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  • #16
    Originally posted by RFDACM
    Too often people here want to blame the dealer for poor service, which may happen, but the manufacturer built the truck with the problems.
    Exactly. I'm not sure why people insist on putting the onus on the dealer either, especially when it involves issues related to the MANUFACTURE of the apparatus, not the service of it. Last I checked, dealers don't build the trucks.

    Now, I would agree that if you have a lousy dealer, you'll have trouble getting factory defects, warranty work or other service issues worked out. That goes without saying. But to put the blame on the dealer for factory issues/defects just four months into the life of the truck is bordering on absurd.

    When we spec'd our midmount tower a few years ago, we looked at KME, ALF and Pierce. KME was at the bottom of everyone's list for quite a few reasons. The ALF faired a bit better, but in the end neither could match the build quality, features or customization we got with the Pierce. Is it a perfect truck? Of course not, but any issues we did have when it was new were corrected immediately. There were two notable issues we had. Firstly, a few days after delivery and while out training, the torque converter on the transmission had a catastrophic failure (an Allison issue, not Pierce). A few days later the truck was flatbedded to the local Detroit Diesel service center for repair and has been fine ever since. Secondly, the bucket seemed to drop a bit over time while bedded. The Pierce engineers looked into it and decided to upgrade the pistons on the bucket with larger ones. They were replaced on our truck and wrote into the spec for all future trucks, as well as offering to retrofit for any other customer having similar issues. I don't think you can ask for better factory support than that, and our dealer is top notch as well.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Chauffer6
      Secondly, the bucket seemed to drop a bit over time while bedded.
      This sounds oddly the opposite of some issues we were told about where the bucket lift out of the cradle while at idle witht he PTO engaged. My understanding was an issue with the "auto bucket levelling" system. Evidentially Rocky Hill, CT's truck did this unbeknownst to them and didn't quite fit under a train trestle on the way back to the station.
      As a matter of fact Chauffer6, on our tower tour last summer we tried to see your Hillcrest Peirce tower, but no one was around. Nice station! Couldn't get in to to see the truck, but the hall? Nice.

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      • #18
        but any issues we did have when it was new were corrected immediately.
        Wish we could say that.
        "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?

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        • #19
          Originally posted by RFDACM
          This sounds oddly the opposite of some issues we were told about where the bucket lift out of the cradle while at idle witht he PTO engaged. My understanding was an issue with the "auto bucket levelling" system. Evidentially Rocky Hill, CT's truck did this unbeknownst to them and didn't quite fit under a train trestle on the way back to the station.
          As a matter of fact Chauffer6, on our tower tour last summer we tried to see your Hillcrest Peirce tower, but no one was around. Nice station! Couldn't get in to to see the truck, but the hall? Nice.
          Well, what would happen is that the bucket would be pretty level after you bedded it, but over a few hours time it would drop enough that the front of the bucket was actually resting right on the diamond plate on top of the rear section of the body. Once you powered up the PTO, the bucket would perk right up, leading us to believe it was a hydraulic leak issue at first. I know they replaced the two bucket pistons with slightly larger ones, which completely alleviated the problem. As far as I remember, they determined it to be an issue across the board, but I could be wrong. It has been 4 years and I'm getting a bit senile in old age lol. Actually, the funny thing is that if you look at the bucket now when bedded, it actually sticks UP quite a bit, which is something we should probably correct before we hit something with it (although that obviously hasn't been an issue...yet). I suppose that's only a matter of manually adjusting and resetting the auto-level. Really the only gripe anyone has about the truck is the rear overhang, and we've already smashed it up pretty good on a mutual aid call. Obviously that's an issue with most midmount designs, but it still takes a lot of getting used to. It certainly doesn't help when guys drive it like they're driving one of the pumpers.

          Sorry about no one being around, we would've been more than happy to take you guys out for a ride and let you play with the truck if we knew you were coming. As far as the station, well...let's just say that sometimes beauty really is only skin deep.
          Last edited by Chauffer6; 08-22-2006, 10:02 AM.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Bones42
            Wish we could say that.
            Yeah, that sucks and I know the feeling. Our relationship with Pierce dealers hasn't always been a great one. A few years back we decided to take a firm stand with the factory, and I'm glad we did. I don't wanna go into details publicly, but there were some changes made that we benefited from and have been pretty content since that time.

