1. #1

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    Default Davidson, IA Head to Head Demo

    I heard there was a head to head demo with 4 or 5 100' Rear mount platform manufacturers in Davidson this past week. Was anybody there? Who took part and what was the outcome? Did anyone refuse to take part?

    Thanks!

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    Yes, Smeal was there.

    First off, it was at Dennison, IA.

    In attendance with 100' Rearmount Platforms were Smeal. E-One, Crimson and Pierce.

    Our truck performed very well. I always like going head-to-head as that is where we can really show how well our truck works.

    We passed the downhill grade and as did one other truck, can't say the same for the others. There were plenty of other items we saw that the competition could not do or had problems with, but each manufacturer that was there stepped up to the plate and at least attempted the tests they had in place for us.

    If someone else that was in attendance would like to comment, that would be great. I was there and ran the Smeal platform during the tests. If you have questions throw them out there and I will answer the best I can.

    Jeff Wegner
    Regional Sales Director
    Smeal Fire Apparatus Co.

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    Was this demo for a fire department so they could pick out which truck to go with? What brand did they end up buying?

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    anyone there that wasn't from one of the truck manufacturers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    anyone there that wasn't from one of the truck manufacturers?
    http://www.southwestiowanews.com/art...8255614803.txt
    Article re: demonstration

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    Actually, from what I saw, E-One was the most impressive on both the up-hill and the down-hill from a stability/level truck standpoint.

    The Smeal did good on the down-hill, but (not to take anything away from their performance) when they were up-hill the step from the ground to the platform ladder was huge! Pierce and Crimson had the same problem while the E-One was still easily accessable.

    Also, E-One was the only one not to have any cab "sag" when they lifted the front tires off of the ground.

    Crimson and Pierce had this problem as well, and though they may not want it known, they couldn't (or wouldn't) LEVEL the truck and run the platform off the front with 4 people and not lift their rear outriggers.

    Smeal and E-One didn't lift at all.

    I know that there is still a lot of discussion amongst what our department saw about the lighter aluminum platform with more room vs. the outriggers being 5' further ahead on the steel platform.

    I will say that Crimson had a very impressive below grade angle, while the others were about the same, however, they buried their rear outriggers about two feet into the ground!

    From what I heard, all of the manufacturers had a bunch of execs in, but the Pierce guys (who flew in some customers) bailed before they had to do the down-hill exercise. Wonder if they knew what would happen?

    The biggest concern I saw with the Smeal was when you guys moved your outriggers with the platform still in the air. Isn't that against NFPA not to mention unsafe?

    Now, I should have pre-faced this with the fact that I am not with the Denison department, and, while we are still 3-4 years out on a platform/ladder, we found the information at this evaluation to be more valuable than any demo we've ever seen and will weigh heavily on who we contact when the time comes.

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    The Pierce Guys "bailed" due to weather concerns of their pilot. They wanted to beat the thunderstorms. (my understanding)

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    I would like to respond to the comments of this last post and upload some photos if I can figure it out:

    1. Turntable Step Height – I think everyone had this same issue, even E-One. This was a steep grade. I am 6’ 4” and I had a problem getting to the first step. The difference between E-One and the others, is that E-One did not level the truck to 0 degrees, therefore, the step was closer to the ground. We could have set up in the same manner, but we used the “auto level” to show how the in-cab display showed it was capable of operation on this grade before anyone even gets out of the cab. So we could have set up in “manual” outrigger mode to just within the acceptable operating levels as well and lowered the rear step. (See Photo)

    2. I am not sure where you saw the cab sag. Maybe someone has a better photo. (See Photo)

    3. River Setup - I would like to explain what we did on the Smeal. We set up per the SOP that a fire department should set up for. Many of the apparatus have overrides for the systems on the trucks, as does the Smeal for the outriggers. We set up in standard mode and then showed what was capable IF you know the machine and IF you decide to override. We were set up to a -5 degree downward angle and then over ride was selected on the outriggers and we raised the front jacks all the way up to lower the platform off the rear. Pierce set up this way from the start and Crimson had lights flashing on the side of there structure to show they were operating outside of the crash zone. Maybe E-One was the only manufacturer that did not setup outside of the parameters for standard operation. I am not sure.

