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Mid-Mount Tower vs Rear Mount Straight Ladder

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  • Mid-Mount Tower vs Rear Mount Straight Ladder

    I am sure this is a topic that has been discussed on these forums before, being new to this forum I wanted to gather some imformation as to the pros and cons of these types of ladder trucks.
    We are are small all volunteer department in Maryland that will soon need to replace a 1996 Spartan/Aerial Innovations(could be wrong on the name as they are out of business and were located in Alabama) 75' Quint Rear Mount, 400 gallon tank, 1250 pump. Although this unit somewhat serves our needs adaquately we really do need a longer ladder and need to keep a quint type of unit. The standards for our county have also changed and we now need a min. 95' ladder to meet the current standards. This has restricted our quint responses to mostly our first due and we miss out on a number of incidents with the 75' ladder. Most of our first due is rural and non-hydrant. We do have limited access because of narrow drives with some of our first due dwellings so manuverability and turning radius is important (no tillers).Our station SOP has us responding first with the quint followed by our 3000 gallon tanker for any structure fires. This works well most of the time but being all volunteer our concern is that the tanker will not respond in a timely manner or it will be out of service for some reason, hence the reason for the quint, a 500 gallon tank would be nice on the new truck. Our next due company, also all volunteer, is roughly 7-10 minutes out.
    The main question is which unit is most manuverable and can you get a 500 gallon tank on a Mid-Mount. Only Sutphen shows it as an option in their brochures.

  • #2
    Originally posted by totheroof View Post
    I am sure this is a topic that has been discussed on these forums before, being new to this forum I wanted to gather some imformation as to the pros and cons of these types of ladder trucks.



    We are are small all volunteer department in Maryland that will soon need to replace a 1996 Spartan/Aerial Innovations(could be wrong on the name as they are out of business and were located in Alabama) 75' Quint Rear Mount, 400 gallon tank, 1250 pump. Although this unit somewhat serves our needs adaquately we really do need a longer ladder and need to keep a quint type of unit.


    The standards for our county have also changed and we now need a min. 95' ladder to meet the current standards. This has restricted our quint responses to mostly our first due and we miss out on a number of incidents with the 75' ladder.


    Most of our first due is rural and non-hydrant. We do have limited access because of narrow drives with some of our first due dwellings so manuverability and turning radius is important (no tillers).Our station SOP has us responding first with the quint followed by our 3000 gallon tanker for any structure fires.


    This works well most of the time but being all volunteer our concern is that the tanker will not respond in a timely manner or it will be out of service for some reason, hence the reason for the quint, a 500 gallon tank would be nice on the new truck. Our next due company, also all volunteer, is roughly 7-10 minutes out.


    The main question is which unit is most manuverable and can you get a 500 gallon tank on a Mid-Mount. Only Sutphen shows it as an option in their brochures.



    Your best bet is a rear mount.



    Sure has babe, checl this -->>

    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...traight+Ladder
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    • #3
      The Sutphen SP 95' and 100' trucks are very nice in my opinion. We had a demo 100' truck that we were able to maneuver around very tight streets. We were extremely impressed with how it was able to make turns. We cover a small village on a lake that has narrow streets and tight intersections. We would have never thought it would be able to make it, but we were proven wrong. I would highly suggest talking to one of their salesmen and see if you can get a demo to try out. They have a new truck that we saw - the SL 100 - but it does not have a platform. This truck had a nice, short wheelbase too.
      SP95


      Demo truck (SP95) they have available per their site:


      Demo SL100 truck per their site:

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      • #4
        Most rear mount sticks 95'- 105' have a O.A.L. of about 41'-42' and mid-mount towers are in the range of 47 feet. Try looking into a Aluminum aerial ladder from E-One, Pierce, or Sutphen with a 500 gallon water tank.
        Last edited by WoodbridgeFFII; 07-19-2010, 06:59 PM.

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        • #5
          You discuss narrow drives, maneuverability, and turning radius...and then follow that up with "no tillers". I'd say get yourself a "quiller" with a 500 gallon tank. A tiller is your solution to the 3 concerns you mentioned, so I'm a bit perplexed as to why you say no tiller.

