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  1. #1
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    Default 10 most important things in a ladder truck

    Hey everyone,
    Our department is replacing our 20 year old mid mount platform. We are a suburban department that only runs 400-500 fire calls a year. We are coming up with a list of important things that we need/want, however I would like to get some other opinions from other people who might recommend something that we have not yet thought about...

    So here is a simple question. If you were ordering a 100ft mid mount platform, what are the 10 most important things to you? Please don't talk about what brand of truck you would like, just what you would like to have on it.
    Thank you!


  2. #2
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    Default Tail Slap

    That's a very good question:

    I would have to say that one thing I'd wish we'd Spec was a Back-Up Camera (allows you to keep an eye on he the rear of the rig)!

    In addition to that would be Hale E-MIV on 6" Officer's Side Intake.

    Good Luck
    GB

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber Golzy12's Avatar
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    Are you form Hopkins MN?

  4. #4
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    Default

    Are asking for features on the aerial or equipment (ie; saws, hooks)?

  5. #5
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    Lightbulb

    -shortest distance from body to front of bucket when on the ground 90 degrees to the body
    -Bucket with "lip edge" around three sides
    -smallest jack-stance/footprint for set-up
    -Inward swinging bucket doors with one operation latches
    -single manual hand tiller bar gun
    -lots of ground ladders and hooks
    -Intercom system that works in the cab, at the turntable and in the bucket
    -extendable "focus" style light on the rear of the bucket as well as recessed under the bucket
    -roll-up doors
    -flat roofed cab!!

    That's 10 quickies.

  6. #6
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Firefighters. Everything else comes second.
    "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?

  7. #7
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Firefighters. Everything else comes second.
    Damn it Bones...ya beat me to it.

    I was going to say 5 firefighters, an officer and a driver. That makes 7 so add an aerial device, ground ladders and tools and there you have it.

    FyredUp

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Damn it Bones...ya beat me to it.

    I was going to say 5 firefighters, an officer and a driver. That makes 7 so add an aerial device, ground ladders and tools and there you have it.

    FyredUp
    Just make sure you don't wreck it by putting a pump on it.

  9. #9
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasper45 View Post
    Just make sure you don't wreck it by putting a pump on it.
    My brother from across the border...I would think you would know I would know better than to do something so heinous as to do that to a ladder truck!!

    We still need to get together and solve all of milwaukee county's fire related problems...

    FyredUp

  10. #10
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    A 10 K hydro generator , Led lighting, Fed Q2 siren ,HD painted Steel Bumper,roof ladder stored on the rails, 5" hose bed !...
    Last edited by NewJerseyFFII; 08-20-2007 at 07:43 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by NewJerseyFFII View Post
    A 10 K hydro generator , Led lighting, Fed Q2 siren ,HD painted Steel Bumper,roof ladder stored on the rails, 5" hose bed !...
    Are Q2B's still an option? No fire truck should ever be built without one!

  12. #12
    Forum Member BCmdepas3280's Avatar
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    Default

    Top 10 List

    1 Engine
    2 Ladder
    3 Transmission
    4 Seats (4)
    5 Steering Wheel In front
    6 Steering Wheel In back
    7 Tires
    8 Doors
    9 Headlight among others
    10 Windshield

    KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid)

    It must get you there and work without breaking down
    IACOJ Membership 2002
    {15}

    Mike IAFF

    The beatings will continue until the morale improves

  13. #13
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    Default Top 10

    Top 10 in no certain order:

    1. Combination back-up aerial camera (you can do that on a midmount).
    2. Loads of lighting on the platform so it can double as a light tower.
    3. Parapet ladder attachment points.
    4. Illuminated climbing rungs.
    5. Moveable platform operating controls.
    6. Multiplexed electrical system.
    7. The biggest engine you can fit in the chassis.
    8. Lots of compartment space (midmounts can shortchange you in this area).
    9. High approach and departure angle.
    10. LED lighting.

  14. #14
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    Talking

    A Load, Rappelling arm or attachment point that is accessible from inside the bucket.

    “Bi-fold doors” on the bucket that will allow you to actually butt right up to a building and still open the door to get someone in without the door protruding excessively into the bucket interior (Look at the style Smeal has for reference).

    “The PUMP”: GET ONE. Price it with and without if you want to see the difference, you will be surprised how little it will add for the “backup” capabilities you will get in return. And remember a pump and plumbing also act as ballast and the stability difference on two “same-same” trucks, one with a pump and one without; IS HUGE. That is a FACT.

    Watch the rear overhang: and yes compartment space is great but it won’t do you a bit of good when the truck is in the shop, out of service because someone regularly drags or slaps the ***** end into something. Give up some compartment space at the rear – trust me.

    Get a Pressure Governor. DDEFC if you get a Detroit engine. Class 1 or FRC if using another engine.

    Do not get an air-ride driver seat, after all, think about how long you will be in it. Do get tilt steering.

    Get a 3 stage Jake.

    GET A FRONT “SERVICE BRAKE”!

    Get “interaxle lock” – which on a tandem set up locks both the front a rear tandem into drive mode.

