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  1. #1
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    Default Freedom Fire Equipment

    My department just opened bids on a 3000 gal tanker, and received a proposal from Freedom Fire equipment out of GA. We're looking for a simple design with modest storage, so their truck fits our need. We have talked to several of their customers who seem happy, but this list was provided by Freedom. Does anyone on here have any thoughts on them?


  2. #2
    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    Although this thread turns into a discussion about who makes a better chassis, here's a previous thread about them: Freedom Fire Equipment.

    Also, have you considered looking at their website, looking the names of the departments that are pictured either as new deliveries or already in service, and then Googling those FD names to get a name and number and calling them directly? Might be less biased than the list supplied by the manufacturer.
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  3. #3
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    Yea I saw the old thread, but most of the posts were 3 years old, so I figured I would try to get some fresh opinions. We wanted the Pete, so the whole chassis discussion is a moot point for us.

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    Ask them for their entire customer list. If they don't want to supply it, then ask them why.

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    MembersZone Subscriber LVFD301's Avatar
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    I am about to pickup a new tanker from Southern Fire Service in Jasper GA.

    During the process they were one of the three low bidders. The lowest bidder was not able to provide us with any information other than "We can do everything you want for this price". No line drawings, and most importantly, very few (3) references.

    Southern Fire Service gave us their customer list. Turned us loose. I contacted 13 of their references, and EACH and EVERY one stated they would buy from Southern again. One Chief said that they called his board and called him an *sshole. I asked him if he was, and he said "I sure was", but he would buy from them in a heartbeat. (as I found out later, that person who made the call is no longer there)

    http://www.southernfireservice.com/

    They had an opening in their schedule and slid us in, and are going to deliver a VERY specific tanker to us in less than 3 months after award. I mean very customized on a commercial chassis. I love the spare air bottles in the wasted space at the tires 10 and 2 positions, but how about airpack holders there? I mean, NFPA says they want us to carry them either in holders designed for them, or in the manufacturers case - which destroys cabinet space. This plan is great for us. Upgraded light package, free install of the NMO antenna kits, etc.

    They are a smaller builder, but I am very impressed so far. Pictures every few days from the factory floor, I can't wait for Friday to pick it up.

    One caveat, and this goes for ANY builder. Get everything in writing, and keep the emails. There was some confusion about the graphics, but once we showed the email with the diagram we sent, the confusion was gone, and it gets done the way I said. I had the same issue with a small item on my KME too - but it was taken care of with no problem because i had it all documented.

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    We sent Southern a RFP packet, bu they declined to bid. Freedom has been very forthcoming with information and references, I was just looking outside the box for input. The bids we received were from Rosenbauer, E-One, Ferrara, Fouts, and Freedom. So far, the only complaint I've gotten on Freedom, is from a competitor.

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    MembersZone Subscriber LVFD301's Avatar
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    I would have expected to see deep south there also - just based on where you are.

    Suprising that you got a no-bid.

    Make sure you let us know who you end up with.

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    Default Freedom Fire Equipment

    With regards not only for Freedom Fire Equipment but also to all of the manufacturer's biding your truck, I hope that you placed into your specifications that the bidder must provide a 100% performance bond. If you received a performance bond, then I would say you are safe in purchasing the apparatus from them. If they are not able to provide a performance bond, then the company is questionable relating to there finanical stability.

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    In hindsight, our choice of a Pete chassis may have discouraged Southern (I know they do a lot of KW) and a few others. I also had another vendor say that our specs were too open. Deep South didn't request a packet, and we didn't send them one. I have first hand experience with their work, so that is probably for the best. We did include the performance bond in our spec, and all of the above companies complied.

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    For the smaller mfg I'd call the FD in a 25-150mi radius of the factory. Often personalities in local gov't mean FD can't buy anything but the hometown brand (or factory just plain give the FD an unbeatable price).

    Get out of the local area and can get a clearer opinion of the builder. Everyone will know of them. Some will buy from them because the cheapest (I mean cheapest not least expensive). Or because best value/least expensive great service. Some bought once and will never send them a quote package so they don't get stuck with them. Likely have seen the product/factory/know the owners/workers and will always or would never buy.

    If builder is ABLE to provide a performance bond likely is sufficient info. Do you want to spend (waste) the $ on actually buying the bond? You sniff around very much you'll find out what dealer or mfg are in trouble. If they on cash terms with major suppliers that tells you ALL you need to know. If the have to pay Akron with ccard to order valves it's not looking so good.

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    We have talked to several of the clients that are well beyond the local market for them, including one department in AZ who has bought 13 trucks. I was just looking for input from anyone on here who had laid eyes on their product. As for the performance bond, we had them all list the bond price as a separate line item. Same school of thought, as long as we don't have to put money down, we won't require a performance bond to be purchased.

