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Engine/ pumper Body construction and thickness

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  • #16
    I don't know the actual numbers, but it is less than you might think. Aluminum must be thicker to achieve the same strength stainless.

    C6

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    • #17
      As I was recently told, fire trucks are pay now or pay later. When you go low quality to save money you will more than likely pay much more in maintenance cost toward the end of the trucks service life.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by SFD_E73_RET View Post
        Personally I would use SS but since you are not. Go with "Formed" aluminum vs extruded. Extruded gives paint more more places to crack and and more places for corrosion to start. Also in my opinion if you tweak (back in to something) the transfer of energy can run through the whole extruded body and twist it, with a formed body you more of a crush zone.

        Utter nonsense.

        Find rollover photos of a bent body and an extruded body. Decide for yourself which body collaspes in a stiff breeze like a toolbox under a sledge hammer and which protects the crew.

        Get a 3/16" extruded aluminum body on an extruded alum frame.

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        • #19
          "We were told to not even consider SS, mainly due to cost"

          First - Yes, I am a salesman, but I don't sell anywhere near the Southeast.

          Over the years I have represented companies that specialize in stainless, aluminum, galvanneal, and plain old steel (yeah, I'm that old).

          Using modern manufacturing techniques (not every builder does), stainless has a higher material cost but can have much lower labor costs. Aluminum can be the opposite.

          The manufacturer that I represent sells both and the price is generally equal.

          Really, they all work, or manufacturers wouldn't be using them.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by FireTruckSalesGuy View Post

            Using modern manufacturing techniques (not every builder does), stainless has a higher material cost but can have much lower labor costs. Aluminum can be the opposite.

            Really, they all work, or manufacturers wouldn't be using them.
            Some builders in the past have offered "Stainless for the price of aluminum" promotions.

            What you say about labor is true. A skilled worker to weld aluminum is higher paid than an average Joe to run a drill/driver to bolt together stainless. A far as material, there are different grades of stainless.

            The concern I have with stainless is not the metal, rather the connectors. I still remember the old days when every Saturday was "bolt tightening day" on the old bodies. Of course, things are different today, but the flashbacks are still there.

            C6

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            • #21
              While there are still stainless manufacturers out the that bolt the bodies together, there are probaby more that weld them. Stainless lasts forever, will not rust, and a reputable company will take care of any dis-similar metal problems that might arise.

              There are a few smaller manufacturers that have been doing stainless for a really long time, and know how to prevent that from happeneing.

              As for weight, yeah, stainless does weigh more, but even 12ga stainless (I wouldn't build out of anything thinner) creates a weight differential in the "hundreds of pounds" range, not enough to make a difference over the entire vehicle.

              The other thing to look for when you are building is the warranty on the body.

              I know, for instance that 4-Guys just went to 30 years on thier bodies!!

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              • #22
                What I found funny was listening to a salesman bash aluminum as being weak and only corrosion resistant to a point, over and over, giving many reasons why aluminum should avoided. Then after we let him spew this stuff, we simply asked him what the cab material is. Silence........... "well, ah, um, well....." Seems cabs are ok to made out of aluminum just not the body.
                Yeah, yeah I understand, nobody builds em that way, cost weight etc.
                Buddy you can ****** all over me, but dont tell me I'm sweatin'

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                • #23
                  I believe extruded alum body is the only way to go.

                  What "concerns" me about SS is that your body is only as good the quality of sheet metal used. SS is not like gold where it's all the same stuff. A very large portion of it comes from China and you CAN NOT TRUST THEM to provide any consistant level of quality today, tomorrow, next week. China has gone after SS market in a BIG way. Particularily due to the boom in ethanol plant mfg of a couple years ago. Ethanol is done so these mills are looking for new markets (material price has fallen).

                  When manufacturing in China things you can inspect for (like visual 100%) can work. Though it's really marginally worth the PITA. Can work when you can verify all items are the correct color in the correct spot, in new undamged packaging, no short count in the master carton, are disposable consumer good, etc. Inspect and audit the inspector Anything beyond that, they will rob you blind. Like did they use new virgin plastic of the correct spec with no more than x% regrind with the correct additives properly blended and dried. NO YOU WILL NOT KNOW and unlike they did. They will take shortcuts at any delay so as to meet schedule/avoid a 2cent penalty, will substitute materials and additives at the drop of a hat for convience (or to benefit Uncle Ho), 1000 ways to fool the Yankee are all fair game.

                  Perhaps if you can specify US made SS and pay the price. And you are sure the apparatus manufacturer knows what he is buying (not the cheapest stuff this week) and everyone in the supply chain can be trusted.

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