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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ambrose33 View Post
    The trucks were sent out to bid and I think 2 other manfacturers tried but weren't able to meet the criteria.
    Why do you think that is? Its because you sent them a Pierce spec. I would hope that Pierce would be low bid with their own spec.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ambrose33 View Post
    We did look at other companies and speak to other departments in our area. We have seagraves, e-ones, american la frances, sutphen etc in our area. Through several discussion, feedback from the communities, speaking to sales men, checking into the companies financial state etc we were still determined to stay with what we use. I'm not gonna mention manufacturers but a couple towns were having major issues with some of the other brand trucks and gave very poor feeback. The trucks were sent out to bid and I think 2 other manfacturers tried but weren't able to meet the criteria.
    Did you ever stop to wonder why the two other manufacturers were unable to meet the criteria? If you haven't figured it out, you wrote your specs so tightly around Pierce that no one but Pierce could bid without taking exceptions. No manufacturer does everything the same as the other so some manufacturers are going to have to take exceptions. More than likely, the Pierce dealer noticed that your department was not wise enough to recognize this and tacked an extra 25-30K on the truck knowing full well that you were going to buy the truck from them. I agree with Buff, I'd be very careful what you say on here. The report done by the state was very critical of these kind of practices. And while were on the subject of their financial situation, you obviously didn't do your homework there either.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    Sounds like you stating you wrote a pierce spec and it didn't really matter what the cost was
    to the taxpayers thats what you were getting.

    Oh and watch out for that special kool aid at the steakhouse the night before you do your final inspection, it's been known to cause blurry vision and blindness the next day.
    I'm not getting into a war over this. But we did check out other companies and multiple towns had major issues with other manufacturers in our surrounding communities. I'm not stating the names of manufacturer's but if you PM me I'll tell you the issues and our concerns of each. The town did give us a budget before the build began and we kept it to that. I think the taxpayers would rather have a truck that has been good to us and I know will do the job correctly.
    Stay safe!

  4. #24
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    Don't you think it would still be better to write an open spec that other manufacturers can bid on if nothing more than to keep Pierce honest on their bid price. Of course, you would have to JUSTIFY why you are going with Pierce if they aren't the low bidder. If you only have one bidder, it is highly likely that they will pad their bid and you will end up paying more than you should.

  5. #25
    Forum Member Ambrose33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rm1524 View Post
    Why do you think that is? Its because you sent them a Pierce spec. I would hope that Pierce would be low bid with their own spec.
    Quote Originally Posted by LT2410 View Post
    Did you ever stop to wonder why the two other manufacturers were unable to meet the criteria? If you haven't figured it out, you wrote your specs so tightly around Pierce that no one but Pierce could bid without taking exceptions. No manufacturer does everything the same as the other so some manufacturers are going to have to take exceptions. More than likely, the Pierce dealer noticed that your department was not wise enough to recognize this and tacked an extra 25-30K on the truck knowing full well that you were going to buy the truck from them. I agree with Buff, I'd be very careful what you say on here. The report done by the state was very critical of these kind of practices. And while were on the subject of their financial situation, you obviously didn't do your homework there either.
    If I knew this was such a sore subject for some I would have never posted about this. I came into the build late so I only know some of what on at the early stages. I know there were other meetings with 2 other manufacturers very early in the build. But lets not make this a personal vendetta.
    Stay safe!

  6. #26
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    Nothing personal about it. When I say you - I mean your department. I do suggest you find a copy of that report and read it though. You don't want to be caught up in the middle of that stuff.

  7. #27
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    We recently got three bids on an aerial tower and Pierce was the high bidder by quite a bit. When they found out how high they were compared to the other bidders, they made significant "adjustments" to their bid which got them down to #2 on the list. If we had used a spec written around the Pierce product, a don't think we would have paid the adjusted lower price if we had gone with them which we didn't anyway. Competition is essential in keeping them honest with their prices!

  8. #28
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    If anyone wants to read the final report by the State of NJ it can be viewed here: http://www.state.nj.us/sci/pdf/Firet...l%20Report.pdf

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    First a disclaimer: I am neither an antagonist nor a member of the Pierce cult. They build a good truck, but so do other manufacturers. My department has Pierce apparatus, but other brands as well. I've been to Appleton, but I drank no Kool-Aid during my visits.

