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Thread: Ladder Truck Purchase

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    Default Ladder Truck Purchase

    Our new equipment committee has narrowed our bid list to 3 manufactures for our new 100'+ rear mount ladder truck only. Pierce, Rosenbauer and Smeal (we may add one more). Our concern with Rosenbauer and Smeal is the Spartan connection and the decision to get away from the Spartan Chassis. The Commander Chassis from Rosenbauer is brand new and has not had a record of service that we can point to as reliable. Smeal, I am uncertain what they will be offering going forward. We are still 4-5 months away from an actual award so things seem to be very fluid right now as what will be available later this year. Can anyone offer any insight? Should we have confidence in Rosenbauer's new chassis? Will Smeal have a Spartan chassis to offer?


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    I do not see Smeal getting away from buying the Spartan chassis, the only other chassis that they could use would be a HME. As far as Smeal dealing with the ALF company that can not even deliver there own apparatus due to money problems , I think that the Spartan chassis will be a part of the Smeal fire Apparatus for a few years until they start building a chassis cab of there own!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodbridge View Post
    I do not see Smeal getting away from buying the Spartan chassis, the only other chassis that they could use would be a HME. As far as Smeal dealing with the ALF company that can not even deliver there own apparatus due to money problems , I think that the Spartan chassis will be a part of the Smeal fire Apparatus for a few years until they start building a chassis cab of there own!
    The Rosenbauer cab looks to have promise but I agree probably not the best idea until its been out for a few years. Smeal is a nice truck and in my opinion will have the Spartan chassis so don't be worried about that. Have you thought Spartan? They took over the old LTI plant a few years ago and have been building a lot of aerial trucks out of their since.

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    Forum Member FIREMECH1's Avatar
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    I see the kool aide truck, but not the E-One being listed as choice. Have you had issues with E-One in the past??? Toyne would also be a good one to look at as well. Spartan cab and chassis with a LTI ladder.

    FM1
    I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

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    Have a Crimson Engine,poor quality, poor service. Committee has to make the tough choices and has chosen not to contact.

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    Locally, E-One has suffered. Long time local rep is long gone, just signed up a new local rep after a several year absence. Reputation has suffered because of poor quality, the only major buyer in area has had issues and several members on our committee work there, so committee has decided it is not in our best interest to persue. I agree that their ladder design is superior although the rest of the truck is not.

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    Toyne is an unknown in this area although we have heard positive things we feel we need to deal with a more established ladder truck builder. Being a smaller all volunteer company, service after the sale is paramount and Toyne does not have a local rep that we feel comfortable with.

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    Service and the quality of the dealer is everything. All trucks today have similar quality and performance and for the most part built with the same parts/components. Where are you located?

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    Maryland, near Baltimore.

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    Default Smeal WILL have Spartan Chassis's

    I'd not be at all concerned about Smeal NOT having availablity of the Spartan chassis for many years to come.. I understand Smeal has asked for a formal letter of commitment from Spartan to put to rest the innuendo/rumours being spread in the industry.

    I've heard the same B.S. rumour being spread in one case by a Kool-Aid Salesman who's been telling my customers many of whom have a full Spartan fleet or who are now adding to their fleet with Spartan's who have come to me for the truth and I told the categorically NOT true!

    As the one of the largest Spartan dealer users in North America for over 10 years I too have a vested interest in this relationship continuing as do both parties!

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    Rosenbauer did not make the decision to go away from Spartan. Spartan made that choice. RB will still be able to sell Spartans until sometime in December and your purchase would occur before then. The RB chassis is new, but well designed. I've been able to drive a pumper on the chassis and it's seems to be very nice. I would at least take a look at it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by roofjockey View Post
    Toyne is an unknown in this area although we have heard positive things we feel we need to deal with a more established ladder truck builder. Being a smaller all volunteer company, service after the sale is paramount and Toyne does not have a local rep that we feel comfortable with.
    Roofjockey, we had the same concerns about Toyne prior to us purchasing oyr 2007 Toyne/Spartan pumper. We were the first department in Eastern Pa. (located just outside of Philly) to have a Toyne. We wrote into our specs (specifically due to the lack of dealers) that we had the right to have any warranty service work done by any vendor of our choosing, and Toyne would cover warranty issues no questions asked. They were absolutely receptive to this, and worked with us. I wouldnt count them out just because of this. You have several reputable apparatus repair facilities close by, and I dare say that Toyne would be more than willing to work with you. Also, I believe there may be a salesman in Conowingo. By the way if you want to see a Toyne stainless steel custom pumper, let me know; you and your committee are more than welcome to take a peek at ours if you want to take a ride. Also you might speak with the National Sales Manager Mike Watts or the President of Toyne Mike Schwabbe who is usually at the Pa. Fire Expo. Good luck to you.
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    Are there any Ferrara dealers in your area, since your department members are interested in a Smeal ladder. Also take a look at the Kme aerial cat ladders, they are built in Roanoke, Va !
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    Last edited by Woodbridge; 05-15-2012 at 06:43 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by roofjockey View Post
    Toyne is an unknown in this area although we have heard positive things we feel we need to deal with a more established ladder truck builder. Being a smaller all volunteer company, service after the sale is paramount and Toyne does not have a local rep that we feel comfortable with.
    I know who you are talking about. Both Smeal and Toyne desparately need to establish better dealerships in this area before they will make any headway around here. The same goes for Crimson (now Spartan ERV) as well. We have had dealings will all of these guys and it hasn't been favorable to say the least.

