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Thread: Refurbishment of a 24 year old unit or used appartus purchase??

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    Default Refurbishment of a 24 year old unit or used appartus purchase??

    Well we got our AFG Dear John letter about two weeks ago and this is the third time we've tried for a new pumper. That being the case for our FD budget for 2013-2014we are going to request a capital outlay to do a refurbishment of our 24 year old FMC Ford pumper.

    That being the case we've put out inquires on refurbishment costs and I feel they are low for what is needed. Right now we are requesting $35k, but we also want to change this vehicle from a manual transmission to an automatic.

    So reviewing other departments via Google I've found some refurbishment costs as high as $115k. With that costs some used apparatus's are starting to look more palatable.

    I'd like to ask others on here if your department did go through a refurbishment how much was it and were there issue. Also if those that have bought a used apparatus were there any pre and post purchase concerns?

    Thank you in advance.

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    Brian,

    You've posed a good question - when is refurbishment practical versus replacement? One of the main items to consider is what do you want in a refurbishment: fix rust spots, paint, rebuild the pump, rebuild the motor, change compartmentation, upgrade warning lights, etc? Obviously, all of these things will increase the cost of the vehicle above the replacement of the transmission.

    Depending how much your department believes it will be able to secure for replacement, you can get a quality used engine. Simply using the $115,000 figure that you threw out there, here's a nice used custom cab engine that's less than 15 years old and can be yours for $95,000. Of course, this is just one of hundreds that are available out there.

    If you're able to purchase a used vehicle through a used dealer/broker, I would suggest Brindlee Mountain (I have no affiliation with them, although they're some of the most upstanding people you'll EVER meet in this industry), FireTec, or Fenton. Ask a lot of questions, get copies of the maintenance records, and see if you can talk to the previous owners of the vehicle. See when the vehicle last had a DOT inspection and pump test. Find out if any kind of warranty is offered. If the rig is too far away, ask for lots of detailed, high-quality photos of the exterior, interior, inside of the compartments, inside of the pump house, the motor, front bumper, frame rails, suspension components, and the like. Some places might even provide you a short video if you ask.

    If purchasing used isn't in the cards for you and refurbishment is, then do a lot a research. Talk to companies that do refurbs, get a client list, and interview their previous customers. See what kind of warranty, if any, is included. Are there standard things that they include, or is everything ala carte? Can you visit their facility, see the floor, and talk to the people working the rigs?

    Just a few rambling thoughts, good luck with the process...
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    Brian,

    BoxAlarm is absolutely correct. What is it that you are "really" looking for? Once that's decided, then refurbishment may be an option. BUT, as was stated, the above used Fire Truck sales companies have "very good" reputations and can help you find a whole truck for the money that you want to spend on refurb. We have use Fire Tec and they are absolutely top notch. (as are the others I'm sure)
    Ask many, many, questions and get lots of pictures or video, and the maintenance records. Most people who are selling a used truck are looking for someone who will benefit from the continued use of it. Good Luck!!

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    Get on the internet right now, and find a copy of "The Fire Apparatus Purchasing Handbook" by William Peters, published by Fire Engineering.

    It walks you through every aspect of a potential refurb or purchase (whether new or used.) Refurb versus new, what and how to refurb, what to watch for when refurbing, writing proposals/specs for refurbing, reading and understanding specs, bid proposals, writing specs for new rigs, doing inspections, acceptance procedures, etc etc etc. The book is absolutely PRICELESS for doing research on whether to refurb existing or buying new or used rigs.
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    Box, you said " One of the main items to consider is what do you want in a refurbishment: fix rust spots, paint, rebuild the pump, rebuild the motor, change compartmentation, upgrade warning lights, etc? Obviously, all of these things will increase the cost of the vehicle above the replacement of the transmission."


    Fix rust: body no, chassis yes
    Rebuild the pump: Very big yes, would also love a new pump from 1250 to 1500
    Rebuild the motor: if possible
    Change the transmission; big yes
    Change compartments; no, they are ok
    Upgrade electrical: very big yes
    Upgrade lights: very big yes.

    Other things needed:
    Proper seating. It's a crew cab with two bench seats and only lap belts
    Replace rear suspension that is frozen up
    Replace exhaust system that is leaking
    Repair air tank
    Repair or replace water tank. Currently 500 gallons

    Here is a pic of unit in question.
    http://www.michiganfiretrucks.com/Tr...v7bhf&lb=1&s=A

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    You might also consider lifting that body and pump and dropping it onto another chassis, or even a glider kit with an upgraded transmission.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    You might also consider lifting that body and pump and dropping it onto another chassis, or even a glider kit with an upgraded transmission.
    I like the new chassis idea. The glider sounds interesting as well but i wonder how much the challenge would be to put 24+ year old technology in a new chassis. I wonder how much a chassis would be.

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    I also like the new chassis idea, try looking into a 4 door Int.4400 or FL M2 with SCBA seating, any fire apparatus builder can remount your rebuilt pump & fire body with no problem.I do not know the cost of such a project like yours would be ?

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    pump make ? If its a FMC ram -end of story -get used
    ?

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    It is a FMC pump.

