Fire brigade turntable ladder made to measure

When there is a fire, it has to be done quickly. This is why a 32-meter-long automatic turntable ladder in accordance with DIN 14043 (DLAK 23/12) takes a maximum of 140 seconds from arrival at the scene of action to the start of the rescue operation. When the lifting device mounted on a truck chassis has stopped after an alarm run at up to 100 km / h, the side supports are extended and the basket attached to the front of the ladder pool is lowered to floor level. Once the emergency services have got on, hydraulic cylinders raise the ladder. At the same time, the welded steel elements slide apart up to 30 meters in length, and the entire system is rotated in order to reach the selected point with the tip of the ladder.

The term “automatic” in the standard last updated in 2014 stands for the fact that these various movements are carried out at the same time. Seen from the ground, this is an impressive spectacle, but if the layman is in the basket himself, then the synchronous erecting, extending and turning causes a slightly queasy feeling in the stomach, while people on the ground and buildings are getting smaller and smaller.

The idea of ​​using free-standing mechanical ladders for fire brigade work dates back to the 19th century. Almost 150 years ago the fire brigade commander Conrad Dietrich Magirus developed a ladder with a 14 meter rise in Ulm. Today Magirus Brandschutztechnik GmbH belongs to the CNH Industrial group and builds fire fighting vehicles of various types. The turntable ladder is still “the flagship” in the product range, says Magirus sales manager Xavier Moreau. Every year around 250 ladders from 27 to 68 meters in length are built in Ulm for customers all over the world.

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The DLAK 23/12 is the standard in the German market. The numbers stand for 23 meters working height with a twelve meter radius (the so-called nominal range); fully extended, the ladder is around 30 meters long. Today, the flexibility of use is usually extended by an articulated arm at the top of the ladder that carries the basket. In this way, in contrast to ladders that can only be extended linearly, points can also be reached that are beyond obstacles such as a roof ridge. “Up and over” is the procedure when the tip of the ladder with the basket is folded down behind the barrier.



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