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            • #21
              To: Bones42

              I was told by a few local fire departments that " Fire & Saftey Services " of Piscataway, N.J. , the Pierce dealership is very good to deal with on warranty type problems on fire apparatus !....
              Last edited by NewJerseyFFII; 08-22-2006, 07:30 PM.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by NewJerseyFFII
                I was told by a few local fire departments that " Fire & Saftey Services " of Piscataway, N.J. , the Pierce dealership is very good to deal with on warranty type problems on fire apparatus !....
                That's who we deal with now, and we're quite happy with them. Stand up guys.

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                • #23
                  Donald:

                  I am with the Terre Haute Fire Department. We are located approx. 70 miles west of Indianapolis on I-70.
                  I appreciate the offer to contact your friends at KME but remember that I didn’t encourage it. I hate to have unpaid vacations for breaking the chain of command. However, if you want to make the call and say “Hey, I heard Terre Haute was having problems can you help them out?” that would be great. As a side note the truck is out of service and a factory rep is picking it up and taking it back to the factory for repairs.

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                  • #24
                    With the last Pierce we got they were very good. With the latest one, it almost seems as if they aren't quite familiar enough with the new systems to adequately repair them. I'm sure they will get it all straightened out, it's just taking time. I'm just not a big fan of "accepting" lots of minor issues on something new just because it's new and there is so much on it. Also, they have been excellent salespeople to work with as far as the entire speccing/purchasing process. I'd highly recommend them for that.
                    "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?

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Bones42
                      With the last Pierce we got they were very good. With the latest one, it almost seems as if they aren't quite familiar enough with the new systems to adequately repair them. I'm sure they will get it all straightened out, it's just taking time. I'm just not a big fan of "accepting" lots of minor issues on something new just because it's new and there is so much on it. Also, they have been excellent salespeople to work with as far as the entire speccing/purchasing process. I'd highly recommend them for that.
                      I hear ya Bones, and I definitely agree. It is frustrating when the dealer's service dept appears to not be keeping up with the new technology introduced by the manufacturer. Sometimes I almost feel like there is so much competition out there that the manufacturers rush the new bells and whistles out quicker than they have a chance to properly train their sales and service network.

                      We've dealt with F&SS's service dept a few times already, and on balance have been pleased with the results. Then again, we haven't had any issues to date with the midmount's multiplex system. I have heard of other depts having issues with it though. The only experience we've really had with the service dept was for mechanical or collision damage repair.

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                      • #26
                        I would like to make one point regarding the midmounts. Back in 2000/2001 when we were spec'ing ours, the Pierce dealer was explaining the benefits of their multiplexed chassis electrical systems and similarly multiplexed electronic over hydraulic aerial controls (Command Zone, as Pierce calls their system). Not once did they knock the competition for having traditional wiring and hydraulic controls. In fact, they did explain to us that it was fairly new technology for the fire service, but since fly-by-wire has been in use for a while in the aerospace industry, they were fully confident in it performing up to task. In contrast, it seemed the only thing the KME dealer could do was knock the fact that Pierce used "new and unproven technology" and that their direct hydraulic system was proven over many, many decades and was "safer".

                        Of course, anyone who is familiar with the KME AerialCat series should know that they now employ their "IQAN E-Control Motion System", which is...surprise!...a MULTIPLEXED ELECTRONIC OVER HYDRAULIC SYSTEM! Isn't it amazing how in 2 to 3 short years, they've all of a sudden adopted and endorsed the very system they were putting down?

                        http://fire.kovatch.com/Default.aspx?tabid=71

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Department nearby has a Grumman Aerialcat, from before KME bought them out. Out of service way more than in service, water came out everywere except the nozzle on the basket, sometimes the ladder would raise, sometimes not, etc. The full laundry list of problems.

                          Not too long ago, they had it refurbed by KME. Has been (from what I have been told) a wonderful truck since then with no problems.
                          "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


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Chauffer6
                            I would like to make one point regarding the midmounts. Back in 2000/2001 when we were spec'ing ours, the Pierce dealer was explaining the benefits of their multiplexed chassis electrical systems and similarly multiplexed electronic over hydraulic aerial controls (Command Zone, as Pierce calls their system). Not once did they knock the competition for having traditional wiring and hydraulic controls. In fact, they did explain to us that it was fairly new technology for the fire service, but since fly-by-wire has been in use for a while in the aerospace industry, they were fully confident in it performing up to task. In contrast, it seemed the only thing the KME dealer could do was knock the fact that Pierce used "new and unproven technology" and that their direct hydraulic system was proven over many, many decades and was "safer".

