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  • #16
    The I beam is going to cost you less over the long term ESPECIALLY if you keep the rig longer than 15 years. Less money up front and less to maintain.We looked briefly at IFS but opted for the I beam. T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 09-10-2010, 08:52 PM.

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    • #17
      I will add my two cents. We have one rig with IFS the rest of them are I-Beam, out of a total fleet of 8 Type I pumps. Overwhemingly,at my department everyone favors the IFS, due to handling, braking, and overall performance. In regards to the IFS costing more, we have not had a single issue in the 30,000+ miles and going on three years of service. Being an Engineer that drives an I-Beam designed rig, i much prefer the IFS for the reasons listed above. Furthermore regarding the cost, the rig with IFS cost around $35,000 less (including a CAFS mind you) than our newest I-Beam rig with a delivery date of one year seperating them. If the IFS cost so much money to maintain, than i dont believe LA City would have such a large fleet of them. And yes i am talking Pierce here and no i dont drink the Kool Aid, just someone who has practical experience driving these two different platforms for a living. If your a volunteer department where maintenance funds are an issue than that is something to consider, but the bottom line is ours gets ran the hardest since it is at one of our busiest stations and we have had zero issues with it thus far. The only downside to the IFS that i have with them is that they do drive like a giant SUV and if you are not in tune with the rig, you will be driving faster than you should and could potentially find yourself in a situation you cant recover from. Regarding how the trucking world moves on I-Beam, well i would agree, but the military moves on IFS. And our IFS turns as well as our I-Beam rigs do, they both take a whole wopping two and a half lanes to pull off a U-turn. If i was the OP i find departments that operate what ever IFS system you guys want and ask them for the maintenace records regarding them. A salesman will sell you anything but talk to departments to get the real skinny!

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by 2ivswo View Post
        A salesman will sell you anything but talk to departments to get the real skinny!
        Yes, evidentially you should seek out and find those who will tell you what you want to hear, don't listen to the FD's represented here.

        We looked into IFS when speccing our Rescue-Pumper and one chief explained to us that he had grave concerns for his IFS rig as the drivers that lacked fulltime driving experience tended to over steer the unit as it "dove into corners". Similar stories everywhere, the IFS rides nice but reacts very differently and is far easier to "over drive". Given the increased costs and risks, we determined the ride to be a very minor issue.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by 2ivswo View Post
          I will add my two cents. We have one rig with IFS the rest of them are I-Beam, out of a total fleet of 8 Type I pumps. Overwhemingly,at my department everyone favors the IFS, due to handling, braking, and overall performance. In regards to the IFS costing more, we have not had a single issue in the 30,000+ miles and going on three years of service. Being an Engineer that drives an I-Beam designed rig, i much prefer the IFS for the reasons listed above. Furthermore regarding the cost, the rig with IFS cost around $35,000 less (including a CAFS mind you) than our newest I-Beam rig with a delivery date of one year seperating them. If the IFS cost so much money to maintain, than i dont believe LA City would have such a large fleet of them. And yes i am talking Pierce here and no i dont drink the Kool Aid, just someone who has practical experience driving these two different platforms for a living. If your a volunteer department where maintenance funds are an issue than that is something to consider, but the bottom line is ours gets ran the hardest since it is at one of our busiest stations and we have had zero issues with it thus far. The only downside to the IFS that i have with them is that they do drive like a giant SUV and if you are not in tune with the rig, you will be driving faster than you should and could potentially find yourself in a situation you cant recover from. Regarding how the trucking world moves on I-Beam, well i would agree, but the military moves on IFS. And our IFS turns as well as our I-Beam rigs do, they both take a whole wopping two and a half lanes to pull off a U-turn. If i was the OP i find departments that operate what ever IFS system you guys want and ask them for the maintenace records regarding them. A salesman will sell you anything but talk to departments to get the real skinny!
          Question ONE: Do your I beam rigs have the IDENTICAL Braking system to the IFS? If NOT,you are comparing Grapes and pears
          Question two: Do you believe a system with twice as many moving parts is going to be a BETTER long term value than one with half as many?
          Just because the military uses something does NOT,in itself,mean it is the best system for the rest of us. You may have noticed you are a bit outnumbered in your opinion. And WHERE you operate the vehicle can have a great deal to do with whether or not an IFS axle will work well for you. VERY nice in SoCal,not so much so in the Northern woods of Maine.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by 2ivswo View Post
            I will add my two cents. We have one rig with IFS the rest of them are I-Beam, out of a total fleet of 8 Type I pumps. Overwhemingly,at my department everyone favors the IFS, due to handling, braking, and overall performance. In regards to the IFS costing more, we have not had a single issue in the 30,000+ miles and going on three years of service. Being an Engineer that drives an I-Beam designed rig, i much prefer the IFS for the reasons listed above. Furthermore regarding the cost, the rig with IFS cost around $35,000 less (including a CAFS mind you) than our newest I-Beam rig with a delivery date of one year seperating them. If the IFS cost so much money to maintain, than i dont believe LA City would have such a large fleet of them. And yes i am talking Pierce here and no i dont drink the Kool Aid, just someone who has practical experience driving these two different platforms for a living. If your a volunteer department where maintenance funds are an issue than that is something to consider, but the bottom line is ours gets ran the hardest since it is at one of our busiest stations and we have had zero issues with it thus far. The only downside to the IFS that i have with them is that they do drive like a giant SUV and if you are not in tune with the rig, you will be driving faster than you should and could potentially find yourself in a situation you cant recover from. Regarding how the trucking world moves on I-Beam, well i would agree, but the military moves on IFS. And our IFS turns as well as our I-Beam rigs do, they both take a whole wopping two and a half lanes to pull off a U-turn. If i was the OP i find departments that operate what ever IFS system you guys want and ask them for the maintenace records regarding them. A salesman will sell you anything but talk to departments to get the real skinny!
            I couldn't agree more. Many of you say don't drink the Kool Aid, but you seem to yourself be victims of brand preference buy eliminating one or two manufacturers at any cost.

