1. #1
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    Default Remounting body onto new Chassis Vs. New truck

    Alright guys and gals, heres my question, sorry if this has been asked a million times over but here goes anyways. Our Department has come to the realization that our 1988 Ford C Heavy Rescue is showing its age, and is becoming more costly to keep in service. The old girl has no power, and has a very difficult time climbing some of our larger Vermont hills. So we put together a truck committee, consisting of our Chief, 2 Captains and myself and another Firefighter to look into some options.

    The only upside to the old truck is that the 18' EVP box is in great shape, with absolutely no rust or damage. Heck the only thing wrong with it is the paint is chipped here and there, and some of the compartments could be rearranged for better use of the space. It's been my personal belief from the start, that refurbishing and remounting the body onto say a new Freightliner M2 or IH 4400 would suit our needs just fine.

    But I really don't have enough information on the process, the costs involved and weather or not remounting such an old body is even possible. Which makes arguing my case to the others on the committee slightly difficult.

    So I come to you guys looking for anyone with experience in this particular field. Any tips, information or sources of information would be greatly appreciated and would assist me in bringing a strong argument before the Committee who seem to be at odds on what to do at the moment. I appreciate any help you can give.

    AJ

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    If your body is in good shape and money is tight, a refurb and remount may be viable. I'm sure you're refurb idea will include all new wiring and LED lighting.

    Are there any fire apparatus dealers in your area with the capabilities to do this? Another idea is to check with companies who build beverage trucks and/or box style truck for the likes of Ryder/Penske. These companies should be able to take advantage of volume purchasing and get you a cab/chassis at a discount. You may even locate a pre-2010 cab/chassis and save yourself several thousand $$$ there.

    A rescue remount is generally more simple than a pumper or tanker since you eliminate the pump, tank and piping issues. I know of a couple dept's who've done it with no major problems. It'll be a good idea to have someone who knows metals evaluate your current box.

    C6

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    I agree with Command 6. If money is tight and the box is in good shape, why not remount it???

    Go for a 4-door chassis, and get the guys out of the box, and put them into seats with belts, as opposed to the bench in the box....
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Thanks to the both of you for your quick replies, C6 you provided some good info and ideas that I hadn't thought of before as far as finding a new cab goes. It never even crossed my mind to look for one at a Penske dealer. As far as the lighting on the box goes, all the old halogen flashers were replaced with Code 3 LED's last year so that should save a bit.

    As far as the cab goes, we would want to keep it a 3 seater at most. The current box is a non-walk in, and we can stuff three people in the cab if we suck in our guts. We have a problem with staffing during the day, like many Volunteer Departments. So keeping the number of people on the HR is key, so we can leave enough behind to staff the Engine Co.

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    Reliance

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    Check out http://www.valleyfireequipment.com/ in New Hampshire, Metalfab in New Brunswick, Canada thru K&T in Maine. www.metalfabfiretrucks.com
    Greenwood in Brunswick, Maine: www.greenwoodev.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reliance View Post
    Check out http://www.valleyfireequipment.com/ in New Hampshire, Metalfab in New Brunswick, Canada thru K&T in Maine. www.metalfabfiretrucks.com
    Greenwood in Brunswick, Maine: www.greenwoodev.com
    Thank you very much for the links Reliance, I'm very interested in Valley Fire already. They are close to us, and looking at their website seem to be a quality manufacturer.

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    Does Alco Equipment Co. in South Burlington still exist? I used to bring trailers to them many years ago when they were a Trailmobile dealer. Their shop had lots of capability.

    The idea of checking out Ryder, Penske or any decent truck leasing company shop has a lot going for it. Right now you can get really good deals on late model used trucks. I bought a used tractor from Penske once and was well satisfied. If they have a decent sized shop they might even be able to make the switch for you.

    Another possibility is VRS Sales in Clifton Park, N.Y., near Albany. The Shakerleys have a small shop but lots of ability. They are dealers for Toyne and Swab.

    I concur with the idea of going four door unless wheelbase is a concern. "Stuffing" three people into a front seat does not lend itself to safe operation of the vehicle. Give yourselves a break.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefengineer11 View Post
    Does Alco Equipment Co. in South Burlington still exist? I used to bring trailers to them many years ago when they were a Trailmobile dealer. Their shop had lots of capability.

    The idea of checking out Ryder, Penske or any decent truck leasing company shop has a lot going for it. Right now you can get really good deals on late model used trucks. I bought a used tractor from Penske once and was well satisfied. If they have a decent sized shop they might even be able to make the switch for you.

    Another possibility is VRS Sales in Clifton Park, N.Y., near Albany. The Shakerleys have a small shop but lots of ability. They are dealers for Toyne and Swab.

    I concur with the idea of going four door unless wheelbase is a concern. "Stuffing" three people into a front seat does not lend itself to safe operation of the vehicle. Give yourselves a break.
    If anything we'll bump it down to a two seater, wheelbase isn't a huge issue. Though we do have some tight back dirt roads that right now our Rescue can negotiate without issue. Like I said before we cannot risk having 4 people jump into the Rescue and then leave nothing for the Engine Co.

    A rescue pumper was suggested, but the price to spec out and have built a proper Heavy Rescue pumper to fit everything our HR does is just outrageous. Even with a two seater commercial chassis. That's why its coming back down to the Heavy Rescue, the others are looking at out right replacing it. While I'm looking for a more affordable option that will get us to the same end. A reliable Heavy Rescue that works for us, not for the budget.

