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Information on telesquirt or ladder

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  • Information on telesquirt or ladder

    I was wanting some information on a possible engine/ladder set up. This apparatus would be used for an engine and when needed a ladder for roof operations. Is there anyone who has a similar set up? Should a department go with a telesquirt/skyboom configuration or a true ladder? Keep in mind that there needs to be a 65' to 75' ladder, single axle, and if possible only one set of outriggers. Why? So the entire setup could be done quickly and possibly by one person and to keep the overall size of the apparatus equivellant to that of an engine. Any help would be great. Also, does anyone know where I can find that picture of the telesquirt that had a top mount pump panel?

  • #2
    1. The thickness of the boom and ladder 2-1/2' from ladder to the bottom of the boom causes firefighters to leap from the ladder to roofs. It is difficult to get off the Squrt without shock loading roofs. I have fell through one roof because of this. This 2-1/'2' distance makes even short parapets of 2' an impossible height to get back on the boom fast. The combined height of the boom and the parapet require a ground ladder to get back on. However it is impractical to ladder a 2' parapet with a 14' roof ladder. A standard aerial sits Much lower and is much safer to get on and off.

    2. The thickness of the boom and ladder combined, make getting off at windows dangerous. At climbing angles, the bottom of boom contacts the window sill or wall and because of the 2-1/2' distance to the top of the ladder, the last rung of the ladder is 2' from the window. The last step from the ladder to the window has caused our firefighters to have many close calls. Additionally, if you are holding a tool and have the other hand on the handrail behind you, if requires the firefighters to leap into the window. In contrast a standard aerial buts right up to the window and is much safer.

    3. Tele-Squrts only have 400 pound tip loading dry under 45 degrees. This is a problem when attempting rescue.

    4. Tele-Squrts have 0 tip load while flowing water below 45 degrees. To avoid washing firefighters off adjoining roofs, a firefighter is necessary on the boom during aerial master stream operations. Tele-Squrts are incapable of doing this at some angles.

    5. The torque box of a Tele-Squrt and outrigger design prevents ladder from being stored in the back of the vehicle. This is why you don't see many ladders on Squrts. If you need ground ladders look for a conventional truck that allows ladders to be stored inside the torque box.

    6. Tele-Squrts cannot be short-jacked in tight situations.

    7. Tele-Squrts outriggers are very short and have limited ability to level utilizing the outriggers on slopes. Standard trucks generally have much bigger outriggers which can handle steeper slopes

    8. Tele-Squrts hand rail are very short which make them difficult to carry victims down safely. Disoriented victims often flail themselves about which require taller handrails for firefighter safety

    Buy a Real Ladder to do Real Ladder work.


    • #3
      LadderManiac, thank you. Your point is well made and makes perfect sence. The information you have given me will be passed along to some of the other members in the department. Thanks again for your reply.


      • #4
        Ladder, you make a lot of good points!

        But I gotta nit-pick a bit on 6, 7, and 8.

        6 & 7 are kinda mutually exclusive...first you say you can't short jack, then complain the normal jack spread is too short. If 7 is true, 6 doesn't matter. I'd still bet most Telesqurts normally jacked are narrower than most modern aerials short-jacked.

        8 used to be true...all I see recently sure look as high-railed and wide as the fly on a 100' ladder.
        IACOJ Canine Officer


        • #5
          Ladder Maniac, I agree with some of your statements, however you might want to verify your information on the tip loads for the Telesqurt. I believe that the 50' & 65' are 500# devices dry with 250# wet, (below 45 degrees). I am not sure on the 75' model. As for having someone at the tip to direct the stream, all monitor functions can be done from the control pedestal, not 50' - 65' in the air. If the fire has gotten that large that you are using master streams, then nobody should be that close to the roof, (adjoining or otherwise), to get "washed away".

          Just my .02 worth

          Stay Low & Be Safe


          • #6
            Live Wire
            I would suggest getting a hold of some of the articles written on the St. Louis FD's R&D work on their 2nd generation quints. StLFD has extensive experience with both the telesquirt and standard ladder quints and in the 2nd generation Smeals, went with a std 75' ladder over the telesquirt for many of the reasons LadderManiac mentioned. I believe the trucks carry 400 gal tanks.

