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Watch as this fire truck seems to glide across the lanes of the highway:
One user explains the how difficult it is for a ladder fire truck to operate so seamlessly, “This is a Tiller Ladder. The rear end is operated by an independent driver. The one in our city is 110’ft. long.
The 2nd operator is needed to navigate narrow streets and tight curves. They are long trucks and the “Tiller Man” can counter steer the back wheels (has its own independent axle) to get through tight spots.
If a guy has to make a sharp right turn to get down a narrow street, the tiller will counter steer left to make the back end swing out and straighten the truck out. Otherwise, because of its length, it would take out anything that is parked near the curb i.e. other parked cars, etc.
A good tiller man/driver combination is huge as the trucks are too big for a single guy to manage. Yet with the 2nd guy, he is an extra set of eyes on your backside, can signal other drivers to be aware and get that big apparatus nimbly in places you would not think.”
In order to get a sense of the expertise needed to operate such a vehicle, this ladder demo video gives viewers an example of the skills required to drive a ladder fire truck so smoothly: