1. #1
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    Default To Truck or not to Truck..that is the question.

    My fire company has always run an engine company, tanker, squad and brush unit. We now have the opportunity to purchase a very reasonable, certified yet older 75' elevated platform. We know it has been a well-cared for rig...so the condition of said apparatus is sound.

    The bigger question is as follows...what do we need to know before we make a decision on running a truck company?

    I'll answer some of the questions you may have for me first.

    1. Yes, we do have the staffing on hand.

    2. Yes, we do have, relatively speaking, large commercial structures (3 story max).

    3. Our current first due truck is 14 miles away.

    4. Yes, we have called for a truck response in the past (church fire, 2 story brick commercial w/flames showing A and D sides division 2..etc..).

    5. Yes, we have housing space.

    6. Yes, we have Engineers willing to be trained on it.

    7. Yes, we do have personnel that take up "truck-like" operations currently. (Ventilation, etc.)

    What other things should we be considering?

    (75' Platform w/1,000 GPM pump)
    Last edited by StayBack500FT; 01-10-2005 at 01:15 PM.
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    I would rather have one than not. You might want to look at how it will improve your ISO ratings which should make for some good "talking points" as you make the decision.
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

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    You've covered most of the basic questions. At 75 feet, access problems should be minimal since the chassis should be about the same size as an engine, but are there any issues with bridge capacities? Can they handle the additional weight? Can the streets in your town support the additional weight? That's all I can think of at the moment....
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    Our tanker carries 3500 gallons, so I would think the weights would be close. I'll have to check it out.
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    What do you know about insurance costs vs. an engine?
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    Originally posted by StayBack500FT
    What do you know about insurance costs vs. an engine?
    The cost is minimal compared to what the residents will save from an improved ISO rating! Go for it!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    That's good to hear...we'll be talking with our carrier soon.

    Personally, I'd LOVE to have one...we just need to cover all the bases before we jump in. I think it will bring a high level of morale to the station and provide us with unique training opportunities and better fire protection.

    To give more details, it is a 1970 Pierce/Snorkel that was refurbished in 1987 with a new diesel engine and automatic transmission. The aerial device and pump were recently certified and the body is in good shape.
    May we never forget our fallen, worldwide.

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    Another "plus" for this elevated platform shows up if you have any truss roof construction in your area. You can ventilate from the bucket, where you may not want to put a crew on the roof.
    9/11/01 Never forget Never forgive

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    I'd go with a 100' if anything. ISO gives you full credit for a truck if you can make the top of your tallest building(from any setbacks) or have a 100' unit, whichever. If you're dealing out the $700k+ for a ladder, might as well spend another 20k more and be sure you make the full credit.

    A neighboring department has NO structures above 4 stories and a 75' straight stick. ISO took the truck out to the building and they couldn't make the top due to the setback. They have trouble making large numbers of their houses due to the setbacks, too.

    Another good reason to go bigger is to prepare for future growth. You said you have a good bit of commercial structures? What about when someone comes by and wants to build a 7 or 8 story apartment building?

    In short, spend a little bit more money for full credit and that extra length you might need in the future.
    "Captain 1 to control, retone this as a structure and notify the fire chief...."

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    We aren't looking at new right now...it's just that a great deal has come along on an older, but well-maintained vehicle that we are familiar with.

    We aren't actually "looking for" an aerial...this one sort of found us, if that makes sense.
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    Oh, well if it's a good deal and you kinda have to take it or nothing at all, definately go for it. Any aerial is better than no aerial.
    "Captain 1 to control, retone this as a structure and notify the fire chief...."

    Safety is no accident.

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    I would go for it. Much better to buy a good used one at a much lower price than to spend $750k on a new one and find out its not what you need.

    And besides, its a snorkel

    Dave
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    What are drawbacks from owning an aerial?
    Last edited by StayBack500FT; 01-10-2005 at 03:30 PM.
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    just make sure the ladder itself passes ladder tests my an approved company or your just buying something that will cost you more money in repairs !! if its all good then go for it i love trucks !!
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  15. #15
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    Default Maintainace

    We have two trucks one is a platform and one is a stick and they both had the commutaters go bad within weeks of each other (10g's) apiece plus the tower had an outrigger issue. I don't want to put you off of a ladder but they need alot of TLC and your members all need to be trained in the operations of the truck because thing will go wrong. You know what they say ...***** happens ...Anyways good luck with your new toy
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    Default StayBack

    You might want to see if the company that is selling the Truck is willing to let you use it for a few days to ensure it will fit down all the streets in your district. A company that I know of bought a 95' Aerialscope for a town with limited access and small streets. It usually sits way off the scene and the crew has to hand carry everything.

    Also, consider crew space. All too often companie purchase cabs with the capacity for 8 Men and try to actually fit 8 men comfortably. It's not comfortable. I use the "Minus Two" rule. If you buy a cab with the capacity for a certain number of men, it usually seats minus two comfortably. Six man cab seats 4, 8 Man cab seats six, 10 man cab seats 8.

    And make sure you TRAIN, TRAIN,TRAIN! Nothing is worse than a Truck company showing up un-trained.
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    Originally posted by StayBack500FT
    What are drawbacks from owning a an aerial?
    A lot more maintainence on an aerial as its a much more complicated machine. Our mechanic is always "tinkering" with ours, and its only 2 years old. In fact, its at the station that has his shop just for that reason. Not problems, just lots of little things to adjust, tune, lube and so on.

    Dave
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  18. #18
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    Default YUP!.....................

    Sounds like a win-win situation for all concerned. Train a lot, and things should go well. The "Try it on YOUR street" idea is a good one. I am also aware of a VFD who bought a BIG truck for a small town, and it couldn't go anywhere off of the main street. They hung on to it, and it's still there, still works well, just doesn't get to the place where it is needed. Sorta embarrassing sometimes. Good Luck.
    Last edited by hwoods; 01-10-2005 at 03:37 PM.
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    Default Obvious but....

    Make sure it will fit in your station. One dept bought a new arial a took delivery to discover it wouldn't fit. Chief lost his job over that one. You definately should see if you can get it to "play" with it for a few days. Drive it around and just see what you think. Also keep in mind the outriggers will add considerable width to the truck while they are out.

    Train on it regularly. Just having a truck will change the way you do stuff.

    Stay safe

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    Exclamation Sounds good to me ............

    In terms of manuervability and size with it being an older unit, it should be smaller and more able to fit into quarters. While our 1978 Sutphen is no midget it is MUCH smaller than todays newer units. It can go down every street in town (some are more of a challenge than others), and is easy to drive.
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    Default Re: Sounds good to me ............

    Originally posted by Weruj1
    and is easy to drive.
    Then why can't everyone drive it?
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    The Snorkel may be the lowest tech / maintenance intensive device out there. Nothing telescopes, box beam construction no cables or rollers. Everything is fairly simple and straight forward. We had ours tested anually generally needed a cracked weld touched up and that was about it. Over 25 years I believe the most money we spent was on upgrades to the rotation brake and hydraulic pump.

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    Thank you all for providing such good information. I'll keep you posted.
    May we never forget our fallen, worldwide.

    I.A.C.O.J. Safety/Traffic Control Officer

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    "Who's Who Among American Teachers" - 2005, 2006 Honoree

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    ANSWER:


    Not to truck...monies to be used to purchase new SCBA.
    May we never forget our fallen, worldwide.

    I.A.C.O.J. Safety/Traffic Control Officer

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    "Who's Who Among American Teachers" - 2005, 2006 Honoree

  25. #25
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    Stayback....as posted in another thread..... When you engine guys grow up perhaps you will turn into truckies!!!
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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