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  1. #1
    Forum Member legeros's Avatar
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    Default Origin of Term "Service Ladder Truck" ?

    Does anyone know the origin of the term "service ladder truck?" I was wondering about this recently. It may have originated as the longer "city service ladder truck."

    The origin of "hook and ladder truck" is easy to trace, but I haven't come across anything explaining "service truck." If it is simply a shortened version of "city service truck," is the explanation as simple as the trucks were exclusively used in cities (versus small villages) that had taller buildings and thus longer ladder needs?

    mjl


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber E229Lt's Avatar
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    I believe "Service" companies are the way ISO defines what we know as Ladder or Truck companies.

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    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    A "service ladder truck" was a fire truck that carried a large complement of ground ladders, but did not have a powered aerial ladder on the chassis.

    Some of them were equipped with hose, a pump and a small water tank. They were known as "quads"
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    MembersZone Subscriber EFD840's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E229Lt
    I believe "Service" companies are the way ISO defines what we know as Ladder or Truck companies.
    If you're talking ISO requirements, I think the Lt's answer is going to be pretty close. If you don't have an aerial vehicle, the equipment carried on another vehicle (other than an engine that's already been counted towards your pumping requirements) can be counted towards your truck company requirements. A good example is a heavy rescue. ISO doesn't care one whit about a department's technical rescue capabilites but most rescues carry ladders, forcible entry tools, saws, and various other truckie tools. If you've got one and it goes to your structure fires, in ISO's eyes you've got a service company. If ISO says you need a stick and you don't have one, the credit won't be the same but it will still help.

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    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    A service ladder truck was just that. It had all the good stuff a ladder truck should have, except an aerial ladder. It was built on a straight chassis, making it a long truck and you needed plenty of street to get this thing around a corner. This vehicle should not be confused with a Quad. A Quad was a type of vehicle that had the ground ladders, hose bead, pump and tank but not an Aerial. Had it had an aerial then it would have been called a Quint.

    Service ladders were use in towns and areas that did had building in height to justify an aerial ladder truck. Most is not all building were accessible by using ground ladders. Most service ladder trucks did carry a 50 foot pole ladder. I havenít seen any service ladder is years. I may have photos of them some where in my files.
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    Cary FD (OH, NC? the site doesn't say) still runs a service truck, personally I think it is a good concept, lots of towns don't need or can't justify an aeriel but everybody can use lots of ladders and a company devoted to truck operations.

    1950's

    http://www.legeros.com/ralwake/galle...1957-chevy.jpg


    1970's

    http://www.legeros.com/ralwake/galle...y-1975-gmc.jpg


    1990's

    http://www.legeros.com/ralwake/galle...-1995-mack.jpg


    This is the only example I've been able to find though.

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    Ha! Somebody besides CDF has a cappucino machine too!

    By the time that thing gets to the fire, it's probably over and done

    Birken

  8. #8
    Forum Member jlcooke3's Avatar
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    We still run a service truck as a reserve piece and it wasn't that long ago that it was run as a first out piece.

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    Louiaiana Property Insurance Rating systgem still requires a "service" truck at each station. All the equipment required can be on a rescue, ladder or even on a tanker (we have one tanker that carries all the "service truck" equipment for that station.

    Equjipment includes:
    (6) SCBA and (6) spare bottles
    Chainsaw
    K-12 Saw
    Acetylene Torch
    (4) Pike poles at least 4' in length
    PPV Fan
    (8) Salvage Covers
    Generator and Lights
    A few other odds and ends

    At one station, the heavy rescue is the service truck. At another it's the mini-pumper as it carries all of the above. At a third it's the light rescue. A fourth it's a stand alone service truck (pickup) and at the fifth it's the tanker.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 10-05-2006 at 10:43 PM.

  10. #10
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Talking Huh??................

    DAMN........ And all this time, I've been thinking that a Service Truck is that utility body pickup that the Shop guy brings out when something breaks down on a run....
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    Forum Member fireman4949's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods
    DAMN........ And all this time, I've been thinking that a Service Truck is that utility body pickup that the Shop guy brings out when something breaks down on a run....
    Ahh...You mean the truck that carries any, and every replacement truck part imaginable, except for the one the mechanic actually needs?!

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    Default Strike Team Trucks

    I believe that at one point Indianoplis ran something called strike team trucks, whichwere bascialy IH 4400s with a flat bed. they just tied the ladders on and drove. It had no tools, but the most ground ladders I have ever seen.

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    Forum Member Res343cue's Avatar
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    I guess some heavy rescues might count as a "service company" then. I've seen one or two with ladder racks on both sides... carrying something like (2) 2 section 35's, (4) 2 section 28s, (2) 12 foot roof ladders, (2) 20 foot roof ladders, etc. Nice tool to have on the heavy rescue, and it didn't add all that much height too it either.
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    Default

    Sorry to thread jack but, I don't seem to be able to post a new thread, and since this is what got me thinking about it and is somewhat related I'll try it here.

    As of 1999 the NFPA minimum complement of ground ladders on a truck has been reduced to 115 feet made up of 2 extension ladders, 2 straight ladders with folding hooks (roof ladders) and 1 attic ladder. Quints now only have to carry 85' made up of one of each of the above ladders.

