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Looking for experiences w/ each type (pros/cons). I have my ideas, but I'd like to hear from others. If you've gone from one style to the other, how steep was the learning curve? Many on our dept. only have experience w/ mid-mount aerials. We're looking at a KME AerialCat 102' RMA platform or straight stick. Your opinions and experiences are appreciated! Thanks.

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Let's get some of the basics out of the way. The MM will have a lower overall height but will probably be longer than the RM because the ladder does not lay over the entire chassis for transport. The RM will have less sections for the same reason. With a RM you will have a projection ahead of the cab and a bucket would create a blind spot when looking up for the driver. The MM will make it easy to tilt the cab for checking fluids, etc. Not sure if the if RM cabs raise on the new models, ours has access panels in the cab. Big difference when doing weekly maintenance.

Our department has had MM platforms (Sutphen) since 1980 but in 2004 got a used RM stick (E-One) as well. If you carry hose this will be a change. The RM does not hold near the LDH that the MM does and you have to really pay attention to loading it for two reasons, first to make sure you get it all on there and second to make sure a coupling doesn't hang up when passing the turn table.

One thing I don't like about RM is the height. The preconnects, the hose bed, the ground ladders (on the side), getting on the ladder, it's all higher and a bigger pain overall in my eyes. We of course didn't have a chance to specify compartments but the MM seems to have more storage but you will have to compare apples to apples with your research.

Spotting the turn table seems to be harder with the RM because it is at the end of the truck. With the MM it's right behind the cab so it's easy. With the MM you need to angle the front end out about 8' to get the ideal spot. Several people like the RM because they can just nose right it. Downside is that the length of your truck becomes scrub area.

Our MM has four out riggers whereas the RM has two. The RM does a lot of moving when you are working off of the stick, both the chassis and the ladder. It seems to make it a lot more work just doing basic venting because of the stick movement. Again, make sure you do apples to apples. I don't know if they still use only two out riggers but I would suggest against it for that reason.

Can you get your hands on a RM to play with and see what you think in your area?

I prefer mid mounts but that's just my opinion. If you are looking, look at the Sutphen SPH100. I really like that truck. Also take a look at Smeal, they do both MM and RM, they build good apparatus.

Good luck,

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