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  1. #1
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    Default GM Terminates Medium-Duty Chassis

    Surprised this hasn't been posted already...

    GM will kill medium-duty truck production

    Jamie LaReau
    Automotive News
    June 8, 2009 - 12:02 pm ET

    DETROIT -- General Motors will end production of its medium-duty truck operations by July 31. GM's medium-duty trucks include the Chevrolet Kodiak and GMC Topkick. GM has been trying to sell the operations for four years and has worked with multiple buyers. Navistar International Corp. was one of those interested parties. But the company had no interest in the plant where the vehicles are made. Navistar CEO Dan Ustian said at the time, "We're always looking to grow, and that complements us pretty well." But he stressed that any agreement that required Navistar to keep open GM's medium-duty truck plant in Flint, Mich., probably would never get signed. GM also produced Kodiaks in Toluca, Mexico, until June 2008.

    In 2007 Navistar struck a tentative deal to buy the medium-duty truck business. But the pact expired last summer without a deal being reached.

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    Default

    So this means no more 5500 for brush trucks? This will give Ford and Dodge even more market share.

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    I doubt that Chevy will allow this to happen as it's being presented today...

    You'll end up seeing someone pick up their design, much like the Sterling/Ford relationship.
    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleMan
    Why? Because we are firemen. We are decent human beings. We would be compelled by the overwhelming impulse to save an innocent child from a tragic, painful death because in the end, we are MEN.

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    Default Rumor Has it

    I heard that Isuzu Officals have come to the states and may possibly purchase the Med. Duty line from GM. So as it stands right now all of those of you who waited on your 2009 buying spree for boo boo boxes are going to be screwed, if you wanted a c or g 4500.
    Fyrtrks

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    Thumbs down

    The ambulance market sounds like it will be up in the air with Ford dropping a diesel and CHevy dropping the 4500/5500 lines. Glad we got ours this spring. (Ford E-450)

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    If you remember correctly Sterling is done.IScrewsU has no interest in GM mediums they'd rather adapt their existing line BUT keep an eye on Navistar to see what they do next, They're quietly increasing market share in Fire/Rescue chassis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 10House View Post
    .

    In 2007 Navistar struck a tentative deal to buy the medium-duty truck business. But the pact expired last summer without a deal being reached.
    A big hang up also was lack of an truck diesel as CAT exited the business. From what I've read in the trade the Isuzu ship sailed long ago. I don't see the GMC/Chevy truck business having that much value. If the Union decertified (or whatever you would call it closing down) would likely make the truck businesst substantially more marketable as would be much more competitive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    If you remember correctly Sterling is done.
    Yes, sadly....
    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleMan
    Why? Because we are firemen. We are decent human beings. We would be compelled by the overwhelming impulse to save an innocent child from a tragic, painful death because in the end, we are MEN.

    I A C O J
    FTM-PTB


    Honorary Disclaimer: While I am a manufacturer representative, I am not here to sell my product. Any advice or knowledge shared is for informational purposes only. I do not use Firehouse.Com for promotional purposes.

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    i heard a rumor that tinkernational was looking to pick the line up

    I think is a pretty stupid time to drop this line with all the problems that ford has been having lately with their diesel engines and it seams like almost every new ambulances being built today is on a c4500 or a g4500. plus ive scene a lot of towns around me start buying these instead of the ford for that same reason.
    ~Big O~

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    Quote Originally Posted by MoosemanKBB527 View Post
    it seams like almost every new ambulances being built today is on a c4500 or a g4500.
    Maybe locally there, but I willing to bet Ford still has by far the biggest number of ambulances. You can't get a "small" GM chassis ambulance anymore, so Ford wins out on any 350 size every time. I'm betting still nearly 10 to 1 Ford to GM bone buses.

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    not tru you can get any of the smaller boxes on the GM vans that are just like the ford vans except they run :-) ... however GM is unable to come up with an adequate beefed up van chassis to put the bigger boxes on thats why the 4500s came a long ... and the reason you saw so many is noone wanted to deal with ford diesel anymore or any of the other number problems ... plus no more diesel for ford ... the agency i ride for is replacing an ambulance a year sometimes 2 and we would have continued with GMC had this not happend as we are very happy with the lack of issues on them. We dont like the fords so much that now looking for what were gonna use without the 4500 we arent even considering ford.

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    Sorry, I'm not up on the van style ambo's as we run type I's. We hate the Ford's but that's all we've had and our bays prevented us from moving up into the 4500's. I hear you on looking for something else our Ford's are problematic, but alas another is due this year.

