100' Tractor-Drawn Tillered Aerial
You Won't See Another One of These. . .
common as the front end of a Kenworth is to all of us in the Pacific
Northwest, and as common
as the tractor-drawn tillered configuration has
become for big-city ladder trucks, you will not see
another ladder truck
like this anywhere!
The Seattle Fire Department has purchased several types and makes of
tillered aerial ladder trucks
over the years, beginning with a
horse-drawn rig in 1906, then continuing with an array of motorized
units built by most all the big-name fire apparatus manufacturers of the
era - Seagrave, Mack and
American LaFrance. The SFD had
previous success with Kenworth fire apparatus beginning with
KW pumper which went into service in 1942. Subsequent orders in 1946,
'49, '53, '64 and
'67 proved the rigs to be rugged and reliable and able
to withstand the demands placed on them in
the fire service.
So, in 1969, with Seattle needing to replace two aging aerials in the
Capitol Hill and Belltown areas,
the department ordered two new ladder
trucks, the likes of which had never been seen before
- - two tillered aerials with KENWORTH tractors.
Each rig was powered by a 350 hp eight cylinder Detroit Diesel engine,
and was equipped with an
Allison "Power-Shift" six-speed semi-automatic
transmission. After the tractors were completed,
they were driven
back east to the Maxim plant in Middleboro Massachusetts to receive
built trailers, aerial ladders, and partial tiller cabs.
The two were then driven back to Seattle, and
and all the other "finishing touches" were completed here, by Heiser,
S.F.D. maintenance shops. The first one went into service
at Ladder 10 on Capitol HIll, and soon
thereafter, App 316 was assigned
to Ladder 1 at Fire Department Headquarters in Pioneer Square.
replaced a 1960 American LaFrance which was re-assigned to Ladder 4 in Belltown.
After serving the SFD for 25 years, the first of the pair (App.
315) was sold in 1994 to a private
party without the aerial and without
the tiller cab. The new owner, wanting only the tractor portion,
quickly got rid of the trailer.
leaves App 316 as the only original Kenworth
tillered aerial in existence, to our knowledge. It is also the
last "conventional-cab" tractor-drawn tillered aerial to be carried on
the SFD roster, as well as the last of NINE SFD ladder trucks to be
equipped with a Maxim aerial, and the only one of those that still
1978, the producers of the television show "EMERGENCY", did a two-hour
movie in Seattle, entitled "Most Deadly Passage". Firefighters
John Gage and Roy DeSoto (Randolph Mantooth and Kevin Tighe) spent time
with Seattle firefighters and paramedics, responding to three major
events . . . a suspected jumper from the Space Needle, a high-angle
rescue inside the Kingdome, and an engine room fire in an occupied ferry
boat in Seattle's Elliott Bay. In the Kingdome segment, "Ladder
One" is shown responding out of Headquarters, traveling down 2nd Avenue South, and into the
Kingdome. The aerial is raised inside the building, and a rescue
is made using a Stokes stretcher. The aerial ladder truck in
service as "Ladder One" at the time, and the one that is shown in that
segment, is none other than our "App. 316".
Historical Photos . . .
App 316 (Ladder 1) 1972
(drilling in front of Station
App 316 (Ladder 1) 1982
(with open crew compartment on each side of
App 316 (Ladder 1) 1986
(with safety door installed on crew compartment)
App 316 (Ladder 1) at Station 10 with Aid 10 & Engine 10
App 316 (in storage) 2000
(awaiting "rescue" by Last Resort Fire Department)
~ Apparatus 316 Company Assignments ~
1970 - 1988
Ladder 1 - 301-2nd Ave S (Station 10)
1988 - 1988
Ladder 10 - 1300 E Pine St (Station 25)
Reserve and in Shop
1989 - 1994
Ladder 4 - 2334-4th Ave (Station 2)
Reserve (in storage - May 2000)
2001 . . . .
~ The Stations ~
SFD Fire Station #10 (1928-2008)
SFD Headquarters (1928-present)
App 316 (Ladder 1)
SFD Fire Station #25 (1970-present)
App 316 (Ladder 10) 1988-1988
SFD Fire Station #2 (1921-present)
App 316 (Ladder 4) 1989-1994