Fire Engineering Training Community

Where firefighters come to talk training

Does anyone here have experience utilizing aerial apparatus in the Rural Setting? From what we have been taught, our use of an aerial would be limited due to a lack of paved roads/driveways, soft soil (outside the limitations of outriggers), etc. We have multiple developments in our district with large "McMansions" that have roofs beyond the reach of ground ladders.

Views: 271

Replies to This Discussion

You really need to know the soil conditions and if the area is new construction the soil has probably been disturbed by excavation. If yous are going to try to set up the aerial consider that the rural road or private driveway may not be built to hold any better than the earth. A long private road may be nothing more than a driveway. And the sides of the road may be nothing more than gravel on top of the dirt - no compaction was done.

If I were going to set up and my risk management assessment / size-up indicates it is acceptable I'll try to put the rear of the apparatus facing the building and perpendicular to the building (assuming its a rear-mount aerial). I will fully jack with ground plates-no shirt j******. When I go to raise and approach the building I will first raise the ladder straight up fully, rotate 180 degrees then lower then extend out. No extension would occur until I was straight off the rear as this is a much stronger and more stable position than off the side.
The biggest thing I've seen in my area is departments oversizing thier apparatus when they are responding to a mostly rural area or district. You really have to take a serious look at the places you are intending on operating these apparatus. Everybody wants to purchase a truck that is the biggest and best in the area, 100' plus aerials and tower ladders with huge jack spreads are great in the city where your almost always working off pavement and have the option to manuever. However when your trying to get an aerial up a tightly built driveway thats landscaped with rock walls on each side and only paved wide enough for one vehicle your just not gonna get your million dollar tower ladder up the driveway. The only chance you might have is a little single rear axle 75' aerial with one set of jacks or even better scissor jacks. Like you said some of these houses thier building today are outside the realm of hand ladders and you need to get an aerial in place. These conditions can be some of the most challenging for an aerial operator that there is especially if it snows where your from. The classic argument I love the best for purchasing the 95' tower with the 16' jack spread is that its safer for the men to work out of, but its definatly not safer in the middle of winter when you cant get the tower up the driveway and your working off hand ladders on a snow covered roof. Stay safe.


Policy Page


The login above DOES NOT provide access to Fire Engineering magazine archives. Please go here for our archives.


Our contributors' posts are not vetted by the Fire Engineering technical board, and reflect the views and opinions of the individual authors. Anyone is welcome to participate.

For vetted content, please go to

We are excited to have you participate in our discussions and interactive forums. Before you begin posting, please take a moment to read our community policy page.  

Be Alert for Spam
We actively monitor the community for spam, however some does slip through. Please use common sense and caution when clicking links. If you suspect you've been hit by spam, e-mail

FE Podcasts

Check out the most recent episode and schedule of

© 2024   Created by fireeng.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service