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    Default Do we expect too much?

    Okay here's the deal. I just finished watching an episode of Ultimate Factories on Discovery Channel and no it wasn't the Pierce episode. It was Rolls Royce, not too different actually. My question is this, do we expect too much when it comes to the fit, finish and customization of fire apparatus. I'll be the first to admit that I expect it to be built the way I designed it and to my standards but it that going too far? Ya sure, when you go for your final inspection you see this gleaming piece of machinery and pick out any flaw you can find. It doesn't take long before it starts to show wear and tear no matter how well you take care of it. We do pay for this customization and time required to sand, polish and buff the finishes, etc, etc. Is it too much?

    Just curious on your thoughts.

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    I think many of us do spend far too much time and money on things that don't matter operationally. But, fit and finish are often an indicator of the builders attention to detail, the quality assurance of the company and the pride the employees put into their work. I think we're far too unrealistic in expecting modern fire apparatus to have a life of 20-25 years with today's electronics, inferior metals, plastics, and cheaper lightweight highly engineered designs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VanIsleEVT View Post
    Okay here's the deal. I just finished watching an episode of Ultimate Factories on Discovery Channel and no it wasn't the Pierce episode. It was Rolls Royce, not too different actually. My question is this, do we expect too much when it comes to the fit, finish and customization of fire apparatus. I'll be the first to admit that I expect it to be built the way I designed it and to my standards but it that going too far? Ya sure, when you go for your final inspection you see this gleaming piece of machinery and pick out any flaw you can find. It doesn't take long before it starts to show wear and tear no matter how well you take care of it. We do pay for this customization and time required to sand, polish and buff the finishes, etc, etc. Is it too much?

    Just curious on your thoughts.
    Man,I love the way you think. I build 'em to WORK. Don't get me wrong,I want the rig to look decent but I'm MORE interested in how it PERFORMS. And I don't need a Pierce to do it.And got nothing against a Pierce, just don't own one and probably won't. T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    . I think we're far too unrealistic in expecting modern fire apparatus to have a life of 20-25 years with today's electronics, inferior metals, plastics, and cheaper lightweight highly engineered designs.
    I think this is spot on. I also think some people go way overboard with the "custom" part. Design it to work for you, but unless you have some really unique hazards or are in an industrial FD you probably don't need a one of a kind piece.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    I think many of us do spend far too much time and money on things that don't matter operationally.
    hmmmmm.....Appleton flavor anyone?????

    (I know I'll probably take some flak for that, but the truth really hurts sometimes)
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    Only three posts for Brand P to come up. Congrats.

    I think that as nameless pointed out, if we (the American fire service) were forced to pick from, say, 6 different pumper designs across the nation, 95% of us would be able to do our jobs every day with one of those six designs. The 5% would likely be a station with a very small door, or an area with a bridge weight limit or something like that.

    I don't know that we "expect too much," especially when it comes to the paint. If the manufacturer isn't going to spend a lot of time making the paint, which is the first thing everyone is going to see, look good, then how do I know what their attention to detail on the rest of the rig is. Yes, I know chrome and diamond plate can cover anything, but we still generally know what's good fit and finish.

    When our elected officials finally release the money for our new pumper at the VFD, the spec is going to be something that any manufacturer can comply with and even allows the bidders just enough room to build to their standard practice. This will be replacing a 23-year old Grumman pumper, so our expectations are going to be high -- especially if we have to wait another 23 years for another one.
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    Actually Pierce came up in post one. Like I also mentioned,we all have preferences. I'm not as name driven as I am interested in how the rig works and holds up. Like 187,we build 'em for 20,probably work 'em for 25 and with a LITTLE luck can replace 'em before 30.Our last lil gas International was delivered to us in 1978 and was bought as a 15 yr truck. It was retired last Sept. You do the math. There are a lot of builders out there building NICE equipment, and dealer service is an important part of new vehicle purchase.Or at least it is here. T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    Only three posts for Brand P to come up. Congrats.
    Like I said. The truth hurts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Like I said. The truth hurts.
    I'm just wondering why was Brand P singled out for the statement that originally said:
    Quote Originally Posted by RFDAMC02
    I think many of us do spend far too much time and money on things that don't matter operationally.
    I can put Mars Lights, Roto-Rays, gold leaf, bells, air-actuated diamond plate hose bed covers, train horns, and limo-tinted windows on a Rosenbauer, 4-Guys, or E-One.

    Not a Pierce sympathizer, just saying lets be fair and admit that anyone can build a rig to the "[doesn't] matter operationally" specification.
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    I should elaborate a bit on my original post, it was written quickly while the thought was on my mind.