            This might help answer your question about telesquirt vs. standard ladder. The problem I see is that you can't have your cake and eat it to. You can get the Smeal or an E-One HP75, etc. on a single axle, but your out to 36-37' and 50,000 Lbs+. This isn't an engine anymore, it's a ladder truck to a signficant degree. If your looking at a 75' std ladder quint, your buying a ladder truck with engine capabilities. If you want an engine with some ladder capabilities, you got to stick with telesquirt to keep the truck in an engine size range.

            I've never operated in a total quint operation such as StLFD, so I can't comment from a total quint perspective. But, the combination and volunteer departments I've been with run a more traditional engine & ladder operation and the quints that I've operated I have to say have been almost useless as a quint - the trucks just never get used in the dual role, they were either operated consistently as a truck or an engine and I personally feel that the other role just hindered the primary role.

            I think the two critical questions are:
            1. Does this truck truly have to perform as an engine routinely
            2. Truly what ladder operations are you expecting to perform and what are the minimum requirements

            If you need the engine, I think you need to look real hard at what you can get to keep full engine functionality and not get caught with one of these all show/no go quints. And if you need the 75' std ladder like StLFD decided upon and don't need a full engine, maybe just a ladder truck or ladder w/pump and smaller tank is a better option knowing that the truck will be ladder truck size and not called upon to function in a pure engine role.
            If you want to take a shot at a true dual role quint, I would give a great deal of weight to experienced quint departments like StLFD that have considerable experience operating a true dual role quint.

            I don't think they are ordered much anymore, but if departments can live with a 75' ladder, I think some depts might be better off with a straight 75' ladder truck. Nice relatively light truck for a ladder, manueverable, lots of compartment space, easily on a single axle - I guess that's not the fad right now - it's the 75' quint instead and I guess many depts just have to have one.

            Hope you guys find the right truck.


            • #7
              A view from someone who has both...

              Let me give this a try.

              First, a little background...We run both a 100' straight ladder truck, which is being replaced in about 2 months with a 105' quad, and a 55' squirt. The squirt was purchased first, about 20 years ago, to provide the first aerial support in the area, while still fitting into the station as it looked then. When it became apparent that the squirt was an excellent initial attack and multi-purpose piece, but couldn't meet all our needs for an aerial, a used 100' ladder was purchased and the station expanded to fit.

              Having the luxury of both trucks, I wouldn't give either one up now. The ladder (and its successor, the new quad) serve as the primary aerial with full aerial capability, which is the top priority, in my opinion. The main reason we've put attack capability on the new 105' quad is because we do get into situations where the ladder shows up first in a situation where an attack is the logical first step (but the current rig can't do that), and because it gives us flexibility in low-manpower situations, when only one rig may get out quickly. It is spec'ed with no hose bed (just crosslays) to give more room for a full ground ladder compliment and a cascade system, and because we don't want it to be thought of as the "attack piece" but rather as an "aerial service." The squirt is used mostly as an engine, but serves a vital role as an aerial in places that the big ladder just can't go (up tight lanes, in very narrow alleys, on uneven lawns, etc.). Also, the long range plan, based on our system of automatic mutual aid in the area, is to phase out our engine entirely, leaving us with the quad and the squirt, with rescue, engine and tanker support coming from our mutual aid partners (but that's another story).

              So, in answer to your question...

              If we had neither the quad nor the squirt right now and I had to buy one or the other, I'd buy the full-sized quad (or a straight ladder, if you don't need the attack capability). The full aerial capability and ground ladder & tool compliments are top priority. Adding a squirt to a full-sized aerial is a luxury of value that completes the total picture, but a squirt doesn't cut it as a front line aerial service. If it did, we wouldn't be spending $520,000 to get a full sized quad, you know?

              Just my 2 pennies...


