What’s New with Ziamatic’s Rescue Ladders?
Protecting your equipment from the wear and tear of everyday use is essential, even when it’s done for equipment that is often overlooked such as the ladder on the back of your fire truck. That’s where the protective sleeve of Ziamatic’s Rail Retention Kit comes into play.
The Rail Retention Kit (model 3096-005-905) holds a Ziamatic swing out and down vehicle ladder in place and when mounting the locking handle to the side of the ladder, the protective sleeve guards the rail coating against additional wear.
So why is a rail sleeve needed? Ziamatic’s ladders are all custom made to the measurements and styles chosen by customers. Since the ladders are different, the standard position for the locking handle assembly is not always ideal. Many installers have chosen to retain the ladder in the stored position by the side rail. Having the handle compress directly on the rail can cause the rail’s powder coating to wear out quickly – hence, the need for a protective rail sleeve.
For the team at Ziamatic, it wasn’t necessarily a straightforward solution. A lot of effort went into the development of the Rail Retention Kit’s protective sleeve.
“R & D found that a coating that will not wear was difficult to source, or a lot more expensive than the current coating we use, so we sought after an efficient wear sleeve option,” said Keith Creely, VP of Ziamatic, Corp. “The challenges were in finding a sleeve that was easy to apply in the field because the handle assembly can be mounted on either the right or left side, depending on where there is structure.”
A high-density, tubular, plastic material was found and chosen for development. It was split down the middle so it could be wrapped around the rail after everything was assembled. The tube’s inner diameter was slightly undersized so it wraps tight. To use, one simply cuts the longer length material to size and snaps it on to the rail on the preferred side.
The Rail Retention Kit can be used with Ziamatic’s swing out and down vehicle ladders. Ziamatic offers three sizes of ladders: a 12” wide option (model RL12-_-_); a 15” wide option (RL15-_-_); and an 18” wide option (RL-_-_). Ziamatic offers different options related to how a ladder returns to the vehicle. The top end of each ladder can be mounted on the back of the truck or over top of the truck.
Ziamatic also offers a Rescue Ladder Indicator Switch (model RL-IS), which can be wired to an alarm or indicator light to alert your crew that the ladder is deployed, not safely stowed. The Rescue Ladder Indicator Switch addresses the NFPA suggestion that any product that slides, swings or pivots outward and/or down, should have an indicator alerting the driver that the product is deployed.
“We found most installers were adding this to our rescue ladders, but when they needed to be replaced, the end users, dealers and distributors were calling us,” said Creely. “We had multiple requests to add an indicator switch option so it could be uniform and available by us when needed. We did develop an option and it is available to add on to existing ladders in the field or to new orders moving forward.”