Monday, December 3, 2012

In Service

Back in September, I posted about my agency picking up a used ladder truck from another department in our county. After a trip to the lettering shop, installation of radios and an MDC and a little maintenance, the truck is back and is now in service. I happened to be at the tower on it's second day in service, which also happened to be the on-duty shift's first day on it.

Wisely, the department left the basic paint alone, making it the only deep red two-tone apparatus in our fleet. Frankly, it came out beautiful.

I like it so much, that I told the Chief in charge of specing-out our apparatus, that his last act before retiring should be to change the paint spec to this paint scheme.

As it was the crew's first day on it, they were putting it through the paces, learning the nuances of the unit in a training environment rather than an emergency situation. Although all of our units are similar, each one is just a little different. This one is more so, it is newer and is equipped with some technology that our other ladder trucks are not.

Things like learning  what the unit is doing when the jackknife alarm begins to sound, what the high and low points are, what sticks out the farthest etc. is best done in the field - though carefully. No one wants to be the first person to put a ding in it.

The use of spotters during this process is prudent, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Or, as I like to say - boots on the ground beats letters in your file.

Event the ladders themselves can act a little different. The amount of dip when loaded can be different, the control valves may have a different feel or a unit may have a different system or two - all things you need to know.

So far, everyone I have talked to is happy with the unit, it seems to be a quality piece. While only time will reveal whether this purchase was a bargain, a fair deal or we "got took", it appears to have gotten off to a great start.

I look forward to catching it in action.

Thanks for reading,



  1. I said it before, I'll say it again....

    Purty rig.

    'luck to her crews


  2. BG MIller - IT IS purty, and it works too!

    Thanks for the comment