pro's & con's












  • Highly maneuverable because of the fifth wheel articulation and the ability to steer the rear of the trailer around obstacles.
  • More maneuverable than straight-frame aerial, even though the tractor drawn aerial is longer than straight-frame apparatus.
  • More maneuverable responding in and around narrow streets, traffic circles/calming circles, parked cars, cul-de-sacs and traffic projects.
  • A tractor drawn aerial can simply access areas a straight-frame aerial cannot. 
  • Because of maneuverability, the turntable on a tractor drawn aerial can be manipulated closer to buildings compared to a straight-frame aerial.
  • The tractor drawn aerial is able to navigate into urban developments with tight access to apartment complexes, condos, offices, and college campuses.
  • Maneuverable allows for Increased on-scene access (where straight-frame aerial has trouble making access and must use 3-point turn, swing wide into oncoming traffic, go around the block, or back up)


compartment space

  • ompartment capacity for a tractor drawn aerial can be between 500 to 650 cubic feet compared to a straight-frame aerial compartment capacity of roughly 160 cubic feet.
  • Tractor drawn aerials accommodate a larger number of ground ladders than straight frame aerials. Because tractor drawn aerials are mid-mount aerial, the structural components for the turntable are located towards the front of the apparatus, thus providing a larger space for ground ladders in the back of the trailer. Also, 
  • Because of the size of a tractor drawn aerials trailer, ground ladders are able to be attached to the outside on the trailer, consequently adding to your ground ladder complement.
  • Because of the sheer compartment space difference between a straight-frame aerial and a tractor drawn aerial, firefighters are not hampered with issues such as:

o    Firefighters opening 2 or 3 compartments to get tools and equipment.
o    Tools and equipment stacked on top of each other.
o    Tools and equipment being stored high up, having a negative impact on body-mechanics.


faster set-up time

  • Tractor drawn aerial has only two outriggers compared to four
  • Advantage in time savings when setting up aerial
  • Outriggers can be ordered now without pins, allowing for set up with one person 


Aerial operational footprint

  • With 2 outriggers you are able to deploy them in areas with a smaller footprint where you could not with 4 outriggers 
  • Approximately 15’ to 16’ wide deployment of outriggers depending upon specs vs. 18’to 20’ for straight chassis platforms 


Less Weight

  • Even though the Tractor drawn aerials is a larger apparatus, the overall weight of the apparatus is approximately 15,000 pounds lighter than an aerial platform
  • Less weight equals easier on braking, transmission, engine, suspension, etc.


Overall Height  

  • Typical height of a tractor drawn aerial  is around  11’ 2” where aerial platforms can be between 11’11” to 12’2’