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  1. #1
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    Default Purchasing First Aerial. Help Please!

    My department is currently in the process of purchasing it's first aerial device. We are seriously considering a Sutphen 70 foot platform. This unit will be our first out engine and have aerial capabilities, (Quint) It will carry 500 gallons of water with a foam system and is on a single axle chaise.
    As a member of our truck committee I am looking for some input from anyone who has one, or has worked on such a unit. We are looking for pros & cons, must have options, performance, reliability, maintenance, and task assignments ( first in engine or aerial), or Sutphen as a manufacturer.


  2. #2
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Congrats on getting your first stick ( even though it's a quint )
    Things you should be checking prior to specing the rig
    • What is the tallest building in your response district?
    • What is the setback of buildings in your response district?
    • Can the rig fit into the station?
    ‎"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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  3. #3
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    Post Quints

    My dept purchased a 75' quint on a whim 5 years ago. There was no real apparatus committee. I think is what hurts us most is: 75' is not really enough. When you consider collapse zone (1.5x height bldg). So a 3 story bldg is almost out of reach if you were to have the proper collapse zone. The unit was a "demo" so we were restricted on what upgrades we could make. We are a fairly small dept and the thought was it would be nice to have a multi purpose unit. It has suited us well. We started running it first out on MVA's and all fire related calls. I think the main idea was it had a stick which we needed, and it was fairly light so we could use it in our rural setting as well as suburban. We have buried it once in the rural contract we serve but no damage was done. We now have taken delivery of an engine and the quint stays for MVA's but is first out on fire alarms and structure fires. The engine is first out on car fires, gas odors, and spills.

    I was on a dept in Ct which had a 95' sutphen tower and I absolutely loved it. We repelled out of the bucket, it was awesome for lifting patient from roofs and below grade rescue. The bucket was spacious enough for 2 firefighters to work. I think it was a 1989 model and it's still in use to this date. I know of a neighboring dept which has a pierce and they have had several issues.

    Good luck and do a search in the forums for apparatus purchasing. There are some wonderful pointers!!

  4. #4
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    I think you might want to add an axle. I've worked on two different 75' rear-mount quints. One is a single axle, one is a tandem axle. Both companies run about 1500 calls per year. The single axle gets its brakes and springs replaced about 3 x as often as the tandem axle. The tandem axle stops better, and rides better as well.

    The only down side is that it is a little bit longer.

    Gonz is right though, 75' doesn't get you much in terms of aerial operations unless most of your structures are built right on the street.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
    makes good girls go bad BLSboy's Avatar
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    To pretty much echo on what has been said....

    What type of structures are in your first due?
    What are your streets like?
    What can you afford?

    Orlando has used Sutphen for the past....well forever, and all of their Firemen I have talked to love them. If RPFerry, or one of the OFD guys cares to weigh in here, you can get first hand info.
    I looked at on at Firehouse Central, and I was impressed.

    I am in Driver training right now for our single axle 75 ft rear mount QUINT. It has an excellent turning radius, and handles well, considering most of our streets are narrow, and have tight turns.

    Try to get the manufacturers to come out to your city, and drive their apparatus around, see how they handle, and how they can work in your first due.

    Any questions, feel free to PM me, and I can help ya out, since we have a QUINT as on of our first due.
    AJ, MICP, FireMedic
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    This message has been made longer, in part from a grant from the You Are a Freaking Moron Foundation.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimLeB View Post
    My department is currently in the process of purchasing it's first aerial device. We are seriously considering a Sutphen 70 foot platform. This unit will be our first out engine and have aerial capabilities, (Quint) It will carry 500 gallons of water with a foam system and is on a single axle CHAISE.
    As a member of our truck committee I am looking for some input from anyone who has one, or has worked on such a unit. We are looking for pros & cons, must have options, performance, reliability, maintenance, and task assignments ( first in engine or aerial), or Sutphen as a manufacturer.
    Personally I like a wicker, or rattan chaise below my behind, depends on the humidity.

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    Default oops

    lol, sorry "chassis"

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    Forum Member KnightnPBIArmor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Congrats on getting your first stick ( even though it's a quint )
    Things you should be checking prior to specing the rig
    • What is the tallest building in your response district?
    • What is the setback of buildings in your response district?
    • Can the rig fit into the station?
    What Gonz and the others said, but might also add not only consider what is the tallest building in your district NOW, but what the tallest one could possibly be 10 or 15 years from now...a stick should be a long-term investment, and it would be a shame for the town to outgrow it's capability before it's service life is over.

  9. #9
    Forum Member KnightnPBIArmor's Avatar
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    Also if I may suggest something based on our department's experience: to each his own, but I would stay away from a platform with a rear turntable where the bucket is out in front of the cab...we have a 100' Ferrara/Smeal in this configuration, and the drivers's complain about how the bucket blocks forward and upward vision, such as when sitting at traffic lights or sizing up upper floors as the unit arrives.

  10. #10
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    I think that in a perfect world i'd rather have a mid-mount aerial as well.

    Straight stick, though.

    No dumpster on the end.

    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    Buy something thats rated for heavy weight. Meaning a tandem rear axle rig. In Hoboken they have single axle rear mounts, but they need to cause of the streets being so narrow. I would hire an expert and have him look at your area. Turning radius and load capability are all important as well as if it will fit in your building. Its gonna be a million bucks, might as well get what's going to last.

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber JHR1985's Avatar
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    Sutphen makes great trucks. Worked around a 87 Engine and an 88 Quint that were Sutphen and besides leaking a lil oil, they both ran like champs.