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    I'll chime in and say I think you'd have nothing to worry about with Toyne, but I would be concerned about the LTI aspect. Great product, but what is their future going to be?

    We picked up a demo Smeal and I would strongly encourage you to consider them. They've been nothing but fantastic, and the minor issues we had were dealt with quickly. I've also been pleasantly surprised by our dealer and how responsive they've been. Ours is on a Spartan, and while I question their business decisions as of late, their chassis (we have four) have been good to us.
    Last edited by npfd801; 05-16-2012 at 01:25 AM. Reason: typos...
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeadOff View Post
    I know who you are talking about. Both Smeal and Toyne desparately need to establish better dealerships in this area before they will make any headway around here. The same goes for Crimson (now Spartan ERV) as well. We have had dealings will all of these guys and it hasn't been favorable to say the least.
    Ooooo... this I would like to see in more detail. Especially the part saying "We have had dealings will(with) all of these guys and it hasn't been favorable to say the least."

    Please... do explain!!!

    FM1
    I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FIREMECH1 View Post
    Ooooo... this I would like to see in more detail. Especially the part saying "We have had dealings will(with) all of these guys and it hasn't been favorable to say the least."

    Please... do explain!!!

    FM1
    FM1, I should have clarified this statement in that our dealings with "these guys" was in reference to the local dealers now representing the aforementioned manufacturers, not the companies themselves. We may have bought a Smeal tower several years ago but back then they had no local dealer in our area at all. Now they do but we dealt with this guy when he was with Seagrave (prior to Smeal) and it was not good. The Toyne dealer around these parts was originally with Crimson, almost hooked up with Seagrave before they went with the other guy who's now with Smeal, then was with Smeal for a little while and is now the Toyne dealer. I wouldn't buy a used car from this guy! I won't even get into the details with the Crimson/Spartan dealer, it's to painful to bring up. There are many, many lessons learned from dealing with these guys and the #1 lesson was to never have any more involvement with them. I think our area could be a very good market for Smeal and maybe Toyne as well but they MUST establish good dealerships to compete with the strongest dealership in the area who represents Pierce. I will say that our Rosenbauer dealer is very good and is getting stronger. With Spartan leaving Rosenbauer at the end of the year, their new Commander chassis just needs some time to get out in the field to flesh out the bugs and make the necessary design changes to prove out their new product. We are looking forward to doing some business with them in the not too distant future.
    Last edited by LeadOff; 05-16-2012 at 12:57 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeadOff View Post
    FM1, I should have clarified this statement in that our dealings with "these guys" was in reference to the local dealers now representing the aforementioned manufacturers, not the companies themselves. We may have bought a Smeal tower several years ago but back then they had no local dealer in our area at all. Now they do but we dealt with this guy when he was with Seagrave (prior to Smeal) and it was not good. The Toyne dealer around these parts was originally with Crimson, almost hooked up with Seagrave before they went with the other guy who's now with Smeal, then was with Smeal for a little while and is now the Toyne dealer. I wouldn't buy a used car from this guy! I won't even get into the details with the Crimson/Spartan dealer, it's to painful to bring up. There are many, many lessons learned from dealing with these guys and the #1 lesson was to never have any more involvement with them. I think our area could be a very good market for Smeal and maybe Toyne as well but they MUST establish good dealerships to compete with the strongest dealership in the area who represents Pierce. I will say that our Rosenbauer dealer is very good and is getting stronger. With Spartan leaving Rosenbauer at the end of the year, their new Commander chassis just needs some time to get out in the field to flesh out the bugs and make the necessary design changes to prove out their new product. We are looking forward to doing some business with them in the not too distant future.
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    Quote Originally Posted by npfd801 View Post
    I'll chime in and say I think you'd have nothing to worry about with Toyne, but I would be concerned about the LTI aspect. Great product, but what is their future going to be?

    We picked up a demo Smeal and I would strongly encourage you to consider them. They've been nothing but fantastic, and the minor issues we had were dealt with quickly.
    I was surprised to hear from a two guys this morning that they'd had opportunity to look over a Smeal Tower (of nearly the same age as our tower) over the last few days and were glad we had an ALF/LTI! Not what I'd expected to hear, though ours has been fairly issue free.

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    There was a new Toyne dealer listed on the Toyne website yesterday in your area.

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