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  1. #1
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    Default Which Engine to Purchase

    Okay, well, it seems Quint is out of the question this go-round.

    So, the committee met, and now they want to talk to three vendors; Rosenbauer, Pierce, and KME.

    I would like input for a purchase of a Rescue pumper.

    I know nothing about Rosenbauer, and would like valuable information, pros, and cons.

    I know KME had many issues in the 90s-mid 2k. How are they these days?

    How is Pierce these days.

    Being from north NJ, my previous preferences would have been E-one, Seagrave and Pierce.

    All information is much appreciated.


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    You probably won't get alot of good information. As you know firefighters all have opinions about everything and sometimes several opinions!

    Here's mine; If you spec what you want and need any manufacturer can build a good product. The main issues to consider are dealer location and service (every one will break or have an issue or two), price (not low bid but the best bid for YOUR spec). The key to that is YOUR spec, be reasonable but if you have to fit a certain size power unit/fan or other item on it, they should know it and where it will go.

    If you want to make it a fairly competitive bid process write it as a performance spec and include an inventory of what it will hold grouped by use (all the rescue tools in one compartment), all gasoline powered tools and gas can together, all cribbing and stabilization together. Give them any dimension reqquirements and have them design their truck to your needs, you might be surprised.

    Also, don't forget to look at some of the smaller regional builders that may be close by or if you have a good in-house shop they will certify for warranty repair.

  3. #3
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    Chief60,

    Great information. Some of what you said, I was aware of. But still, I think many readers will find that very informative.

    As far as opinions, I understand, and I been a part of the crowd with that, but my education on purchasing equipment goes back to 2002, so my information is WAY outdated! So I am trying to re-learn whats what in the builders market.

    I tried focusing the committee, about ease of service, and local of service.

    Thank you for great input!

  4. #4
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Chief 60 is correct in that coming on here to ask opinions about apparatus mfr's will not be productive. I personally never have and never will like KME. I think Pierce builds a good truck, but the manner in which they market themselves they (and many of their customers) think that they are the second coming of christ. Rosie builds a good truck and has a lot going for them. Those are my opinions mind you.

    I will add that part of a successful apparatus purchasing experience comes down to how airtight your spec is. How well is it written to cover things like who, what and where are warranty items or breakdowns covered?

    For example, we purchased a 2007 Toyne. At the time, the closest Toyne dealer was in Pittsburgh, about 400+ miles from us. We had it in our specs (and Toyne agreed with no comments whatsoever) that we could take our truck to whichever vendor (Caterpillar, Waterous, whoever) was responsible for the problem, and Toyne would cover it, no questions asked. They would then fight with whoever about payment, who was responsible, etc. The few times we had to take it for an issue, there were zero problems.

    If you write an airtight spec and cover warranty and repair issues ahead of time, are willing to pay extra for quality, do your homework, study the proposals very carefully, and have build inspections done by qualified experienced personnel, you should be able to do well no matter who you buy.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Chief 60 is correct in that coming on here to ask opinions about apparatus mfr's will not be productive. I personally never have and never will like KME. I think Pierce builds a good truck, but the manner in which they market themselves they (and many of their customers) think that they are the second coming of christ. Rosie builds a good truck and has a lot going for them. Those are my opinions mind you.

    I will add that part of a successful apparatus purchasing experience comes down to how airtight your spec is. How well is it written to cover things like who, what and where are warranty items or breakdowns covered?

    For example, we purchased a 2007 Toyne. At the time, the closest Toyne dealer was in Pittsburgh, about 400+ miles from us. We had it in our specs (and Toyne agreed with no comments whatsoever) that we could take our truck to whichever vendor (Caterpillar, Waterous, whoever) was responsible for the problem, and Toyne would cover it, no questions asked. They would then fight with whoever about payment, who was responsible, etc. The few times we had to take it for an issue, there were zero problems.

    If you write an airtight spec and cover warranty and repair issues ahead of time, are willing to pay extra for quality, do your homework, study the proposals very carefully, and have build inspections done by qualified experienced personnel, you should be able to do well no matter who you buy.
    As Buff says, we are able to go directly to the appropriate component supplier's shop for work. If it's not covered under the supplier's own warranty, Toyne did. I can't think of an instance where we had to take advantage of that.

