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Does anybody build a good fire apparatus anymore?

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  • Does anybody build a good fire apparatus anymore?

    Seriously, at one time or another it seems as if every major and minor, and even regional, builders of fire apparatus have been labeled as junk by people on here. Seagrave, Pierce, E-One, Ferrara, KME, HME, Smeal, American LaFrance, Rosenbauer, Crimson, and many more I can't remember off the top of my head have ALL been named as builders of junk. Look in my mind it is clear that in order to remain in business you have to build something that SOMEBODY is buying. If you consistently build junk why would people keep buying it?

    I have long held there are a few reasons why people are dissatisfied with a piece of fire apparatus:

    1) The apparatus committee wrote a crappy spec and the apparatus manufacturer built what you said you wanted.

    2) The apparatus committee wrote a maginificent spec and the manufacturer didn't follow it and the FD accepted the rig anyways.

    3) The apparatrus committee asked a manufacturer to do something that they don't normally do or has never been done before and it turns out poorly. Yet once again it is what the buyer wanted, sometimes despite the manufacturer advising against it. Some will not even bid on this kind of project.

    4) You write a brand specific spec and someone else beats them on the price and local conditions say if it meets the spec low bid has to be purchased. In this case even if the rig is fine, if it is not the brand you wanted most often you will go out of your way to point out any deficiencies, real or imagined.



    To add a little gasoline to the Fire I have never seen anyone, EVER, on FH.com say a Mack Fire Apparatus was junk. And that is correct. I will put my volly FD's 36 year old Mack up against any new 1250 pumper and we will hang with them all day. 20 rpms over new to pass pump test. My bet is most of the electronic wizardy of today will be junk long before 34 years hits!


    Your opinions please...
    Last edited by FyredUp; 09-24-2010, 01:14 PM. Reason: corrected age of our Mack CF
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

  • #2
    Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
    Seriously, at one time or another it seems as if every major and minor, and even regional, builders of fire apparatus have been labeled as junk by people on here. Seagrave, Pierce, E-One, Ferrara, KME, HME, Smeal, American LaFrance, Rosenbauer, Crimson, and many more I can't remember off the top of my head have ALL been named as builders of junk. Look in my mind it is clear that in order to remain in business you have to build something that SOMEBODY is buying. If you consistently build junk why would people keep buying it?

    I have long held there are a few reasons why people are dissatisfied with a piece of fire apparatus:

    1) The apparatus committee wrote a crappy spec and the apparatus manufacturer built what you said you wanted.

    2) The apparatus committee wrote a maginificent spec and the manufacturer didn't follow it and the FD accepted the rig anyways.

    3) The apparatrus committee asked a manufacturer to do something that they don't normally do or has never been done before and it turns out poorly. Yet once again it is what the buyer wanted, sometimes despite the manufacturer advising against it. Some will not even bid on this kind of project.

    4) You write a brand specific spec and someone else beats them on the price and local conditions say if it meets the spec low bid has to be purchased. In this case even if the rig is fine, if it is not the brand you wanted most often you will go out of your way to point out any deficiencies, real or imagined.



    To add a little gasoline to the Fire I have never seen anyone, EVER, on FH.com say a Mack Fire Apparatus was junk. And that is correct. I will put my volly FD's 34 year old Mack up against any new 1250 pumper and we will hang with them all day. 20 rpms over new to pass pump test. My bet is most of the electronic wizardy of today will be junk long before 34 years hits!


    Your opinions please...
    What you describe is not limited to Fire Apparatus. I just did research on purchasing a .22LR pistol for target shooting. Guess what, same type opinions that brand X is great, brand Y is junk. (on Forums) Next guy says just the opposite.

    Maybe it is life in the world of 2010...

    Comment


    • #3
      ALL of our macks rotted out, in particular the CF's. The recurring problem areas were the front wheelwells and jump seat floors. The b's were a bit better. The R had some rocker panel, floor, and door bottom rot after 10 yrs, the hood was fine (fiberglass). The steel bodies rotted out, but whos didnt. Most of them over the years had alot or wiring rework.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ChiefDog View Post
        What you describe is not limited to Fire Apparatus. I just did research on purchasing a .22LR pistol for target shooting. Guess what, same type opinions that brand X is great, brand Y is junk. (on Forums) Next guy says just the opposite.

