First-Ever Pierce Ascendant 107-Foot Aerial Tiller Delivered to the Tuscaloosa (AL) Fire & Rescue Department

Pierce Manufacturing announced that it has delivered first-ever Pierce® Ascendant® 107-foot tractor-drawn aerial tiller to the Tuscaloosa (AL) Fire & Rescue Department. The apparatus is the first aerial tiller of any type in the department’s 139-year history. 

Appleton, WI—Pierce Manufacturing Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation company, announced that it has delivered the first-ever Pierce® Ascendant® 107-foot tractor-drawn aerial (TDA) tiller to the Tuscaloosa (AL) Fire & Rescue Department. The apparatus is the first aerial tiller of any type in the department’s 139-year history. The vehicle was delivered to the department immediately following its debut at FDIC International 2017.

Earlier this year, Tuscaloosa Fire & Rescue took delivery of two Pierce pumpers; it has two more Pierce pumpers on order.

“The selection of the all-new Pierce Ascendant 107-foot aerial tiller by Tuscaloosa Fire & Rescue is a real vote of confidence in our products and the excellent sales and support services provided by our local dealer, Emergency Equipment Professionals; we could not be more proud,” said Matt McLeish, senior vice president of sales and marketing of the Fire & Emergency segment and Pierce Manufacturing. “As cities and towns become more congested, we continue to experience steady growth in tractor-drawn ladder vehicles. With the Pierce Ascendant 107-foot tiller now available, we expect this trend to continue and even accelerate.”

“The Pierce Ascendant tractor drawn ladder is going to greatly enhance our already solid truck company operations,” said Fire Chief Alan Martin, a 43-year veteran of the fire service, and Tuscaloosa Fire & Rescue fire chief since 2002. “In our area, the roadways and intersections seem to be getting narrower, and the commercial and residential buildings are situated closer to the streets. With the Ascendant 107-foot tiller, it’ll be easier to get into tight places, yet still provide the reach we need. This is the one truck that will do all of that for us.”

This Pierce Ascendant tiller apparatus for Tuscaloosa is built on a Pierce Arrow XT™ chassis and features a 500-hp engine, a four-door cab, and seating for six firefighters. The tiller trailer includes TAK-4® independent suspension for a smoother ride and enhanced control. The vehicle has 570 cubic feet of storage and carries a full complement of ground ladders, rescue tools, and equipment. The 107-foot aerial ladder 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 -10º.

Tuscaloosa is the fifth largest city in Alabama and is located on the Black Warrior River in the west central section of the state. Tuscaloosa Fire & Rescue features 12 engine companies, 11 stations, and 250 paid personnel. The department’s protection area includes the University of Alabama as well as a Mercedes-Benz manufacturing plant. “For seven weekends a year during football season, we’re the second largest city in the state,” said Martin. “The stadium seats around 106,000 and there’s another 25,000 to 30,000 gathered outside the gates. It presents some significant challenges for us, but we wouldn’t have it any other way!” 

The Pierce Ascendant Class of aerials has expanded to include a tandem rear axle aerial ladder, a tractor-drawn aerial tiller, and both a single rear axle and tandem rear axle aerial platform configuration. The Pierce Ascendant 107-foot single rear axle aerial ladder, first introduced in 2015, is the most popular new aerial apparatus in the company’s history.

Local Pierce dealer, Emergency Equipment Professionals (EEP), provides comprehensive sales and support services. With more than 40 employees, EEP features three full-service locations – in Pelham, Ala., Richland, Miss., and Horn Lake, Miss. – as well as mobile service capabilities throughout the states of Alabama and Mississippi.

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