Outriggers needed: Lessons learned from a flipped aerial

Aerials have been designed with various layers of safety – and outriggers are one of them


Most fire departments have aerial fire trucks sitting in their stations. There are many types of these aerial devices – a straight ladder stick, platform, rear mount, mid-mount, and telescopic or articulating boom. No matter what type of aerial device you have, they all have one common feature that’s needed for them to operate – outriggers.

Every aerial device needs to have outriggers to stabilize the aerial device. Without them, the aerial device will not be able to operate in a safe manner.

An aerial device has been designed and built with different layers of safety all working in an interconnected way. If the one layer of safety is not in place or activated, then the next layer of operation will not operate or be allowed to operate. Outriggers are one of those layers of safety that must be implemented in order for the aerial device to operate.

Leading up to the outriggers being deployed, there are other safety features that must be initiated – the maxi-brake, aerial master switch and perhaps an aerial power takeoff (PTO).

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