By Chris Mc Loone
E-ONE has broadened its aerial offerings by developing a steel aerial, dubbed the HPS 105. The steel aerials are additions to the company’s aerial product line. What apparatus purchasers will find is that the only difference between E-ONE aluminum and steel aerials are the aerials themselves.
Creating a new product that differed only in the type of aerial posed two challenges to the company, according to Jim Salmi, director, aerial product development. “My challenge was to keep as much of the DNA—all those ingredients that make E-ONE really strong—but make the changes necessary to include a steel aerial on top of the truck,” said Salmi at E-ONE’s recent Media Day. “There are a couple of challenges. One is that aluminum is much lighter than steel, so weight becomes a challenge in terms of the design. Also, E-ONE has historically offered a 2.5:1 structural safety factor. Most steel ladders are designed with a 2:1 safety factor. So, that was obviously a design challenge.”
To achieve this goal, Salmi says the company took advantage of high-strength steel (100,000 psi) in the ladder structures and of maintaining a stiff ladder structure. “The integral torque box frame is very stiff and provided a basis for excellent stability over the side and front of the truck,” he added. “Unlike most aerials, the over-the-front sector stability is achieved with the tires off the ground.”
Looking at the HPS 105, one will not see anything different except the construction of the aerial, which is all by design. “The goal was: let’s make it as different as possible from the pivot point on up,” said Salmi. “If you go from the pivot point of the ladder on down, this truck is the same as E-ONE’s current 100-foot ladder. So, basically the outrigger system, the torque box frame, the cab, and the chassis—none of that had to be impacted by the challenges we made.
Along with the advent of its steel ladder, Salmi said that the company decided to also make the aerial “just a little bit better.” He stated that the company designed a system that requires no grease. “There’s a roller system called a cam follower pivot assembly at the back of each section he said. “And, there’s a roller at the front of each section. Essentially, whenever you are extending or retracting this ladder, you are doing it on high-capacity rollers.”
Salmi points out the following features of the roller system:
- It provides for extremely smooth ladder extension and retraction at all elevation angles.
- The main rails of the ladder do not have to be greased, which reduces maintenance time. The rollers are not affected by temperature.
- The rollers reduce the amount of force required to extend the ladder. This reduces hydraulic pressures and reduces wear and tear on cables, sheave wheels, and hydraulic system components. This, in turn, reduces maintenance costs.
- The rollers do not require lubrication and use sealed roller bearings. A proven flame spray zinc metalizing process is used to protect the contact sources between the rollers and the ladder sections.
The rig that media representatives saw features E-ONE’s new advanced aerial control systems, which features a 3½-inch backlit color display that comes through the console with essential information needs for the operator. E-ONE’s ramp control features three predefined settings that can change how firm or soft the ladder starts and stops. As previously stated, from the pivot point down, the aerial apparatus is the same as E-ONE’s aluminum product line. It features the integral torque box chassis, crisscross underslung jacks, compartments over the jacks, and no pins. Its jack spread is 13 feet, eight inches, and the HPS 105 offers a 240-inch wheelbase with a 58-inch cab.
The aerial’s tip load is 500 pounds wet and dry, and the standard waterway is rated at 1,000 gpm.
Salmi stated that the design experience for this new product was very pleasant. “It’s a great team of people. I’ve been in in the industry long enough to feel the pulse of a company and understand whether it’s moving in the right direction or not,” he said. “I really feel good about what’s going on with the E-ONE organization.”