              • #8
                If you want a large water tank, a 65 foot TS allows a 750 tank on a single axle. The suggestion of putting a top mount panel seems to contradict the desire for a short pumper sized fire truck. At best the TS will be 33 feet, add a top mount and you'll be at 36 feet, a 75 footer is 35 to 39 feet. The top mount pnel will change the ballance and turn ability of the rig.

                Watch out for the 2nd posters mixing old and new specs. Anything a 75 footer will do a TS will do. Anything a standard aerial will do loading wise wet or dry so will the TS. The 400 tip load comment forgets the 800 supported and 3 guys distributed on the ladder, and 800 lbs above 45 degress or 1600 supported with twice the distributed load.

                Most of the ladders on the market with plumbed waterways have all the issues of getting off the end of the device as a TS. Jumping can be cured by a folding ladder on the tip. Of course a parapet wall or facade will require it anyway. If never jumping is an issue by an articulated fly on a tower. If you want a plumbed waterway the height isssue is part of the facts of life. Every builder has that nifty little box to protect the nozzle. TS has the best time proven design though. Better than the Pierce Nova combo for sure. (voice f experience, owned several of both)

                Tip loading shouldn't be an issue if you simply allow the tip to settle into the window sill. 250 to 400 tip load can't be too big an issue LA, Chicago, New York and Philly have used 200 pound tip load ladders successfully for half a dozen decades. Odds are the once in a while use of a TS will be successful as well.

                One set of outriggers narrows the choices to a Nova Quintech ladder.

                Tele squirts have carried full compliments of ground ladders when specified for over 35 years. You'll just need 3/4 compartments or high sides with drop down or overhead racks to do it. Not having ground ladders stuck in the back of the rig can't be too bad a thing, only the newest pumpers have them mounted that way, side mounted ladders don't care if someone parks behind the rig to get them off.

                In most cases a TS will have a better hose bed configuration than the traditional quint. There are more TS's out there than any make of ladder. When it comes to ladder pipe operations their is no comparison time wise or flow wise to a conventional ladder.

                A Tele Squrt can be setup from the time the brakes are applied in 65 seconds, that is outriggers and pads, full extended, rotated 90 degrees at 85 degrees elevation and flowing water.

                You'll have to decide if giving up water tank, hose bed etc is more important a trade off versus not having a guy on the tip flowing water. A remote control gun on a short ladder in a master stream operation just might be good enough.

                If the rig is primarily a pumper and occassionally a ladder then make sure you design a great pumper that just happens to have a ladder. Odds are building set backs and cars in the street will reduce the use of any short ladder for rescue or roof work, 75 feet or less and in suburbia even a 100 footer won't work. Course we don't want to get into how a 100 footerisn't the right choice in most cities, just most popular. A house set back 50 feet and trying to reach the 3rd floor window puts you out of 75 foot ladder off the side ability. Sometimes you just need to use a ground ladder, it is quicker.

                I can't imagine a reason to ever short jack a Tele Squrt. You couldn't have gotten out of the cab if you need to short jack one. No other device other than a Nova has a shorter jack spread than a TS, plus no one has ever dumped one. When it comes to maintenance their isa huge difference between a real ladder and a TS, the TS wins.

                Isn't the limited ability to level a function of NFPA minimum standards? Can't a block of wood be used for the odd case. Syracuse NY has lots of slopes and has used Tele Squrts for 25 years. Going over the front or rear of the apparatus makes slopes irrelivant.

                Tele Squrt hand rails are the same as any other ladder once again that is an NFPA thing. I've never had a problem with ladder rescue on a Tele Squrt in the last 30 years.

