July 23, 2014 – Sutphen Corporation announced that the manufacturer is instructing fire service users and customers to remove all 5-section aerial devices from service until further notice, effective immediately. All model SPH 100, SP 100, SPI 112, and SAI 110 aerial devices are affected by this notice.
Sutphen states that customers are instructed to use the affected apparatus in the capacity of an engine or support vehicle only until further notice. Departments are not to use the aerial device.
“At this time, our priority is the safety of the fire fighters,” says Drew Sutphen, President of the company. “In light of the recent incidents, we recognize there is an immediate need to take precautionary action. I would rather take every precaution necessary than to put fire fighters at risk.”
These incidents involved aerial devices when a mechanical failure caused the aerial devices to rapidly descent. In one incident a cable failed due to improper installation. Sutphen Corp. continues to investigate whether the improper cable installation was caused by employee error, mismarked inventory or an identification error by a supplier. In another recent incident, a mechanical failure caused the five-section ladder to suddenly retract more than 20 feet before it jammed.
In November 2013, Sutphen Corp. recalled 156 aerial devices due to ball bearings that could seize, causing the cables running over them to chafe and fail. That recall included trucks from 2000 to 2011 and involved the same four models as in this safety notice.