At the conventions of the Eastern Association of Fire Chiefs in Atlantic City, N. J., and the New England Association of Fire Chiefs at Providence, R. I., one of the new American-LaFrance 4-wheel cab-over-engine type of aerial ladder trucks was demonstrated. The new design possesses many novel features.
Aerial ladders on the 4-wheel ladder truck are being furnished in lengths of 65 feet, 75 feet, and 85 feet. The ladders are built in three telescoping sections. Each section is fabricated of corrosion resisting, high tensile strength, cold drawn steel, by the atomic electric arc method of welding. The ladder is completely controlled by one man for all operations through a hydraulic power system.
These short wheel base, short overall length aerial ladder trucks possess high degree of maneuverability so essential in heavy or congested traffic areas, and for negotiating narrow streets. They can be housed in existing stations without rebuilding or enlargement, which is frequently required when an aerial truck is installed.
When equipped with a 75-foot aerial ladder, the overall length is only 40 feet2-inch and with an 85-foot aerial ladder, the overall length is only 41-feet-10-inch, much shorter than the tractor-drawn 6-wheel type.
Either the 75-foot or 85-foot aerial ladder can be used for rescue work, or as a water tower, with the ladder fully extended at any angle, equalling the 6-wheel tractor drawn ladder truck for operating stability without such maneuvers as jacknifing the tractor.
One of these new modern 85-foot aerials has been recently purchased by Great Neck, L. I., N. Y. and one has also been purchased by Concord, N. H. Demonstrations of the 85-foot aerial ladder on the 4-wheel ladder truck have been made recently in several cities where an increasing interest is noted in this compact and efficient unit.