                The St Louis experiment, was just that, the guys on the street didn't want to give up water for a longer ladder. If they'd spec'd another make of 75 foot device they'd still have the water too! Their new rigs have to be short jacked where it was never an issue with a TS. Look at all the limitations to use their 125 foot ladders. When you buy half 50's and half 75's from two builders of course you will at some point come to your senses and decide a universal fleet would be better. Switching to a third vendor doesn't bring with it any knowledge of maintenance or reliability that is discovered as you go. Radical hose bed designs, attack line layouts, etc the verdict is stil out on. Did you know St Louis also bought the 65 foot model of the TS and still runs it? Compare that with Syracuse and 6 generations of TS's and quints. Get it right the first time you don't have to reinvent it each generation. If you want to go by experience, then St Louis would not be the lst place to look. They have no experience with the new rigs yet. Give them 15 years and see what the real verdict is. Will they buy from the same supplier or walk away from them like they did two others? Try talking to the folks with generations of quint experience like Syracuse, Ft Worth, Dade County, Newark, would be the places to look.

                If you talk to the folks buying a conventional 75 foot ladder, you'll hear them tell you for just 40K more we could of had a hundred. Or they'll say quit buying these short ladders.

                Once again it sounds like the customer wants a pumper for occassional ladder use, not a real ladder, I guess that is why NFPA has a water tower standard. Adding 25 to 35 feet to the ladder, a tandem axle, getting rid of most of the good pumper ability you end up with a great ladder that sucks as a pumper.

                KME has a device that doen't need outriggers in some configurations including using it when the vehicle is driving down the road.


                • #9
                  Never, never, never, ever use blocks, cribbing, or anythings else to prop up outriggers when using an aerial device!

                  It's dangerous and I guarantee that, if you damage the rig or hurt or kill someone with it while using some sort of props or jacking arrangement under the outriggers, your warranty will be void, your insurance carrier will run for the hills, you'll be held liable and negligent, etc., etc. If you can't sufficiently level for operations on the ground you have to work with, then drag out the ground ladders and do it the old fashioned way.


                  • #10
                    Mike C.
                    You make some good points. However, I think tipping the scales to the Syracuse's over St Louis for quint experience is a bit misleading. I think for as long as they have been operating their Maxi-Pumpers with TS, they have also been operating their full fleet of Sutphen towers. In fact, I think SFD frowns on being considered a quint dept. I think the Maxi-Pumpers are a great piece, but I don't think by any stretch that Syracuse could be compared to St Louis with regard to operating quints in true quint service.

                    And with regard to St Louis, I've put the link in to article on the Smeals. From what I can read STLFD operated both 75' ladders and 50' TS in their first generation (1987 or so) when St. Louis went quint. They opted to go with the 75' ladders on the next generation. I still think St Louis's experience is difficult to beat. Large urban dept with a decade + operating both 75' ladders and TS under a true quint operation.


                    I think much of the information that has been expressed here really represents some of the key issues. Bob mentioned that his dept runs a 100' ladder and a TS and the ladder was purchased to fill the aerial needs the TS can't fill. And Syracuse is similar, they run their Sutphens, but also have their Maxi-Pumpers with TS. I think placing elevated master stream capability is a very good addition to an engine. I like the mid-mount snozzle personnaly, but anything that expands your engines capabilities in this area is big plus in my opinion.

                    But I think the notion that your going to buy an engine with a TS and get a ladder truck is getting pretty far off the trail. There are just limits on how much multi- piece functionality you can get out a single truck.

                    The question is do you need an engine or a ladder. And I think you really need to know what your requirements are. As I stated in my earlier post, in my personal experience and the depts I know well, I just don't see a shortage of engines so if you need the ladder truck, buy a ladder truck. If you want the pump with or without the tank, that's fine and you would end up with Bob's quad. But to end up with an engine with a TS when you already have the engine capacity and need a ladder, it's hard for me to make sense of.

                    And if it comes down to truly needing the engine and ladder capabilities of both types of apparatus, you have to look at St Louis. And that means, at least for their operations, that 75' ladder is needed over the TS. If you do it right, I think you could get a decent operating engine as well. The only drawback is though, is size, your not going to put together a StLFD piece or any quint for that matter with those capabilities and get it in the size of a typical engine - to me, that just can't be done.


                    • #11
                      Another view, pro versus con. One humble opinion based on using the apparatus in question and watching the depts in question operate.