            Of coarse IFS sytems are better and I seriously doubt that they cost anymore to maintain. A department where I volunteered spec'ed an Arrow XT with the 17" disc brakes and IFS. Prior to doing so, we called the LAFD maintenance shop and spoke with the Manager. He told me that they had rigs with +/- 60,000 miles that had no component maitenance costs and several had not even required brake jobs at that mileage. There have been no issues with the XT that we purchased.

            Since then, the Memphis Fire Department went with Pierce Arrow XT's as well after not buying a Pierce in over 15 years. There are currently 9 engines and a truck here on XT chassis and everyone that have driven or ridden in them thinks they are a dream.

            Don't have a feel for the road?? BS.....they are different for sure. Get it out and drive it and become familiar with your equipment.
            RK
            cell #901-494-9437

            Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

            "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


            Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

            Comment


            • #21
              BUT do they brake any better than a I Beam with identical brakes? And YES, there ARE more moving parts. You do the math but sooner or later EVERY rig needs some front end work. Isn't going to change my paycheck no matter which one you buy. But I've "hossed" a lot of trucks over the years and I'm NOT buying the "IFS stops significantly better" line on rigs with EQUAL brake systems.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Rescue101 View Post
                BUT do they brake any better than a I Beam with identical brakes? And YES, there ARE more moving parts. You do the math but sooner or later EVERY rig needs some front end work. Isn't going to change my paycheck no matter which one you buy. But I've "hossed" a lot of trucks over the years and I'm NOT buying the "IFS stops significantly better" line on rigs with EQUAL brake systems.
                I am not going to speak for you, but I am clearly no mechanic. I occasionally do however use deductive reasoning:

                I know that disc brakes compared to equally sized drum braking systems work better on cars and regular passenger trucks.

                I do not think there is a significant cost difference between maintaining disc brakes or drum brakes on regular vehicles.

                I know that larger trucks spec'ed by the military use IFS.

                Ultimately it doesn't matter to me either. The engine I ride in the City has the single I beam.

                My main point is this: Currently Pierce is the only manufacturer that offers IFS and 4 wheel disc brakes. There may be others, but they were the first. It appears that many of the folks in here are coming up with lame excuses because they don't like Pierce.

                Having ridden in both, the IFS definately rides better. Does is stop better when compared to equal brake systems with I-beam - no idea, BUT see my powers of deductive reasoning above.
                RK
                cell #901-494-9437

                Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

                "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


                Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Loo,

                  TC (Rescue101) wasn't making a reference to disc versus drum when he mentioned equal braking systems.

                  When the IFS first hit the market from Pierce, one the sales points was the improved braking distance. This was based on the 17" disc brakes that the system had, versus the 15" that everyone else was using the I-beam suspension. Fast forward to present day, and 17" brakes can be found on both IFS and I-Beam, so it somewhat nullifies the "shorter braking distance" argument.

