RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond Fire Department recently added a new tool its arsenal. It’s a vehicle often referred to as a tiller truck, but it operates much differently than traditional firetrucks.
“It’s operated by two people. One drives the front… one drives the back,” said Captain Michael Oprandi. “The trailer has a steering wheel and they till the back of the trailer in conjunction with the driver of the tractor portion.”
This dual driver apparatus allows for more accessibility and gives crews an edge when responding to blazes across the City.
“This vehicle gives us access to extremely tight streets in the city and gives us access to areas where we had more trouble with larger apparatus in the past,” Oprandi said.
He added, “the importance of this truck is to get it in front of the building. We want to have access to all of the ground ladders and aerial apparatus, so we can gain access and get people in and out.”
The tiller truck, which the department calls #3, has been in service since March. Every time it responds to a call, it’s a piece of history as it’s the first tiller truck in the city since 1998. That’s when the department switched to a quint style of fleet.
However, 23 years later, the department is turning back to a tradition, all while aiming to keep the city safer.
“We know in the past they worked and they were effective, so now we’ve gone back to that,” Oprandi said.
Check out a full tour of the tiller truck below: