Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Red Horse

Boston Ladder Failure

Recommended Posts

So here is one for you Fire Pro's.  Last night a 13 year old Boston ladder truck (Has a basket-don't know what proper name for that is)- and it is working a 3 decker fire and a guy is in the  basket and it is just above the flat roof.  Suddenly the ladder collapses-looks like all the telescopic sections just like popped out of whatever the guides are that keep them tracking-or the hydraulic lift cylinders just lost all pressure and the ladder dropped.  

 would the ladder sections when extended have enough strength to remain ridgid/intact with the upper most sections resting on the building.?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with GA on that

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with GA’s comments, he highlights points all operators should be familiar with. While taking an Aerial Apparatus Operator course years ago at MFRI discovered these pieces of apparatus are very prone to failure with operator error and lack of proper maintenance. Catastrophic failures are rare but do happen. The truck involved was a Pierce (built by Oshkosh) they are widely used pieces and are generally viewed as being of good quality.  Sidebar---I worked on a Pirsch riveted/aluminum ladder also known as “Twist-O Flex” back in the 70’s. They were not for the light hearted, they would twist and sway if you were at the top end of the fly. The first time I climbed one I hesitated on the way up and still remember the Lt yelling keep going candy a** the truck isn’t moving. Many old timers no doubt remember these tough old trucks.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thx guys-   well the Commissioner/Chief immediately said ..."truck failure-not operator error.   this guy by the way is an up from the ranks guy in the department.    The mayor  by the way is a former union official- I think in the laborers.  This department also had a bad accident a couple of years ago when a truck "lost its brakes on a steep hill and crashed, killing guy in right seat.  I believe stated cause was .."driver had executed a three point turn prior to going down hill and lost all his air".  I guess they order these things with the "spring brake delete option".

 Saw news footage in which they showed a crane bringing it down, then unit drove away with all sections in place-looked like it should going down the street.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also keep in mind, Boston had another aerial failure a little while back that was found to be caused by improper maintenance and "band-aid" type fixes to the hydraulic controls.  Here they have a 13 year old reserve rig, and seeing there is a history of improper maintenance on other rigs- I would bet that has something to do with it.  To echo Red Horse's comment, the Commissioner came up through the ranks, and over the last few years of seeing him in the news during and after incidents, I have a lot of respect for him as a guy who seems to keep the best interests of his men in mind- hopefully they are able to get their maintenance issues resolved soon!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whether or not it was operator error or mechanical failure, it should be mentioned that this is the third (known) failure of this specific model of Pierce aerial. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, 1958 F.W.D. said:

Whether or not it was operator error or mechanical failure, it should be mentioned that this is the third (known) failure of this specific model of Pierce aerial. 

Boston TV reporting tonight Pierce pledged their assistance in arriving at a cause.  City also announced they had hired an "expert"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, 1958 F.W.D. said:

And I will bet you any amount of money that P will claim "Operator Error." 
Neuralizer.jpg.e83dfc141ec6b4ed737d600d5459af4d.jpg
 

And what could that "operator error" be?  He landed the ladder on the roof?  As GA-D noted, angle of base section says it was either a hydraulic failure or was powered down?  I assume these lift cylinders are double acting?  And if there is no hyd fluid on ground, that says a valve body was activated?  

Also have to assume these things are all "fly by wire"and wireless controls at that -any chance these things can pick up a stray signal?  I know this thing is 13 years old so it is not that sophisticated but I do know some of the new stuff has a feature where you can actually download your control box function to your Iphone!  Talk about scary!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

Welcome to BMT!

...The world's best antique, classic & modern Mack Truck support forum! Founded in 2000, BigMackTrucks.com is the place to go for everything related to Mack Trucks!

BMT!

BigMackTrucks.com is owned and operated by Watt's Truck Center, New Alexandria, PA. This forum and it's contents are not affiliated with Mack Trucks, Inc. or Volvo Trucks North America.

×