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    For thoes who are having problems with the Ford Diesel, what years are the trucks? I am on some other Ford Diesel Forums and they 6.4 seems bullet proof, no major problems. The last years of the 6.0 were fine too. It was the first years of the 6.0 that had the problems, but thoes were handled

    The new Ford Diesel will be out next year it will be a 6.7l twin turbo Ford Built, no more Navistar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    Maybe locally there, but I willing to bet Ford still has by far the biggest number of ambulances. You can't get a "small" GM chassis ambulance anymore, so Ford wins out on any 350 size every time. I'm betting still nearly 10 to 1 Ford to GM bone buses.
    As a GMC dealer I'm interested to know where you got that info. GM does have both a 12,000 GVW (3500 Savana) and a 14,500 GVW Savana 4500. Both are available with Ambulance Packages and Diesels.

    I am also an Isuzu dealer and according to my friends in Ceritos CA they have no interest in purchasing the medium duty line. Rumors started again last Friday that the UAW was willing to work with ICTA and move the plant to the plant in Alabama that ICTA is sitting on for future use but it's just another rumor.
    Steve Dragon
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    Sorry it was my mistake its not that they dont make the heavier chassis per say ... they do ... but this is what were told from our sales rep is that the box that we put on the chassis which isnt that overly large but its not the smaller box either its in the middle ... either way he says that the ambulance package though they beefed up the brakes to what they should be they need to work on the suspension because a town that uses the same box put it on the van chassis and there havin problems wit tires rubbing wheel wells on minor bumps or waves in the road ... im not doubting what you say im just telling you what we were told.

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    Sounds like your sales rep had a spiff on ford chassis, or was having a problem getting GM chassis becuase they were in demand. I think he was just trying to sell you what he had in stock, or what he had more available.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dragonfyre View Post
    As a GMC dealer I'm interested to know where you got that info. GM does have both a 12,000 GVW (3500 Savana) and a 14,500 GVW Savana 4500. Both are available with Ambulance Packages and Diesels.

    I am also an Isuzu dealer and according to my friends in Ceritos CA they have no interest in purchasing the medium duty line. Rumors started again last Friday that the UAW was willing to work with ICTA and move the plant to the plant in Alabama that ICTA is sitting on for future use but it's just another rumor.
    As I noted, no question on the van style (Type II or III). Our understanding is that we cannot get an ambulance on a 3500 series chassis in the type 1 style? Not the Savana van but a pick-up chassis? None of the ambulance manufacturers offered to put a body on anything but the 4500 or larger "truck" chassis. We use all 4wd truck chassis.

    Trust me I hate our Ford's, but there has been no recent viable option for a "small" type 1 4x4 ambulance.

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    Default chevy 3500

    Chevy 3500 front end is not rated for the weight. Too light up front for the loads.
    Later

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    As I noted, no question on the van style (Type II or III). Our understanding is that we cannot get an ambulance on a 3500 series chassis in the type 1 style? Not the Savana van but a pick-up chassis? None of the ambulance manufacturers offered to put a body on anything but the 4500 or larger "truck" chassis. We use all 4wd truck chassis.

    Trust me I hate our Ford's, but there has been no recent viable option for a "small" type 1 4x4 ambulance.
    Now what can be terribly wrong with FORD. That is all we use in Atlantic Canada and there has been no problems with them.

