No announcement yet.

Origin of Term "Service Ladder Truck" ?

This topic is closed.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Origin of Term "Service Ladder Truck" ?

    Does anyone know the origin of the term "service ladder truck?" I was wondering about this recently. It may have originated as the longer "city service ladder truck."

    The origin of "hook and ladder truck" is easy to trace, but I haven't come across anything explaining "service truck." If it is simply a shortened version of "city service truck," is the explanation as simple as the trucks were exclusively used in cities (versus small villages) that had taller buildings and thus longer ladder needs?


  • #2
    I believe "Service" companies are the way ISO defines what we know as Ladder or Truck companies.


    • #3
      A "service ladder truck" was a fire truck that carried a large complement of ground ladders, but did not have a powered aerial ladder on the chassis.

      Some of them were equipped with hose, a pump and a small water tank. They were known as "quads"
      ‎"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."
      Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY


      • #4
        Originally posted by E229Lt
        I believe "Service" companies are the way ISO defines what we know as Ladder or Truck companies.
        If you're talking ISO requirements, I think the Lt's answer is going to be pretty close. If you don't have an aerial vehicle, the equipment carried on another vehicle (other than an engine that's already been counted towards your pumping requirements) can be counted towards your truck company requirements. A good example is a heavy rescue. ISO doesn't care one whit about a department's technical rescue capabilites but most rescues carry ladders, forcible entry tools, saws, and various other truckie tools. If you've got one and it goes to your structure fires, in ISO's eyes you've got a service company. If ISO says you need a stick and you don't have one, the credit won't be the same but it will still help.


        • #5
          A service ladder truck was just that. It had all the good stuff a ladder truck should have, except an aerial ladder. It was built on a straight chassis, making it a long truck and you needed plenty of street to get this thing around a corner. This vehicle should not be confused with a Quad. A Quad was a type of vehicle that had the ground ladders, hose bead, pump and tank but not an Aerial. Had it had an aerial then it would have been called a Quint.

          Service ladders were use in towns and areas that did had building in height to justify an aerial ladder truck. Most is not all building were accessible by using ground ladders. Most service ladder trucks did carry a 50 foot pole ladder. I haven’t seen any service ladder is years. I may have photos of them some where in my files.
          Stay Safe and Well Out There....

          Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers


          • #6
            Cary FD (OH, NC? the site doesn't say) still runs a service truck, personally I think it is a good concept, lots of towns don't need or can't justify an aeriel but everybody can use lots of ladders and a company devoted to truck operations.







            This is the only example I've been able to find though.


            • #7
              Ha! Somebody besides CDF has a cappucino machine too!

              By the time that thing gets to the fire, it's probably over and done



              • #8
                We still run a service truck as a reserve piece and it wasn't that long ago that it was run as a first out piece.


                • #9
                  Louiaiana Property Insurance Rating systgem still requires a "service" truck at each station. All the equipment required can be on a rescue, ladder or even on a tanker (we have one tanker that carries all the "service truck" equipment for that station.

                  Equjipment includes:
                  (6) SCBA and (6) spare bottles
                  K-12 Saw
                  Acetylene Torch
                  (4) Pike poles at least 4' in length
                  PPV Fan
                  (8) Salvage Covers
                  Generator and Lights
                  A few other odds and ends

                  At one station, the heavy rescue is the service truck. At another it's the mini-pumper as it carries all of the above. At a third it's the light rescue. A fourth it's a stand alone service truck (pickup) and at the fifth it's the tanker.
                  Last edited by LaFireEducator; 10-05-2006, 11:43 PM.
                  Train to fight the fires you fight.


                  • #10

                    DAMN........ And all this time, I've been thinking that a Service Truck is that utility body pickup that the Shop guy brings out when something breaks down on a run....
                    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
                    In memory of
                    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
                    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

                    IACOJ Budget Analyst

                    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.



                    • #11
                      Originally posted by hwoods
                      DAMN........ And all this time, I've been thinking that a Service Truck is that utility body pickup that the Shop guy brings out when something breaks down on a run....
                      Ahh...You mean the truck that carries any, and every replacement truck part imaginable, except for the one the mechanic actually needs?!

                      We have them too!

                      Fire Lieutenant/E.M.T.
                      IAFF Local 2339
                      K of C 4th Degree
                      "LEATHER FOREVER"
                      Member I.A.C.O.J.
                      "Fir na tine"


                      • #12
                        Strike Team Trucks

                        I believe that at one point Indianoplis ran something called strike team trucks, whichwere bascialy IH 4400s with a flat bed. they just tied the ladders on and drove. It had no tools, but the most ground ladders I have ever seen.


                        • #13
                          I guess some heavy rescues might count as a "service company" then. I've seen one or two with ladder racks on both sides... carrying something like (2) 2 section 35's, (4) 2 section 28s, (2) 12 foot roof ladders, (2) 20 foot roof ladders, etc. Nice tool to have on the heavy rescue, and it didn't add all that much height too it either.
                          Originally posted by ThNozzleMan
                          Why? Because we are firemen. We are decent human beings. We would be compelled by the overwhelming impulse to save an innocent child from a tragic, painful death because in the end, we are MEN.

                          I A C O J

                          Honorary Disclaimer: While I am a manufacturer representative, I am not here to sell my product. Any advice or knowledge shared is for informational purposes only. I do not use Firehouse.Com for promotional purposes.


                          • #14
                            Sorry to thread jack but, I don't seem to be able to post a new thread, and since this is what got me thinking about it and is somewhat related I'll try it here.

                            As of 1999 the NFPA minimum complement of ground ladders on a truck has been reduced to 115 feet made up of 2 extension ladders, 2 straight ladders with folding hooks (roof ladders) and 1 attic ladder. Quints now only have to carry 85' made up of one of each of the above ladders.

                            Can anyone post the pre-1999 standard? I know it was a total 163 feet, and it spelled out the sizes and types to be carried but I don't remember the actual makeup. I have the 2000 edition of the IFSTA aerial apparatus book and was surprised the ground ladder requirement had been cut back so much, I don't have an older edition to compare with anymore.

                            Also curious about the ground ladder complement of some of the large cities that run dedicated truck companies (LA, NYC, Chicago etc), I seem to recall many carry in excess of 300 feet.



                            • #15
                              Belated reply to my original question.

                              I might have found the answer reading Matthew "Matt" Lee's excellent "A Pictorial History of Seagrave Fire Apparatus." The 2006 version, that is, again self-published for the occasion of the company's 125th anniversary.

                              Let's go back in time to the days of hand-drawn ladder trucks. Lee notes on page 15 that "plain, unsprung ladder trucks" were "referred to as village ladder trucks." And "as the weight and size of the trucks grew," they became "city service ladder trucks."

                              The trucks grew in size, we can infer, because they added features desirable for larger towns, taller buildings, and heavier usage. e.g., longer ladders, more equipment, wheel springs, rear tillers assemblies, etc.

                              Ergo, these ladder trucks were designed for service in a city. Or city service. And thus became known as city service ladder trucks. And which became shortened over time to service ladder trucks, or even service trucks.

                              What do you think? Sounds plausible to me.



                              300x600 Ad Unit (In-View)


                              Upper 300x250