Aerial & Ground Ladder Testing
As an ISO/IEC 17020 Accredited Corporation, IIA offers a complete inspection and non-destructive testing program to meet the current NFPA 1911 as well as 1932-2020 guidelines for testing aerial ladders, elevating platforms, and water towers, and ground ladders. We test ladders from 5 feet to 45 feet, and of various types and manufacturers.
Our inspections include a complete visual and operational test of the vehicle, aerial device and associated equipment. Additionally, various non-destructive test methods are used to locate defects.
All ladder supports are made of steel and are adjustable to ensure ladders are resting on a level surface for testing.
All ladders are setup to suspend from each ladder support at a distance of exactly 6" from each end of the extended ladder.
Roof Hook Test Prep
The Roof Hook Test places a plate uniformly across the hooks to apply equal pressure when each hook is engaged. Each engaged hook is tested for metal and hardware fatigue.
Roof Hook Test
Applying 1000 pounds of hydraulic test weight to the ladder.
All ground ladders are checked to make sure appropriate manufacturer's labels are present and that NFPA standards are disclosed.
All extension ladders are tested with special equipment to ensure that the locking mechanisms can withstand 1000 LB's of pressure.
A computer generated report is issued following these inspections; and if no abnormalities exist, a certificate of compliance is issued in accordance with NFPA 1911 guidelines. The certificate is withheld if repair is necessary until such time as the needed repairs are complete.
Our thorough testing and inspection of ground ladders is in accordance with the current NFPA 1932 guidelines. The testing of ground ladders can minimize ladder failures due to abuse, overloading, normal wear or heat.
Our Inspections and Testing Can Include:
- Visual/Operational Inspections
- Load Test
- Timing and Functional Tests
- Hardness Test of Non-Ferrous Metal Components
- Magnetic Particles and/or Dye Penetrant Test of Critical Welds and Casting
- Hydraulic Oil Analysis
- Ultrasonic Inspection of Accessible Pins
- Turntable Bolt Torque Check
- Drift Test
- Waterway Systems Check
- Horizontal Bend Test of Ground Ladders
- Ground Ladder Hardware and Hook Tests
- Extension Ladder Hardware Test
- Heat Sensor Check and Replacement (if necessary)
- Liquid Penetrant Inspection of Rung Welds (optional test)
Fire Department Testing
Tests are done on metal, fiberglass, and even wood ground ladders. Any ground ladders that are used in the fire service and sold to fire department as a ‘rated ladder’, are subject to a series of tests per NFPA 1932-2010 guidelines. These tests include, but are not limited to:
- Visual Inspections – We inspect each ladder for a multitude of physical problem areas including rusting, corrosion, cracks, bad welds, loose bolts on guides, poor lubrication, and more. In fact, for non-NFPA rated ladders (OSHA compliant) like the 'Little Giants' most departments carry with them, we perform the same visual inspections.
- Horizontal Bend Test – We subject each extension, combination, roof and folding ladder to an extended weight test. With the ladder extended, we simulate the weight of a firefighter(s) climbing up or down the ladder. We test each ladder with the required weight and time to ensure that the ground ladder performs as per manufacturers’ specifications, and has a deflection within NFPA guidelines.
- Roof Hook Test – Each roof ladder has its roof hooks checked for sturdiness, operability, and pressure. All mechanisms are checked for ease of clearance and opening. Also, each roof hook is tested under 1,000 pounds of pressure to ensure that the hooks remain stable and do not bend when subject to extended pressure.
- Hardware Test - For each extension ladder we inspect and test the pawl locks on each section of the ground ladder. For smaller ground ladders, there may be only one set of locks, but for larger ground ladders, there will be two sets of locks. Each lock is visually inspected, the locking mechanism is tested to see if it moves freely and engages the rungs, the release mechanism is functional, and finally the lock is tested with 1,000 pounds of pressure to ensure that it can hold a weight load even greater than it will be subject to during a fire. The locks must hold in place to ensure that a ladder will not collapse when it is used.
Our highly trained staff works with ground ladder manufacturers to gain a full understanding of the operational qualities of all types of ladders. We work quickly, efficiently and professionally to help ensure your staff are using certified equipment in the field.
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