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,
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.