    Again, the whole idea of setting up on the grass is dangerous. You have to have TRAINING, TRAINING, TRAINING to do this. You have to raise the ladder fully, rotate 180 degrees and then come down off the rear in this case. So there really was nothing about this river exercise that would fall under standard operation. Our pads only protruded 1” into the grass, but we would NEVER recommend operating off the side of the apparatus in these conditions.

    On a final note, our pads did not bend or bow, we operated in all conditions and passed all the tests. We operated fully off the front operating downhill grade with personnel in the platform. Perhaps a better test would have been to have a weight at the tip to pull FULL load off the ground so everyone was lifting the same exact weight.

    There should be more of these types of demos. It shows the Fire Department how they can or can not use these machines. My hat goes off to Dennison Fire Department for setting this up. Great job guys!!!

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    Thumbs up Head to Head Demonstration

    SmealLadder1:
    Thank you for displaying the pictures. I do have a comment about item #1 Turntable step height on the E-One in an up hill set up mode.

    First the turntable looks pretty level by my eye ball analysis.

    Second, your picture is not quite accurate. You do not show the extendable access step pulled out on the turntable access stairway. This makes the first step height about half of what you show. We have on our unit and I'm told by our dealer that it is standard on every truck with this style of stairway.

    regards,
    donethat

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    I am not trying to say that E-One step was not closer to the ground, as I do not have a photo or measurement. If you have a photo post it. They may very well be better than what we have to offer for stepping height.

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    Is that a Quest cab on the E-One?

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    Yes, it was a Qwest chassis. Why?

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    Smeal,

    donethat is right, they did have their truck level to zero degrees and when they lowered their drop down step, it was much lower and easily accessable.

    As for the cab sag, I didn't take any pictures (although many were) I noticed that at the back of the cab on all but the E-One, mainly because I wasn't looking for it at first, the gap at the top widened as they lifted the tires off the ground. I'll be honest, it was pointed out by another firefighter, but it was very visible. more so on the Pierce and Crimson trucks (someone actually shook that one), but I did notice it on the Smeal truck too.

    A few days later I saw the Pierce and E-One trucks at a show and the E-One guy had the truck sitting level with no sag on 3 outriggers. The rear outrigger was completely in the stowed position. Since I didn't get a good look in Denison, I'm glad they were there, but I wish you had been, I'd have liked to take a closer look.

    Can you tell me a little more about your "auto level system"?
    I didn't realize that was how you had set up.

    And for the record, I'm not trying to flame your product, just stating what I observed and my impressions, and I'm guessing that when it actually comes time for us, most of you will have changed many things.

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    Donethat,Compare the turntable to the building.If you're talking about front to back level,it isn't even close.
    Jeff,You break the jinx? Oh wait,that wasn't a mid-mount. Where's Tony and the Metz? hehe T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    Where's Tony and the Metz? hehe T.C.
    Back in the Fatherland trying to figure out where/how to mount ground ladders.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Buff, you are so Ghetto some times! I should stay out of this since I didn't have a dog in the fight but I gotta say most of what everyone was doing was guessing. Proven fact they are all good trucks but they require a near genius to get full capability out of them. When is everyone going to take advantage of the technology that is out there waiting to be installed.

    That Baron, what an *****whole!! Now that's out of the way continue with the discussion.

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    I am not sure where you saw the cab sag. Maybe someone has a better photo.
    You would have to witness the cab sag in person as it happens. It's pretty tuff to see it in a picture.

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    This was a steep grade.
    Compared to what? The approach to my shop is that "steep".

