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    Exclamation Jacking of aerial devices/ HELP!!!!

    There seems to be a hot topic within my small rural fire department. We have recently purchased our first aerial devised (used of course) and cannot come to an agreement as to how to stabelize the vehicle. Personally I have been a member of several other (often much larger) departments who operate ladder trucks and every department I have been with uses the method of lifting the truck off it's suspension and allowing the jacks to support the entire weight (there is actually space between the tires and the ground). There are those in my current department that disagree. It has been set in policy that we mearly lift the truck to "just take the buldge out of the tires." My concerns is that this leaves room for interpratation of "buldge in the tires." Already we have experienced the jacks coming off the ground during operations when the truck was set to policy standards. Anyone with any insight please let me know.

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    what does the owners manual say ? Anyone call the manufacturer ? We have an older Sutphen that you dont have to lift up off the ground. Another department I know of has a newer Pierce and that comes off the ground as the the Bronto Sky-lifts.
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    Originally posted by Weruj1
    what does the owners manual say ? Anyone call the manufacturer ? We have an older Sutphen that you dont have to lift up off the ground. Another department I know of has a newer Pierce and that comes off the ground as the the Bronto Sky-lifts.
    Ditto. Contact the manufacturer as every aerial is different. One SOP cannot cover all of them.
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    I don't see the harm in jacking it all the way off the ground. That way you know you're set firm on the outriggers.

    We have no aerials in my volunteer department, but on my job we have a Pierce industrial aerial (3,000 gpm pump, tower is rated to flow 4,000 gpm). It is fairly new and it has a green LED light on the rear of the apparatus that lights up to indicate that you have sufficient weight on the outriggers to safely raise the boom...and believe me, when you're flowing that kind of water, you'd better have it well stabilized. The safety interlocks will not allow the boom to be raised until that light is lit. I mention this because when we jack the rig, the wheels are clear of the ground when we get the green light (That's 4 outriggers, by the way....you can actually lift all 10 wheels off the ground....)
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    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
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    ...here's a pic......
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
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    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
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    The assumption that having the wheels off the ground makes the truck more stable is not necesarily a correct one, depending on your brand of truck. We also have a pierce, but it is a 105' ladder. Pierce recommends lifting the truck just enough to take the bulge out of the tires and keeping them on the ground as much as possible. (you just need enough pressure on the outriggers to light the indicators on the panel). I'm not arguing how you were trained to use the truck, being that it has a totally different aerial on it than ours and I have no training on yours (obviously), I'm just saying lifting the wheels totally may not be the most stable set up depending on your manufacturer. A safe bet is to know what the manufacturer recommends for your particular truck as they can change from time to time. Pierce used to tell us to lift the wheels from the ground and on our newer truck they recommend simply removing the tire bulge. Consult your factory rep.

    By the way, dmblemanc...nice truck.

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    Well, we were trained just to jack it until the light was on. I have noticed sometimes that the tires are still on the ground (slightly) and sometimes not. All depends on who's doing the jacking. The important thing is that the light comes on, indicating enough weight on the outriggers. So I guess either way is OK.

    Point is, if you don't have the indicator light (which most aerials don't...or do they? I have only worked with a couple....), how do you know when the "bulge" out of the tires is enough?

    I guess I kind of think about it like extrication...If the vehicle's weight is still being partially supported by the tires after cribbing, is it really stable? Or is there some play there? That's why I figure, remove all doubt and get the tires off the ground.
    Last edited by dmleblanc; 01-23-2005 at 11:59 PM.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    Default Age

    Of Course the age of the truck will matter. My only experience with a ladder truck is a 1954 LA France and a 1966 Mack. The LaFrance had the manual you lift and lower jacks. And we could lift the truck of the ground by hand. IT was a mid mounted ladder. The other truck was the 1966 Mack and it did have hydralic lifts. But did not lift it off the ground either.
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    dmleblanc,

    Like I said, I'm not doubting you, I'm just going by our most recent instruction from pierce. The engineer we spoke to said leaving the tires on the groung simply aids by increasing friction on the ground. To paraphrase what we were told the tires can further reduce the slight chances of the truck sliding on the outriggers. Our SOP is to jack the truck until all four indicator lights are on and the truck is level. Once those two criteria are met you are done jacking, the truck is kept as close to the ground as possible.

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    Question Re: Jacking of aerial devices/ HELP!!!!

    Originally posted by NREMT272427
    There seems to be a hot topic within my small rural fire department. We have recently purchased our first aerial devised (used of course) and cannot come to an agreement as to how to stabelize the vehicle. Personally I have been a member of several other (often much larger) departments who operate ladder trucks and every department I have been with uses the method of lifting the truck off it's suspension and allowing the jacks to support the entire weight (there is actually space between the tires and the ground). There are those in my current department that disagree. It has been set in policy that we mearly lift the truck to "just take the buldge out of the tires." My concerns is that this leaves room for interpratation of "buldge in the tires." Already we have experienced the jacks coming off the ground during operations when the truck was set to policy standards. Anyone with any insight please let me know.

    You don't say if it is a tractor drawn aerial ladder truck, a mid mount or rear mount!!!

    Like most of the guys have said, get in contact with the manufacturer as soon as possible. Did you get a operation manual with this truck? What did the department that you guys got the truck from tell you?????


    Most mid mounts and rear mounts have to be level before the serial will come up out of the bed or can be operated. This means that sometime the wheels are off the ground.

    Again check with the manufacturer of this truck.