    Can anyone post the pre-1999 standard? I know it was a total 163 feet, and it spelled out the sizes and types to be carried but I don't remember the actual makeup. I have the 2000 edition of the IFSTA aerial apparatus book and was surprised the ground ladder requirement had been cut back so much, I don't have an older edition to compare with anymore.

    Also curious about the ground ladder complement of some of the large cities that run dedicated truck companies (LA, NYC, Chicago etc), I seem to recall many carry in excess of 300 feet.

    Thanks

  15. #15
    Forum Member legeros's Avatar
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    Belated reply to my original question.

    I might have found the answer reading Matthew "Matt" Lee's excellent "A Pictorial History of Seagrave Fire Apparatus." The 2006 version, that is, again self-published for the occasion of the company's 125th anniversary.

    Let's go back in time to the days of hand-drawn ladder trucks. Lee notes on page 15 that "plain, unsprung ladder trucks" were "referred to as village ladder trucks." And "as the weight and size of the trucks grew," they became "city service ladder trucks."

    The trucks grew in size, we can infer, because they added features desirable for larger towns, taller buildings, and heavier usage. e.g., longer ladders, more equipment, wheel springs, rear tillers assemblies, etc.

    Ergo, these ladder trucks were designed for service in a city. Or city service. And thus became known as city service ladder trucks. And which became shortened over time to service ladder trucks, or even service trucks.

    What do you think? Sounds plausible to me.

    mjl

  16. #16
    Forum Member FiremanLyman's Avatar
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    In the old hand drawn and bucket days, some cities would place fire sheds strategically throughout the town. They would hold ladders, hooks and tools needed for firefighting. The idea finally failed as people would "borrow" ladders from the cache and not return them. This lead to the first hook and ladder companies... which turned into truck companies. Don't know if this is part of the story of service ladder trucks, but it sure adds to the idea.

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    MembersZone Subscriber tree68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    DAMN........ And all this time, I've been thinking that a Service Truck is that utility body pickup that the Shop guy brings out when something breaks down on a run....
    I think you guys refer to them as "special service." I know I hear the term a lot on your dispatches. I get the impression it can be either a truck or a squad.

    As for the term "service ladder truck," I've almost always heard the term "city service ladder truck" used.
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  18. #18
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Yep.........

    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    I think you guys refer to them as "special service." I know I hear the term a lot on your dispatches. I get the impression it can be either a truck or a squad.

    As for the term "service ladder truck," I've almost always heard the term "city service ladder truck" used.


    Several Answers to questions posed earlier.....

    1. The "Cary" Referred to is Cary, NC.......... The FD web page on the City's website shows the Mack referred to above....

    2. Everything that I've been able to dig up fits in with what Capt Oldtimer said earlier. "City Service Ladder Truck" was the first descriptive term used back in the Hand or Horse Drawn era.

    3. Many Dispatch agencies in the Mid Atlantic refer to any Ladder or Rescue Company as a "Special Service" Company......
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  19. #19
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    DAMN........ And all this time, I've been thinking that a Service Truck is that utility body pickup that the Shop guy brings out when something breaks down on a run....
    it IS in La,Read the LIST,hehe T.C.

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    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EFD840 View Post
    If you're talking ISO requirements, I think the Lt's answer is going to be pretty close. If you don't have an aerial vehicle, the equipment carried on another vehicle (other than an engine that's already been counted towards your pumping requirements) can be counted towards your truck company requirements. A good example is a heavy rescue. ISO doesn't care one whit about a department's technical rescue capabilites but most rescues carry ladders, forcible entry tools, saws, and various other truckie tools. If you've got one and it goes to your structure fires, in ISO's eyes you've got a service company. If ISO says you need a stick and you don't have one, the credit won't be the same but it will still help.
    This is the answer that makes the most sense to me, at least from an ISO standpoint (or PIAL, in Louisiana's case).


    Louiaiana Property Insurance Rating systgem still requires a "service" truck at each station. All the equipment required can be on a rescue, ladder or even on a tanker (we have one tanker that carries all the "service truck" equipment for that station.

    Equjipment includes:
    (6) SCBA and (6) spare bottles
    Chainsaw
    K-12 Saw
    Acetylene Torch
    (4) Pike poles at least 4' in length
    PPV Fan
    (8) Salvage Covers
    Generator and Lights
    A few other odds and ends

    At one station, the heavy rescue is the service truck. At another it's the mini-pumper as it carries all of the above. At a third it's the light rescue. A fourth it's a stand alone service truck (pickup) and at the fifth it's the tanker
    That about sums it up. Any vehicle that carries the above equipment (and isn't being counted as a responding engine) gets credit as a "Service" apparatus, whether it's a rescue truck, a pickup truck, an old panel van, or whatever. Any structure fire response should have a service truck included in the first alarm to receive credit (the way our system is interpreted, anyway)

    Now, if your district has a certain number of buildings above a certain height (3 or more stories, I believe), an actual ladder truck also has to be part of the response. However, if you don't happen to have enough such buildings to require a ladder truck, but happen to own one anyway, you could outfit it with service company equipment and have it respond as a "service/ladder" company. That meets the requirement for a service company.

    That's the first thing I thought about when I read the question, anyway.
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