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My Dept. is taking delivery of 3 Sutphen SP70's in March 2010 and I am looking for some good Truck Ops info. Coweta County, GA has never operated true Truck Companies and we are about to put 3 on the pavement. I recently was accepted to an Aerial Ops class and learned some good info but I'm looking for street sense stuff. I'm looking for you experienced Truckies to tell me what you did when you first begin learning good tactics for Truck Ops. I understand traditional jobs that Truck Companies do and I'm comfortable with those tasks. I am looking for info like spotting, water supply, everyday training, etc. What should we be doing on a daily basis to get good fast? By the way, our Trucks 3 70' Mid-Mount Platforms and 1 100' Rear-Mount Stick for Reserve. Thanks, Brad McBrier

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Get the trucks out. Take them out in the community and set them up. See where you can and can't reach. The MM is easy to spot because it is right behind the cab. Operating the trucks in your area will get the guys good at spotting the apparatus, determining how much room they need for the outriggers, what everyones job should be on setting the truck up. Our Sutphen 95' platform should have the front bumper angled out about 8' to get the best spot and not have the cab in the way. Don't use just commercial buildings, use single family dwellings as well. This is simple stuff but will give your guys valuable training. It will also make the community feel good about its purchase because they will see what they bought and that you guys are training on how to use them.

Take the engine guys along on the spotting drills. Then they can see why you need the address and they need to pull past of short.

On another site I saw training tips. Take a short (2-3') piece of tubular webbing or rope and attach it to the tip of your ladder. On the end have something like a tennis ball. This is something I want to implement when I get home. Thinking about drilling a h*** in the ball and running prussic cord through it or slicing a h*** and using webbing but either way tie a knot on the bottom to keep it in place. Place a snap link on the other end and it will be easy to take on and off. Then have your operators place the ball on top of a building, on top of a cone or whatever is available. This will help with their depth perception, it will give them time on the controls, it will clearly define the reach, give the crew practice in hand signals, basically the stuff they need to run the truck.

Do you have a vent roof simulator available to have the guys practice venting out of the bucket? About the only thing I don't like about Suphen is the step below the bucket. We have pieces of tubular webbing stored in the bucket in Tupperware containers that can be ran through an anchor point and then the truck belt attached to the webbing. This allows the crew to kneel and make the cut but still be tethered in. Shortest guy on our department can still make the cut so the step is not insurmountable.

Hoping when we replace our RM stick we can get a Sutphen SPH100. That bucket, and the whole truck, rocks!

We don't run a truck company, the job is performed by whoever is available but these are a couple things I picked up. What do you want to know about water supply?

Hope this helps,
Walt.
Here are two groups you may want to join on here to give you some helpful tips.
Truck Company Operations
Aerial Operations

Here is a great website that will help VENTENTERSEARCH.COM

Also check out the videos on FireEngineering.com Truck Company

stay safe
Good info Capt, Thanks. Tennis Ball trick is brilliant. I have heard from other Depts. that leaving room for the Truck has been one of the biggest problems faced with introduction of Truck Companies. We have already implemented training our Eng Companies on spotting and hopefully that headstart will help. We do in fact have a great roof vent simulator and plan to wear it out quickly. Sorry, I dont even know why the hell I put water supply in there. How long are yalls tethers? Thanks again brother and be safe out there.



Todd "Walt" Walton said:
Get the trucks out. Take them out in the community and set them up. See where you can and can't reach. The MM is easy to spot because it is right behind the cab. Operating the trucks in your area will get the guys good at spotting the apparatus, determining how much room they need for the outriggers, what everyones job should be on setting the truck up. Our Sutphen 95' platform should have the front bumper angled out about 8' to get the best spot and not have the cab in the way. Don't use just commercial buildings, use single family dwellings as well. This is simple stuff but will give your guys valuable training. It will also make the community feel good about its purchase because they will see what they bought and that you guys are training on how to use them.

Take the engine guys along on the spotting drills. Then they can see why you need the address and they need to pull past of short.

On another site I saw training tips. Take a short (2-3') piece of tubular webbing or rope and attach it to the tip of your ladder. On the end have something like a tennis ball. This is something I want to implement when I get home. Thinking about drilling a h*** in the ball and running prussic cord through it or slicing a h*** and using webbing but either way tie a knot on the bottom to keep it in place. Place a snap link on the other end and it will be easy to take on and off. Then have your operators place the ball on top of a building, on top of a cone or whatever is available. This will help with their depth perception, it will give them time on the controls, it will clearly define the reach, give the crew practice in hand signals, basically the stuff they need to run the truck.

Do you have a vent roof simulator available to have the guys practice venting out of the bucket? About the only thing I don't like about Suphen is the step below the bucket. We have pieces of tubular webbing stored in the bucket in Tupperware containers that can be ran through an anchor point and then the truck belt attached to the webbing. This allows the crew to kneel and make the cut but still be tethered in. Shortest guy on our department can still make the cut so the step is not insurmountable.

Hoping when we replace our RM stick we can get a Sutphen SPH100. That bucket, and the whole truck, rocks!

We don't run a truck company, the job is performed by whoever is available but these are a couple things I picked up. What do you want to know about water supply?

