1. #1
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    Default Pierce Pumper body cracks?

    Has anyone had issues with Pierce pumper bodies cracking in the front corners of the body? We have had 3 pumpers, all equipped with ladder and dump tank racks, that have cracked the welds where the sheet metal is formed then welded at the corners of the front of the hose bed. Typically, this is visable from the dunnage compartment on top. Lowering both racks tends to make the cracks stand out. Same 3 pumpers have required repair at the corners of the rectangular opening at the front of the pump house that allows access to pump and piping for repairs. The cab must be tilted to see this opening. I don't think these two issues are related as the pump house is a separate component from the body.
    The trucks involved are 2006 models, and a neighboring department has a 2004 with same issue. All have been repaired under warranty.
    Please do not make this a "2010 diesel fuel additive" match between those that are passionate for other apparatus manufacturers, or are passionate against Pierce.
    Our local dealer says that the sales staff has not been advised of this issue, and that it appears to be isolated to our engines. However, 4 pieces, made over 2 years apart, built to different specs, yet located just 20 miles from each other makes me think it may be a more widespread issue than they are admitting at this point.
    If you have this issue, or if you've had it and Pierce has repaired it, post the engine's job number if you can. Maybe I can get a better idea of what Pierce has had to fix, if they have determined why the bodies are cracking, and how they intend to build the body where it won't crack. We've been a long time Pierce customer, but I think this issue would have significant bearing on future purchases.
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default

    I'm not going to make a Kool-Aid vs. anything else out of this either, but - somewhere many moons back I posted something about the beginnings of the American Trucking Associations' Technology and Maintenance Council, formerly "The Maintenance Council" (TMC/ATA) and before that, the Regular Common Carrier Conference (RCCC).

    It just happened that a group of maintenance managers from various trucking companies were at some sort of gathering, and like any group of people that do similar stuff, they got to talking. One person was complaining about a problem with a group of trucks, all of the same make model and vintage. He mentioned that when he complained to the manufacturer their response was "Gee whiz, that's strange, no one else has that problem. You must be doing something wrong. What are you doing different from everyone else?" And a couple of other people in the same group said, "Y'know what? We had the same problem with the same trucks, and they gave us the same answer."

    One thing led to another, and the RCCC was born. Today, no highway truck manufacturer would dare make a statement like that without being able to back it up, at least not to a TMC member. Now, the manufacturers and component suppliers are even members of TMC. They don't vote, but they do partcipate very actively and constructively. Coincidentally, the fire truck builder that you mention is a TMC member. Since I rarely go to the meetings (wish I could but it's quite pricey), I don't know how active their guy is.

    Point is, you have to wonder how many fire truck builders come around with the same statement. Especially where a multiple truck order is involved. And because fire trucks are so customized, are there times when that statement legit? In Montgomery County, Pa. we have an Engineers' association that meets every couple of months. Among many other things, we talk about common problems as well as individual problems, and possible solutions.

    We're not nearly as advanced as TMC nor do we have the same level of drag. But we're able occasionally to get a guest speaker in from various suppliers to talk about subjects of interest. We get people from the fire equipment industry and from chassis component companies. The biggest thing is, do as you indicate you are doing, talk to your neighbors. Identify common problems. Communicate here. (The builders and suppliers are hanging on every word.) But never let anyone come around with the statement, "Gee, you're the only one that's having that problem" unless they can back it up.

    Stay safe out there, everyone goes home!

  3. #3
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    Our 2008 Pierce Contender PUC did the same thing. The body started cracking on the driver and passenger sides at the front of the hosebed. Thankfully, we no longer have this truck. Pierce took it back to build us a new truck (not a PUC). This truck suffered from several driveability issues from the get-go. The body had extensive movement while driving (more than normal). In addition to swaying too much from side to side while driving, the apparatus body would give the appearance that it was "teetering" on the rear axle while driving, also. The apparatus body would bounce forward and backwards while you were driving the truck. It was very obvious when looking in the side mirrors going down the road. And the short wheelbase and the body issues caused the truck to be extremely squirrely. The back end of the truck would literally be swaying back and forth going down the road.

    The truck also had an issue with the throttle being WAAYYY too sensitive. Just going over a bump in the road, causing the driver's foot to bounce a little, would send the truck into "convulsions" basically. Can't think of any better way to describe it. The only way to stop it when it started this was to completely floor the accelerator (not always an option) or bring the truck to a quick stop and start all over (again, not always an option).

    The truck was taken out of service numerous times and sent back to the Pierce service shop numerous times. They ended up putting some sort of lift kit on the rear axle (because the rear of the truck sat very noticeable lower than the front - even with no equipment or water on it) and put larger tires on the rear. They put a different style accelerator pedal on it and reprogrammed numerous throttle, exhaust brake, and transmission downshift settings. Nothing helped the problems.

    Then the body cracks developed, and the administration said enough is enough. Pierce did us right, though, and gave us a brand new loaner truck while they build the PUC's replacement.
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    So you ordered ANOTHER ONE? A Contender again or a Wi made "real Pierce"

    They supplied you with a loaner? How generous. Did they make you whole for the cost of the POS, out of service time, and "discount" the replacement?

  5. #5
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    The town where I live purchased a heavy rescue a few years back. The entire body had to be replaced within the first couple of years of service due to the number and location of cracks. I will see if the chief has any photos. And this truck runs maybe 100 calls a year.
    I have only 2 allegiances, to my country and to my God. The rest of you are fair game.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireinfo10 View Post
    So you ordered ANOTHER ONE? A Contender again or a Wi made "real Pierce"

    They supplied you with a loaner? How generous. Did they make you whole for the cost of the POS, out of service time, and "discount" the replacement?
    Not my decision. The board is supposed to make the final decision in the coming weeks whether or not they want to just buy the loaner (a 2009 Velocity) or have a "real Pierce" built. They are still trying to hammer out the details. The original plan was to get a new truck built, but I don't know now.

  7. #7
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    Default Needs More Subframe

    I seems obvious to me that there is lack of adequate subframe under the body. I know on the Contender specifications I was sent, the side compartments had 400lb. weight limit and the rear center 500lb. You may never put more than that in it but I would like to think a piece of fire equipment would be engineered and built heavy enough to be stronger than that!

    Thril

  8. #8
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    Default Contender PUC's

    The Contender PUC is manufactured in Appleton still. There has been no talk about moving that production to Florida anytime soon....just FYI.

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