New Truck In Town

HFD Replaces Old Ladder Truck With $960K Vehicle

Posted: April 4, 2014

Firefighter Justin Knighten, working from the bucket, extends the ladder on Harrisonburg Fire Department’s new $960,000 ladder truck Thursday during a training session. (Photos by Nikki Fox / DN-R)
Harrisonburg Fire Department members learn the ins and outs of the department’s new ladder truck on Thursday afternoon.
Firefighter Justin Knighten maneuvers the ladder with the controller in the bucket of HFD’s new $960,000 ladder truck Thursday during a training session.
Mark Hansen, a firetruck trainer with Spartan ERV in Lancaster, Pa., teaches Harrisonburg Fire Department members how to operate the stabilization arms on their new ladder truck on Thursday.

HARRISONBURG — Harrisonburg’s firefighters are fired up about their new ladder truck.

The Harrisonburg Fire Department took delivery last week on a 2014 Spartan/ERV truck with a 100-foot ladder. The $960,000 vehicle replaces a 1996 truck that will be the department’s reserve vehicle.

The department’s 69 firefighters are excited about their new truck, Fire Chief Larry Shifflett said.

“It offers a lot more safety features, a lot of features that weren’t offered in 1996,” Shifflett said.

The firefighters completed three days of training on the vehicle this week before it was sent back to the manufacturer in Maryland for some tweaking. The new truck, which features a 550-horsepower diesel engine with automatic transmission, will be back in the city in a few weeks, Shifflett said.

Features on the new truck include a camera and a backup camera that record the vehicle’s movements from front, rear, left and right. Advanced seat belt and airbag systems are included, along with LED lights, automatic snow chains, a 20-kilowatt generator and 10,000-pound winch.

The city ordered the truck in December 2012. It was paid for with funds from the Harrisonburg’s capital improvement funds.

The 1996 truck replaces a 1990 ladder truck that Harrisonburg sold to Rockingham County for $75,000, Shifflett said.

The 2014 truck should last 20 years and will be housed at Station No. 1, 80 Maryland Ave.

Contact Caleb M. Soptelean at 540-574-6293 or

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