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    A neighboring department had Southern quote a truck and they were definitely the lowest bidder on the truck. However, there was a reason. The guys said that the quality was pretty bad and they also did not make an NFPA compliant truck. I guess that is OK if you want to take on the risk. I liked this tanker demo that was brought through:

    Hamlin Fire & Rescue Pennsylvania
    (1) Elliptical Tanker
    Hamlin Fire & Rescue in Pennsylvania has taken delivery of a Kenworth T-800 Sutphen Elliptical Tanker. This unit features a 525 HP Cummins ISX engine. There is a Hale MG 750 gpm Side Kick pump and a 3000 gallon Pro Poly water tank with a mirrored stainless steel wrap. The truck has a 3000 gallon porta-tank mounted on a Zico tank rack, with a mirrored aluminum rack cover, located above the stainless steel body. There are three 10Ē electric Newton Dumps, controlled from both in the cab and outside the truck. Rear crosslays, a color LCD back up camera, six scene lights and a LED Whelen light package complete this vehicle. This unit was sold and serviced by Signal 1 Fire Equipment.

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    Sutphen ice tea ?
    ?

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber LVFD301's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93Cobra View Post
    A neighboring department had Southern quote a truck and they were definitely the lowest bidder on the truck. However, there was a reason. The guys said that the quality was pretty bad and they also did not make an NFPA compliant truck. I guess that is OK if you want to take on the risk. I liked this tanker demo that was brought through:
    Interesting - why can they not make a NFPA compliant truck? What guys said the quality was low? You are the first person I have heard say anything like this?

    The truck I am picking up is certainly being built and tested to NFPA....

  15. #15
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    Talking Ice Tea

    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    Sutphen ice tea ?
    At least it's nice to know there is another brand of Ice Tea besides Pierce.

  16. #16
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by donethat View Post
    At least it's nice to know there is another brand of Ice Tea besides Pierce.
    I believe sumphin uses magic mushrooms to brew theirs.
    Cobra certainly has been partaking of the magic juice.

  17. #17
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    Looks like a nice truck, but too much motor for us. I doubt we would ever put a decent load on the engine to break it in. We decided against the elliptical, we wanted to get the hose bed on top for supply hose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    For the smaller mfg I'd call the FD in a 25-150mi radius of the factory. Often personalities in local gov't mean FD can't buy anything but the hometown brand (or factory just plain give the FD an unbeatable price).

    Get out of the local area and can get a clearer opinion of the builder. Everyone will know of them. Some will buy from them because the cheapest (I mean cheapest not least expensive). Or because best value/least expensive great service. Some bought once and will never send them a quote package so they don't get stuck with them. Likely have seen the product/factory/know the owners/workers and will always or would never buy.

    If builder is ABLE to provide a performance bond likely is sufficient info. Do you want to spend (waste) the $ on actually buying the bond? You sniff around very much you'll find out what dealer or mfg are in trouble. If they on cash terms with major suppliers that tells you ALL you need to know. If the have to pay Akron with ccard to order valves it's not looking so good.
    Please tell me your are kidding about the bond. That is some of the poorest advise I have heard in a long time.

  19. #19
    Forum Member Fyrtrks's Avatar
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    Default Performance Bonds

    If builder is ABLE to provide a performance bond likely is sufficient info. Do you want to spend (waste) the $ on actually buying the bond? You sniff around very much you'll find out what dealer or mfg are in trouble. If they on cash terms with major suppliers that tells you ALL you need to know. If the have to pay Akron with ccard to order valves it's not looking so good.
    First off a well established larger builder will not require a down payment for any part of the build. The builder who is well established will only ask for payment on delivery and acceptance. The builder may offer a discount for payment of the chassis and in doing so a performance bond would make sense.

    Bid Bonds
    A bid bond is provided to the fire department from the manufacturer in order to give assurance that if the manufacturer is the successful bidder the manufacturer can provide a performance bond or a payment amount equal to the bid bond. If the manufacturer is the successful bidder and decides not enter into a contract, or failing to provide a performance bond, then the fire department can make a claim on the bid bond for the difference between the manufacturer bid and the lowest next bid or the amount of the bid bond (5% to 20% of the bid amount) whichever is less. In some cases the department can claim the full amount of the bid bond even if it’s more then the bid spread.

    Performance Bonds
    A performance bond which promises that the terms of a contract, will be performed by the manufacturer. The unit will be finished to the contract specifications.

    Do not be fooled a performance bond does not mean your incomplete brand (W E N L) Fre Apparatus not finished near Union City, Mich. and then not finished near Tilleda, Wi. will be finished by RR inTully, N.Y. The bonding company is going to find someone who will finish the unit as per the contract for the least amount of money. This may be Bubba and Bobby-Jo Fire apparatus based near Rockwood, Pa.

    Just because a because a company pays with a credit card doesn't make them bad, check out their D & B rating.
    Last edited by Fyrtrks; 04-14-2011 at 07:50 AM.
    Fyrtrks

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyrtrks View Post
    Bid Bonds
    A bid bond is provided to the fire department from the manufacturer in order to give assurance that if the manufacturer is the successful bidder the manufacturer can provide a performance bond or a payment amount equal to the bid bond.
    That is not correct. A bid bond is the assurance that a bidder will honor his bid and sign a contract for what they have presented at the bid opening. Many cities require bid bonds even when no performance bond will be required. Simply put, if the AHJ chooses your bid and you, for some reason, do not want to sign the contract, you forfeit your bond amount. This is the reason cash can be accepted for bid bonds.

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