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  • Replacing Older Midmount Aerials/TL's

    It seems to be a very common trend for departments to replace aging mid mount aerials and tower ladders (Especially Mack/Bakers) with monster rear mount tower laders. Not being much of a truckie, but knowing apparatus pretty well, why is this happening????? Why replace a vehicle that has incredible versatility, a deluge gun that can be operated by a "cheater bar" and worked aggressively, and excellent bucket to ground placement at zero extension with something thats hardly as flexible and maneuverable like these rear mounts with the obtrusive bucket hanging ver the front and the incredible overall length. Don't get me wrong, I think there are places that benefit from rear mounts, but for towers it seems silly to replace a midmount with a rear mount. Is this the "bigger is better mentality?" I'm confused.

  • #2
    Originally posted by MG3610 View Post
    It seems to be a very common trend for departments to replace aging mid mount aerials and tower ladders (Especially Mack/Bakers) with monster rear mount tower laders. Not being much of a truckie, but knowing apparatus pretty well, why is this happening????? Why replace a vehicle that has incredible versatility, a deluge gun that can be operated by a "cheater bar" and worked aggressively, and excellent bucket to ground placement at zero extension with something thats hardly as flexible and maneuverable like these rear mounts with the obtrusive bucket hanging ver the front and the incredible overall length. Don't get me wrong, I think there are places that benefit from rear mounts, but for towers it seems silly to replace a midmount with a rear mount. Is this the "bigger is better mentality?" I'm confused.
    I agree as well...it is just a symptom of having too many firemen who are little more than Ambulance attendants who sometime drill on fire operations and Chiefs who didn't spend enough time on the street before finding themselves behind a desk somewhere. Or as I've seen first hand...too many firemen who don't put any rational thought into aerial operations as their dept doesn't staff the Truck.

    I formerly worked in a dept with a large rearmount bucket...now in my current Dept I have seen the superior performance and abilties of mid-mount Aerialscopes and tillers. Rear mount aerials are ok...but I've always felt and seen in expereince tillers are a little better at placement due to the placement of the turntable and turning radius.

    Is this mostly anecdotal?...sure...but that is my experience and thats what I have to work with.

    FTM-PTB

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by FFFRED View Post
      I formerly worked in a dept with a large rearmount bucket...now in my current Dept I have seen the superior performance and abilties of mid-mount Aerialscopes and tillers. Rear mount aerials are ok...but I've always felt and seen in expereince tillers are a little better at placement due to the placement of the turntable and turning radius.

      Is this mostly anecdotal?...sure...but that is my experience and thats what I have to work with.

      FTM-PTB
      I found this on Youtube. The beauty of a tiller. Watch the right turn at the end of the clip

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ep6BsxbplDI
      Tom

      Never Forget 9-11-2001

      Stay safe out there!

      IACOJ Member

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by MG3610 View Post
        It seems to be a very common trend for departments to replace aging mid mount aerials and tower ladders (Especially Mack/Bakers) with monster rear mount tower laders. Not being much of a truckie, but knowing apparatus pretty well, why is this happening????? Why replace a vehicle that has incredible versatility, a deluge gun that can be operated by a "cheater bar" and worked aggressively, and excellent bucket to ground placement at zero extension with something thats hardly as flexible and maneuverable like these rear mounts with the obtrusive bucket hanging ver the front and the incredible overall length. Don't get me wrong, I think there are places that benefit from rear mounts, but for towers it seems silly to replace a midmount with a rear mount. Is this the "bigger is better mentality?" I'm confused.
        When it comes time to replace our 75' Mack/Baker it will be a truck less than 42' in length ,maybe a Re-chassis rebuilt Aerialscope, or a new 75' tower ladder, or 70' Sutphen platform.Money will also be a big factor in the type of apparatus that get's purchased, with new tower ladders costing up to $ 999,000 who could afford these trucks on a tight budget!...
        Last edited by NewJerseyFFII; 01-27-2007, 08:55 AM. Reason: spelling

        Comment


        • #5
          I agree that midmounts are more adaptable to fireground needs, but unfortunately we as the fire service tend to use what works for our neighbor instead of what works for us. Prime example is the area I am in there are 9 rear mount towers. The only changes to this are a department that runs a quint and parks it at the hydrant and another runs a 85' snorkel. Other than that nobody has a midmount, we used to but the '72 85' stick was tired so we are one of the rear mounts. In the Chicago area tillers are around but in places with tight streets, as for aerialscopes I have never seen one here. Talking with an area chief who wanted one it was to heavy for the cities infrastructure, he said something like 90k pounds.

