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I am a new Truckie. I have been assigned to an engine for my entire career now I am on a truck. 2008 sutphen tower.

Anyway I have been training my little heart out learning all of the new equipment and I have come across a little issue.

My Sgt (driver) and LT Company officer cannot tell me about a roof ladder on a pitched metal roof. (I must say that training is not a major concern in my department).

This is my ideas if anyone has any suggestions or better ideas PLEASE let me know!

Set the hooks by using a flat head axe or sledge. Place the hooks after driving the horn of the hallagon in the roof, and or driving the horn in and using it as a chock for the ladder!

I understand using the tower but due to over head lines and poor engine companies we have a hard time getting proper ladder placement!

Just being honest and I want to make all of the real truckies proud!

Shawn Roark from Bristol Va.

And thanks to my little brother BSR on the job in South Bend IN for the info about this site!

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I own a home with a metal roof. It is nearly impossible to walk on these roofs in normal, dry conditions. I can't imagine wearing fire boots and forget it if they are wet.

My roof has sky-lights so best bet would be to knock those out first or horizontal vent.

Thanks for bringing this discussion up. I look forward to hearing the different opinions.
So when you set the hooks on a normal roof, from the ground ladder you push the hooks just a bit past the peak then forcefully (as you can) pull back on the roofer to 'set the hooks' or allow the hooks to bite into the comp/shingles right? Sometimes when I've done this, I haven't felt too comfortable with how the hooks have set. So before the next guy comes up, I scamper to the ridge and stomp the hooks into the material. My question is ( and sorry to be asking more questions than answering) what is the guage of metal they are using? Can it be pierced with moderate pressure? Maybe what whe do in addition to a roof ladder is to take a halligan tool up and sink the spike either as an added foot hold or into the rung spaces of the roofer. Looks like we'll need to do some training on this to see what works.
This has been something that my company has talked about while sitting around the table. I'm glad you brought this up and I've been able to get some other input. Metal roofs are something that we are seeing more and more often in my area on residential structures. As a ventilation and ladders instructor one idea that we have tossed around is trying to secure the ladder over the peak and one person climbs the ladder to the peak while another holds lower part of the roof ladder. Once at the ridgeline the firefighter takes his pick head axe and makes a couple purchase points in the roof. Then the ladder is reset in these two holes. This should give some more stability to the ladder. We have not had the ability to have a house to try this on but if anybody has the opportunity give it a try and see if it works. Like in several of the other post the best option may be to try to horizontally ventilate instead of putting someone on these type roofs.
This is a common problem in our area. Lots of metal roofs, old and new, commercial and residential. Commercial for obvious reasons and residential because its cheaper and lasts a long time. Back to the original issue, if you set the hooks, (really pull down on the roofer when you place it) it will usually hold well enough for you to make it to the peak and really set them in good.
However, that being said, ....metal roof systems (especially peaked and residential) are not the safest place to be. In our area we frequently find ourselves dealing with them in spite of the hazard, because they are frequently in use with log cabin homes and retrofitted roofs on more modern homes. They are combined with foam and OSB to make a fairly low profile ventilation space which in effect is a "cold" roof, vs. a hot roof where there is not air gap. Sometimes fire will travel around in these roof systems and play hell to catch.
So our experience is often in winter, usually with 2-3 feet of snow load and a lot of metal to remove. We have found the unpleasant way that the roofer will ride the snow, (with the snow acting like a fulcrum) and is akin to snowboarding. The snow will actually prevent the ladder from being well seated. The unsuspecting firefighter places weight upon the base of the roofer and this brings the hooks up off the peak and ladder and firefighter skate to the ground. When you can, use the aerial tip or bucket.

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