    Here are some generally accurate truths that I have discovered in dealing with Pierce over the years:
    • If Pierce is a low bidder, something is rotten in Denmark.
    • Pierce doesn't like to get into a TRULY competitive bid process,
      because they seldom win.
    • If Pierce is your only bidder (especially in this economy), your department likely did not perform its due dilligence with writing a spec.
    • If your department is exclusively Pierce, the chief's high cholesterol can
      probably be traced to George's [sorry I couldn't help myself].

    In addition:
    If you received less than three bids on any apparatus in this economic climate, you likely wrote a proprietary spec.

    I have never had a finance director, auditor, or purchasing agent at the local or state level support the idea that standardization is a reason to disqualify other bidders.

    If you are spending tax dollars (federal, state, local, or special districts) on purchases over the amount identified in state statutes, you are required by law to award the the bid to the "lowest qualified bidder" or the "most responsive bidder," depending on how the laws in your state read. Period.

    It is the definition of qualified and responsive that turns the water murky.

    C6

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ambrose33 View Post
    I do think roll over protection is VITAL! Anything we can do to make these trucks safer we will spend the money. With the new electronics in the truck we can also tell whose wearing a seatbelt and who isn't. Even though we still turn and do a second check. Safety! Safety! Safety!
    It is amazing to me to see a department delete optional safety equipment off their rig because of cost concerns, then turn around and spend 2K on a chrome bell for the front bumper; at which point I usually begin to ponder priorities.

    C6

  11. #31
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    Ambrose -

    When I said "you" I was meaning "your department".

    I have seen spec's written for a certain company, because that is who the department wanted. If your department is happy and your citizens are happy then carry one.

    My 2 cents is that there are a lot of good builders out there that can build you a good truck if they are given a chance. The truck we have on order is an example of that. We awarded the bid to a small builder with a proven track record. They had bid on other trucks and were always on the high end, this time they were 3rd, but because the 1st two bidders had several things that did not meet our spec, they won the bid.

    I would love to have a fleet of trucks from one builder, but when you do that, that builder will start pushing the price up on you. It happened to us this time, we have four engines from the same builder and would have liked to have added a 5th one, and they knew this. It turns out that they were high bidder by around 30,000 dollars. There was 80,000 dollars difference from low bid to high bid and 50,000 dollars difference between winning bid and high bid. To me it would be very hard to justify to one of our taxpayers 50,000 dollars just because we wanted a certain name on the truck. Things like that make it hard to get a tax increase the next time you want/need one.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by rm1524 View Post
    Ambrose -

    When I said "you" I was meaning "your department".

    I have seen spec's written for a certain company, because that is who the department wanted. If your department is happy and your citizens are happy then carry one.

    My 2 cents is that there are a lot of good builders out there that can build you a good truck if they are given a chance. The truck we have on order is an example of that. We awarded the bid to a small builder with a proven track record. They had bid on other trucks and were always on the high end, this time they were 3rd, but because the 1st two bidders had several things that did not meet our spec, they won the bid.

    I would love to have a fleet of trucks from one builder, but when you do that, that builder will start pushing the price up on you. It happened to us this time, we have four engines from the same builder and would have liked to have added a 5th one, and they knew this. It turns out that they were high bidder by around 30,000 dollars. There was 80,000 dollars difference from low bid to high bid and 50,000 dollars difference between winning bid and high bid. To me it would be very hard to justify to one of our taxpayers 50,000 dollars just because we wanted a certain name on the truck. Things like that make it hard to get a tax increase the next time you want/need one.
    I know of several departments in our area that are getting hosed because of the fact a dealer is taking advantage of the department's desire to stick with their brand. One doesn't even go out to bid, not that I know how they pull that off legally.

    Anyway, to me it's unethical to cut out other companies by using proprietary bids. I believe that's a big reason the AFG has made it where any company that assists in the spec-writing process is unable to bid on equipment.

    My career department recently bid out a 100' aerial. We did end up excluding a number of good manufacturers because the committee opted for an aluminum stick. Only three that I know of build aluminum aerials, only two build rear-mounts. At least that's what the bids we recieved are indicating. Our specs do have some proprietary items in it, but it's hybrid. There's items that one manufacturer has proprietary, some that another does, and some that another does. No one is going to meet the bid spec 100%.