          Anyways, here's a nice photo of a local one.

          http://www.gladwynefire.org/content/...er%20%2024.cfm
          A Fire Chief has ONLY 1 JOB and that's to take care of his fireman. EVERYTHING else falls under this.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by totheroof View Post
            so manuverability and turning radius is important (no tillers).
            Ok, I'm confused. Esplain, because when a good driver and a tillerman are paired up, it's easy to get a tiller into places you couldnt even get an engine company into.
            "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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            • #7
              Originally posted by totheroof View Post
              We do have limited access because of narrow drives with some of our first due dwellings so manuverability and turning radius is important (no tillers).
              Is this because of questionable manpower to staff both ends of the tiller, or a misunderstanding of the capabilities of a TDA? (peeks around corner for a response from Buff....)
              Career Fire Captain
              Volunteer Chief Officer


              Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

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              • #8
                Being an all volunteer department with 2 engines,truck.tanker, rescue engine and 3 medic units, drivers are at a premium. So as much as I agree with the tiller concept it would not be a good fit for us. A Mid-Mount Tower has issues I presume with the length of body past the rear wheel and the fear of taking a turn too narrow, although we like the idea of pulling into a drive and having the turntable near the front giving you greater reach with the ladder. Plus money is not an issue within reason.
                Last edited by totheroof; 07-20-2010, 02:13 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
                  Is this because of questionable manpower to staff both ends of the tiller, or a misunderstanding of the capabilities of a TDA? (peeks around corner for a response from Buff....)
                  What is a "TDA?" And you do not have to be a driver to be tiller qualified (unless mandated by in-house SOP.)
                  "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by FWDbuff View Post
                    What is a "TDA?"
                    Less keystrokes than tiller.

                    And you do not have to be a driver to be tiller qualified (unless mandated by in-house SOP.)
                    Agreed, many of the departments I know of release their tillermen without requiring them to be drivers.
                    Career Fire Captain
                    Volunteer Chief Officer


                    Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

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                    • #11
                      Question -

                      If you're operating a quint, and can't find a driver and a tillerman, how are you going to have a pump op and someone to be on your turntable to watch over the guys on the stick/placement/obstacles?

                      You're going to need two experienced firefighters for both those jobs. Same like you would a tiller.

                      How is it different? If money is no problem, you have the ability to get a paid driving course done. You can send your guys through EVOC and get some hands-on time in the class room.

                      I damn well wish I had a tiller over the rear-mount that we have right now. Even with short staffing.

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                      • #12
                        TDA - Tractor Drawn Aerial

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                        • #13
                          We have a rear mount, so I'm partial to them.

                          It's a 100', single axle quint. It also had that rear axle replaced and you couldn't get it built today... too heavy to be on a single axle really. We also modified it, so that it's really not a quint anymore (took out the water tank to reduce weight).

                          I would never advocate a tiller for my volunteer department. Good god, our guys can barely drive what we have (the tires need armored sidewalls). To expect them to get proficient with a tiller is asking too much. I know some of you will moan about that, but I'm just being real.

                          For tight spots, I think the rear mount is a bit easier to manuever. Just back it in and voila you are set.

                          They also tend to be shorter overall.
                          Last edited by ChiefKN; 07-20-2010, 09:51 AM.
                          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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                          • #14
                            I would suggest getting one of each type of truck brought down, and a group of your "preferred" drivers take them out to the areas of concern. This won't be easy due to the limited availability of both types of trucks, but that will really be the only way to truly figure this one out.

                            That being said, I too would consider a tiller, and get everyone trained. Also, my concern about a rear-mount is the higher center of gravity. There's a lot of weight on top of that truck, so driver training would be very important (I'm sure you already knew that, just reitterating).
                            TruckCommittee.com

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                            • #15
                              Everyone in this area is big on rear mounts. Every aerial in the region ( about 15) is a rear mount. That being said, we also don't have a Sutphen dealer close by.

                              My opinion (which is limited): a mid mount allows the platform to be on the back. You don't have to worry about it abstructing your view, or it blocking the roof lights.

                              As others have said, evaluate what would work best in your department and go from there.
                              Career Firefighter
                              Volunteer Captain

                              -Professional in Either Role-

                              Originally posted by Rescue101
                              I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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