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    Question Refurbished Apparatus Thinking

    Got a question sent to me from a small Voliie department and thought I would see what others think about it. The apparatus is getting older then 30 years for the only pumper that serves as a main call out pumper ,they asked was it worth buying a similar make and model refurbished and then then send the current truck out to be refurbished to make it meet current on safety standards. I told them a refurbished truck around 15 years would be better to buy and surplus the old truck and use the money towards the newer truck. What is the feeling on how old of apparatus is safe to refurbish versus surplussing? When does age out weight useful life?

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    It's hard to imagine they'd be money ahead hacking on a 30-year-old rig. At the same time, it may not bring enough on the market to defray much of the cost of a newer truck.

    They could plan to do X, Y, and Z on the refurbishment, but once you crack into a project like that you almost always find more problems than what symptoms you had seen. By the time you consider the high likelihood of problems in the engine, tranny, transfer case, differential, pump, electrical, plumbing, or tank that have previously gone undiscovered, I think you're better off to let sleeping dogs lie.

    I would vote to keep the thing but not refurbish it, assuming it's reasonably reliable. A first-due truck in its condition might have three years left, but if you back it up to second line or even reserve, that may buy it considerably more time.
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    EastKyFF,you hit the nail o the head. They seems to think refurbished means only plumbing/pump ,electrical and minor drive train repairs. The truck manufacture is no longer in business so I think this is one truck best sent to retirement. The pump is a old Barton it barely passed this years pump test. What should one look at one buying a refurbished truck?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperFire123 View Post
    EastKyFF,you hit the nail o the head. They seems to think refurbished means only plumbing/pump ,electrical and minor drive train repairs. The truck manufacture is no longer in business so I think this is one truck best sent to retirement. The pump is a old Barton it barely passed this years pump test. What should one look at one buying a refurbished truck?
    First of all, determine what your needs are, they may have changed since the original truck was bought. Then look at service, who can service that brand. Then all the usual things, obvious wear and tear, miles, service records, will it meet current standards or easily upgraded to meet them, etc.

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    Our 40 year old Mack scope is going out for a complete rebuild next week, drive train, new front axle, new rear axle, brakes, boom, platform, generator, wiring, Led lighting,seats, body work, paint,etc. with the economy in bad shape, and small budgets ,we are going with the refurbishment. a new tower ladder costs over 1.2 mil that we don't have!
    Last edited by Woodbridge; 02-27-2012 at 07:17 PM.

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    To me there is no simple one size fits all answer whether to refurbish a piece of fire apparatus or not.

    1) IF the original build was a custom chassis and built by a reputable dealer, whether they are still in business or not, a refurb may make sense.

    2) IF the piece of apparatus was properly maintained and cleaned, including the underbody, a refurb may make sense.

    3) If the layout of the piece of apparatus still fits into your way of operating, a refurb may make sense.

    4) If it is possible, and economically feasible, to enclose the cab, a refurb may make sense.

    5) If the cost is DRAMATICALLY less than purchasing a new piece of apparatus, or a newer used piece of apparatus, a refurb may make sense. BUT, the corrolary to that is, spend enough to get it done right if you plan to do a refurb. A coat of paint and new tires is not a refurb.


    The one issue that simply cannot be allowed to intervene is emotion. No matter how much you love the old engine, if it really isn't practical or smart to refurb it, then a refurb does not make sense.
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    Exactly. Those 30 yr old rigs you can't bear to part with are custom made for in house restorations for use in parades and such.

    I'd look hard at what it was built from, too. Galvanneal or regular steel don't always age well in our hands. ESP in areas that see a lot of salt! We loved our old Sanford pumper, but after at least two major refurbs, it had an advanced case of body cancer... cab mounts were rotted out, etc. It would have cost an arm and a leg to get it back in shape- if it were even possible... It's stainless or aluminum for us from now on!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodbridge View Post
    Our 40 year old Mack scope is going out for a complete rebuild next week, drive train, new front axle, new rear axle, brakes, boom, platform, generator, wiring, Led lighting,seats, body work, paint,etc. with the economy in bad shape, and small budgets ,we are going with the refurbishment. a new tower ladder costs over 1.2 mil that we don't have!
    What is your projected cost for a complete rehab of your scope?

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    I am of the opinion that a truck that was made by a now defunct company should be sold and eplaced with one that is still manufactured.

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    In the range of $ 370,000- $ 400,000 for the complete project, the Mack chassis cab will be stripped down and reused. It will be rebuilt down in Roanoke, Va
    Last edited by Woodbridge; 03-05-2012 at 07:29 PM.

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    With the days slimmed down operations, finding parts for anything over ten years old is getting difficult. Not impossible but nowhere as easy as it was 5-10 years ago. We've looked at rehabbing several times over the years but never could make the numbers work as opposed to replacing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperFire123 View Post
    I am of the opinion that a truck that was made by a now defunct company should be sold and eplaced with one that is still manufactured.
    Really? There are many Mack CFs out there, both as engines and tower ladders, that will serve for years to come. A great original build makes for a good candidate for refurb.
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    What co. Is doing the work? Sounds very reasonably priced.

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    KME Aerial plant Roanoke, Va and the Mack Truck Company, for the motor & Trans!
    Last edited by Woodbridge; 03-15-2012 at 07:13 PM.

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    The truck the vollie department I am dealing with has s a International form the mid 60's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodbridge View Post
    KME Aerial plant Roanoke, Va and Mack truck company, for the motor & Trans!
    My mutual aid company is having their '95 KME 102' platform refurbed through them. It's just about ready for paint. I've been impressed with the work I have seen so far from the pictures.

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