Thread: Roof Ladders

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    Default Roof Ladders

    Needing to replace a 14 ft. roof ladder.
    Considering replacing it with a 16 ft.
    Roof ladder will be stowed with a 28 ft. 2 section extension ladder.
    Any pro's or con's about going with the longer roof ladder?

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    A good move. With the longer one you can do more. For dwellings with a porch roof it'll reach that roof. Look at December cover of Fire Engineering. It's an extension ladder but they didn't have to extend it. If two bedrooms face the front that one ladder is covering two rooms. It can also reach many second floor windows. It's still a one man throw so you don't need another person to use it.
    Last edited by len1582; 08-06-2010 at 03:15 PM.

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    Default sweet 16's

    Go with the 16. If you have the body length on your rig for the 16, it make a lot of sense. That straight/roof ladder will get the sill of the second floor of 99% of our residentials, even the old balloons on a 36" foundation. The extra 2 feet has another feature. The lower angel of the ladder at the sill will also provide more safety if you are in a hurry out the window.
    As a roof ladder, you have a better chance of hooking the peak and resting the spurrs on the top plate/gutter, adding more protection from a weak roof.

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    That straight/roof ladder will get the sill of the second floor of 99% of our residentials
    That is a key thing to look at in your area. A 16' ladder is too long for my area for second floors, it puts the ladder over the window.
    "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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    Bones.... What do you usually use for a 2nd floor?

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    We love the sixteen foot roof. For us, a majority of the time, it's the first ladder off of the truck. We use it most often like Len described - to the porch roof, giving access to two upstairs bedrooms, and within hook reach of the attic windows. Also it's light and maneuverable enough that one guy can set it up. If you can fit it, I'd say go for it.
    The opinions expressed in this post are well-reasoned and insightful. Needless to say, they are not the opinions of the government that I work for.

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    Parts of town, a 14' roof ladder. Other parts, a 24' extension.

    We could probably get away with carrying both the 14' and a 16', but we'd run out of bracket space. There is 1 16' roof ladder on the departments aerial but it's not used too often. Everything else carries a 14' and a 24'.

    To add, with new building codes, I have some houses where the first floor window sills are 12' from the ground. 10' from ground to floor, 2' for the window sill. That is becoming more common in my area. (someone's worried about a flood or something )
    "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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    14' and 24' makes sence. You gotta use what works for you.


    I'll check that out next time I'm walking to the Tiki Bar.

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    Thanks for all the replies.
    I think that sometimes "we"(smaller dept's) comprimise with equipment and tooling, and the end result causes failures at either end. Too short or too long when trying to find that middle area.

    I would like for the 16 ft. roof ladder to double as a wall ladder and make access to second floor window sills. As Bones42 said, there will be instances where the 16 will be too tall, extending into/over a window at normal climbing angle.
    With a lower angle, will make for a good escape slide like ff38jmd mentions.

    During this purchase evaluation, the main thing we're trying to keep in focus is what will the be the primary reason for the ladder. The main reason for the 16 ft. roof ladder is for roofs in our area. The 14 ft. seems about useless. It needs to be moved up to the peak, and it's too short for safety from the eave/facia/horizontal lower edge.

    The 16 ft. will stow on the Engine o.k.
    Might have room on the rack to keep the 14 ft. also. Or, get a single section wall ladder in the 14 ft. range.
    Current set-up on the Beast Engine is a "robbed" 3 section 30 ft. (14'-6"closed, 158 lbs.) with the 14 ft. roof. The other 3 section failed and is permanently O.O.S.
    It worked out well that the ladder failed during test and not on-scene.
    Looking at a 28' 2 section.

    Could make things easy and get a ladder/tower truck

    Like they say, you can stretch hose but not ladders.

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    Default Roof Ladder

    It sounds like you are looking at the 16 ft. ladder to be used more as a roof ladder than a straight ladder, but here are a couple considerations.

    First, ladders above all mean life, they are more importantly used for access and egress of the fire building for firefighters and civilians. If you have limited ladders on the fire ground you should then look to purchase the ones that will perform best under these circumstances. You really need to make the decision based on the buildings in your area. Older residential homes typically have a front porch that provides great access, a 16 works great here. Your 28 and 16 give you access from the street to the porch roof and the porch roof to the peak, and you can throw them and be up there before the aerial ladder is out of the bed. Now if you work in an area with newer homes they often only have a small decorative front porch which is not good for access, therefore your approach will probably be on the side of the building with your 28 and then hook the 16 on the roof, here the reach of the 16 helps get the hooks over the ridge. If you mainly get to the roof from the aerial ladder, then a 14 sometimes is a little easier to manuever and the reach isnt as important. So it depends on where you make your access to the roof. We normally use the porch roof, go up from there and straddle the roof, halligan for a quick foot hold and make the cut, just what works best for us. Remember if you work on mainly new construction, you should rethink your roof work all together, first approach should be from aerial device, or work alternative openings. Lastly, look at your buildings, someone already mentioned this but some areas have housing plans with similiar layouts and many times the 16 is too high and has to be set too shallow.

    Also remember a 28 two section and a 16 straight are the same length if you dont extend the two section, a 24 two section is 14 feet without being extended, maybe a 24 and a 16 would work better, something to think about. Extension ladder on the outside too, ladders for life.

    Be Safe

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    For the reasons states in several posts above we carry 28 2 section, 14 and 16 roof ladders on 3 of our engines.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    PITT8TRUCK,
    Thanks for the input about a 24 and 16. Was thinking about that after posting yesterday.
    Broke out the tape measure on my house. Older house with taller windows and small wall space between second floor window sill and second story floor line. Due to land grading, on one side a 16 and a 14 would both be no good due to shallow angle. Directly on the other side, a 14 might be do-able.
    Both sides were measured using a scenario that you needed to have the ladder tips at the window sill for entry and/or egress.
    The neighbors have a two story newer house, few years old, lightweight const. Extreme grading from one side of house to the other. A 16 or 14 would work due to grading and window sills. Still a shallow angle but not too bad.

    MG3610,
    I couldn't tell from the picture, but are all three ladders stacked on the rack? Or is there two stacked on the side and another elsewhere?

    We don't have a ladder/tower truck. Mutual aid for one is at least 20 min. away.
    A 16 ft roof ladder would span most roofs coming to the eave.
    Residential buildings a mix of tall two-story farmhouses with steep pitches, ranch, double and single wides, tri-levels.
    A couple multi-story school buildings.
    Older village consists of multi-story commercial buildings(stores, upper levels usually apartments).

    I think having a few multiple ladders would be better than relying on bare minimum sizes expected to do all.
    I would hate to get into situations where a ladder is a few feet too short, or too tall.

    I personally like the 3 section 30 ft ladder(solid beam), due to the stored length(14'7"?) and extended reach. The weight isn't too bad to me. I've deployed and raised it a few times myself. But others and higher up's want a two section for replacement.

    Extension ladder to get to the roof, upper windows, porches and gables.
    Roof ladder to straddle the roof, access porch and upper windows.
    Shorter ladder(roof and/or wall type) to access typical residential second story windows.

    Or, we can get a hitch mounted under the tailboard and tow a dedicated ladder trailer.

  13. #13
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    We have a 16ft roof, and a 3 section 35 on our engines...it's a ridiculous setup, but it's necessary with our response area.
    'Adversus incendia excubias nocturnas vigilesque commentus est"

    www.vententersearch.com

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    The ladder rack has 11" bracket arms from Zico. The 16 on the inside, 14 in middle and then 28 on the outside.

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