                  As for the cost factor, I can attest to the increased cost on brake system repairs we have on the IFS rigs at work. I work closely with the folks in the shop, and they remind me of this often.

                  Pierce may have been the first to offer IFS in the fire apparatus market, but they certainly aren't exclusive to IFS with 4-wheel disc brakes. Hell, I've got 4-wheel disc brakes on the 1990 HME/Grumman at the VFD. Currently, Pierce, Spartan, Ferrara, and E-One are offering IFS on their rigs, with your choice of rear brakes.

                  Finally, since the department I work for has Pierce as 31 of the 38 front-line fire suppression rigs, our member's opinion isn't anti-Pierce. They build a fine product, as do many other manufacturers. We've just found that our members prefer the "feel" and "responsiveness" of an I-beam. I won't argue that it rides better, but it's not always about the ride.
                  Career Fire Captain
                  Volunteer Chief Officer


                  Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by MemphisE34a View Post
                    I am not going to speak for you, but I am clearly no mechanic. I occasionally do however use deductive reasoning:

                    I know that disc brakes compared to equally sized drum braking systems work better on cars and regular passenger trucks.

                    I do not think there is a significant cost difference between maintaining disc brakes or drum brakes on regular vehicles.

                    I know that larger trucks spec'ed by the military use IFS.

                    Ultimately it doesn't matter to me either. The engine I ride in the City has the single I beam.

                    My main point is this: Currently Pierce is the only manufacturer that offers IFS and 4 wheel disc brakes. There may be others, but they were the first. It appears that many of the folks in here are coming up with lame excuses because they don't like Pierce.

                    Having ridden in both, the IFS definately rides better. Does is stop better when compared to equal brake systems with I-beam - no idea, BUT see my powers of deductive reasoning above.
                    The question to ask is why does the military use IFS? The answer is because their equipment is designed to run offroad, over rough terrain, much like our ARFF trucks that have four wheel independent suspension. Your average fire apparatus will rarely leave the pavement, and almost never get out in the rough.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      I agree also

                      Originally posted by MemphisE34a View Post
                      I couldn't agree more. Many of you say don't drink the Kool Aid, but you seem to yourself be victims of brand preference buy eliminating one or two manufacturers at any cost.

                      Of coarse IFS sytems are better and I seriously doubt that they cost anymore to maintain. A department where I volunteered spec'ed an Arrow XT with the 17" disc brakes and IFS. Prior to doing so, we called the LAFD maintenance shop and spoke with the Manager. He told me that they had rigs with +/- 60,000 miles that had no component maitenance costs and several had not even required brake jobs at that mileage. There have been no issues with the XT that we purchased.

                      Since then, the Memphis Fire Department went with Pierce Arrow XT's as well after not buying a Pierce in over 15 years. There are currently 9 engines and a truck here on XT chassis and everyone that have driven or ridden in them thinks they are a dream.

                      Don't have a feel for the road?? BS.....they are different for sure. Get it out and drive it and become familiar with your equipment.
                      My department had Spartan E-Ones and KME's for the better part of 2 decades. The Spartans (2 of them ) drove exceptionaly nice and were circa 1986. Our KME's were from 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2005. Finally after years of problems with the newer fleet, we set out to look for a more reliable and better built vehicle. Numerous members of our department work at part-time departments with a wide range of manufacturer vehicles present. Our vehicle committee looked at E-One, Crimson, Custom Fire, HME Ahrens -Fox, Smeal, Sutphen and Pierce. After all was said and done we chose Pierce. No they were not high bid, and they were not low bid. But one of the main factors was ride and driveability from our engineers. Our Full Time Engineers fell in love with the ride, steering and braking distance. The ease of the turning radius was also a huge hit. And just for the record, Yes we also asked to get a Spartan IFS Demo to our station for an apples to apples comparison. Unfortunately, that never happened. Since switching to Pierce with the IFS we have actually had less issues with front suspension, steering and braking problems than we did with our previous manufacturers. All in all, the department, the engineers and the line staff love the new rigs. As an officer, I dont feel like my man hood is jolted and pushed through my spine every time we hit a pot-hole or bump in the street. Also the increased manuverabilty is fantastic, we are able to get into courts and culde-sacs alot easier with the tighter cramp angles of the newer IFS rigs.