          By the way can someone give info on the stabilizer spread of an aerialscope (95') and the GVW

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi All.

            I understand your frustration. Bigger is not better. We are replacing a 1981Scope. She is a sweet truck. One thing that I liked about the scope was that the single axle unit has the ability to get just about anywhere a pumper could. Easy to set up and very durable.

            We looked and demoed them all. One manufacturer was able to do what our scope does and more. It is the METZ. This is an incredible truck. Firefighter friendly and able to set up on just about any grade. Some things are done differently on this truck than the US made ones. I suggest you give it a good, sincere look. It is Germen engineering at its best.

            Good Luck

            Captain Lou
            "Got Foam?"

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by CaptLou View Post
              We looked and demoed them all. One manufacturer was able to do what our scope does and more. It is the METZ. This is an incredible truck. Firefighter friendly and able to set up on just about any grade. Some things are done differently on this truck than the US made ones.
              Talk about a difference in capability!!! A Scope to a Metz? So much for a decent ventilation platform, aerial rescue bucket and never mind the difference in the aerial master stream quality. Sorry to be a naysayer but the Metz won't even come close to being a suitable replacement for a Scope. Unless all it exists for is to say you have a Truck Co. The Metz has its place, no question, but if you look at what the Scope could do compared to the Metz, they aren't even in the same league.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by CaptLou View Post
                Hi All.

                I understand your frustration. Bigger is not better. We are replacing a 1981Scope. She is a sweet truck. One thing that I liked about the scope was that the single axle unit has the ability to get just about anywhere a pumper could. Easy to set up and very durable.

                We looked and demoed them all. One manufacturer was able to do what our scope does and more. It is the METZ. This is an incredible truck. Firefighter friendly and able to set up on just about any grade. Some things are done differently on this truck than the US made ones. I suggest you give it a good, sincere look. It is Germen engineering at its best.

                Good Luck

                Captain Lou
                "Got Foam?"
                I hope you have a very good dealer service department for your new " METZ " apparatus close to your department. What dealer sells METZ in New Jersey ?

                Comment


                • #9
                  midmounts

                  With all due respect to RFDACM02 and NEWJERSEYFFII, you guys sound like myself and most other younger guys back in the sixties (early) when 409, 426 and 427 were the numbers that ruled the street. I can remember when guys would buy a Datsun or a Honda and tell us how good they were and we would tell them they were nuts especially when they tried to convice you that in the future a 4 cylinder Honda would clean a 409! If you even mentioned that Chevy could possibly go bancrupt they would haul you away in a straight jacket. Just trying to get things in perspective.

                  As whats his name said "it looks like we have a situation" two guys who don't have a Datsun are telling a guy that has looked at one for four years that he is basically nuts. If you read your IFSTA manual one of the very last jobs for an aerial on the fireground is for commiting it to master stream operation. No problem, there are plenty of big trucks around to handle that job after all rescue work is done, we have properly ventilated the building and we have safely moved our firefighters on and off the building. It never ceases to amaze me that the joib most aerials do the least is the first and biggest concern of many firefighters. Yes, even I am smart enough to realize that the Big Guys have their place and if you can get them close enough to the action they can get their work done. However if you are providing protection to a community that has one aerial device you have really got to put your thinking cap on. If you live in a newer community most of the hazard boxes are probably sprinklered but where you will have at least 75% of your calls are at the single family, wood framed, wood sheathed, wood roofed, truss constructed house that stands a real good chance of burning down before or after you get there.

                  I am also wondering about the concern for dealer location. There are 16 Metz aerials spread from coast to coast and I have no problem asking them on this forum to respond if they think the service is bad.

                  My best response to you guys is to offer this challenge: Meet me on the street with your favorite piece and let's play. No parking lot BS, real stuff real time. E-mail me for a time and date.
                  METZ AERIALS: "SO EASY A CAVEMAN CAN USE THEM"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by redbaron View Post
                    With all due respect to RFDACM02 and NEWJERSEYFFII, you guys sound like myself and most other younger guys back in the sixties (early) when 409, 426 and 427 were the numbers that ruled the street. I can remember when guys would buy a Datsun or a Honda and tell us how good they were and we would tell them they were nuts especially when they tried to convice you that in the future a 4 cylinder Honda would clean a 409! If you even mentioned that Chevy could possibly go bancrupt they would haul you away in a straight jacket. Just trying to get things in perspective.