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    To further clarify things this is the whole story so you understand fully what i am referring to. From our inception till about 2004 all of our ambulances have been on ford van chassis. Every one of those rigs which was 10 new hortons over 10 years starting in 94 have had the typical ford issues everything from brakes to motors to trannys you name it we had problems. In 2004 we took delivery of what ended up being our last ford chassis rigs they were twins. They sealed the deal as one of the rigs is currently on its 5th motor and has not done 1 full year of service without a major repair, the other got so bad they just re chassied it because they could not figure out what was wrong with it jus that it didnt work. This was when the GM 4500 kodiak series started makin its big hit in the ambulance industry so after looking and being so fed up with the ford problems we made the switch and started ordering 4500s. Now these rigs we have had no problems mechanicly with the only issue that has come up is the air bag dump system for the rear which isnt a GM issue its hortons conversion. We have been content with these units and were set on replacing the whole fleet the only complaints were how big they were and the swaying from the air ride in the back. Its pretty much a half and half at our department half love the big trucks the other half that drive honda civics and get in an ambulance and want to drive prefer the vans. This is because the cab is smaller. Yet off subject there have been no accidents with the GMCs backing into things or side swiping things or blowing out tires from curbing them, but the fords its an ongoing thing with people hitting stuff. By the way this is not a ford issue or GMC jus showin the quality of drivers complaining of the largeness of the GMC. Either way we have been looking into accomodating these people by trying to go back to a van but staying with GM so we could keep the duramax and the rest of the GM drive train. However first the issue was the chassis brakes and suspension couldnt hold our box which requires a 17000 GVW i believe. So apparently recently GM has beefed up the brakes but not the suspension and at 14500 GVW the truck would be overweight for the chassis. Now people would say get a smaller box, but we run a lot of arrests and a lot of times were running 2 medics and a EMT in the back on an arrest and the closest hospital is 20 miles away. Also a lot of MVAs due to the lack of assistance from neighboring towns as we pretty much are their EMS anyways we need to be able to transport 2 fully boarded PTs at the same time we accomplish this by putting a removable cot on the bench seat. Our sales rep is a great guy would never mislead us, every ambulance is custom ordered we never take stock units and we get what we want. We do most of the research on what we like and want to change on the next rig but for the most part we try to keep everything the same across the board so that you dont have to worry bout memorizing 11 diff rigs. All he was telling us by telling us not to go to the GM van chassis is that on the box we spec out would they build it ... yes ... but its just going to be a headach as it will be too heavy for the chassis. We are now currently exploring other options for our next one as we currently have our last GMC 4500 being built as we speak and as i stated before we replace 1-2 rigs a year and right now it seems ford isnt even an option as they will only have gas motors and we are putting 300-400K miles on these rigs in there lifespan which no gasoline motor will hold up to that abuse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    As I noted, no question on the van style (Type II or III). Our understanding is that we cannot get an ambulance on a 3500 series chassis in the type 1 style? Not the Savana van but a pick-up chassis? None of the ambulance manufacturers offered to put a body on anything but the 4500 or larger "truck" chassis. We use all 4wd truck chassis.

    Trust me I hate our Ford's, but there has been no recent viable option for a "small" type 1 4x4 ambulance.
    In Atlantic Canada there are two local manufacturers of ambulances


    1. Tri Star Industries http://www.tri-star.ca/ in my hme town bulids all the ambulances for the Province of PEI under Island EMS on the Ford van style and for the Province of Nova Scotia on a mini mod style. They are leased to the provinces under a three year program of 3 years or 200,000 kms first ever comes first.

    They are serviced on a 5,000 - 8,000 km cycle per Ford protocol at either a Ford dealer or one of 4 purpose built EHS (NS) fleet centres.

    2. Malley Industries http://www.malleyindustries.com/ does the same thing for the Province of New Brunswick.

    Other than that there have been no major problems to speak of here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Northeast68 View Post
    Sounds like your sales rep had a spiff on ford chassis, or was having a problem getting GM chassis becuase they were in demand. I think he was just trying to sell you what he had in stock, or what he had more available.
    Thanx. I was thinking that but I know that if I had said that I would have been berated.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post

    Trust me I hate our Ford's, but there has been no recent viable option for a "small" type 1 4x4 ambulance.
    my thought exactly gm needs to build a 4500 built on the silverado/sierra
    ~Big O~

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    Doesn't GM have a 4500/5500 Silverado in the works? I thought I had heard something about that. Although, with the bankruptcy, who knows whats been axed. Also, how's Dodge been fairing with their 45/5500 series? At least around my area, I'm seeing lots of new Fords in this class, but not many of the Dodges.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RoaddoggAK View Post
    Doesn't GM have a 4500/5500 Silverado in the works? I thought I had heard something about that. Although, with the bankruptcy, who knows whats been axed. Also, how's Dodge been fairing with their 45/5500 series? At least around my area, I'm seeing lots of new Fords in this class, but not many of the Dodges.

    The "black hole" truck was on the plate but was scraped last September, way before any recent happenings. I really doubt if we'll ever see it now.

    I was at GM's 2010 Fleet Preview in North Jersey yesterday and had lunch with 3 fleet managers who own over 7,500 GM medium duty trucks between them. One (who has black and orange tree trimmer trucks) that I won't mention the company said he had trouble getting drivers into the 4500's at first as they thought them too big but once they drove it and saw the vision line sight and the turning radius they didn't want to get back into the F-550.

    This really hurts me as I was just starting to make inroads in the fire service with the truck. Delivered 3 in the last year and had 2 on order that won't be built.
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