                      I feel that our membership and especially our Engineers are well educated in our apparatus and that of whats available in the industry. At the end of the day, they chose Pierce, Not because its "GRAPE FLAVORED KOOL-AIDE", but because they felt it was the best apparatus for our department. It seems all too evident that there are individuals on this forum who are salesmen or brand loyalist who will do anything to dis-credit Pierce. It truly is a shame, Pierce builds a nice product, as do many other manufacturers. Dont air out your personal grudge just because you lost a contract or your bid was rejected.Check your feelings at the door.

                      Career Lieutenant
                      Part Time FFPM / POC
                      18 years of experience

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by MemphisE34a View Post
                        I am not going to speak for you, but I am clearly no mechanic. I occasionally do however use deductive reasoning:

                        I know that disc brakes compared to equally sized drum braking systems work better on cars and regular passenger trucks.

                        I do not think there is a significant cost difference between maintaining disc brakes or drum brakes on regular vehicles.

                        I know that larger trucks spec'ed by the military use IFS.

                        Ultimately it doesn't matter to me either. The engine I ride in the City has the single I beam.

                        My main point is this: Currently Pierce is the only manufacturer that offers IFS and 4 wheel disc brakes. There may be others, but they were the first. It appears that many of the folks in here are coming up with lame excuses because they don't like Pierce.

                        Having ridden in both, the IFS definately rides better. Does is stop better when compared to equal brake systems with I-beam - no idea, BUT see my powers of deductive reasoning above.
                        Hehe Robert,now we're on the same Goatpath. What I was alluding to(and I AM a Truck mechanic) is that if you take two Engines(or ladders if you prefer) equip them equally(17" disc front )and whatever you want on the back brakes as long as they are equal,with the ONLY difference being one is IFS and one I beam, Put them on a test track and measure the stopping difference and there won't be much difference. Ifs will ride somewhat better but here again you will have to have identical year,identically specced rigs to tell the difference. I KNOW our new platform has 17" disc front,drum rear,weighs 78,000 and stops..........QUICKLY! I would say even quicker than the Engine housed with it. The Military uses a lot of IFS for clearance and rough terrain reasons. And with them training mechanics,they get taken apart and put back together..............A lot! Really can't compare the two applications as they are quite different. But if the City will spring for 'em and they work for you, ENJOY with my blessing! T. C.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Fair enough everyone and good debate!!
                          RK
                          cell #901-494-9437

                          Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

                          "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


                          Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            I'm not on the anti-Pierce boat on this one. I'm on the boat that is anti-IFS, no matter who makes it. Do I have experience with them, yes. And not the best when parts are needed for replacement. The cost for parts are ridiculous, and the labor is conducive.

                            Maintenance is just labor for going over it real good. Takes alot longer than an I-Beam, if done right.

                            Originally posted by 2ivswo
                            Being an Engineer that drives an I-Beam designed rig, i much prefer the IFS for the reasons listed above. Furthermore regarding the cost, the rig with IFS cost around $35,000 less (including a CAFS mind you) than our newest I-Beam rig with a delivery date of one year seperating them.
                            Don't come here flying that crap. It is obvious that the two were NOT spec'd identically.

                            60,000 miles on OE brakes??? Yeah, right.

                            FM1
                            I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

                            Originally posted by EastKyFF
                            "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by FIREMECH1 View Post
                              60,000 miles on OE brakes??? Yeah, right.
                              I raise the BS flag on that one too.

                              One of the points I didn't mention on the IFS we have is that the pad life is about one third what the salesman told our mechanics to expect.

                              The whole disc/drum argument is null. You can get disc brakes on an I-beam, that's nothing new. My Dept has a 1985 Pierce with 4-wheel disc brakes. And no, they weren't retrofitted.

                              And the "military uses IFS" point has no bearing on this discussion. Would you expect Delta Airlines to use the same aircraft as the Air Force? I don't see FedEx lining up to buy any C-17's or C-141's. When was the last time you saw a civilian Medivac/LifeFlight unit swoop in on a Sikorsky UH-60, or a CH-53?

                              By the way, the vast majority of heavy trucks driven by Uncle Sam use solid front axles. The HMMWV may have IFS, but it's a light vehicle. The HEMTT, the M1070, and the FMTV have solid axles.
                              The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of 'liberalism' they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened. --Norman Mattoon Thomas, 6 time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                I would rather have CAFS than IFS. Spend the money on things that will make the truck function better, im not sure IFS will do that.

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