    More importantly though, we were able to direct Toyne to a really good local apparatus repair shop. Between them, they came to an agreement where that shop would become an authorized Toyne warranty facility. That is, at least to us, a win - win. We have access to service at a shop that we know and trust, and is well respected in our local area. Toyne has another sales point for potential customers in the area. And the several subsequent customers have access to nearby reliable service.

  6. #6
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oper77 View Post
    ...So, the committee met, and now they want to talk to three vendors; Rosenbauer, Pierce, and KME...
    Always hate when a committee starts with only a few vendors. As said above, come up with the items you want and let all the vendors go at it.
    "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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    The relationship you are about to form with vendor and dealer will be a long term one. Choose one you can trust, one you think will be around for the long haul. and one who doesn't forget your name after they leave with their check.

    Seems your committee has already narrowed the field to the proverbial 3 bidders. I'll bet you a Coke the bids will come in, from lowest to highest: Rosenbauer, KME, Pierce.

    I will refrain from my recommendations because I don't want to start a brand war; that would be counter-productive. Two of the brands will build you a nice rig, one I wouldn't have in my firehouse if I had a choice.

    The key is the specs. Include everything you want on the truck, and review the bids to ensure they include what you spec'd. If they can't get the specs right, how do you expect them to build the truck you want?

    C6

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    Forum Member SFD_E73_RET's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Always hate when a committee starts with only a few vendors. As said above, come up with the items you want and let all the vendors go at it.
    Could not agree more

  9. #9
    Forum Member islandfire03's Avatar
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    Don't limit yourselves to just three potential vendors. There are many quality companies able to produce a well engineered truck for you. As has been stated above, write a good spec and send it to as many dealers as you can. Times are tough in the apparatus business.
    Lots of competition in the market place.
    I would add Crimson and Toyne to your list.
    We just went out to bid on a new tanker and sent RFP's out to 8 vendors, received bids from four.
    The ones that did not submit a bid couldn't meet our requirement of having a certified apparatus repair center within 50 miles of our station and weren't willing to find a local service center to provide it. There are three places they could have worked with to provide it.

    For what it's worth 2 of the three on your list didn't submit a bid, E-One, Crimson, Rosie, & Ferrara did.
    Price range from 202k up to 248k for the same spec. like I said lots of competition out there for your business. We went with the vendor that most closely met our spec and was willing to build what we wanted , not a cookie cutter design of theirs. It did happen to turn out to be the low bidder, but thats not why they got the contract.

    One last piece of advice : DON'T let the salesman write your spec. to match what they produce.!
    Last edited by islandfire03; 09-23-2011 at 03:27 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    Don't limit yourselves to just three potential vendors. There are many quality companies able to produce a well engineered truck for you. As has been stated above, write a good spec and send it to as many dealers as you can. Times are tough in the apparatus business.
    Lots of competition in the market place.
    I would add Crimson and Toyne to your list.
    We just went out to bid on a new tanker and sent RFP's out to 8 vendors, received bids from four.
    The ones that did not submit a bid couldn't meet our requirement of having a certified apparatus repair center within 50 miles of our station and weren't willing to find a local service center to provide it. There are three places they could have worked with to provide it.

    For what it's worth 2 of the three on your list didn't submit a bid, E-One, Crimson, Rosie, & Ferrara did.
    Price range from 202k up to 248k for the same spec. like I said lots of competition out there for your business. We went with the vendor that most closely met our spec and was willing to build what we wanted , not a cookie cutter design of theirs. It did happen to turn out to be the low bidder, but thats not why they got the contract.

    One last piece of advice : DON'T let the salesman write your spec. to match what they produce.!
    Which body did Rosie bid? If it was the low bid, I'm sure it was the Central body.

  11. #11
    Forum Member Fyrtrks's Avatar
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    I could not agree any more do not limit yourself.

    Yes the big boys have all the flash and dash. There many small builders who do as well, if not better than the big boys. The big boys have lots of R&D to reinvent a wheel and call it new. They also have the $ to put on a big show. The "little guys" offer a much higher level of customer service and personal attention.

    I would say look at everyone and start by deciding things like body material that will limit your field down some. Then refine the field have a sales rep. come and talk to you.