                      I think the NFPA definition of quint clearly and fairly applies to all TS and Sutphens in Syracuse. Who cares if the locals frown on the term. Has a pumper ladder saved a guy hanging from his safety belt in Syracuse? Yes! Have they occassionally gotten to the roof when needed? Yes. To say 100 footers are needed says FDNY couldn't possibly have made the right choice with their 75' towers, right? If everything is straight up and down on main street and under 4 stories the 50' TS will do it all, 6 stories a 65' and a 75 just buys a bit more forgiveness. Why would anyone want to use the stick on a one or two story tract house?

                      Does SFD use them as pumpers and as water towers A LOT? Sounds like what the original poster had in mind. Did they get the design right? Sure did 6 generations worth. Can STL say that?

                      I see no need to compare departments I was simply comparing units. Does ST Louis and Syracuse both run 100 foot ladder quints on all fires? YES! Some would say and make a great case that Syracue runs a better operation, a more logical one. Both are Class 1 FD's.

                      The original poster was not intending to run his pumper aerial as true quint service either.

                      Not only did St Louis go from 1/2 50's and 1/2 75's they changed builders. SO if what they do is the new gospel for the fire service we should all buy Smeal and never buy an E-One, Sutphen, Pierce or LTI, Right? All quints should have 400 or 200 gallon water tanks. The guys in Richmond will tell you that is stupid. With a Pumper Aerial (PA), not a quint you can have a real hose bed and real water tank, a really big one if you like. 500 to 2000 gallons on a pumper wheelbase.

                      True they went 75's but they also went 125 footers. So what did they get right the first time? Hanging ground ladders off the main ladder? Open cabs, one of the last FD's to do any large purchase with them, no jake or retarder, the simple foam system, one of the highest accident rates in the US fire service, what??? How do you supply the huge pumps they spec with 4" hose???

                      St Louis tough to beat? Let's compare. Syracuse gets a 4 x 4 PA with more water, bigger hose bed, more preconnects, two long and two short attack lines 1000 feet or more(st louis just short ones limited to 200 maximum), much shorter outrigger spread, better light bar placement for cars, Wireless remote ladder and aerial monitor controls(would have been nice at the magnesium truck fire), better lower attack line beds, (Try loading an attack line in st louis if the outriggers are out and down...impossible), more compartment space, better horsepower to weight ratio(better acceleration stop shorter), Class A foam on all rigs, remote control deck guns, and a midi pumper to lay lines, finish split lays, run crap calls, have Opticom on everything, LOwer and shorter, carry more foam, can lay dual LDH 1500 to 2000 feet lines or 1000 and 1500 of 2 1/2"(stL limited to 900 feet of LDH 300 feet of 2 1/2"), if you accidentally chanrge a STL preconnect you're screwwed, all their spares are identical to what is in first line service(PA's and Ladders) and all their ladders (and they get two on all alarms and their ladder guys are ladder guys)except their 135 footer (longer than St louis) have buckets, two elevated master streams and 300 gallons of foam. Every station is Syracuse was placed by ideal location and best response. Plus they've got 27 years experience with the concept. ST Louis can't touch any of that!!!

                      Without knowing the area, it is impossible to say a pumper with a tele squrt wouldn't be or would be perfect...isn't it?

                      So what are the limits on one multi-piece rig? If they are volunteer they can staff 10 on a rig if they like. Meet on scene with 30 guys. The only limits are the design.

                      I'm not sure the real question is do you need an engine or a ladder. The poster was quite clear what they wanted, I bet the locals have a clue what they are doing. Something like 3000 TS have been sold. Even FDNY used them quite successfully for a 15 year period back in the fire years at the toughest busiest houses.

                      I bet the elevated master stream, low cost and universal abilites are the reason for the decision.

                      Odds are looking at St Louis is not a fair comparison. Does the FD in question run five quints on all calls and a heavy rescue? Are all of their guys fire hardened seasoned paid or volunteers with a 3 year turnover? Do they have a killer water system and a Class 1 rating? Our their stations every 1.5 miles? Are they going to be able to get another 30 quints in 10 minutes? Odds are none of this applies. Might as well compare them to FDNY, Boston or Chicago to totally be off base. One PA does not make a total quint concept comparison a reality, does it?

