1. #1
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    Default Pierce engines on my career FD

    Well, my career FD is on its third Pierce engine in 3 years. We have a Lance engine, a Lance Rescue engine, and the newest is a Quantum PUC engine.

    I have quite a few days driving the Lance Rescue engine and I have to admit it is a sweet rig. It has Tak4 and a 450 horse power engine. It rides nice and has plenty of power. I have driven the Lance Engine a few times and have no complaints on that one, and I have only driven the Quantum once before it was in service.

    These are all nice rigs, they all had minor issues upon delivery but nothing that wasn't fixed pretty quickly by Pierce. NO, I am not ready to drink the Kool Aid, but I am nether totally anti-Pierce either.
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    Your lucky, we are running 1990 Pierce Arrow Type I engines.

    The new Crimson engines look like a sweet ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    It has Tak4 and a 450 horse power engine.
    Just out of curiosity, what do you think about the Tak4? Never driven one. Does it make a difference and is it worth the money?

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    Quote Originally Posted by firepundit View Post
    Just out of curiosity, what do you think about the Tak4? Never driven one. Does it make a difference and is it worth the money?
    All Tak4 is is Pierce's version of independent front suspension. YES, I do believe it makes a difference. I believe the ride is much nicer.

    Honestly, no matter what manufacturer you were ging to bid I would request a demo with independent front suspension to test drive.

    As for the cost, only you can decide whether it is worth the additional cost.
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    Just for a quick field example we run 2 quantum rescue engines that are identical in spec. One is a 2001 without tak4 and one is a 2009 with it both are about 35 feet overall length. On a typical highway size road to do a complete U Turn at a light it takes the 2001 about 2 and a half lanes to complete the turn. The 2009 takes less than 2 lanes to complete a U turn. The TAK4 definately takes getting used to because of the responsiveness. Also due to the responsiveness the wheel is closer to the size of a typical passenger car wheel as opposed to an oversize truck wheel. If your a driver that likes to have some play in the wheel and constantly moves it you will sway all over the road. The ride is amazing no more back shattering bumps as a typical truck would have. I have driven a few diff Mfgs trucks and the turning is definitely better than anything else I have driven.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    All Tak4 is is Pierce's version of independent front suspension. YES, I do believe it makes a difference. I believe the ride is much nicer.

    Honestly, no matter what manufacturer you were ging to bid I would request a demo with independent front suspension to test drive.

    As for the cost, only you can decide whether it is worth the additional cost.
    Ride might be nice, but brakes jobs are about 3-4 times as much!!

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    Between the front-line and reserve rigs, we've got about 40 Pierce rigs in service (oldest are '98 models). With a mixture of straight-axle and TAK4 suspension systems, we've found that the TAK4 is best suited rigs that are heavier or have a longer wheelbase than our standard engines (750 gallon Quantums). We've stopped purchasing TAK4 on our engines, but continue to put it on the tower ladders (a mixture of different chassis) and heavy rescues (Quantums).

    Interestingly, when we performed a survey and needs assessment from our members assigned to TAK4 engines a couple of years after they were placed in service, we got an overwhelming thumbs-down on it. Not only did they find a lot of problems with the rigs drifting a lot when driving on the interstate (some of which was corrected with changes in tires and tire pressures), the members didn't like the lack of "feel" from the steering wheel that the straight-axle rigs provided. They didn't think that the improved ride was worth the lack of "feel". However, we got nothing but positive feedback from the drivers of the heavy rescues and tower ladders.

    The IFS does come with some of its own mechanical, maintenance, and cost issues (no matter who's you purchase), so like Fyred said, ask for a demo before you decide if its right for you or not.
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    We had a meeting recently with our local Pierce dealer who told us that TAK-4 was a $28,000 up charge. Does not seem to be worth that dollar figure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ladderman View Post
    We had a meeting recently with our local Pierce dealer who told us that TAK-4 was a $28,000 up charge. Does not seem to be worth that dollar figure.
    If money is no object, and you don't have to give up actual firefighting equipment like a foam system, or a generator and lights, or extra compartmentation, etc,. then sure. But I wouldn't give up firefighting capability to get TAK-4.
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    If your territory has nothing but paved,smoothed roads and streets then having no TAK 4 might not be an issue. But if you run on bumpy,pot holed infested streets then get TAK 4....your back and body will Thank You.

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    As a mechanic, I'm not too thrilled about it. It's in the way of everything. Even changing the oil is a major PITA. On the one truck I deal with, it takes about 4' of extensions to get the oil drain plug out. When you get the plug out, get ready for a mess because it runs all over the subframe, making a mess bigger than any drain pan can contain.

    This truck doesn't log too many miles, but as it ages I am not looking forward to dealing with the balljoint, control arm bushing, or torsion bar issues that may arise. I can almost guarantee these parts will be unavailible from a local truck shop, only from Pierce for an inflated price.

    Again, this is from a mechanic's perspective.. I much prefer king pins, drums, and leaf springs. IFS has it's benefits, but not from my perspective as far as parts cost, availibility, and in-service time.

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    The Pierce Fire Apparatus web site shows Tak-4 as standard equipment on everything but the Saber chassis ?

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    It can be deleted for a credit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cutlass84 View Post
    As a mechanic, I'm not too thrilled about it. It's in the way of everything. Even changing the oil is a major PITA. On the one truck I deal with, it takes about 4' of extensions to get the oil drain plug out. When you get the plug out, get ready for a mess because it runs all over the subframe, making a mess bigger than any drain pan can contain.

    This truck doesn't log too many miles, but as it ages I am not looking forward to dealing with the balljoint, control arm bushing, or torsion bar issues that may arise. I can almost guarantee these parts will be unavailible from a local truck shop, only from Pierce for an inflated price.

    Again, this is from a mechanic's perspective.. I much prefer king pins, drums, and leaf springs. IFS has it's benefits, but not from my perspective as far as parts cost, availibility, and in-service time.
    What about tire wear? Does the Tak 4 affect tire wear any different than a straight axle?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SFD_E73_RET View Post
    What about tire wear? Does the Tak 4 affect tire wear any different than a straight axle?
    The TAK4 should provide better tire wear and longer brake life.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firepundit View Post
    Just out of curiosity, what do you think about the Tak4? Never driven one. Does it make a difference and is it worth the money?
    We have it on our new engine/tanker, and it rides like a tour bus.

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    On a typical highway size road to do a complete U Turn at a light it takes the 2001 about 2 and a half lanes to complete the turn. The 2009 takes less than 2 lanes to complete a U turn
    Just curious what the cramp angles of these units are?

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