The Shipshewana (IN) Fire Department needed to replace a 1990 Sutphen mid-mount aerial platform that was at the end of its useful life, and continued to have the preference of a platform vs. a straight stick. Shipshewana’s truck committee liked the features of Sutphen Corp.’s SPH 100 mid-mount aerial platform and chose that rig to replace the earlier truck.
“We wanted to stay with a platform,” says Chad Miller, Shipshewana’s deputy chief. “We liked Sutphen’s aluminum ladder and the versatility of a mid-mount where there is no bucket out in front of the cab. Also, we’ve been impressed by Sutphen being a family-owned and -operated business, and the service given by Sutphen and Herb Fire Equipment.”
Miller points out that the truck committee had developed the specs for a new aerial platform a couple of years ago, but when its 1990 developed issues, the department had to act. “We had to take our older unit out of service much quicker than we expected, so we purchased a demo unit that Sutphen had on the production line,” he says. “The demo unit had the stowable handrail on the aerial, which is a nice feature where you can leave it upright or put it in the stowed position.”
Shipshewana’s truck committee was also able to make some modifications to the truck as it was being built. “We added doors to the truck’s hose bed, where we carry 900 feet of 5-inch LDH (large diameter hose), instead of covering it with a tarp,” Miller says, “and added a RotoRay LED light to the front of the truck.”
Andy Herb, owner/president of Herb Fire Equipment, who sold the truck to Shipshewana, says the SPH 100 is built on a Sutphen Monarch heavy duty custom chassis and extended cab with a 10-inch raised roof with seating for six firefighters, five in SCBA (self contained breathing apparatus) seats. The rig has 10-inch double Domex frame rails, a Huckbolted 304 series stainless steel body, both roll-up and hinged doors over 280 cubic feet of compartment space, a 23,000-pound front axle and suspension, and a 52,000-pound rear axle and suspension.
The aerial platform is powered by a 500-horsepower (hp) Cummins X 12 diesel engine, and an Allison Gen 5 4000 EVS automatic transmission. Wheelbase on the truck is 236 inches, overall length is 46 feet 10 inches, and overall height is 11 feet.
Herb points out that the SPH 100 has a 2,000-gallon per minute (gpm) QMax single stage pump, a 300-gallon water tank, two 200-foot 1-3/4-inch cross lays, one 200-foot 2-1/2-inch cross lay, two 2-1/2-inch discharges on the left side, and one 3-inch and one 2-1/2-inch discharge on the right side. The truck’s ground ladder complement includes an Alco-Lite 35-foot two-section ladder, a 24-foot two-section ladder, one 16-foot roof ladder, a 14-foot combination ladder, and a 10-foot folding ladder.
Miller notes that while the SPH 100 typically is built with two manual monitors on the platform, Shipshewana’s truck committee decided it wanted one of them to be electrically-operated. On the driver’s side of the platform, it had Sutphen install an Elkhart Brass Company Cobra EXM 1,250-gpm remote control monitor on the driver’s side, and on the officer’s side, an Akron Brass StreamMaster II manual 1,250-gpm monitor with an Akron Brass 2499 and 3488 straight pipe.
Herb says the SPH 100 also carries a grille-mounted Federal Q2B siren, a Smart Power 10-kilowatt generator, a Hannay electric cord reel with 150-feet of cord, and a FRC ACT two-station intercom system. Lighting on the truck includes a Whelen Freedom IV 72-inch LED light bar, Fire Research Corp. (FRC) Spectra 12-volt LED brow lights, Hi Viz Fire Tech 12-volt LED spotlights, Whelen 600 series 12-volt LED scene lights, FRC Spectra 240-volt LED scene lights, and a LED RotoRay light.
Shipshewana Fire Department has 30 volunteer firefighters operating from one station, covering a population of 10,000 70 square miles in two townships that have five hotels, a convention center, large theater/concert hall, shops and restaurants. The area is a tourist attraction that gets thousands of visitors during the summer months. Its other apparatus include three engines, two 4,000-gallon tankers (tenders), and one brush truck.
ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Ariz.-based journalist, the author of three novels and five non-fiction books, and a member of the Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment editorial advisory board. He served 22 years with Verdoy (NY) Fire Department, including the position of chief.