One of the first 107-foot Ascendant aerial ladder quints in the country has been delivered to the Louisburg (KS) Fire Department by Pierce Manufacturing Inc.
Paul Richards, chief of the Louisburg Fire Department, says, “This is the first aerial our department has ever had. We were considering buying a 75-foot quint but were able to save a lot of money by going with this demo 107-footer. Plus we get a lot more reach and aerial height than with a 75-footer.”
|1 The Louisburg (KS) Fire Department 107-foot aerial ladder quint, built by Pierce Manufacturing, Inc., is powered by a 450-hp Cummins ISL 9 diesel engine and an Allison 3000 EVS automatic transmission. [Photos courtesy of the Louisburg (KS) Fire Department unless otherwise noted.]|
Richards notes that while the Louisburg fire protection area doesn’t have a lot of high-rises, it has other issues that made the department consider the longer aerial. “We have a number of setback issues in our town with several strip malls and also one of our higher-end subdivisions that’s built around a lake,” he says. “We also have a large downtown business district with shared buildings running a block long that we will have to get up and over as well as a lot of homes with 6:12 and 8:12 pitch roofs and long setbacks. We can’t get on those roofs with ground ladders, and the 107-footer will allow us to get on them and reach those other setbacks.”
|2 The 107-foot aerial ladder quint has a Waterous CSU 1,500-gpm pump, a 500-gallon water tank, and 115 feet of ground ladders.|
The Louisburg Fire Department covers a four-square-mile city and contracts to cover 112 square miles of Miami County with a paid chief, a paid part-time firefighter-inspector, and 22 volunteer firefighters out of one station that shares both city and county fire apparatus. The city of Louisburg has hydrants; some areas of the county have hydrant water sources.
The Louisburg Ascendant is a 107-foot aerial ladder quint on a single rear axle built on an Enforcer chassis and powered by a 450-horsepower (hp) Cummins ISL 9 diesel engine and an Allison 3000 EVS automatic transmission. The quint has a Waterous 1,500-gallon-per-minute (gpm) pump, a 500-gallon water tank, 115 feet of ground ladders, and 198 cubic feet of compartment space and carries 800 feet of five-inch large diameter hose (LDH), although the hosebed can handle up to 1,000 feet of LDH. The 107-foot aerial ladder quint carries a 1,500-gpm Akron Brass monitor at the ladder’s tip, has a 750-pound dry tip load, and has a 500-pound wet tip load.
Tim Smits, national sales manager for Pierce, says the 107-footer is two feet shorter overall than a tandem-axle 100-foot aerial ladder and only 1½ feet longer than a 75-foot aerial ladder on a single axle. “The ladder is all 100,000-pounds-per-square-inch (psi) steel,” Smits says, “has a vertical reach of 107 feet, a horizontal reach of 100 feet, and an 18-foot stabilizer spread set forward of the rear wheels that gives it 32 feet more reach than a 75-foot aerial.”
|3 Louisburg chose the 107-foot aerial quint over a 75-foot model because of the 107-footer’s greater reach (an additional 32 feet) while still maintaining the same footprint and single rear axle as the 75-footer. Shown with extended ladders are a 107-footer in the foreground and a 75-footer at the back. (Photo courtesy of Pierce Manufacturing Inc.)|
Roger Brown, salesman at Conrad Fire Equipment, who sold the aerial quint to Louisburg, reiterated the department’s concern for dealing with setbacks. “When the 107-footer came out, they got very interested in it compared with the 75-footer they were considering,” Brown says. “They were able to purchase the 107-footer for basically the same price of the shorter aerial because it was a demo unit. But, it gave them more truck at the same cost, greater reach, and more ability.”
Smits notes that because of the Ascendant’s weight-optimized design structure, its high-strength steel, custom tubing, and unique gusseting that puts weight and mass only where required, the aerial can deliver a full 107-foot vertical reach and a 100-foot horizontal reach with an operating range that goes from minus 10 degrees to plus 77 degrees.
|4 The Louisburg 107-foot aerial ladder quint has an Akron Brass 1,500-gpm monitor at the tip with a storefront blitz 30-degree vertical nozzle angle. Tip load is 750 pounds dry and 500 pounds wet.|
He points out that the Ascendant 107-footer’s single set of H-style stabilizers can be short jacked to a 13-foot spread. “The rotation interlock built into the aerial will not allow the ladder to operate in an unsafe manner over the short-jacked side of the vehicle,” Smits observes. The aerial also uses one rear downrigger to provide added support.
Smits adds that having the 107-footer on a single rear axle also makes the aerial a more maneuverable vehicle. “And, there’s no scrub area on the rear tires like you would have on a tandem rear axle aerial,” he says, “which kills those tires about every 10,000 miles.”
|5 Pierce’s 107-foot aerial ladder quint uses two H-style outriggers, shown extended here, and one rear downrigger to stabilize the vehicle during aerial operations. The vehicle has an 18-foot jack spread that can be short jacked to a 13-foot spread.|
ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Arizona-based journalist and is a member of the Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment editorial advisory board. He served 22 years with the Verdoy (NY) Fire Department, including in the position of chief.
Louisburg (KS) Fire Department
Pierce Manufacturing 107-Foot Ascendant Aerial Ladder Quint
- Pierce Enforcer cab and chassis with seating for six firefighters
- 107-foot heavy-duty, high-strength steel aerial ladder
- 39-foot, two-inch overall length
- 11-foot, five-inch overall height
- 234-inch wheelbase
- Collision-avoidance and multiplex systems
- Cummins 450-hp ISL 9 diesel engine
- Allison 3000 EVS automatic transmission
- Waterous CSU 1,500-gpm pump
- 500-gallon water tank
- Akron Brass 1,500-gpm monitor at tip with storefront blitz 30-degree vertical nozzle angle
- 750-pound dry tip load
- 500-pound wet tip load
- 100-foot horizontal reach
- Below grade operation to minus 10 degrees
- Pair of H-style outriggers and one downrigger
- 115 feet of ground ladders
- Hosebed capacity of 1,000 feet of five-inch LDH