        Maybe it is life in the world of 2010...
        I have a Beretta Neos. It is a fine shooting pistol and comes with an accessory rail for mounting red dots or a scope.

        I am sure there are other good .22 target pistols out there. This was was relatively inexpensive, and seems quite accurate right out of the box.

        (How was that for an endorsement of a product without ripping anyone else's?)
        Crazy, but that's how it goes
        Millions of people living as foes
        Maybe it's not too late
        To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
          I have a Beretta Neos. It is a fine shooting pistol and comes with an accessory rail for mounting red dots or a scope.

          I am sure there are other good .22 target pistols out there. This was was relatively inexpensive, and seems quite accurate right out of the box.

          (How was that for an endorsement of a product without ripping anyone else's?)
          Good job. I looked at a bunch of them. I did not see a Neos, dealers did not have one near me to pickup and hold. I did not make the 40 mile trip south to see one....

          Ended up with a Browning. Still have to adjust the sights but seem pretty good. It was one of the ones that had few slams on forums compared to others.... Hopefully it will work out.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ffp20 View Post
            ALL of our macks rotted out, in particular the CF's. The recurring problem areas were the front wheelwells and jump seat floors. The b's were a bit better. The R had some rocker panel, floor, and door bottom rot after 10 yrs, the hood was fine (fiberglass). The steel bodies rotted out, but whos didnt. Most of them over the years had alot or wiring rework.
            We had those issues too with our CF, but it was well over 25 years old at the time. We had them fixed and things seem to be fine.

            I guess my answer is look at a lot of newer vehicles on the road. They can't even keep paint on them, let alone stop them from rusting.
            Crazy, but that's how it goes
            Millions of people living as foes
            Maybe it's not too late
            To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

            Comment


            • #7
              Add to the list,Rushed deadlines,penalty clauses,trying to do too much production with too few people. I heartily agree that a properly written spec along with a informed builder and proper communication with the dept reps along with a GOOD supporting dealer will give you the best long term solutions. A long time favorer of older iron,I tolerate the new technology but you CANNOT nurse them along like you could the old ones. T.C.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ffp20 View Post
                ALL of our macks rotted out, in particular the CF's. The recurring problem areas were the front wheelwells and jump seat floors. The b's were a bit better. The R had some rocker panel, floor, and door bottom rot after 10 yrs, the hood was fine (fiberglass). The steel bodies rotted out, but whos didnt. Most of them over the years had alot or wiring rework.
                Beat me to it. Back in the day I traveled the nation and saw Macks get delivered with rust already beginning to appear.

                Some salespeople went around telling all kinds of people they could just tag on to a NY order. Then they delivered trucks that were nothing like NY. May have had something to do with their reputation sinking in the midwest.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It is a lot like car manufacturers (Ford, Chevy, Chrysler, etc.) Everyone has their favorite, and everyone has a horror story to tell, even if it is third hand knowledge (my cousin's sister-in-law's brother's friend had a **** blow an engine at 2000 miles!, etc.)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Fyred I agree and want to add one more thing to the mix............people NOT allowing for "minor" issues that arise after delivery. These rigs are TOTALLY customized (usually), and sometimes stuff needs adjusting or tweaking .......and people give the thing a bad wrap just for that. For the record we have a 2009 KME and have great dealer support ..... (www.warrenfireequip.com) and it had 2 minor issues from the get go that got resolved appropriately. We had a Ford chassis issue that people wanted to blame on Road Rescue............again the dealer worked tirelessly to get it fixed and subsequently did so. So some people just gotta understand.
                    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
                    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
                    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
                    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
                    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
                    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
                    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
                    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      1,2,3,4 pretty much have meet my opinions as well.