Hope this helps,
Walt.
Thanks for the links brother and for the love of God, stay warm up there.

Brad Hoff said:
Here are two groups you may want to join on here to give you some helpful tips.
Truck Company Operations
Aerial Operations

Here is a great website that will help VENTENTERSEARCH.COM

Also check out the videos on FireEngineering.com Truck Company

stay safe
Brad, I think the tennis ball trick was found on the VES website that Brad Hoff suggested. The webbing loops are just standard 14' pieces we all carry for a hasty harness or whatever else you need tubing for. We keep it tied with the water knot in the container. Don't think they are the perfect length but it'll give you something to start with. Hopefully you won't wind up with a "dope on a rope" but it is a means to keep them secured to the aerial when making a cut from the bucket.

While our department has had an aerial since 1980 previous Chief's thought it was only for "the big one". Of course you generally don't know you have a big one until you are well into it. We got more progressive because of our ISO review and now run the ladder second due with the first due bringing the engine. The third engine comes from either station. As a result of not running the aerials consistently, even though it was in the SOP's, we are a young department when it comes to aerial operations. We are breaking the bad habits of lining the preconnects up with the door but is still happens because bad habits are hard to break. When I'm responding with the ladder I try to prompt the engine to tell me which way to come in so he remembers to leave the address for the ladder.

Good luck,
Walt
I won't bore you with repeating Todd's comments, but I'd like to note that he's spot on. We went from a rearmount stick to a MM tower and the constant drilling on spotting at all types of buildings is the key. We also do the "bucket rodeo" with a 5 gal. foam pail and lower it into trash cans placed about on the roof, on a porch, and on both sides of the apron. This gives each operator some finite control skills. Once an operator is good enough to get the pail in the cans without touching the sides, we make him/her put the engine in high idle and start again.

I would note that using a 70 ft. MM effectively will require excellent spotting skills by you DO's. 70 ft. is not much when you account for routine setbacks. Practice, practice, practice. If you can afford to, get Lt. Mike Wilbur from FDNY to come do an aerial class with your aerials. The time is invaluable. (www.emergencyvehicleresponse.com)
Brad, Adam's comment about high idle gave me a thought. On our 2002 Sutphen you need to engage the pump to keep the hydraulic fluid cool if you are going to be operating the ladder for more than 20 minutes. As a result, when you put the pump in gear you don't have high idle. When a demo SPH 100 was through we asked the rep about that and he said that Sutphen changed the cooling system so you no longer have to run the pump to help keep the hydraulics cool. Didn't ask if that applied to all their devices. Make sure that you pose that question to the delivery rep.
Previously we didn't engage the pump but a service bulletin came out from Sutphen so we adjusted operations and train our operators accordingly. Like I said, they probably went away from this manner of cooling the hydraulics but be sure to ask.
Good stuff Chief, Thanks. We'll be bucket rodeoing down here in GA when the Trucks make it in town. We demoed many rigs and found that Coweta would best benefit from 70' Towers due to building height restrictions in place at the current time. We plan to purchase an SPH 100 in about two years when our new 10 story hospital is constructed. We cover a large rural area that has some weight limit and height issues which also played a part in choosing the 70 footers. Another factor was the fact that we could purchase 2 SP 70s for about the same money as a SPH 100 due to the fact we were buying multiple units. Bid was for 4 engines, 2 or 3 Platforms depending, and a heavy. We also recieve mutual aid from the city with their 100' KME Platform if we should need it (just hope i aint gotta get in it). Thanks again for the reply and be safe.

Adam Miceli said:
I won't bore you with repeating Todd's comments, but I'd like to note that he's spot on. We went from a rearmount stick to a MM tower and the constant drilling on spotting at all types of buildings is the key. We also do the "bucket rodeo" with a 5 gal. foam pail and lower it into trash cans placed about on the roof, on a porch, and on both sides of the apron. This gives each operator some finite control skills. Once an operator is good enough to get the pail in the cans without touching the sides, we make him/her put the engine in high idle and start again.

I would note that using a 70 ft. MM effectively will require excellent spotting skills by you DO's. 70 ft. is not much when you account for routine setbacks. Practice, practice, practice. If you can afford to, get Lt. Mike Wilbur from FDNY to come do an aerial class with your aerials. The time is invaluable. (www.emergencyvehicleresponse.com)
I will be sure to clarify with our rep, I remember discussing high idle when I went to Columbus for pre-build but can't remember now. We were in the middle of specing out 4 engines, 3 towers, and a heavy rescue. My memory has smoke showing. Thanks for the reminder brother

Todd "Walt" Walton said:
Brad, Adam's comment about high idle gave me a thought. On our 2002 Sutphen you need to engage the pump to keep the hydraulic fluid cool if you are going to be operating the ladder for more than 20 minutes. As a result, when you put the pump in gear you don't have high idle. When a demo SPH 100 was through we asked the rep about that and he said that Sutphen changed the cooling system so you no longer have to run the pump to help keep the hydraulics cool. Didn't ask if that applied to all their devices. Make sure that you pose that question to the delivery rep.
Previously we didn't engage the pump but a service bulletin came out from Sutphen so we adjusted operations and train our operators accordingly. Like I said, they probably went away from this manner of cooling the hydraulics but be sure to ask.

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