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  1. #1
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    Question Snorkel vs. MidMount Platform

    Our department is currently researching a new Platform truck. We currently have a 1977 Pierce Snorkel and have the decision to make of - do we go with a MidMount Platform or look at another snorkel? The oldtimers say we need another snorkel, the youngsters are willing to go with a MM Platform. Any argurments would be appreciated for either apparatus.


  2. #2
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Power lines and setbacks. We did the same thing just recently and are just waiting for approval to send the truck out for bidding. We have a 75' Snorkle on a Pierce chassis. It is by far, the most useless truck we could possibly have in our town. Power lines on the street make it almost impossible to use at all the buildings. We also have a 50' E-One Teleboom, that can go under the wires and reach the buildings. Setbacks - how far from the street are the properties you need to reach? Ours average between 25-30', and with a 75' snorkle, you only get about 35' horizontal reach at max, which does not leave enough to get to most roofs. A 75' MM can reach alot further than a 75' Snorkle. Our snorkle bucket holds a max of 4 people. 1 FF and 3 "victims" - too bad for the fourth, you have to sit here and wait for me to lower the bucket, unload the people, raise the bucket. With a MM, they can climb...and if there is fire behind them...they will climb.

    Biggest thing is what the area you are in is like. I know in some cities the snorkles work great as they don't have the power lines and setbacks. Look at your area and see what the snorkle can and can't reach and see if a MM ladder would be able to.
    "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?

  3. #3
    tny
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    Fire321

    If your leaning in the direction of a snorkel/articulating boom style aerial device. You may want to take a look at both the E-One Bronto and the Pierce Sky Arm. I agree with Bones that you absolutely need to perform a full size-up of your response area. Each type of Aerial device has its +'s and -'s. Do not base your purchase on what you’re simply used to or have been familiar with over the years. Perform a thorough review of what you need this rig to accomplish. Maybe a ladder tower, tower ladder or straight aerial will better serve your response area’s specific needs. Or, maybe you really do need that articulating boom type of aerial device. You’re the guys that know best. We’re talking big dollars and you don’t want to rush into a decision that you’ll be living/working with for the next 20 or so years.

    Check with your neighboring departments and evaluate their aerial devices in operation. Schedule appointments/demo’s with reps from the various mfgs and put their rigs through the paces within your response area. Do not let a mfg’s rep run a scripted demo. The truck committee should be the one’s who decide what, where & how you will evaluate the performance of the demo rig (within reason), under the various situations you may encounter in your response area. A rep thats knowledgeable and confident in the abilities of their products will have no problem with this.

    With the type of purchase your considering $700,000 to $900,000 it may be a good idea to spend a couple of extra dollars and have a reputable apparatus consultant/architect work with your committee. Well-rounded experienced gentleman like Chief Bill Peters, Chief Harry Carter & Lieut Mike Wilbur come to mind. They not only have the technical apparatus knowledge but also have real world experience in Jersey City FD, Newark FD and FDNY. These guys do not dictate but help guide your committee along in the evaluation and purchasing process.

    Try these Web sites for info on the the Bronto and Sky Arm.

    http://www.e-one.com/bronto.asp
    http://www.piercemfg.com/apparatus/sky_arm.cfm


    Good luck with your research and purchase.

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    Great advice. We've already had 3 manufacture's out to demo their gear. During the spring we will be bringing them back to see how they perform during our demo. Already looked at the Pierce and the E-one. Pierce is way to big for our house and town streets. E-One is more of a "religous" discussion that I don't want to get into.

    Thanks for your input.

  5. #5
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    It depends on what the department is really wanting here.

    Pierce, ALF, Emergency-One and others make very good aerials. If you are looking for something like an Baker (Aerialscope for you new guys), then it is going to sit high off the ground. A mid mount platform will work better in a lot of cases than using a rear mount aerial. Of course each has its on different uses. Where the mid mount may be good in this application, the rear mount may do better in reaching in others.

    You may end up having to modify the station that it will be assigned to so the truck can get into the bay. Having the floor lowered is easy than have to raise the door height and ceilings. You will get into more expense doing the later.

    I would however, try to stay away from several companies making the vehicle. Your department really needs to stay with the sole source. If problems arises and they will, it is a lot eaiser dealing with the company that made the ride than going to each different makers. They normally will say that it is the other fellows problem and not there's.