                    As whats his name said "it looks like we have a situation" two guys who don't have a Datsun are telling a guy that has looked at one for four years that he is basically nuts. If you read your IFSTA manual one of the very last jobs for an aerial on the fireground is for commiting it to master stream operation. No problem, there are plenty of big trucks around to handle that job after all rescue work is done, we have properly ventilated the building and we have safely moved our firefighters on and off the building. It never ceases to amaze me that the joib most aerials do the least is the first and biggest concern of many firefighters. Yes, even I am smart enough to realize that the Big Guys have their place and if you can get them close enough to the action they can get their work done. However if you are providing protection to a community that has one aerial device you have really got to put your thinking cap on. If you live in a newer community most of the hazard boxes are probably sprinklered but where you will have at least 75% of your calls are at the single family, wood framed, wood sheathed, wood roofed, truss constructed house that stands a real good chance of burning down before or after you get there.

                    I am also wondering about the concern for dealer location. There are 16 Metz aerials spread from coast to coast and I have no problem asking them on this forum to respond if they think the service is bad.

                    My best response to you guys is to offer this challenge: Meet me on the street with your favorite piece and let's play. No parking lot BS, real stuff real time. E-mail me for a time and date.
                    I am not trying to " bash " Metz aerials in any way, I have never seen or operated one in my life. What I am saying is how far away is the Metz service center from his fire house in new jersey, do they have to fly in parts from " Germany " for repairs.I took a look at the Metz aerials web site and have seen the ladder picking up a car at 4000lbs built pretty tough. I will stay with a 75' Aerialscope or midmount tower with much less height for low bridges and doorways!
                    Last edited by NewJerseyFFII; 01-28-2007, 07:14 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Similarly I too have nothing against the Metz product, they fill a void that exists in the US. But, when purchasing a replacement tower, one has to look at what you expect it to do.



                      Will the Metz carry 3-4 equipped firefighters to the roof or an upper floor? No. Pretty easy to toss your tools in the bucket and ride to the roof with almost any American tower.



                      How does one effect a vertical vent from the bucket of the Metz? It must be removed. Then you're left with a very narrow fly section with the waterway inside it! I think I'd rather stand on my lip edge and make a cut than lie on the stick, of course that goes for any stick! This of course is if you can't get on the truss or weakened roof. BTW if I want to get off onto the roof, my 14' roof ladder can be reached from the bucket, which also has a set of irons, 2 hooks, a pick axe and a short length of 1.75" to wash the hotspots from under the trim.



                      Is the aerail master stream effective when its needed? Depends on what you need, what you've used and how you intend to use it. Certainly it will not compare to an Aerialscope with a "Stang" gun. As far as I can see nothing is as capable as a manual, stick controlled monitor. Will Metz put one on their basket?



                      Can you make numerous rescues at once? A traditional tower such as the one that is to be replaced can easily "pick up" and deliver 6+ persons to the ground. How about the Metz? If you could get them into the basket, maybe 2? OK you leave the bucket and take them down the stick. Wait, how do you get them to the ground? I have head that they'll release a new revision this year that will address this?



                      So maybe I'm slightly critical of a tool that doesn't do any aerial functions quite as well as others. Like I said, they fill a niche. A department with numerous dirt roads that needs a small turning radius and light truck? Sure. A department with other aerial capabilities readily available? OK. But to replace an Aerialscope with a Metz is sure to be a disappointment at best, and a tactical nightmare at worst.



                      BTW REDBARON: You must either work for Metz or serve on one. Sorry I didn't dust off my IFSTA manual to determine how they think an aerail should be chosen in my department. Sure ventialtion may be the most common use, so how does the Metz measure up? Kinda hard to fit my firefighter *** in between the rails to make a cut, cause I might not want to stand on the truss roof. You seem to have a pretty low opinion of the fire service's capabilities. Being in the Northeast we have a good mix of frame buildings but I'd hardly right any off sitting here at my desk. Sure with more and more truss and lightweight buildings we will see more full blown defensive operations. All the more reason to have true aerail master stream capabilites. Our forefathers did not have the forethought to hire a city planner so exposures are a real concern in my neck of the woods.



