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Thread: Which Chassis -International w/DPF or Freightliner w/DEF

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    Default Which Chassis -International w/DPF or Freightliner w/DEF

    My department is specing out new engines and we're looking for some input about the new commercial chassis (custom cabs are not an option for us).

    Does anyone here run the new International or Freightliners with the new emissions stuff on it? I'm looking for some real world experience and opinions on these things so we can make an educated choice.

    At this point we're not leaning towards either one in particular. Thanks for any info you guys/gals can give me!

    Josh


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    May I ask WHY custom cabs are not an option? I've just seen a LOT of problems with commercial cab trucks. Trying to adapt a delivery truck frame to a firetruck has inherent problems. Having said that, the newer International 7400 has a roomy cab for the driver and a smooth ride. Haven't been in a newer freightliner. One of the problems with commercials is that you are limited on the size engine you can put in it. That means more wear when you have your foot to the floor trying to get that dog to move. And the internationals I've driven recently tend to be real dogs until the engine warms up. What size tank and pump are you planning to put on this truck? What equipment? How many crew members? Do you run it on EMS runs? More info on use and configuration would be helpfull.

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    I apologize for the lack of detail in my original post.

    Custom cabs are a no go for us because of cost and lack of space in our station. The truck can't be more than 30' long and has to be less than 10' tall. The truck will have a 1250 Pump and a 1000-1250 tank. It's likely just going to be a standard cab, small deptartment with limited manpower. Technically I supopse it's going to be a Pumper/Tanker as it will have a quick dump, it will be 1st due on structures and MVA's and our first due Mutual Aid apparatus. We have a rescue we run on medicals.

    The biggest concern for us is the emmissions stuff, there are times when it may only get out of the station once a week for a test and run.
    Last edited by FF715MRFD; 01-14-2012 at 11:34 AM. Reason: spelling

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    The last thing to worry about is the emissions. You'll have to deal with the DEF on the Freightliner but that is a minor problem. I drove a new pumper with DEF about 800 miles and the DEF level light dropped 1/4 near the end of the trip. Both vendors offer big engines with a corresponding increase in price. Because of the NFPA speed restriction top speed is limited. So you can pay for a larger engine and go 68 mph but a smaller engine may do as well. You may need to get a larger engine for more torque for climbing hills. My FD has two older FL80's with the 350 hp engine. The pumper has 750 water and the tanker 1500. They were purchased before the NFPA speed rule. They will both cruise interstate speed limits easily. We also have a newer IH pumper designed for places with access issues so it's much smaller. Both chassis are quiet and comfortable. The IH will be more money than the FL. I'd find some local FD's and try each. I'll post a drawing of a two-door IH with 1500 water on Monday.

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    We actually have had the opportunity to look at a couple different trucks, one with each chassis, but they were both pre-emission engines. I thought they were both pretty equal and wouldn't have a problem owning either one. Our biggest thing is we have nothing of our own to compare with. This truck is replacing a 1980 International S1800 with a big block V8 and a 500 GPM pump, our next newest rig is a 1990 Ford F-800 and it also has a big block V8 and only a 750 GPM pump.

    If the emissions stuff isn't likely to cause a problem with whatever we choose I like the Freightliner, it'll save us about $3000 over the International and there are several of us that are pretty familiar with the Cummins motors.

    I just wish we had something even remotely comparable as to what we'll be buying so we'd have an idea of what we like or don't or what kind of problems we may have.

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    International does not use urea injection for emissions treatment. They are using an advanced EGR system developed with MANN diesel of Germany. The cummins DPF system will give little trouble in most applications, however from what we are seeing in nearby depts, the maintenance costs of these systems is higher. We have a new International on the assembly line right now for a new tanker.
    Pricing is very close to freightliner when compared evenly.

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    When purchasing our interface engine we compared freightliner to international in 4x4 crew cabs. The freighliner was roomier and a smoother rid, but the international felt like it had more power.