    I have seen most make and types of aerial apparatus. I really like the Pierce Mid-Mount. Roanoke, VA, is taking deliverly of one, if they haven't dome so already. They have narrow streets there also.




    Stay Safe & Well out there.....

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    Bones42 hit the nail on the head. Go to the ALF website and look at the Snorkle technical information. The horizontal reach is about 55% of the rated length of the device due to the nature of the mechanism and how it is designed and operates. An example: An 85' Snorkel has a horizontal reach of just 44' 10". That wouldn't work in my 2 departments, how about yours? How about a situation where you need to deposit the Truck o. on the roof for vertical ventilation. You have about enough (Give or Take) to make the roof top of 3 story building that is right on the street. Any building taller than that, or further from the street and you aren't gonna be able to make the roof. How about master stream capabilities? A Snorkel will be capable of 1000GPM when modern ladder towers are good for 1500GPM. What about the rescue limitations of the Snorkel? Your limited to the number of people you can get in the bucket per trip due to know conventional aerial to move people down. Further, is this aerial your departments only one? If it is, get the type that will work for you and doing a needs assessment of your territory. You may find that a rear mount ladder tower is better for you guys than a mid-mount. While mid-mounts are easier to spot and get the crew into the bucket, they have big overhangs past the rear axles and typicall a more limited compartment configuration. Conversely, a rear mount ladder tower is going to be taller overall and may not work for a department with an older station or other height restrictions. Alot to think about like the other posters mention when investing big money in something your gonna have for probably 15 to 20 years. Just some thoughts.

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

    Be safe.


    Larry

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber Engine58's Avatar
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    We also have a 1990 85ft Seagrave Snorkel in service right now and with the new building construction in town and all the new lightweight truss construction we are looking into replacing it. First off it its an awesome truck and in great condition, but like others have said the truck is useless due to power lines and certain houses being setback off the roadway theres just no use for it anymore. The olders guys dont understand anymore and say we dont need a new truck ours is only 13yrs old..but yet this is coming from the same guys who dont answer calls anymore...and unfortunatley they out number the amount that due answer calls but anyways dont worry we are in the same boat your in...we were looking at Sutphen Midmount Tower Ladders the only thing we are concerned about is the overhang in the back.
    Andrew
    Firefighter/EMT
    New Jersey

  8. #8
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    58, what are your questions about the rear overhang. My truck is a 2001 Suthpen 95' tower. I was a driver for a while, now the officer. Maybe I can answer your Q's.

  9. #9
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Here's my midmount questions - how badly will the back end scrape as I cross the railroad track crossings in town? How far will the back end swing as I turn on my tight intersections with cars parked on all sides? How much longer will it make the truck when I need to have a 1500gpm pump and a water tank?
    "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?

  10. #10
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    We're answering some of Bones' questions as we look to purchase our first aerial device. Midmount is too long of an overhang in back for us also. Neighboring departments that had/have midmounts said they banged the bejesus out of the platform and body. Problem with that is that the aerial is out of service until it can be retested. Same with any aerial, not just midmounts. We probably won't be able to go with a rear-mount platform because of low trees and truck length either, so as of now we're probably going to end up with rear-mount stick.

    Although in January's Fire-Rescue the article about Bowie MD's refurb of an FDNY Aerialscope onto a new Dash chassis was pretty sweet. 2000gpm quint with 95' platform for $485K is a heck of a deal. The lack of an egress ladder is my only concern with those. I'd be up for rapelling out but that's probably not the smartest or safest way out. Details.

