Ministry of the
Solicitor General

Aerial-Ladder Fire Truck May Pose a Hazard

Communiqué du commissaire des incendies

Aerial-Ladder Fire Truck May Pose a Hazard

Communiqué 2015-08

March 27, 2015

The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently issued a safety notice relating to 2008 models of American LaFrance Eagle aerial-ladder fire trucks (PDF 977 KB).

In the notice, the NHTSA expressed its concerns regarding the potential for truck wheel separation due to front spindle fractures, which could lead to an accident and injury. It is the NHTSA’s belief that the source of this failure is due to the propagation of cracks in the spindle/hub.

The NHTSA was unable to complete its investigation into this matter because American LaFrance has since ceased operation and pertinent information necessary to evaluate the safety defect could not be obtained. Consequently, the NHTSA was unable to determine further details about which vehicle models were at risk of spindle failure.

Fire departments with American LaFrance Eagle aerial-ladder fire trucks are encouraged to immediately inspect these trucks, to check for cracks along the radius of the hub as well as the spindle, and to include the inspection of the wheel’s front spindles into their regular preventive maintenance schedule. Although fire departments’ American LaFrance fire trucks may not have an issue currently, diligence in inspecting the spindle frequently and maintaining it may prevent a wheel separation while on the road.

To report an incident involving a defect of this nature, please contact Transport Canada Defect Investigations at 1-800-333-0510 (toll free).