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Thread: Custom Chassis

  1. #1
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    Default Custom Chassis

    I was ask by a rural department to help them with their next truck purchase. They want 1250 GPM, 1000 gallons and a custom chassis. My question is: Which is cheaper, HME SFO, HME 1871, Spartan Metro Star, Spartan Furion, or Spartan Gladiator?

    And, Hale, Darley or Waterous pump?


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    Quote Originally Posted by FFSKPII View Post
    I was ask by a rural department to help them with their next truck purchase. They want 1250 GPM, 1000 gallons and a custom chassis. My question is: Which is cheaper, HME SFO, HME 1871, Spartan Metro Star, Spartan Furion, or Spartan Gladiator?

    And, Hale, Darley or Waterous pump?
    Sorry if I sound like an ***** but: Why did they ask you for help?

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    that's kinda what I was thinking...

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    Definitely not being disrespectful but if you are asking these types of questions I would consider removing yourself from the process. That is unless you are an expert in something apparatus related such as body work, or hydraulic generators, electrical, etc

    And I feel inclined to answer one of your questions since I am replying.

    Spartan Furion (bridges gap between commercial and custom) $$
    Spartan Metro Star (popular well equipped custom) $$$
    Spartan Gladiator (top of the line custom) $$$$

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    Sorry if I sound like an ***** but: Why did they ask you for help?
    My FD donated PPE to this dept and we just purchased a new CAFS brush truck. They figured i could help

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFSKPII View Post
    My FD donated PPE to this dept and we just purchased a new CAFS brush truck. They figured i could help
    I'm not trying to downplay your ability to help, but speccing and buying fire apparatus poorly is a good way to have the taxpayers lose faith in the FD. I'd suggest a consultant ina case where the FD has these very basic questions. For a fee of under 1% of the final cost of our tower ladder we got one of the most respected consulting firms (two guys ) and this having a committee made up of many career firefighters who have all specced numerous unit. We learned that just because we've done it before, doesn't mean we did it right! We didn't officially hire anyone for our latest project (rescue pumper) but we had a decent amount of time spent with our previous consultants and their contacts across the country.

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    CHEAPER generally isn't the BEST way(or value)in building Fire apparatus.Any of the apparatus you listed can do a decent job if you spec it right.We've got two Gladiators and have been well pleased with them. T.C.

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    I think a good place to start is what type of area do you have, then figure out what you need, then a consultant. A consultant helped us a lot in figuring out what we needed, verus what we wanted. In the end we came up with a very functional war wagon vs. a parade show piece.

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    This FD, thier newest piece is a 76 Ford brush truck. They also have a 64 pumper. They need water and compartment space.

    Area: Eastern Colorado, mostly flat, some hills. Need: Water and compartment space.

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    Default new apparatus

    They should be asking what chassis is the best value for the money.
    Sounds like they are money inhibited, so unless they are getting some grant money, they may want to consider buying a used apparatus.

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    Even if they hire a consultant, they need to come up with ideas of what they think they want to have / need to answer the consultant.

    What equipment do they want to carry? How much water?

    How much do they think they have to spend? 250K or 500k can make a huge difference in what options they can afford to put on the specs.

    Start with a copy of the new NPFA 1901, I believe they have a questionaire in the back that is a place to start.

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    Many FD's purchase a truck in reverse order. They make a wish list and then try to find the money to pay for a rig that has lots of extras.

    It sounds like this department isn't rolling in money, so the first thing I suggest is develop a budget. Then see what's out being delivered in that price range. They may find a demo or similar spec that's already built. This will allow them to see the actual truck over a drawing; and the spec work has already been done for the both of you.

    While I prefer custom, I'd rather have a new apparatus on a commercial chassis than what they have now. Custom chassis aren't a panacea; they do present their own unique problems. Parts availability is almost always more challenging than than commercial.

    A 1250/1000 is within the reach of either commercial or custom. The main advantage of custom is usually shorter wheelbase, tighter turning radius, and larger engine/trans choices.

    The primary goal for the department to get the most truck that they can afford. This should satisfy any reasonable taxpayers.

    Good luck with your project.

    CP
    Last edited by Command6; 07-28-2009 at 05:43 PM.

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