    The job of the committee is to go through the bids and determine which truck best fits our needs and meets our demands the best. It's not what I'd consider an ideal situation, but by no means have we already determined who's building the truck until the bids are sifted through thoroughly. And it's what the powers-that-be opted to do, so that's how we're doing it.

  13. #33
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    Catch -

    I heard that you guys are going back to commercial cab engines? Is that true?

    Oh I did see some of the demo trucks what you guys had in, some of them looked pretty slick. Guess I should have stop and looked at them. Then I could have told you what we want at station 8.
    Last edited by rm1524; 01-17-2010 at 07:02 AM.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by dano313 View Post
    If anyone wants to read the final report by the State of NJ it can be viewed here: http://www.state.nj.us/sci/pdf/Firet...l%20Report.pdf
    I have stated this before, but I will do it again as it is a very valid statement for this particular thread.....Kind of interesting how Pierce is the only Mfr. mentioned specifically by name in this report.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeadOff View Post
    We recently got three bids on an aerial tower and Pierce was the high bidder by quite a bit. When they found out how high they were compared to the other bidders, they made significant "adjustments" to their bid which got them down to #2 on the list. If we had used a spec written around the Pierce product, a don't think we would have paid the adjusted lower price if we had gone with them which we didn't anyway. Competition is essential in keeping them honest with their prices!
    "Adjustments"?? WTF is "adjustments". Mfg make your bid and live with it. Bids opening it's the end of the pricing discussion it's not an auction. You lose the bid go home and work on the next project.

    Adjustments is meeting of two crooks.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    "Adjustments"?? WTF is "adjustments". Mfg make your bid and live with it. Bids opening it's the end of the pricing discussion it's not an auction. You lose the bid go home and work on the next project.

    Adjustments is meeting of two crooks.
    We were told that there were some mistakes or miscalculations made in the original bid and they requested it be relooked. What I think it meant was that we need to sharpen-up the pencil quite a bit. To be fair to the other bidders, we also gave them the same opportunity to revise their bid if they wanted to but they declined.
    Last edited by LeadOff; 01-17-2010 at 12:18 PM.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeadOff View Post
    We were told that there were some mistakes or miscalculations made in the original bid and they requested it be relooked. What I think it meant was that we need to sharpen-up the pencil quite a bit. To be fair to the other bidders, we also gave them the same opportunity to revise their bid if they wanted to but they declined.
    The mistakes they made were to assume that they could rob your department and get away with it.
    To allow the high bidder a chance to alter their bid after the official opening is criminal and in violation of most bidding procedures. unless you throw out ALL bids and go through the process from the beginning it's a scam, even then you know what the other responsible bidders numbers are. it's always easier to be successful when you can look at the competitions hand in advance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    The mistakes they made were to assume that they could rob your department and get away with it.
    To allow the high bidder a chance to alter their bid after the official opening is criminal and in violation of most bidding procedures. unless you throw out ALL bids and go through the process from the beginning it's a scam, even then you know what the other responsible bidders numbers are. it's always easier to be successful when you can look at the competitions hand in advance.
    We only allowed this since our company DOES NOT have to go with the low bidder (thank God!) but we would have to fully justify why we would go with a higher bid to the company membership for approval by vote. In this particular case, we did end up going with the low bid anyway. It was very interesting to see how much Pierce lowered their bid. Now we have a much better idea as to how much some of those guys will PAD that bid so they can get that big fat commission.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeadOff View Post
    We only allowed this since our company DOES NOT have to go with the low bidder (thank God!) but we would have to fully justify why we would go with a higher bid to the company membership for approval by vote. In this particular case, we did end up going with the low bid anyway. It was very interesting to see how much Pierce lowered their bid. Now we have a much better idea as to how much some of those guys will PAD that bid so they can get that big fat commission.
    Good luck getting anyone to bid the next time you bid. Vendors remember things like that and they won't waste their time bidding again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rm1524 View Post
    Good luck getting anyone to bid the next time you bid. Vendors remember things like that and they won't waste their time bidding again.
    And now we have a better idea on who we don't want to deal with anymore, either.

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