                            Of course, anyone who is familiar with the KME AerialCat series should know that they now employ their "IQAN E-Control Motion System", which is...surprise!...a MULTIPLEXED ELECTRONIC OVER HYDRAULIC SYSTEM! Isn't it amazing how in 2 to 3 short years, they've all of a sudden adopted and endorsed the very system they were putting down?

                            http://fire.kovatch.com/Default.aspx?tabid=71
                            How is your tower doing, anyway? I heard you guys had some problems with it in the beginning, but I havent heard much since then. Maybe one of these days we'll get to see it at a fire (The whole county is gonna be in trouble if that scenario occurs)

                            Anyway, we have 2 KME engines, a 1995 and a 2001. We havent had any major problems with them, and they are both in good shape. Our new aerial is going to be an ALF, though.
                            Proud East Coast Traditionalist.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by nyckftbl
                              How is your tower doing, anyway? I heard you guys had some problems with it in the beginning, but I havent heard much since then. Maybe one of these days we'll get to see it at a fire (The whole county is gonna be in trouble if that scenario occurs)

                              Anyway, we have 2 KME engines, a 1995 and a 2001. We havent had any major problems with them, and they are both in good shape. Our new aerial is going to be an ALF, though.
                              The issues we had in the beginning weren't too bad. The transmission blew a few days after it was delivered (we hadn't even signed the check yet!) and then there was the issue with the bucket that was fixed quickly. Every other problem has been operator error of some kind! Let's see...first there was the time the guy from the dealership was pulling it out of the firehouse to drive it down to Jersey for the bucket issue, and he smashed the rear end into the side of the bay door wall when he turned the truck too soon. Then there was the time at the Teplitz fire when they lowered one of the outriggers AFTER they had already pinned it. And most recently, when they bottomed it out and tore up the entire underbody of the rear end in the Valley. It was OOS for a few months after that one. Otherwise, it's been fine. My only real gripe with it is the huge overhang of the rear end and how low it is to the ground back there. Leaves very little room for driver error or miscalculation. It's a solid truck otherwise, and paired with the 75 (which is nice and compact and single axle), I think we have pretty good versatility.

                              I can't believe it's coming up on 4 years since the night we had our wetdowns. Wow, where does the time go? Which ALF are you looking to replace the 75 with and when do you guys expect to have it? It's kinda sad, I'm pretty sure your truck is the last of the original ALFs in the county now that 17-Quint is retired. End of an era.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Chauffer6
                                The issues we had in the beginning weren't too bad. The transmission blew a few days after it was delivered (we hadn't even signed the check yet!) and then there was the issue with the bucket that was fixed quickly. Every other problem has been operator error of some kind! Let's see...first there was the time the guy from the dealership was pulling it out of the firehouse to drive it down to Jersey for the bucket issue, and he smashed the rear end into the side of the bay door wall when he turned the truck too soon. Then there was the time at the Teplitz fire when they lowered one of the outriggers AFTER they had already pinned it. And most recently, when they bottomed it out and tore up the entire underbody of the rear end in the Valley. It was OOS for a few months after that one. Otherwise, it's been fine. My only real gripe with it is the huge overhang of the rear end and how low it is to the ground back there. Leaves very little room for driver error or miscalculation. It's a solid truck otherwise, and paired with the 75 (which is nice and compact and single axle), I think we have pretty good versatility.

                                I can't believe it's coming up on 4 years since the night we had our wetdowns. Wow, where does the time go? Which ALF are you looking to replace the 75 with and when do you guys expect to have it? It's kinda sad, I'm pretty sure your truck is the last of the original ALFs in the county now that 17-Quint is retired. End of an era.
                                We are getting this: http://www.americanlafrance.com/inte...060&p=1005&s=0

                                Yeah, the 75 has been very good to us over the years. We are trying to talk to the manufacturer, to see if maybe before it leaves, if we can take the nameplate off of the front and have it put on our new rig, just alittle tradition. Personally, I cant wait to see the thing go, because I cant drive it, and we have a lot of chauffers who have refused to drive it over the years. But I know there are going to be some very sad members when that thing finally leaves the firehouse.

                                P.S.- Im sure you heard, but our dept. was very grateful that you guys were able to take a rig down to our wetdown, and that we were able to return the favor. It was a great night.
                                Proud East Coast Traditionalist.

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