    When it came down to the line there were two thought paths. The interantional cost more, but but was consistent with our fleet. The freightliner was roomier and more comfortable, but we were unsure of the future of DEF (also it was taller). We didnt want to be stuck with an orphan technology requiring a special fluid 25 years from now.

    Ultimately, we left the bid non-preferential and let the bidders pick their preference in chassis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CCCFire09 View Post
    When purchasing our interface engine we compared freightliner to international in 4x4 crew cabs. The freighliner was roomier and a smoother rid, but the international felt like it had more power.

    When it came down to the line there were two thought paths. The interantional cost more, but but was consistent with our fleet. The freightliner was roomier and more comfortable, but we were unsure of the future of DEF (also it was taller). We didnt want to be stuck with an orphan technology requiring a special fluid 25 years from now.

    Ultimately, we left the bid non-preferential and let the bidders pick their preference in chassis.
    Are you still in the planning phase or have you selected a builder, or maybe the apparatus is already in service? If so how has it performed?

    We're just trying to figure out which system will work best and have the least amount of maintenance (like everyone else is too, I'm sure). Our biggest concern is the LACK of miles and operation it will see, the truck it's replacing is 32 years old and it has just a shade over 10,000 miles on it.

    Thanks for the opinions and info so far, I really do appreciate it.

    Josh

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    I have not heard of any "extra" maintanence with a the only difference is with the FL you will probably have to add eurea sounds like about twice a year with your use. I believe both chassis still have a diesel particulate filter and will both have to occasionally re-gen. The FL is roomier and less expensive than the IH.

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    Full disclosure, I sell for a major fire apparatus manufacturer. Having said that, for the past several weeks, I have been driving a 75' Quint with a Cummins ISL9 - 400 HP. I am finding that I go through 3 tanks of diesel for every 4.5 gallons of DEF. The only drawback to the DEF is that its messy to fill.

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    Some nonsense above.

    Not much difference in IH and Frtliner chassis price.

    - IH designs/manufacturers their cabs to a higher strength standard than Freightliner. That improved safety.

    - With IH you can get Roll Stability system on any chassis (as I recall), As I recall is less than $2k. A huge safety improvement.

    - IH WANTS the fire/emergency services business. Frtliner will take it but really doesn't seem to care either way.

    Unfortunately seeing Demo IH isn't going to happen at Hawkeye Truck in your area. They have demos at their Quad Cities store. OR in DM. You're a month late - IH Corp had a demo/user forum in Coralville a week before XMAS. Lots of good info. Every model chassis on display. One of the speakers was an Engine tech engineer. I discussed emissions with him for about 1/2hr. And discussed with the IH Corp bigwig why the fire service needs an emission excemption. He indicated that if I got them a proposal they would likely be willing to work on it with EPA and thru their lobbiests.

    I wouldn't even consider an SCR (urea) chassis for any FD that is keeping the truck for more than 10yr. A chassis you buy today all is going to work fine. For NOW. Will work OK for the truckline that buys new every 3-5years. For a rural FD? Too risky for me.

    1.) SCR builders are going to be transistioning to a dry system soon (vs the liquided systems which are used at present).
    2.) Europe (where SCR/urea began) is already starting to go away from SCR because can get the same emissions reduction using EGR systems (as IH). Note that SCR trucks ALSO have an EGR system. Why a $10k POS emissions system is needed on a truck driving to a burning house, and which is used 1000mi/yr you SHOULD ask Senator Harkin.
    3.) In 2037 are you going to be able to maintain/supply that SCR system that has been obsolete for 20yr?

    I'll ask around and see if I can find you a IH crewcab to look at. And I know a guy at IH corp that might be able to help you out. Not that hard to find a Frtliner at local dealer. Or a crewcab Frtliner in service (cab has not changed in several years).
    RangerJake72 likes this.

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    as long as it never gets cold, don't lose heat in the station.

