Pierce Ascendant 107-Foot Single-Rear-Axle Ladder Is the Most Popular New Aerial Fire Truck in Company History

Pierce has received over 60 orders and counting for its Pierce® Ascendant™ 107-foot steel heavy-duty aerial ladder since its unveiling last year, making it the most popular new aerial apparatus in the company’s history. The Pierce Ascendant’s strength and performance in the single-rear-axle category was recently borne out through three phases of a fatigue test demonstrating the equivalent of 20 years of service life. 

APPLETON, WI—Pierce Manufacturing, Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation company, has received over 60 orders and counting for its Pierce® Ascendant™ 107-foot steel heavy-duty aerial ladder since its unveiling last year, making it the most popular new aerial apparatus in the company’s history. The Pierce Ascendant’s level of strength and performance in the single rear axle category was recently borne out through a successful completion of three phases of a fatigue test demonstrating the equivalent of 20 years of service life. 

“We knew the market would be strong for a 107-foot heavy-duty steel aerial available on a single-rear-axle configuration but, with over 60 orders on the books since its unveiling, the response has far surpassed our expectations,” says Jim Johnson, Oshkosh Corporation executive vice president and president of the Fire & Emergency segment and Pierce Manufacturing. “With substantial sales numbers and an unprecedented demand for product demonstrations, the Pierce Ascendant is quickly redefining the paradigm for performance and reach in the single rear axle category.”

“When our guys returned from seeing the Ascendant, they said it had some strong benefits that would meet our department’s needs—especially the extra reach and compact single-rear-axle configuration,” said Rodney Schmidt, chief of the High Level Fire Department in Alberta, Canada. “We have a large industrial plant with a ceiling height of just over 100 feet, and our current 50-foot aerial simply isn’t up to the task. The new Ascendant will make a huge difference in reach. Plus, it eliminates the need for special licensing of our volunteers to operate a tandem rear axle.”

Chad Smothers, chief of the Riverside (IA) Fire Department, sums up the Pierce Ascendant’s appeal this way: “Our department had been about to pull the trigger on a 75-foot aluminum ladder but, after seeing the Ascendant, we decided to switch over. The longer reach is the big advantage when you can stay on the same size chassis and carry 500 gallons of water and a 1,500-gpm pump. With the Ascendant’s extra 32 feet of reach on a single rear axle, we’ll have more flexibility to set up in a safer position,” he explains. 

The Ascendant aerial passed all NFPA structural and stability testing requirements prior to its launch and, since that time, Pierce’s R&D team successfully completed three phases of a fatigue test that demonstrate the equivalent of 20 years of service life. Phase one included lifting a 750-pound tip load weight—plus the equivalent of 100 pounds of equipment—off the floor 60,000 times at full horizontal extension. Phase two repeated all steps in phase one for another 60,000 cycles which substantiated there are no fatigue issues in the design. A third phase included 10,000 additional cycles with the load increased to 1,125 pounds plus the equivalent of 100 pounds of equipment. To put the 130,000 cycles into perspective, that’s simulating 17 uses at rated tip load per day, every day, for 20 years.

“The extra measure of fatigue testing we’ve completed confirms that the Ascendant aerial ladder is up to the emergency response challenges placed on any fire department,” adds Johnson. “With these new tests, the Ascendant knocked it out of the park!”

The Pierce Ascendant 107-foot aerial ladder fire truck features a weight-optimized design structure that places weight and mass only where required. The aerial delivers a full 107-foot vertical reach and a 100-foot horizontal reach with a below grade operation of -10 degrees. Its 100-foot horizontal reach 32 feet greater than a typical single-rear-axle aerial.

At FDIC International 2016, the Pierce booth will include all-new configurations of the Ascendant heavy-duty ladder including the PUC™ configuration, Texas Chute Out body (side stack hosebed), and a no pump/no tank body configuration.

For more information, visit www.piercemfg.com.

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