    Now, a 70ft platform.... sorry but that sounds stupid.

    I used to work with a 75ft quint and that thing could barely reach the 4th floor of a high rise. Its been said... try to think ahead. Then again, you may be by even buying a quint.

    Single Axle means you have to watch the weight but you will save on tires. Had a dual axle 75ft quint that ate tires every 5000 miles but a with a single axle, your gonna need to watch the Axles.

    Best deal is to go see other departments and find out what they use with the pro's/con's.

    Personally, if you got fat fireman, a quint isnt the way to go. Ladder is narrower and there fat asses might not fit.
    The Box. You opened it. We Came...

    "You'll take my life but I'll take your's too. You'll fire musket but I'll run you through. So when your waiting for the next attack, you'll better understand there's no turn back."

  13. #13
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    We just currently went through this as well. We have opted for just a 75' ladder instead of going with the 70' sutphen platform. One of the main reasons was the fact that you can not short jack with the 70' sutphen. Also the stabilizers are automatic we didnt care for this when you were trying to set the truck up in a tight area. It was a nice truck but those are some of the reasons we chose otherwise..

  14. #14
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    I work on a quint and no I am not a fan of the idea, but I am not the Chief.....that being said, I have actually worked off a couple different e-one designs and a seagrave.....

    If you guys choose to go with a rear mount stick, here are some things to think about.....
    Like all quints, you give up a lot of compartment space to make room for the pump and tank. Think about what you would like to have on board and then rethink about what you are really going to need.
    The midmounts I have seen have even less compartment space. If you are one of those dept's that carries every piece of equipment on a rig that ISO says you need, you will need to evaluate who has the most room.
    Think about your hose bed....most newer designs place a deep channel to one side of the rig to carry all your supply line. You loose the high side compartment space, but you are nearly 100% less likely to have hose hang up under the platform. It also make sit much easier to reload hose.
    I don't know much about tandem axle 75' rigs, but have worked off of tandem axel 95' ers...off course these rigs are quite a bit longer.
    Our Seagrave has a great turning radius which is important when in congested areas, plus it's easier in culdesacs.
    The ladder tip hangs out pretty far on the Seagrave, but the e-one's don't go out past the bumper. The e-one is however a little longer than the seagrave.
    I disagree about the ladder width...I am 6' 210 and have no problems on the last fly, unlike our 100' straight sticks where the last fly is pretty tight.
    Many Quints are sold with a 300 gal tank........If this is going to be a first out rig, try to go with 500 gal.
    I have worked off of 3 e-ones from my last dept and 2 e-ones and a seagrave at my current job.
    All the e-one's from both jobs ranging from early 90's to current are about the same. Cheap and prone to lots of rattling and breakage.
    The seagrave has a much nicer fit and finish with doors that close solid.
    I could go on and on.........
    Due to the weight of the rig and all the stuff you are going to put on it be prepared to spend more money, annually, on breaks, tires, belts...whatever.

    If you are serious about buying a new aerial, spend the money and send your spec guys to a FDIC convention where you can see a lot of manufacturers and designs....Don't settle for the lowest bid! Call around.. Talk to other FD's....talk to the St.Louis guys.....they know Quints maybe better than anyone.
    Last edited by ehs7554; 03-11-2008 at 12:48 AM.

  15. #15
    makes good girls go bad BLSboy's Avatar
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    What about sacrificing the bucket, stay with the mid mount, and gain an extra 5 ft?
    http://www.sutphen.com/TruckCategory.asp?CatID=5
    AJ, MICP, FireMedic
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    This message has been made longer, in part from a grant from the You Are a Freaking Moron Foundation.

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    same problems with the sl75 as you have with the sp70.... cant short jack and automatic stabilizers..... we really liked the sutphen too.... matter of fact im sure our next pumper will be a sutphen

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    I've been on Smeal, Ferrera, and Pierce Quint ladders and they are all smaller than an actual ladder truck.

    Your having to opt with a lighter ladder due to the weight of the pump, water, and such
    The Box. You opened it. We Came...

    "You'll take my life but I'll take your's too. You'll fire musket but I'll run you through. So when your waiting for the next attack, you'll better understand there's no turn back."

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    Dont listen to anyone that is basing their OPINION off of an 88 sutphen that they worked on. This is 2008, call Mike Wilbur and ask him to consult for you. Spend the 5-10k on it before hand so you dont worry about it after the fact. Just remember, for the million you spend on a truck you can buy two engines, so dont think you should take this out on every BS run you get.

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    Thanks for all the great info and feed back. I forgot to mention that it will be a mid mount platform, Sutphen do not make a rear mount. Our Chief wants to use it more as an engine to replace the 20 year old piece of junk we have now. Our community is growing and we do need some type of aerial capability. Kill 2 birds with one stone and get a single axel quint. Maybe that's why he is the Chief! Not!.....

    What should we be looking for with respect to options? Bucket air, hydraulic generator, disc brakes, inter-com, rear camera, remote controlled nozzle, etc..

  20. #20
    makes good girls go bad BLSboy's Avatar
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    Brother, what kind of occupancies will be in your first due?

    A little tip I picked up...

    DON'T SPOT YOUR QUINT AS AN ENGINE!
    If you spot as an Engine, then you loose the ladder. All you end up with is a fancy Engine.
    AJ, MICP, FireMedic
    Member, IACOJ.
    FTM-PTB-EGH-DTRT-RFB-KTF
    This message has been made longer, in part from a grant from the You Are a Freaking Moron Foundation.

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