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    Good stuff - hard facts, to ple on IH makes thier own 4 door cab (in USA) and they have a great multiplex tie in. Also many Fire apparatus freindly options. Tough to show online, they spend money on the truck not the website

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    May I ask WHY custom cabs are not an option? I've just seen a LOT of problems with commercial cab trucks. Trying to adapt a delivery truck frame to a firetruck has inherent problems. Having said that, the newer International 7400 has a roomy cab for the driver and a smooth ride. Haven't been in a newer freightliner. One of the problems with commercials is that you are limited on the size engine you can put in it. That means more wear when you have your foot to the floor trying to get that dog to move. And the internationals I've driven recently tend to be real dogs until the engine warms up. What size tank and pump are you planning to put on this truck? What equipment? How many crew members? Do you run it on EMS runs? More info on use and configuration would be helpfull.
    Geeze John,we run 3 2674 Heavy spec Ints with a MINIMUM of 1000 gal H20 and I DON'T agree with your assessment.All my rigs run strong,are Cummins powered,no exhaust crap. As has been stated by others International WANTS the fire sevice business and has made many changes to make upfitting easier. Depending on Chassis you CAN buy more HP than you can get in ANY Custom. This is an ABSOLUTE fact. Depending on a Depts needs and requirements they CAN be a cost effective choice.ALL rigs have to be PROPERLY specced for the individual agency or you WON'T be happy. This applies to Custom or commercial.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 01-27-2012 at 05:58 PM.

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    I think the Freightliner cab shows more room and is a bit more spacious, but the fact that the floor isn't flat is a major pain in the arse to me.

    My station runs an '05 IH with 4x4, which was the major reason for the IH cab being picked over a custom. Aside from some initial minor issues under warranty, the chassis has been very reliable. I'd go IH again in a heartbeat.
    "Share your knowledge - it's a way to achieve immortality." - Stolen from Chase Sargent's Buddy to Boss program

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    Thanks for the reply's. In researching both chassis I'm finding just exactly what you guys have said. I've always like the International chassis, but it's not my money to spend so you've got to present all options

    Room in the cab won't likely be an issue either way, we've got to go with a standard (3-man) cab. After getting some wheelbase and overall length numbers from some different maufacturers we found out that we can't fit a crew cab in the station without having something sit outside. It also seems to me that International is using a more tried and true emissions package, it looks like what they're doing now is what everyone else is trying to get to.

    We've got proposals coming in from 4 different manufacturers so hopefully we'll be able to get something done here shortly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FF715MRFD View Post
    Are you still in the planning phase or have you selected a builder, or maybe the apparatus is already in service? If so how has it performed?

    We're just trying to figure out which system will work best and have the least amount of maintenance (like everyone else is too, I'm sure). Our biggest concern is the LACK of miles and operation it will see, the truck it's replacing is 32 years old and it has just a shade over 10,000 miles on it.

    Thanks for the opinions and info so far, I really do appreciate it.

    Josh
    All but one bidder bid International. The freightliner came in about $3000 less than their exacy same bid on an international. It is in service as a 4x4 interface engine. www.drakescrossingfire.com Engine 446

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    CCCFire- That's a sharp looking rig!

    A Department in my county got an interface unit about 2 years ago. It's set up a little different than yours, but its built on the same chassis. I kinda wish we had one, it has turned out to be way more versatile than any of us ever thought it would be.

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    It sits way high. Gravity is low, but a lot of truck. We really wheeled n dealed to get it under $300k from Boise Mobile, but it rocks. Suspension is stiff, though. We recently had snowfall that shutdown the willamette valley, so none of the roads were plowed for a long time. It pushed through and ripped stuff up. Solid chassis.

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    Just wanted to update one last time. Our BOD has finally agreed to buy us a new truck and it was ordered today.

    It will be a 1250/1250 Pumper/Tanker on an International chassis. This will be the first new piece apparatus in our station in 22 years so we are extremely excited about it.

    Thank You to everyone that posted here, we really tried to take all the information in and look at the chassis from every angle. We feel like the International will serve us great for the 30+ years it will be in service.

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