    By the way MacInnis, Mack never did build a aerial device. They got them from Pirsch, Maxim, Seagrave, American LaFrance or other outstanding aerial manufacturer.
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    I would hope that when the truck was delivered, you got some training on it. If so, call your manufacturer and follow their guidelines. If you did not get training with the truck, call your manufacturer before it gets damaged and it will be your fault.
    "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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    dmleblanc

    All the above have great advice. I was just in an aerial ladder specifications class and the person doing the lecture said that in some case (model specific) you may have to lift the entire unit and in other cases you "take out the bulge."

    The bottom line is.....What does the manufacturer of the unit say.
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    You are right captstan. With all the types of aerial ladder trucks that I have been around, Everyone Operates Differently. Most tractor drawn will have all the wheels on the ground. The mid mounts and rear mounts will have the wheels off the ground most of the time. As we have said, check with the maker of this truck!!! We have a Calavar Firebird 100 ft platform. I have seen this creature's front wheels off the ground so high that a member 6 foot tall could walk under the front without touching the chassis. Of course this was on a hilly street and the truck was completly level. Otherwise, it would have never came out of the bed and been operated.



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    I don't see the harm in jacking it all the way off the ground.
    The harm is some are not designed that way. They use the frame as part of the stabilizing system. You can bend the frame (or worse) if you lift it completely off the tires.

    BTW, when did you have that aerial of yours built? I saw something just like it when I was at the Pierce factory in Feb 02. If its the same one, I have some photos of it (someplace).
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    Default outrigger ops

    First, for safety and for legal reasons, you should definetly consult with the apparatus manufacturer. Civil suits come easy and the first thing the lawyer is going to say is "what does the manufacturer recommend".

    Operations do change from one brand to another, different years, and different aerial types ie. tower, midmount etc...

    Operating in-line with your apparatus is the safest position, but we all know that it is not always practical to do.
    The key is that you place your outriggers out to design an operating box or base. Interlock switches and degree of rotation safety devices are nice, but knowledge of what your doing will keep you safer than relying on idiot lights. Also a driver knowing his rig will be able to tell alot of the characteristics of it.

    Not sure of your terrain, but over half of our city is built on hills. Tires touching gives friction and allows the apparatus to stay put. Normal outriggers allow for a 5-6 degree correction, we have built ours to allow for 10 degree correction. Our apparatus have auxillary braking for the front, so if the back tires are off ground, then the front brakes are in holding the rig and the oppossite is true. We also have a groove to slide our plates onto the outriggers so that they can not come off in the event the aerial would walk (for those of you with hills you probably heard of this). And we have placed 1/2 of rubber on the bottoms of the plates for increased friction.

    Talk to the manufacturer. Design your rig or modify it for your area. Make sure operators are so proficient that they can see what needs done, and operate the rig safely even without idiot lights or switches. Preplan any area that you may have a problem.

    Dont just go with what you did somewhere else, or what some people want there. Investigate, design, and train with all of your people.

    Good Luck

    Jim

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    Great points. I've never seen this discussed here before.
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    Thanks Capt.

    I was just going by what it said on the front of the truck.
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    Actually, yes we had already contacted to dealer rep with little success in obtaining a solid answer. Only yesterday did the factory return our phone calls with a clear cut answer.... on the year and style of our truck we are instructed to lift the tires off the ground, thank you for your help.

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    all the way?> or just to get the bulge out ?>
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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    Originally posted by Dave1983


    The harm is some are not designed that way. They use the frame as part of the stabilizing system. You can bend the frame (or worse) if you lift it completely off the tires.

    BTW, when did you have that aerial of yours built? I saw something just like it when I was at the Pierce factory in Feb 02. If its the same one, I have some photos of it (someplace).
    Yeah, I guess you're right, Dave...I suppose the correct answer is to follow the manufacturer's recommendations. You can't go wrong that way.

    I was going to reply that I don't think it was our truck you saw, but I looked back through some of our photos at the time and I see it was completed in March '02. I couldn't remember if it was '02 or '03. So yes, in all likelihood it was our truck (not too many like that one)
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    I was going to reply that I don't think it was our truck you saw, but I looked back through some of our photos at the time and I see it was completed in March '02. I couldn't remember if it was '02 or '03. So yes, in all likelihood it was our truck (not too many like that one)
    Could very well be. Let me see if I can find that photo CD
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    Default Re: Jacking of aerial devices/ HELP!!!!

    I would agree to get the manufactures information. As a "good practice", get it in writing. CYA is all too important these days.

    Also, this caught my attention:

    Originally posted by NREMT272427
    Already we have experienced the jacks coming off the ground during operations when the truck was set to policy standards.
    I have only been working with a truck company for a short time and I am lucky enough to use an almost new E-One (no slamming or thread hijacks, please). But is it common to lift the jacks off the ground? Sounds to me like you are getting close to tipping that thing!!! If something is not normal or giving you an "expected reaction"...something is wrong. Lifting the jacks would qualify in my books.

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    Exclamation

    Originally posted by MacInnis
    Thanks Capt.

    I was just going by what it said on the front of the truck.


    Yeah I know about that. We had a Heinz 57 truck one time. It was a Continental on the International chassis and an American LaFrance 100 ft aerial on it. It sure was an ugly thing. It had Continental on the front of the truck. We knew that Continental didn’t make the aerial and they never had. Mack built great chassis’s. They did contract out to the companies that I mention for the aerial device. They actually used more Maxim’s and Pirsch than any other. They did use a German aerial Mangus; I think I spelled it right. Philly had a few of these. It was the chassis and the aerial part. There were very little compartments on the apparatus. When they started in the aerial scope business the first aerial part was made by Eaton, before Mack switched to Baker. Another note the first BUDD type chassis, that folks remember as Ford “C” class was first built by MACK!!

    Any way, you can’t really tell about what you see sometimes. You have to look at the whole picture. It is like the HME chassis, with a LTI aerial on a Ferrara built vehicle that we have. What is it? It is classified as a Ferrara.
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