The fire department is preparing to put into service a new, $1.45 million tiller truck in Quincy.

QUINCY — Ever have a hard time making a turn on a tight Wollaston street packed with parked cars? Try doing it in an almost 60-foot-long fire truck.

As Quincy's development boom continues, the fire department is preparing to put into service a new, $1.45 million tiller truck to help firefighters take tight turns and get closer to ever-taller buildings. The truck, with two drivers, one in the front and one in the back, has two chassis and can pivot in the first third of the rig, like a tractor trailer, to make it more nimble.

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"The primary reason for the truck is the city is getting built out, there's more cars, more congestion, smaller streets," said acting Fire Chief Joe Jackson. "This is like the Holy Grail of fire trucks. Chiefs across the state are jealous."

The truck will be Ladder 2 in the Wollaston fire station on Beale Street. Having the tiller truck stationed in the middle of the city means it will see a lot of action, Jackson said.

Quincy fire mechanic Kevin Mellor said, "This truck is going to pretty much every box that's struck. You can place this ladder in places you can't with other trucks."

Mellor said maneuverability is the biggest asset the new truck brings to Quincy's fleet. The 57.5-foot truck has a 101-foot ladder than can go up about seven stories, depending on the circumstances. Mellor said besides moving around the city with fewer multi-point turns, the new truck can get closer to buildings because of its better turn radius.

Another feature of the new truck is that it can hold twice as many tools as the truck it's replacing, a ladder truck called a "quint." At the parking lot in front of the fire department's mechanic shop on East Howard Street on Wednesday, Jackson showed off the battery-operated extraction tools, saws, and other rescue gear stored inside the truck.

When the truck heads out to fires, it will carry one officer and three firefighters. The two drivers can communicate via intercom.

Firefighters have been training on the truck since December, with the whole department expected to learn to use the truck by the time it goes into service in April.

Master mechanic Michael O'Connor said the last tiller truck in Quincy went out of regular service in 1999 and was scrapped in 2005 after serving as a backup. It's been a three-year journey to get another one.

The fire department started considering adding a new tiller truck in 2017. After the mayor and the city council approved it, production began late last year.

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Reporter Joe Difazio can be reached at Jdifazio@patriotledger.com.