    I'm guilty of it myself because I want the truck built the way I feel a fire truck should be built for our dept, and for our needs. The Engines our dept has are very unique but we had to incorporate a lot of requests into the trucks. Features that don't normally work together. I don't mean to plug one brand over the other but the most simple, functional trucks I've seen in awhile were the Engines built for Cincinnati by General Safety Equipment. They had all the latest safety features recommended by NFPA but were still so simple in design. Everything was low with easy access, very low main hosebed, low crosslays, low ground ladder storage, rugged construction and no frills, the list goes on. Very well designed, yet probably inexpensive.

    I guess my point is the amount of options available. These options all cost money, sometimes lots of it. I manufacturers offer it because we've asked for it, or maybe they offered it and now we expect it. Who knows.

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    I'm sure I'll catch flack for this one too...

    We are a month away from going out to inspect our new Quint. We laid out all the factors: Steel 75' Aerial, minimum on 500lbs 2.5:1, 6 man split tilt with barrier doors, non-multiplexed, 425 Cummins (2009), 2000 GPM Waterous, minimum of 400 gallons, 1000' 5", we even laid out what major equipment we plan on carrying. 5 buildiers came back with quality specifications and we did a lot of demo's and trials with them. Come bid time 3 came in. After all was said and done, Pierce was the lowest bidder... and it wasn't their specification either.

    I'm not a Pierce fan, and that's not what we were going after. BUT... They build a solid rig, and the customer service has been excellent so far.

    I'm looking forward to it... but our existing rig is a 1989 LTI. The new truck has some pretty big shoes to fill. Time will tell.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    Not a Pierce sympathizer, just saying lets be fair and admit that anyone can build a rig to the "[doesn't] matter operationally" specification.
    Because it just seem like those who are more interested in buying chrome, bells and whistles (commonly referred to around here as a "parade truck" or pardon the pun a "Parade Pierce") are more apt to purchase a Pierce.

    Sure, anyone can spec and build a parade piece, there are 1 or 2 others around here that do it with Seagrave apparatus. But the vast majority seem to drink the appleton flavor.
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    We don't have parade trucks, we have working trucks. Nearby company focuses more on parade trucks than whether they are functional/working trucks.

    Fit and Finish are nice...but that does not help put out fires.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    There is a difference between 'fit and finish' and 'bells and whistles'. To me fit and finish means the body builder takes pride in their work and makes sure that everything is as good as they can make, its called workmanship. I don't think what we should give up anything when it comes to fit and finish, a truck that has been properly finished will last longer than one that has been slapped together.

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    What Bones said. T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by laddertruckgoes View Post
    I'm sure I'll catch flack for this one too...

    We are a month away from going out to inspect our new Quint. We laid out all the factors: Steel 75' Aerial, minimum on 500lbs 2.5:1, 6 man split tilt with barrier doors, non-multiplexed, 425 Cummins (2009), 2000 GPM Waterous, minimum of 400 gallons, 1000' 5", we even laid out what major equipment we plan on carrying. 5 buildiers came back with quality specifications and we did a lot of demo's and trials with them. Come bid time 3 came in. After all was said and done, Pierce was the lowest bidder... and it wasn't their specification either.

    I'm not a Pierce fan, and that's not what we were going after. BUT... They build a solid rig, and the customer service has been excellent so far.

    I'm looking forward to it... but our existing rig is a 1989 LTI. The new truck has some pretty big shoes to fill. Time will tell.
    Not that I really care,but why a STEEL Ladder on a 75? Just curious. T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rm1524 View Post
    There is a difference between 'fit and finish' and 'bells and whistles'.
    Precisely. You can have at the most budget-minded vehicle available with outstanding fit-and-finish. High-grade materials used, clean welds, roll-up doors that are smooth and easy to open, good upholstery work, clean edges on the metal, wiring properly run and secured, etc, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Fit and Finish are nice...but that does not help put out fires.
    As RM1524 noted there's difference between fit and finish and bells and whistles. Fit and finish as I noted earlier, are often an indicator of the quality of workmanship and the pride employees put into their products. A brand new truck with poor fit and finish may work well for awhile, but it may indicate that other corners were also cut, leading to long term issues with other components of the apparatus.

    Show me a truck that looks like it was poorly built and I'll show you a truck that was poorly built. Obviously the converse is not always true though. A great fit and finish doesn't mean much if the engineering isn't right, the wiring is poor and a whole other host of issues.

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    My 66 and 78 Mack's had 0 "fit and finish". They were solidly built chunks of steel. There was no time spent making corners pretty and even seams. They were steel thrown together around a good engine, pump, and chassis.

    They worked. Never looked pretty. Manufacturers worried about the inner workings, not the cover.
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    Why is everyone so negative about Pierce? I thought Pierce had the best reputation out there not only for its looks but performance. I'm just curious because I have seen a lot of them around here, not only on the 2 departments I have been on, but at a lot of the stations around the area. Is this just a ford/chevy type of battle or does anyone have any real reason to put them down?