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    Take a look at Summit Fire Apparatus in KY. I'm sure they do re-mounts.
    http://www.summitfireapparatus.com/

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    Take a look at an extended cab. SCBA seats for officer and another in center of cab set to the rear wall. Good place for 2 of the required SCBA and more elbow room.

    Install engineer/medic compartment on each side behind the cab doors with access thru ROMs.

    Up charge for a IH4400 extended can when I was looking at it a year ago was about $1200 more than 2dr. M2 was considerable more at that time.

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    I'll throw my two cents in.

    1. If you chose to remount, find a company that has experience doing re-mounts and talk to their customers. (Same as when you looking for a new truck)

    2. There will more than likley be some cost over-runs once the remount starts because something was missed or there is unseen damage.

    3. If your state has a "state bid" program, look into it. For us in Missouri we can buy anything in the state-bid program. (We saved a bunch of money on chassis' a few years ago by going with the state-bid)

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    Thanks everyone for your input thus far, I'm becoming more aware of a lot more apparatus manufacturers than I was before that might be able to do the remount cheaper. Most of the apparatus in our fleet are E-ones, and though I'd like to keep E-one as our primary apparatus supplier and what not. It may boil down to who can do it cheaper, without sacrificing quality.

    As for the extended cab, I like the idea greatly. Our 1998 Freightliner FL112/E-one pumper tanker has an extended cab and it allows us to store more behind the seats and have SCBA seats. If we were to go with a new chassis, it very well may end up having an extended cab. When it comes down to what manufacturer, its between Freightliner and IHC. Though everyone loves our Tanker, the IHC 4400 series is a great truck that I stand behind as I've driven them plenty with my other jobs. I think it will come down to us testing both a FL M2, and an IHC 4400 and comparing the two.

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    I'll chime in, if the box is in good shape then stick with it. I had one customer that spent almost 2/3 the purchase price of their 1984 rescue on roof repairs just a few years ago. That wasn't money well spent in my opinion. Make sure you do a complete inspection when the box is off and fix anything that might even be close to questionable.

    I would suggest 3 other companies to you.

    Lakes Region Fire Apparatus Inc. Glenn Davis is well versed in all aspects of fire apparatus and one smart son of a gun

    Twin Lights Milford Body Shop Inc. Emergency Vehicle Repair Division Joe Birarelli has a large shop and can handle anything you can give him. The models on his literature aren't bad looking either.

    Gowans-Knight Co., Inc. I don't know anyone personally from GK but it looks like the build apparatus like they should be built and are small enough to care.
    Last edited by Fyrtrks; 04-14-2010 at 09:08 AM.
    Fyrtrks

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    Quote Originally Posted by EngineCO38 View Post
    Thank you very much for the links Reliance, I'm very interested in Valley Fire already. They are close to us, and looking at their website seem to be a quality manufacturer.
    Either Valley or Lakes Region will give you a NICE finished project. Be aware that this constitutes a MAJOR Rehab and is subject to bringing the vehicle to the latest standard of NFPA. Glenn and I were discussing this very thing the other night. Good Luck,T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    Either Valley or Lakes Region will give you a NICE finished project. Be aware that this constitutes a MAJOR Rehab and is subject to bringing the vehicle to the latest standard of NFPA. Glenn and I were discussing this very thing the other night. Good Luck,T.C.
    Thanks for the comment, I do realize that this is a huge undertaking when it comes to refurbing the old body. Hopefully all will go well, and I'll submit some of the stuff you guys suggested here to the truck committee the next time that we get together. Thanks again.

    AJ

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    Sorry to have to double post, but after working with the information you guys gave me. I do have a few more questions, mainly in regards to turn over time. I understand that each case and piece of apparatus is different, but what I'm looking for is a ballpark on the time it would take from the body arriving at the manufacturer to delivery of the finished product.

    I'm going to assume (Dangerous I know) That it would take less time for the refurb and remount as opposed to building an entirely new rig. But I'm just looking for a rough guestimate for arguments sake. Thanks guys.

    AJ
    Opinions expressed by myself here are just that, mine. And not that of ANY organization or service I am affiliated with.

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    Our neighbors just had a tanker refurb body swap onto a new chassis . The truck was out of service for 15 days total. The taker body was 10 years old and had been installed on a used chassis then. The new IH chassis came equipped with most of the equipment to make the swap over fairly simple, They had the lighting updated and added roll up doors where they had barn doors previously and repainted the body. It was done at northeast emergency vehicles in Auburn Maine. Depending on the amount of work required to make the swap and upgrade your body to current specs it could be anywhere from two weeks to a month for completion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    Our neighbors just had a tanker refurb body swap onto a new chassis . The truck was out of service for 15 days total. The taker body was 10 years old and had been installed on a used chassis then. The new IH chassis came equipped with most of the equipment to make the swap over fairly simple, They had the lighting updated and added roll up doors where they had barn doors previously and repainted the body. It was done at northeast emergency vehicles in Auburn Maine. Depending on the amount of work required to make the swap and upgrade your body to current specs it could be anywhere from two weeks to a month for completion.
    That is outstanding! To be honest I was expecting atleast a 3 to 4 month time frame. I understand that its different for each piece of apparatus, but still it makes for a great argument to the committee. Thanks very much for the info.
    Opinions expressed by myself here are just that, mine. And not that of ANY organization or service I am affiliated with.

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