soaked to the bone...It's like riding a bike,you get the hang of it and it's simple.If cars around you are screeching to a halt or going onto the shoulder,they're too damn close so the heck with them.As far as sticking your thumbs this way or that way,or make sure you place your hands here or there,just do what you feel comfortable with.Many times while backing I had to glance over my shoulder to see where we were going and use one hand, like backing up a car. So much for the thumbs.Also,as was stated earlier watch out for bumps in the street because you can definately catch some air and end up with a gash on the top of your head...We had 10 tillers in'81,now only 1.

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    I never rode in one ........or really saw one up too close ......they are definietly a "romantic" part of the fire service ....
    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)
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    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

  17. #17
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    Default Ride the tiller...(video)

    AWESOME online video of the tiller. Check it
    out...

    Cut and paste these in your broswer-

    High speed/DSL- mms://audio.firedispatch.com/SCF012430004DSL.wmv

    Dial up- mms://audio.firedispatch.com/SCF012430004Modem.wmv
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 03-27-2005 at 10:18 PM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Ride the tiller...(video)

    Originally posted by CALFFBOU
    AWESOME online video of the tiller. Check it
    out...
    Wow. I'm totally impressed. Obviously, just getting to ride along like that makes for good video, the quality was great and the sound was top-notch.

    I've never been fortunate enough to even see a tiller truck go to work. Little Rock has at least one (and I think two) tillers across the river from my department... but I've never seen them in action.

  19. #19
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    headsets were the best thing
    to happen for the driver
    and tillerman to communicate.
    sure beats the buzzer.

  20. #20
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    Thumbs up

    Hey, the video was outstanding. This is what it is all about. A good tillerman does a good job.

    One thing I saw, which I must take a stand against. It was when they went into the oppoisite lane. Going against traffic is a NO NO in Virginia. You can be citied by the police for doing this. Unless, the police have shut down the traffic and has informed the dispatch and relays to the officer of the fire company that it is OK to do such. If the officer is on the scene and physically reports to the officer that the road is block, it is OK then.

    Otherwise, this was very good. It brought back alot of memories to me. When I was a firefighter and a tilling, we didn't have close tiller cabs. We had the open seat with a wind screen and tiller wheel in the aerial ladder. The were Peter Pirsch Ladder Trucks!!


    Stay Safe and Well out there.....

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    Default Probably Stupid Question

    First let me say that Tiller trucks have fasinated me for a long time. To be honest, ladder trucks period, but tillers seem to have a special place.

    That being said, I don't know the first thing about how to handle the tiller and have often wonder if there is any special training required. From the sounds of this thread, it does not seem like there is.

    I do have a question, it appears that the tillerman will steer in the opposite direction of the operators turn. Why don't they make it so they can steer in the same direction. I would think that this would make things easier on both operator and tiller?

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    Default Re: Probably Stupid Question

    Originally posted by VollieFireman
    That being said, I don't know the first thing about how to handle the tiller and have often wonder if there is any special training required. From the sounds of this thread, it does not seem like there is.

    I do have a question, it appears that the tillerman will steer in the opposite direction of the operators turn. Why don't they make it so they can steer in the same direction. I would think that this would make things easier on both operator and tiller?
    Hello- I have limited tillering experience but will try
    to answer your questions.

    #1. Tillering is not that easy. It does take awhile to get
    it down. Finding your landmarks and proper positioning,
    communication, backing, etc.

    #2. I have asked the same question. I figured it would be
    easier. But after some training, the current way seems to
    be the best. Yes, steering opposite than the Tractorman
    gets easier and smoother as you go.
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 03-08-2004 at 11:36 AM.

  23. #23
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    Default Response-

    Originally posted by CaptOldTimer
    One thing I saw, which I must take a stand against. It was when they went into the oppoisite lane. Going against traffic is a NO NO in Virginia. You can be citied by the police for doing this. Unless, the police have shut down the traffic and has informed the dispatch and relays to the officer of the fire company that it is OK to do such. If the officer is on the scene and physically reports to the officer that the road is block, it is OK then.
    Hey Capt. Old timer- Whats up bro? "Opposing traffic" is
    pretty common here in Cali. I have had to do it a few times.
    Yeah, it can scare the poop out of you at the 5PM rush hour.
    But when your lanes are all backed up and you have no other
    option, it is useful for a quick response.
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 03-08-2004 at 11:53 AM.

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    we can also go against traffic ..........I dont get that
    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

  25. #25
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    Thumbs up

    We "buck the traffic" pretty regularly in my district at rush hour when safe to do so. The alternative is doubling, maybe tripling the response time because the drivers ahead of us tend to panic and just completely clog the divided two-lane.

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