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    Quote Originally Posted by RedBaronl32 View Post
    Buff, you are so Ghetto some times! yes, but I have ground ladders! That Baron, what an *****whole!! Only when you consume too much of the jager-aid!!! Other than that I have heard rumors that you are a decent guy!
    ................
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    iwuzthere2,

    First off, I have no problem with anyone flaming our product, as long as it is the truth. I never said we were perfect. However, we are not changing any designs to sell to Dennison, unless you saw something that needs to be changed that we are not aware of, but I did not see any design flaws on our product during the tests.

    I went back and looked at the video, and yes, we have the typical sag of the chassis, but NOT anywhere near as close as the others. I will not be sharing those photos of the competition. It would be unrealistic to think there would be no sag when the chassis weighs as much as it does. We just cut back on that weight due to the placement of our outriggers. We also only require double frame rails due to the torque box carrying the load and we do not rely on the frame rails to support the aerial structure. The chassis is just there to carry the load for us. Maybe the E-One has triple frame rails? I do not know.

    As for the AutoLeveling. Very straight forward system. The display in the cab shows at all times if the truck can be setup, given the grade you are driving on. When you arrive on scene, we REQUIRE, due to our interpretation of NFPA, that the outriggers be extended. Short jack is also possible. Then you place the pads, and hold down a single button on a tether control so you can see the outriggers as they go down. It will level within .2 degrees. IF you do not want to use Auto Level, then use the manual mode. Simple and easy to use.

    VanIsleEVT,
    This is a steep grade for our part of the country. Have you ever been to the Hilltop Lanes for lunch in Dodge out here. Most people don't even realize they are on a hill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iwuzthere2 View Post
    Also, E-One was the only one not to have any cab "sag" when they lifted the front tires off of the ground.
    Quote Originally Posted by SmealLadder1 View Post
    2. I am not sure where you saw the cab sag. Maybe someone has a better photo.
    Quote Originally Posted by iwuzthere2 View Post
    As for the cab sag, I didn't take any pictures (although many were) I noticed that at the back of the cab on all but the E-One, mainly because I wasn't looking for it at first, the gap at the top widened as they lifted the tires off the ground. I'll be honest, it was pointed out by another firefighter, but it was very visible. more so on the Pierce and Crimson trucks (someone actually shook that one), but I did notice it on the Smeal truck too.
    Quote Originally Posted by SmealLadder1 View Post
    I went back and looked at the video, and yes, we have the typical sag of the chassis, but NOT anywhere near as close as the others. I will not be sharing those photos of the competition. It would be unrealistic to think there would be no sag when the chassis weighs as much as it does.
    SmealLadder1: As noted, cab sag is pretty common on most aerials, and I've not heard of cabs falling off or breaking due to this, but please be more forthright in your commentary. Your first post on this implies that there is no cab sag on the Smeal product. There's a good reason most manufacturers choose to "monitor only" in the Firehouse.com Forums.

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    Is there something that states I can only monitor and not comment? I was answering a question. Maybe other manufacturers should be commenting and some do.

    At least I am not hiding behind a secret name like some other manufacturers that our commenting.

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    Talking Level

    Rescue101:
    As Bill Clinton said "what is the definition of "is".
    I said "pretty" level, not "perfectly level" or "precisely level"

    I reserve the right for some windage in my description. Yes when compared to the building in the backround it is not "perfectly level".
    But everyone knows, the buildings in Iowa are built to allow for the tilt axis of the earth! hehe

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    No one ever said you HAD to be perfectly level. I am sure you have tolerances to operate within so many degrees and still have 100% operation. I know we do and if we would have thought the step height was an issue, we could have set up out of level to make the step height closer to the ground as well.

    I am sure someone will find fault in my statement again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmealLadder1 View Post
    Is there something that states I can only monitor and not comment? I was answering a question. Maybe other manufacturers should be commenting and some do.

    At least I am not hiding behind a secret name like some other manufacturers that our commenting.
    No, sorry by all means I'm happy that you post, my point is that some find that "we" are hard to please. I in no way am saying you should not post, but be very cognizant that for the most part we assume most salesman and reps are wolves in sheeps clothing. As I was pointing out, your first post and picture sounded like a different implication than the latter ones.

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