                      I'm sure that the Metz will work in many places, but having played with a couple and clambered all over a few more, I do not beleive they can replace current tower (or true aerails for that matter) apparatus. Hell, I'd love for the dept. I started in to buy one, it would be perfect for them. Tons of small dirt roads with narrow drives and low wieght allowances, very few commercial or industrial structures and long setbacks. I'd say the Metz would be a perfect replacement for the Telesquirt products, but i'll bet the price is just alittle more.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        We had long discussions on midmount vs rearmount. Both have pros and cons. Ability to use the bucket at ground level was a consideration, but not a big one. It's just not a common need in my area so it did not factor in high. Lots of compartment space was a bigger factor for us. All the midmounts we looked at, that had lots of compartment space, turned out to be even larger trucks. While I am far from thrilled with the front bucket overhang, in my area, it outweighed the large tail end of a midmount. Our ladders, while almost always operating as a "truck" will at times be pulling hose, so pump and accessible hosebeds were another consideration. Most of the rearmounts we looked at actually had better rear hosebed access than a bunch of midmounts we saw.

                        I will agree with the statement above, that many people just buy what the neighbor has without really doing their homework.

                        In 1990, when we spec'd out our 50' Teleboom, we had many of these same discussions...and for that truck, a midmount made more sense than a rear mount.
                        "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?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Let's look at a few of the questions.How do you effect a verticle vent with a Metz?Well,within easy reach on the fly,you normally have a 14'roof and your tools.If I were to do this with a Metz,I'd fly up and use a closet hook or a pike.Chainsaw if you want a drive in vent.Personally,I've NEVER been in favor of using a three quarter of a million dollar aerial as a battering ram. But some do.Waterway in the fly?On some,yes but there are several configurations you can choose from including a pre-piped waterway.Stang? I doubt it but I haven't seen one on anybody elses either unless it was special ordered,'Scopes excluded.Rescue 6 people from a balcony?In the time it takes to set the jacks on most rigs the Metz will make a trip and a half to the balcony.No use of the ladder proper is necessary.There is a larger version of the basket,I believe you'll see it on the circuit this year.Is this aerial for everyone? No,but in the tight streets of New England it certainly has potential.Redbaron is certainly well qualified to answer questions on this product from both sides of the fence.I know of no other person in the US with a broader knowledge of the Metz.If you really want to know,try asking someone from Kennett Square PA,they've had a Metz about as long as anyone in the US. Spring Valley NY has one,depending on who you ask, they either love it or hate it.RFDACM has a good point in assessing your current and future needs.Does a Metz fit? Before you dismiss it,remember this.A while ago LDH came across the pond.Like the Metz,people said that s**t wasn't going to work/last either.Sometimes it's not a bad thing to peek over the edge of the "box"and see what's on the other side,On one issue I can personally attest:These devices are fast and smooth.On the service issue: I don't own one but any question I have posed to the company(and there have been several)has been promptly and professionally answered, These units are becoming more popular,and you'll soon see them in an area near you.Do they fit your needs? Only you and your agency can answer that question. T.C.
                          Last edited by Rescue101; 01-29-2007, 11:22 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            T.C: As usual, all solid points. The Metz is a very functional tool that does have a place hre. And probably has a larger role than many of us would admit as is non-traditional. It's biggest streghths that I can see are is size and manueverability and speed in set-up and fly. These are large factors in an aerial purchase decision, but of course not the only ones, or necessarliy the biggest ones. I suspect that Metz is capable of making their product damn near perfect inthe eyes of an American Truckie, but they really don't need our market that bad though.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SectorB View Post
                              I agree that midmounts are more adaptable to fireground needs, but unfortunately we as the fire service tend to use what works for our neighbor instead of what works for us. Prime example is the area I am in there are 9 rear mount towers. The only changes to this are a department that runs a quint and parks it at the hydrant and another runs a 85' snorkel. Other than that nobody has a midmount, we used to but the '72 85' stick was tired so we are one of the rear mounts. In the Chicago area tillers are around but in places with tight streets, as for aerialscopes I have never seen one here. Talking with an area chief who wanted one it was to heavy for the cities infrastructure, he said something like 90k pounds.

                              By the way can someone give info on the stabilizer spread of an aerialscope (95') and the GVW
                              I have some Aerialscope information for you,the platform entry at ground level is 34' from the side of the truck. Outrigger spread : 249 " on the 95' model. 1000 lb platform capacity while flowing 1500gpm at any boom angle !....

                              Comment

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