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    Good question, but I would have to say no, we (in general) don't expect to much. You are spending a $h!t load of money so we have a right to look over the rigs with a fine tooth comb to be sure it meets speck and is what you expected it to be. It is the centerpiece of any company and to any extent, you can't do your job with out it. I agree that we are a bit foolish to think we will get the 20 to 25 years out of todays rigs like we did with the old work horses, but that dosent mean we should look at them as less of a vehicle.
    In the past 4 years I have specked and taken delivery of 3 rigs, a tanker and engine and a tiller. Each rig had an inspection crew of about 10 guys and it took us 2 days to go over the rigs....we check everything...literaly. we want to be sure everything is how we specked it. There are also things our Fleet Manager specks that we need to make sure are completed. If you speck it, it doesnt get done and you notice it after you accept it....it costs a hell of a lot more to have it fixed than had you caught it at the factory. So again...take your time and go over the rig and make sure its right, your going to use it day in and day out for the next 10 to 20 years so get it right the first time.
    Now while accepting delivery of each rig, there were other departmetns there and some of them did nothing more than walk in, take a look....turn all the woo woo's on, honk the air horns, step on the Q and make sure the lettering was spelled correctly and the unit number was correct.... these are most likely the same companies that raise holy hell 4 months later when they find something that wasn't done right on the rig.
    As far as bells and whisteles.....traditionaly the rig has always been the "pride" of each house, now that may have gone by the way side a bit, but in a scense it's still there. Stations, Companys and Depts alike use their rigs as a bit of Identity....something that makes them different or stand out from others, a larger version of the company patch so to speak. So is it neccisaraly a bad thing to have a few bells and whistels....not reallly, how ever the argument that the cost of those bells and whistels could have been better used does hold some weight.
    I understand that in bigger cities, they order a bunch of the same rig...it easier and cheaper....but I've also heard of some of those cities giving an "alotment" per say for each recieving comany to do something little to "personalize" it a little bit, sualy something like a roto rays...mars lights or something along those lines.
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    In terms of Pierce post on the other page .......I think they make a great truck .......but I think they are way over priced.........I think they are that way due to the new factory.........when we looked at a new engine last year they were 20-30 K above eveyone else for the same components. So while I am friends with their rep, I could not justify the price just due to the brand.
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    It looks as though I chose the wrong words when I said "fit and finish. Fit and finish is VERY important to me but as mentioned, you can have fit and finish at a reasonable price.

    The point I was trying to get across was the options we're given. If you look at trucks built 20 years ago, they all had black vinyl interior for instance. Now you can pretty much have whatever color or material you want. That has to cost money. Look at the rigs built across the pond. They're all very similar to each other and while I'm not up to snuff on my UK fire appliance pricing, they are most likely cheaper then ours over here, yet they still do the same job, maybe even better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    Not that I really care,but why a STEEL Ladder on a 75? Just curious. T.C.
    Because the Pierce dealer wanted to sell us an Aluminum ladder... so we asked for a side by side comparison.

    We have a lot of overhead obstuctions, the Steel ladder has a smaller profile.

    When climbing and working off both, the Steel had less flex and movement.

    The Steel ladder had more comfortable rungs, plus the "Glow In The Dark" rung covers as standard.

    Both were rated as 500lbs tip load.

    The Aluminum has more of a flow rating, however we're not a big master stream deaprtment so that was a mute point. Either can do 1000gpm or greater.

    After getting a true answer from Pierce Engineering... the aluminum only saves 527lbs in overall weight. To compensate, we went from considering an 8 man cab, to a more reasonable 6 man cab. (our other trucks are 6 man anyways)

    Since we have a history with Steel Aerials, (A 1968 Grove and the current LTI), our older members are comfortable sticking with a proven material.

    I will say... the Pierce aerial was very smooth to operate, but our 21 year old LTI is very much more solid feeling the either Pierce.

    Pierce will be around for a while and they are a tried and true product. Some of their sales techniques may be questionable, but they stand behind their product and I'm sure we will be happy overall once we get used to the big slice of "change" that comes with any new rig.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weruj1 View Post
    In terms of Pierce post on the other page .......I think they make a great truck .......but I think they are way over priced.........I think they are that way due to the new factory.........when we looked at a new engine last year they were 20-30 K above eveyone else for the same components. So while I am friends with their rep, I could not justify the price just due to the brand.
    You are right, they are a little expensive. We just got quotes for a new tanker without a pump. Pierce was $170,000 and Midwestern was $140,000. A tanker should be easy to build and I would think we shouldn't come across any problems. Midwestern has been around for awhile and seem to be proven. I think the Pierce looks a little nicer, we might get a little better service but is it worth $30,000. Basically, I understand the price point to a certain degree but you also get what you pay for. Pierce does seem to be a better product in the end. The design is better, and the people that build them care about what they do and take a lot of pride in what they do.

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