                      Have seen examples of all.
                      "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        When I frist entered the fire service my dept had a 76 Mack MB AUSOM engine Detroit diesel with a Waterous 1250 pump. A RUST BUCKET but ran fronty line and pumped to capasity until the day we retired it. Drove a Mack CF for a short time also Great Rig. I have also driven E-One. HME and Pierce. Now being a MACK NUT they were the best(I WISH MACK WOULD BRING THEM BACK) The E-ONE not the best, HME better, International same level and the Pierce were next to the MACK'S. I have enjoyed driveing them all. Like one member said "Some engines/trucks are better than others". I just sent my first spec. to the Chief yes I am scared as to what we might get, low bid, but I will do my best to make it the best rig I can. and take pride in what I and the other commity members have done!!! We have one of the most prestigious and greatest jobs in the world!! Do I like to have to take low bid on a manufacture/ dealer we may have not delt with ever*&^%$#@ no! But we do the best job that we can!!

                        As far as guns I have my grandfathers WW II Army Colt Model 1911 in excelent shape. I have never fired it but I will one day. I am looking for a Browning BDA .32

                        Thanks Engine341

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by engine341 View Post
                          When I frist entered the fire service my dept had a 76 Mack MB AUSOM engine Detroit diesel with a Waterous 1250 pump. A RUST BUCKET but ran fronty line and pumped to capasity until the day we retired it. Drove a Mack CF for a short time also Great Rig. I have also driven E-One. HME and Pierce. Now being a MACK NUT they were the best(I WISH MACK WOULD BRING THEM BACK) The E-ONE not the best, HME better, International same level and the Pierce were next to the MACK'S. I have enjoyed driveing them all. Like one member said "Some engines/trucks are better than others". I just sent my first spec. to the Chief yes I am scared as to what we might get, low bid, but I will do my best to make it the best rig I can. and take pride in what I and the other commity members have done!!! We have one of the most prestigious and greatest jobs in the world!! Do I like to have to take low bid on a manufacture/ dealer we may have not delt with ever*&^%$#@ no! But we do the best job that we can!!

                          As far as guns I have my grandfathers WW II Army Colt Model 1911 in excelent shape. I have never fired it but I will one day. I am looking for a Browning BDA .32

                          Thanks Engine341
                          Try www.gunbroker.com for your Browning BDA .32, they seem to have a good selection of guns there for sale. If you pay attention you can sometimes get very good deals there.
                          Crazy, but that's how it goes
                          Millions of people living as foes
                          Maybe it's not too late
                          To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
                            .



                            To add a little gasoline to the Fire I have never seen anyone, EVER, on FH.com say a Mack Fire Apparatus was junk. And that is correct. I will put my volly FD's 36 year old Mack up against any new 1250 pumper and we will hang with them all day. 20 rpms over new to pass pump test. My bet is most of the electronic wizardy of today will be junk long before 34 years hits!


                            Your opinions please...
                            CHURCH! Preaching to the choir here. I hope to own my very own CF to restore and love one day.

                            They can even bury me in it.
                            We do not rise to the occasion. We fall back to our level of training.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I will state that the quality of fire apparatus now compared to the quality of apparatus at the time i started 30 years ago has decreased.

                              That being said, look at cars ,and even homes. The workmanship and durability has gone downhill there as well. I will agree that many of the reasons departments seem to have the issues today is based on all the reasons Fryed have outlined. In addition, I would like to add the fact that the fire service is seemingly trying to make a single truck fufill to many roles. This attempt at over-multi-tasking has put a strain on the truck, both in terms of weight, complexity and electronics that makes it almost impossible for a truck to perform up to the department's expectations.

                              Asd far as quality trucks, the Stuphens at my last department seem to perform quite well. I would also say that the Ferreras my current department operates have been fairly relaiable and seem to hold up fairly well.

                              As far as Mack, they also were a very durable, basic chassis that could take a ton of abuse. My last department bought an Mack Aerialscope from a neighboring small-city (40K) department after 12 years of use as the first line and only aerial. They bought it from FDNY as surplus. After we used it for 10 years, we replaced it and sold it to a small fairly rural department. They have had it for 8 years and it's still on the road.

                              By the way, it did have it's share of bondo around the cab when we did sell it.
                              Last edited by LaFireEducator; 09-25-2010, 07:17 PM.
                              Train to fight the fires you fight.

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