                      One PA cannot possibly act like STL. Are there buildings like STL's??? Did STL burn down during 15 years of 50 foot tele Squrt use? NO! Did the town burn down using 100 foot ladders instead of 125's? NO! So why will small town USA experience any problems? IS Dade COunty, Ft Worth or Syracuse or the other 3000 TS users having major problems? Why have they bought 4 to 6 generations of each??

                      "If you do it right, I think you could get a decent operating engine as well." Did St Louis get a decent engine? Didn't they have to give up water? Hose bed capacity? etc? YES!!!! Call a couple apparatus vendors or chassis makers, ask if 2500 lbs under max GVW is a good idea. Anyone ever add more to a rig once you get it? How do we know now they won't start over again due to flawed design in a decade or less?

                      "your not going to put together a StLFD piece or any quint for that matter with those capabilities and get it in the size of a typical engine - to me, that just can't be done" The original STL PA's were on a shorter wheelbase than the Pumpers they replaced. They turned better too! Didn't give up water or hose bed space, had low attack lines.

                      Read the article: The box beam of the TS was too high, look at the new STL rigs, see any difference? NO! Same step down height.

                      Let's see how the STL brakes and apparatus hold up. You don't suppose they had to reduce the water tank size due to axle loading do you? Will a rig 8000 pounds heavier than the PA it replaced still on two axles hold up in city service? They weigh 50,000 pounds, dang on two axles!!!! Richmond who took many of STL's ideas didn't think it was a good idea. They went with tandems. Even going second the RFD screwed up their hose beds. No I have to say having seen all three work extensively that Syracuse has it more together than the other two. Start with the SFD design.

                      Smel makes great rigs, what it will get down to is whether the fd's ideas will hold up.


                      • #12
                        Thank you everyone for the excellent information. Let me sum up what we have and what we would want to do with this ladder.

                        First of all we run 6 engines, 1 heavy rescue and we have a 105' ladder platform. So, as brought up in one of the conversations, we are fortunate enough to have a full size aerial. But, with your full size aerials, you can run into some problems, like tight places. We want to have the flexibility to get where we want and also have the second ladder. Besides, the ISO people like the so called "backup" aerial. It's hard to say how we would want to use this piece of equipment. If we get a true 75 foot ladder, I believe we would use it more for roof operations, but, we also need it set up as an engine. So, maybe we should set it up as an engine that happens to have a ladder. I will check out the St. Louis information shortly. I don't think the loss of the water tank size would effect us any, this would likely be the second due apparatus out. But there again any suggestions would be helpful. Should we run this first due?

                        As far the top mount pump panel, I had seen a photo of one a month or 2 ago and wanted to the photo for my archive, I had never seen anything like it before.

                        i want to thank everyone again for all of the information, i apprecaite it very much and it is very helpful.

                        Last edited by live_wire09; 03-04-2002, 01:18 PM.


                        • #13
                          If a "backup" ladder is important. You could always buy a Boston 110 foot ladder which is the same wheel base as many pumpers or a 100' Montrial ladder that is still shorter, or a Metz, shorter still with a bucket and 100 to 150 feet of ladder. to make it into all the tight areas. It would offer the flexibility the tower doesn't offer.

                          "Should we run this first due?" Pretty hard to use a ladder if it isn't there first in position for use. Most victims or the attack won't wait for it. If so make a great pumper out of it.

                          You'll note the attached 65 foot tele squrt has no real outrigger protrusion. It is pumper sized. Wireless remote control for all aerial and ladder pipe controls and it cost at least 200K less than a full blown quint.
                          Attached Files


                          • #14
                            Is it or isn't it possible to build a pumper sized quint or pumper aerial?

                            You'll note the orignial STL quints were pumper sized too!


                            Attached Files
                            Last edited by Mike C; 03-04-2002, 01:55 PM.


                            • #15
                              Mike, where is the 65' Telesquirt from, I like that set-up. Granted there isn't 75' of ladder but like I said, I like the set up.


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