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber Engine58's Avatar
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    UAFD Bones pretty much asked most of my questions, we have a set of train tracks that run through the lower half of my town and we are stationed below the tracks on the waterfront so crossing over the tracks might be a problem, also we have alot of small streets that are a tight turn now as it is with our current Snorkel so that would definatley be into consideration. The town next to me has a Sutphen that they just purchased I think 2yrs ago? And they havent really had any problems so far that I know of due to its size. If I think of anymore questions I'll post them..
    Andrew
    Firefighter/EMT
    New Jersey

  12. #12
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    I will try to answer as best as I can. First the railroad crossings. We have 2 in our first in district and do not have a problem scraping. Where we do have some problems are getting into and out of some commercial driveways that are steep, and actually what we scrape is the step, which is made to break-away.. We can access them, just have to make sure you enter and exit as straight on as you can. The turning radius of our truck is actually tighter than our engine. The Suthpen has a floating front rear dual that allows the bucket to track in the same path as the wheels as long as you are moving forward when you start your turn. I work in a suburban area that has some older, narrow streets along with apartment complexes. There is no place we can't access. We occasionally get sent to the areas around OSU and have been able to access alleyways. BC79, as far as banging up the bucket and the sides, we have never had a problem with that with either of the 2 Sutphens that we have had since I have been on the job. As far as the pump and tank adding to the length, I do not think it does on the Sutphens.I can't say if it does on any other midmounts, I only have experience with the Sutphens. We have a 1500GPM pump and a 300 Gal. tank with 2 crosslays, and it is the same length as the CFD trucks that were purchased on the same order that do not have the tank and only 1 crosslay. What we lost was hosebed space. We are able to carry 900' of 5" and 300' of 2-1/2" blitz line.

    I hope I answered some of your questions. Let me know if I can be of any more assistance.

    58, since the town next to you has a Sutphen, why not see if they won't bring it over and drive it around the areas that concern you. and see if it will work.

  13. #13
    Forum Member MEck51's Avatar
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    The people that say go with a consultant are absolutely right. We are just getting done working w/ Bill Peters and feel the money spent was well worth it. What was basicly done was an eval of our needs, Approach angles, height limits, weight limits, street width setups (jackspread), setbacks, you name it and it was covered. Next we decide what the basic specs are that are needed for us, and decide who can offer what. The rest is straight ahead, spec.s, bids and purcahse. If you go with a reputable consultant (as B. Peters is) you also get someone who will walk you thru the entire process all the way up to delivery. When you are making a purchase over 1/2 million dollars and that your entire area along with your department will be relying upon it is well worth a couple grand to make sure you are getting just what you need.

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by Bones42
    Power lines and setbacks. We did the same thing just recently and are just waiting for approval to send the truck out for bidding. We have a 75' Snorkle on a Pierce chassis. It is by far, the most useless truck we could possibly have in our town. Power lines on the street make it almost impossible to use at all the buildings. We also have a 50' E-One Teleboom, that can go under the wires and reach the buildings. Setbacks - how far from the street are the properties you need to reach? Ours average between 25-30', and with a 75' snorkle, you only get about 35' horizontal reach at max, which does not leave enough to get to most roofs. A 75' MM can reach alot further than a 75' Snorkle. Our snorkle bucket holds a max of 4 people. 1 FF and 3 "victims" - too bad for the fourth, you have to sit here and wait for me to lower the bucket, unload the people, raise the bucket. With a MM, they can climb...and if there is fire behind them...they will climb.

    Biggest thing is what the area you are in is like. I know in some cities the snorkles work great as they don't have the power lines and setbacks. Look at your area and see what the snorkle can and can't reach and see if a MM ladder would be able to.

  15. #15
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    Default If you want to buy an E-One better ask me first. DON'T BUY IT i'll tell you why

    Start with the Mid-mount wow every customer which an E-One wish they would have not done so.
    Bronto touch the ground or roof .
    Ask me I know it all
    details all the ends and outs

    write me

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber Engine58's Avatar
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    huh?
    Andrew
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    New Jersey

  17. #17
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    Unhappy E One Mid Mount

    HELLOITSME: What do you mean about the E One? I tried emailing you and the system says you're not taking emails from this forum. So, back up your statement. What is wrong with the E One mid-mount. I don't work for them, but my department is seroiusly considering them for a new MM tower.


    ACM

  18. #18
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    my department is seroiusly considering them for a new MM tower
    I don't know helloitsme or you. But, please don't base buying a tower on an anonymous poster in fh.com forums. For every person against a company, you will find one for the company.
    "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?

  19. #19
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    Wharton doesnt need a snorkle anyway.

  20. #20
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    "Wharton doesnt need a snorkle anyway".

    And which Wharton would you be referring too? I grew in a town called Wharton and a neighboring city does have a Sutphen aerial, and another has a Smeal.

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