One would think that rescuing people from heights is the same as it was decades ago. But far from it! The turntable ladders of today are much more tuned to the different requirements of fire departments.
15 to 20 years ago, the DLAK 23/12, with a working height of 32 m, was the standard device for municipal fire departments. Even back then there were different height classes, but these only made up a small portion of the market volume.
The trend that fire departments need more and more special solutions alongside their standard equipment, in order to be able to carry out their tasks, also shows no signs of slowing down for aerial rescue devices. So over recent years our product catalog has been extended from five main types to more than ten main types.
More and more wishes for turntable ladders came from municipal fire departments, which are specially optimized for use in inner city and old town areas. The L32A-XS is born from the wishes and ideas of our customers, which can play out is advantages especially in narrow streets.
But that wasn’t enough in order to be able to offer the right tool for extremely narrow old town alleys. Our team knew: the whole vehicle had to be more compact for this. That is why we concentrated particularly on space requirement all around the vehicle. In very narrow streets, there is no space for jacking systems, but also no space for the rear overhang of the bogie. The task was to develop a vehicle concept which only needs a bit more space than the truck itself. As we can always tailor our products to the individual requirements of customers, for us the focus was on a solution which could be perfectly integrated into our modular system.
The solution is a completely new bogie concept, which can be used from the L20 through to the L32 and L32A-XS. In the future, the series will feature the name prefix “C for “Compact.” The first offspring of this series is the L27-C, which we presented to the public in September 2016 at the “Congres National Sapeurs Pompiers” in France for the first time.
The L27-C is built on a MB Atego 1327 and is very compact with a length of 8.57 m, a width of 2.35 m, and a height of 3.27 m. The functionality of the turntable ladder corresponds to every other Rosenbauer turntable ladder, and especially the innovative cage with the removable multifunctional columns and the HL-M podium also set benchmarks for compact turntable ladders.
The difference from the former turntable ladders is noticeable when the ladder is turned 90° to the side. Because then the bogie has no overhang over the outside edge of the podium. So the turntable ladder can be positioned very close to buildings or other obstacles and can carry out operations without any restrictions. A particular challenge was integrating the complete technology, such as hydraulic components and control systems in a much smaller bogie. The levelling system is still integrated in the bogie with up to 10° and functions automatically and continuously.
It is really exciting to always take on new challenges from our customers and to develop the ideal aerial ladders for fire fighting operations. I am already really excited to see what the next big idea is for aerial ladders.
Do you have any ideas already?