Aerial Ladder Truck
The west coast calls them “Truck Companies.” The east coast calls them “Ladder Trucks.” In both cases, an aerial ladder truck is a critical component when fighting structural fires. A tiller truck, also known as a tractor-drawn aerial, tiller ladder, or hook-and-ladder truck, is a specialized turntable ladder mounted on a semi-trailer truck. Unlike a commercial semi, the trailer and tractor are permanently combined and special tools are required to separate them. It has two drivers, with separate steering wheels for front and rear wheels. One of the main features of a tiller-truck is its enhanced maneuverability. The independent steering of the front and back wheels allow the tiller to make much sharper turns which is particularly helpful on narrow streets. An additional feature of the tiller-truck is that its overhaul length, over 50 feet for most models, allows for additional storage of tools and equipment. The extreme length gives compartment capacities that range between 500 and 650 cubic feet on the trailer with an additional 40 and 60 cubic feet on the cab. There are many variations of Aerial Ladder Trucks as well. Some are covered elsewhere in our apparatus listing!