On my kid list of “things I someday want to be” ladder truck tillerman was pretty high up there. It is a fascinating position to be in. Way out back at the end of the truck by yourself, steering oppose the driver in the front to make a huge truck maneuver like a small one. This video is cool because we see a few different elements of the job. From getting into position to avoiding traffic and then finally getting the truck through an exceptionally tight set of turns, this driver gets a lot done over the course of the two and a half minutes that this video runs.
We know that these drivers go through lots of training on different courses and maybe even simulators now but there’s nothing that replaces real life experience. When you see this guy trying to anticipate the movements of traffic and then keeping in communication with the driver of the engine you start to get an understanding that this is not the position for someone who lacks the ability to multi-task or act in a quick fashion.
The big payoff for us is nearing the end when they pull the truck into wherever they are going and it is basically a really squat and tight S-turn. It also illustrates the necessity of the man in the back. Without him, this thing would have been in trouble.