    When you do see who wants to work with you and build your truck and see who wants to modify theirs to be like what you want. One manufacturer I sold for had 100 + different body configurations but couldn't understand that most fire departments want a custom truck not a "stock truck". The motto was "Well sell what we've got!" doesn't sit well with a customer.

    The only word of warning on writing your own spec. is be prepared to look at exceptions. NO one builds the truck exactly the same. You will have to weed through all of the exceptions to make sure they are equal to or better than what you are asking for.
    Fyrtrks

  12. #12
    Forum Member islandfire03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmcatee1 View Post
    Which body did Rosie bid? If it was the low bid, I'm sure it was the Central body.
    It was a central states body, & NO they were not low bidder by a long shot.They actually came in next to high bid and not responsive to several parts of the spec.
    We don't have a problem with Central States as we have a 91 engine they built which has held up very well for us.

  13. #13
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmcatee1 View Post
    Which body did Rosie bid? If it was the low bid, I'm sure it was the Central body.
    I've got THREE Central Rosie's Built to OUR spec. And we've had NO issues with ANY of them. I'm currently working for a Crimson dealer and they have a dependable product as well. T.C.

  14. #14
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    When we sat down to spec our new engine in 2005 we had a few guys that were adamant about who we should talk to and I was saying why not talk to every dealer we can? So we talked to Pierce, Darley, Custom Fire, Toyne, Custom Fab & Body, and HME.

    Those meet and greet meetings were a real eye opener for us. We had sent these reps a VERY rough spec, not complete in anyway, but with basic ideas, so that when we met they would have an idea where we were coming from. Two of the manufacturers were eliminated the first night, mostly because their sales people were arrogant A-holes that wanted to tell us what we needed. One argued with me over the amount of the grant we received. One told us if we didn't buy their Cafs we were fighting fire in an obsolete manner. One that made it past the first night, but was eventually eliminated, couldn't seem to get that we only had a $250K grant so bringing in engines at $390 and $290 were simply not going to fly. I don't claim to know much about sales but it would seem to me ****ing off a potential customer can't be good for sales. By the way, I have been told the guy who argued with me over the grant amount was gone less than 6 months later.

    Set your spec, invite everyone you can in, hear what they have to say, and narrow it down from there. be wary of any committee member unwilling to look at anything seriously other than HIS favorite brand.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
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  15. #15
    Forum Member islandfire03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I've got THREE Central Rosie's Built to OUR spec. And we've had NO issues with ANY of them. I'm currently working for a Crimson dealer and they have a dependable product as well. T.C.
    You slaving for Tom: that ought to be interesting. He's on his way over here soon for a final conference on our new tanker. :-}
    We've had very good luck with our central engine. Outside of a little white rust at the wheel well trim it's held up fine.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    You slaving for Tom: that ought to be interesting. He's on his way over here soon for a final conference on our new tanker. :-}
    We've had very good luck with our central engine. Outside of a little white rust at the wheel well trim it's held up fine.
    U.S. Tanker? Have to ask....
    "Share your knowledge - it's a way to achieve immortality." - Stolen from Chase Sargent's Buddy to Boss program

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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    It was a central states body, & NO they were not low bidder by a long shot.They actually came in next to high bid and not responsive to several parts of the spec.
    We don't have a problem with Central States as we have a 91 engine they built which has held up very well for us.
    Please, don't misunderstand. I'm not suggesting that there is a problem with a CS body. There is a huge difference between the CS and GSE body however. Generally speaking, I was the lowest bidder at the table.

    And T.C., I also sold Central/General/Rosenbauer for 8 years and I am very familiar with their products just as as you are.

  18. #18
    Forum Member islandfire03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by npfd801 View Post
    U.S. Tanker? Have to ask....
    Crimson.

    We looked at US Tanker

  19. #19
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    You slaving for Tom: that ought to be interesting. He's on his way over here soon for a final conference on our new tanker. :-}
    We've had very good luck with our central engine. Outside of a little white rust at the wheel well trim it's held up fine.
    I'm WELL aware of the project and you'll likely see us BOTH as we move forward. Since I'm a wee bit closer than Tomcat. T.C.

  20. #20
    Forum Member islandfire03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I'm WELL aware of the project and you'll likely see us BOTH as we move forward. Since I'm a wee bit closer than Tomcat. T.C.
    Thanks for the warning! We'll have to have you come over for lunch.

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