Author Topic: Custom Fire Service Aerial Ladder Platform  (Read 10244 times)

Offline Tim_w

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Custom Fire Service Aerial Ladder Platform
« on: January 21, 2006, 12:06:46 »
Hello  All

Here is another specialist appliance from my Playmobil Fire Service. This time we have an ALP or Aerial Ladder Platform. In real life most British fire service appliances carry a selection of ladders for general use. Sometimes however for various reasons it is necessary to call on a dedicated appliance with a very long fixed ladder. These ladders usually have a reach of up to100 feet although some American trucks reach a lot higher. The ladder, which has a basket at the end, is mounted on a turntable allowing it to turn through 360 degrees. It is crewed by two fire fighters who are specially trained in its operation. 
One of its main uses is to rescue people from tall buildings or to fight fires from high above where it can lay down a high volume of water onto the fire with ease. It can also be used as a lighting platform, observation tower and can assist fire fighters in gaining access down difficult slopes. So as you can see it can be used for a wide variety of tasks and is a valuable piece of equipment.

Playmobil ALP:
My vehicle is based on the chassis of a Playmobil ladder truck. One of the major changes that had to be made was the lengthening of the original ladders. This change makes it stand out considerably when compared to most Playmobil fire engines.
Another important changed is based on the fact that most ALP’s only carry a crew of two meaning the cab is smaller. To represent this I converted the chassis to take the cab from the old dustbin lorry. This allows the basket that has been fitted on the end of the ladder to fold away neatly behind the cab.

(28/5/03/850)

Offline Tim_w

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Re: Custom Fire Service Aerial Ladder Platform
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2006, 12:07:37 »
Here is a picture of the basket resting on the ground showing one of the crew ready to climb in. The other crewmember operates the ladder controls from a seat on the turntable. It is also possible to operate the ladder from the basket or the rear of the appliance.
This second picture shows the various controls to operate the ladder and control the water supply. To the right of the picture you can see the pickup where hoses can be connected for the ladders water supply.

(28/5/03/850)

Offline Tim_w

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Re: Custom Fire Service Aerial Ladder Platform
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2006, 12:08:32 »
This is a picture showing the stabilizers fully extended and lowered to the ground. Stabilizers help prevent the vehicle tipping over when the ladder is fully raised or operating low to the ground. Underneath the stabilizer leg are spreader plates, which help spread the weight of the vehicle further. A road cone has been placed near each of the legs as a warning to prevent anyone walking into them.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2006, 15:14:26 by Tim_w »

(28/5/03/850)

Offline Tim_w

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Re: Custom Fire Service Aerial Ladder Platform
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2006, 12:09:23 »
The last two pictures show the ladder fully extended and the view down from the basket. It is hard to see how tall the ladder actually is from these pictures alone so if I get a chance I will add a size comparison at a later date

(28/5/03/850)

Offline Tim_w

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Re: Custom Fire Service Aerial Ladder Platform
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2006, 12:09:46 »
Thank you all for taking the time to look at these pictures. I hope you found the information informative but easy to understand.

Kindest Regards  Tim

(28/5/03/850)

Offline Morgan

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Re: Custom Fire Service Aerial Ladder Platform
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2006, 13:14:37 »
Nice photos, and one really long ladder  ;D Can the truck tip over if there is more than one klicky in the basket? Or can the stabilizers hold up a basket with two firefighters, some equipment and a wounded civilian? Depends on the angle of the ladder, but can it?

Offline playmofire

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Re: Custom Fire Service Aerial Ladder Platform
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2006, 14:49:19 »
Wow, Tim, another custom triumph!  You really do excel in your field.

I like especially the detail of the handles on the spreader plates and that pump bay at the rear.  Though I've toyed with fitting a rear mounted pump, I never thought of fitting it off centre.  Maybe that reflects on the difference between us in our customs - you think more "outside the box".
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Offline Sylvia

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Re: Custom Fire Service Aerial Ladder Platform
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2006, 15:34:49 »
I'm really amazed by the height that ladder can reach and also surprised that the truck can support it when it's fully extended!  :o

Thanks for sharing this with us, Tim. You never fail to impress with the standards you reach with your conversion work. 8-)

I particularly like the photo taken from above showing how high up the basket is in relation to the rest of the vehicle. That klicky must have nerves of steel! ;)

Offline Meg

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Re: Custom Fire Service Aerial Ladder Platform
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2006, 17:28:21 »
My questions are similar to Kristian's

With the one black support/brace at the foot of the ladder, How stable is the platform?
What is the max capacity of klickies (or humans) on the platform?

again, another very well thought out, and extremely well executed design.

Meg

Offline Tim_w

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Re: Custom Fire Service Aerial Ladder Platform
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2006, 18:43:49 »
Hello Kristian, Gordon, Sylvia, Meg  :wave:

First of all thank you very much indeed for the very kind replies. It is a pleasure to be able to share my fire service pictures with you.

It is very interesting that you have all shown interest in and raised questions as to wether the vehicle will tip over due to the extra length of the ladder. It is certainly going to be interesting experimenting further to find out the answers as i have not fully tested its capabilities yet :). I will go out in the garden tomorrow and try some different combinations and post pictures of the results.
It is worth noting as Kristian pointed out that it all depends on several key factors: weight in basket, angle of ladder and how far it is extended. At the moment it is quite comfortable with the ladder fully extended and raised at its maximum angle. More load and stress will be put through the stabilizers when the ladder is closer to the ground and carrying weight in the basket. The addition of the spreader plates help a great deal because they increase the size of the feet on the stabilizers thus spreading the load further.
To answer your first question Meg the support for the ladder is quite strong luckily :lol:. It still has to be operated with care because when the catch is released the ladder can drop quite rapidly due to its weight.
Thank you for your kind feedback Gordon. The idea to mount the pick up to one side came from a picture showing the rear of a new Hydraulic Platform. I will have dig around in my collection to see if i can find it.
I am glad that you liked the picture showing the view from the ladder Sylvia. The fire fighter in question is certainly very brave having to operate at such heights, especially when sometimes he can be right over burning buildings :omg:.

Kindest Regards  Tim  :)9
« Last Edit: January 21, 2006, 18:50:17 by Tim_w »

(28/5/03/850)