    If it isn’t much more $$, get “differential lock” which provides extra traction on the forward (default drive) tandem (mimics limited slip – posi when switched on)

    Get some damn good training, TL

  15. #15
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    Default 10 MOST Important Things In A Mid Mount Platform

    Here's my 2 cents worth;
    Chassis:
    Air Ride Suspension
    Maximum Retarding Performance-Depending on Grades (Hills, Speed)

    1. Consider Horizontal Reach at lower angles not just 100 ft. at Maximum Elevation.
    2. Platform Design; Size (SqFt) Bi-Fold Gates, Egress, Control Station Location
    3. Waterway Flow Capability-1 or 2 Monitors?
    4. Stabilizer Set Up and Short Jacking Capability Auto Levelling?
    5. Rear and Curb (Officers) Side Camera for Driver
    6. Body Design to minimize "Tailswing"
    7. Ladder Section Overlap (Closeness to Ground at 90 deg)
    8. Rappelling Arm (High Angle Use)
    9. Pump (I know I know.. BUT at least it can supply itself if necesssary)
    10. A reputable builder-The same manufacturer of the apparatus builds the aerial.

  16. #16
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    Default

    Some random questions for those who have posted:

    Why do you want bi-fold doors? Is this because it is what the aerails you sell offer or can you offer us a sound reason on the benefit?

    A 10 Kw generator? WHy not 8kw or 15? How about speccing the one that meets the electrical need or even just a little less?

    I'm not trying to be arguementative, just understand the rationale.

    NJFFII: Good call on the roof ladder in the fly section, we got this and two hooks, all can be reached from the bucket!

    And Tim probably hit on the biggest thing: Good training. We built an outside aerial trainer in to our contract. Nothing worse than spending $750K and not using it to its full potential.

  17. #17
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    Some random questions for those who have posted:

    Why do you want bi-fold doors? Is this because it is what the aerails you sell offer or can you offer us a sound reason on the benefit? And Tim probably hit on the biggest thing: Good training. We built an outside aerial trainer in to our contract. Nothing worse than spending $750K and not using it to its full potential.
    Quote Originally Posted by SSIaerialmanTIM
    “Bi-fold doors” on the bucket that will allow you to actually butt right up to a building and still open the door to get someone in without the door protruding excessively into the bucket interior.
    A double action door will allow what I said above RFDACM. Not the type of truck I sell, (I don't sell for anyone, actually never have) but a major advantage I think when close up. So guys don't think I am pushing who I mentioned, but they have a great example of just such a door with a very safe positive latching mechnanism.

    Yep, nothing worse than a trainer who hates his job or just doesn't care enough to be anallyconsistent, but still have a good time. The last thing you need is a person who will spend 3 days in a noncommittal fashion (spending more time protecting the factory “don’t tie me down” policy) or describing the city the aerial is built in. TL

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    A 10 Kw generator? WHy not 8kw or 15? How about speccing the one that meets the electrical need or even just a little less?

    To meet ISO/NFPA I believe you need at least a 10kw it is at least 8kw. To run the electrical equipment most trucks (ladder companies) are carrying today you need all of the 8kw. Throw an electric extrication pump on it and may really want to move to the 15kw. When we spec'd our tower we went to the 15kw for all of these reasons. We started at the 8kw and quickly moved up to the 10kw simply because there was only a very small price increase. We requested the 15 as an option and once we got an electric draw report we went to the 15kw.

  19. #19
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    Tim: Sorry to come off harsh, must of been my lack of coffee this a.m.
    My thoughts on the doors are that the two fold door is not as readily opened in an emergency bail out of the building or from the roof. While the single inswing does arc across a bit of floor area it is not hard to get out of the way unless you're really loading up the bucket. Also, anytime you have bifold anything you end up with crushed fingertips as many of us cannot do two things at once like open the door and remove our hand from the inside surface!

    On the training part, we were fortunate to have a great factory trainer. He was thorough, consistent and had the answers to every question I heard asked. He even gave us his cell number for the issues that might arise that no one had or could remember the answer too. But, I was actually talking about bringing in a tactical trainer from some place that does alot of decent aerial work. Someone who can evaluate how you operate and really make you put your crew and new truck through their paces. If your dept. is switching aerial types, or you just don't get lot of fly time, it may be beneficial to have an outsider take a look at how you operate. Of course if you can't stand anyone telling you you're wrong or not objective you should save the taxpayers the extra dough. We use Mike Wilbur and always feel like we got more than we paid for.

    And lastly, HOPKINSFIRE: As I noted we used Mike Wilbur and Tom Shand as our apparatus architects. We found their line about: "you wouldn't spend 3/4 of a million on a station addition without an architect, what makes you think you can buy a $750 aerial without one". They were right on, most of us will spec one, maybe two aerials in a career, how good can we be at it? Of course the salesman will "help" you buy what you "need". Using an apparatus designer/architect usually opens your eyes to the "we didn't know what we didn't know" principle.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tower47 View Post
    To meet ISO/NFPA I believe you need at least a 10kw it is at least 8kw. To run the electrical equipment most trucks (ladder companies) are carrying today you need all of the 8kw. Throw an electric extrication pump on it and may really want to move to the 15kw. When we spec'd our tower we went to the 15kw for all of these reasons. We started at the 8kw and quickly moved up to the 10kw simply because there was only a very small price increase. We requested the 15 as an option and once we got an electric draw report we went to the 15kw.
    A generator technician explained very well to us that one of the issues with buying the next size up generators is that most of them need to run under a full load often to run well for their full life. They want to work, hard. If you oversize the unit and cannot test it under a full load once a month you may find it will not last nearly as long. Your small price increase fits right into the "bigger is better" philosophy that many dept's have and boy don't the salesmen eat it up! Of course if you factor in the reduced life of the underutilized generator with the modest increase in up front cost you may find that bigger isn't always better.
    I don't recall any minimum size for the generator in NFPA or ISO, but I haven't poked around there in awhile either.

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