1925 American LaFrance Type 31 Ladder Truck
This truck served West New York, NJ. It is steered at both ends in order to negotiate narrow streets. It
carries a number of “ground” ladders that would be carried into place, and an “aerial” ladder that would
be launched and manoeuvred from the top of the truck.|
The odd looking design severed a purpose. The drive wheels, brakes, and engine are at the front of the
truck. If a fire department already owned a horse drawn ladder truck, they could simply purchase the
front end and attach it to their existing equipment.
The solid rubber tires; in 1925 pneumatic (air) tires were still considered inadequate for such heavy loads.
The term “truck” predated motorized vehicles. Were this rig pulled by horses, it would have still been referred to as a “truck”.
It took a disciplined team of “driver” and “tillerman” to properly operate this truck.
This rig lead the first parade of SPAAMFA and is well known to buffs.