    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    pump make ? If its a FMC ram -end of story -get used

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    You're certainly looking at a pretty healthy (and expensive) refurb based on what you've got listed there:

    • As our slackjawed friend said, that FMC pump should be donated to your local SPAAMFAA chapter for use on a privately owned rig. You need a new pump, which is going to be thousands.
    • Rewiring the chassis and body will be a tedious process with a lot of labor cost, not including the price of the new warning lights. A new alternator and batteries may be part of the electrical system as well.
    • You'll be looking at five new fire-service seats, add several more dollar bills if you want some of them to have SCBA brackets.
    • New poly tanks, while worth the money, can be pretty costly as well. You say that its 500 gallons "currently" - are you all thinking of a larger tank? If so, if you do that on your current body, you can likely only go up (not out) with the tank, which will raise your hosebed height.
    • Suspension parts may be expensive, depending on what needs replacement on the rear end.

    Transferring the body to a new cab and chassis really wouldn't be that hard, but you'd have to work with a reputable company that's able to plan ahead for things like transfer cases for the pump, figuring out what your new pump is going to be (and the pumphouse length as well*), what the correct cab-to-axle measurement needs to be, alternator size, GVW, and host of other issues.

    Based on what you've typed out, I'm going to say that your refurb would be easily in the $50k range. While I know it's easy for others to spend your money, I really think you might be better off to look at an affordable used piece.

    *Major pump manufacturers will sell you a completed pump & pump house, so you know ahead of time what impact that will have on your CA measurement, and wheelbase as well.
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    Another vote for Brindlee Mountain-we've bought/sold several through them, good experience all around with their staff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnyv View Post
    Another vote for Brindlee Mountain-we've bought/sold several through them, good experience all around with their staff.
    And yet one more vote for them as well. Although I have personally never dealt with them, I have a very good friend who is a nationally-known Fire Service training personality/author who used to be my Deputy Chief, and is now the Chief of another local department- he bought a used pumper through them and has nothing but very good things to say about them.

    And as for the glider kit- yes you have a very good point.....old mechanical engine/technology mixed with a new chassis that is more electronic/multiplexed may not work very well. I'm with 187 and the others who said get an entirely new chassis, or even go with a good, used rig. And apologies if anyone already said this but I did not, don't forget about using the current rig for a trade-in. Might not get much for it but every dime counts.
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    Seriously, this is a 24 year old commercial cab, with a pump and body work from a long out of business company...

    Look for a used engine that has a 4 door cab, all the bells and whistles you want, a bigger pump, a bigger tank, and buy it from a reputable company and never look back. In the long run you will get more value for your dollar and the rig won't be a hodge podge of new and old technology.
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    If your looking for SCBA seat options, let me know and I can help you out. Sounds like a good project to keep the truck going

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    Sounds like you are wanting to do a LOT. Your truck before and after this potential refurb sounds like that ax I have that belonged to George Washington. It's had eight new handles and two new heads, but it's the same ax.

    The problem with replacing a pump is that you might have to spend a ton of money getting new plumbing run, as the new pump may not match up to your discharge lines and stuff.


    The supply of used rigs similar to both of those in your photo is very, very deep. I would echo the praise given to Brindlee Mountain, Firetec, and Fenton. The nice thing about Firetec & Fenton is that they are brokers, not dealers. That means you might score a very nice engine that is located very close to you.

    The upside of Brindlee is that they have real live qualified mechanics to make repairs and inspections. Also, North Alabama is my ancestral home and it's beautiful.

    Web sites... www.bmfallc.com www.fentonfire.com and www.firetec.com

    Finally, if your current rig runs and pumps well, it would qualify as a cream puff for many departments in my area. If you wanna unload it, I could probably find a home for it.

    Good luck!
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    I agree it is a lot because a lot needs to be done, but it has concerns that need to be addressed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianB35 View Post
    I agree it is a lot because a lot needs to be done, but it has concerns that need to be addressed.
    Nothing wrong with fixing what needs fixing while you're doing it, but the more you do, the less cost-effective a refurb is when compared to replacement.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianB35 View Post
    Box, you said " One of the main items to consider is what do you want in a refurbishment: fix rust spots, paint, rebuild the pump, rebuild the motor, change compartmentation, upgrade warning lights, etc? Obviously, all of these things will increase the cost of the vehicle above the replacement of the transmission."


    Fix rust: body no, chassis yes
    Rebuild the pump: Very big yes, would also love a new pump from 1250 to 1500
    Rebuild the motor: if possible
    Change the transmission; big yes
    Change compartments; no, they are ok
    Upgrade electrical: very big yes
    Upgrade lights: very big yes.

    Other things needed:
    Proper seating. It's a crew cab with two bench seats and only lap belts
    Replace rear suspension that is frozen up
    Replace exhaust system that is leaking
    Repair air tank
    Repair or replace water tank. Currently 500 gallons

    Here is a pic of unit in question.
    http://www.michiganfiretrucks.com/Tr...v7bhf&lb=1&s=A
    That unit is not worth rebuilding. It's probably not worth more than 15K, I can't see putting tens of thousands into it. You can buy a far better truck for what you're going to refurb it for, and that cab is too small for putting SCBA brackets. I think it's a no brainer to buy a newer used unit.

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    Your department can Lease-Finance a used apparatus with a 5-7 year term with very good loan rates, and pay $1 dollar at the end of the lease and own the apparatus!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianB35 View Post
    Box, you said " One of the main items to consider is what do you want in a refurbishment: fix rust spots, paint, rebuild the pump, rebuild the motor, change compartmentation, upgrade warning lights, etc? Obviously, all of these things will increase the cost of the vehicle above the replacement of the transmission."


    Fix rust: body no, chassis yes
    Rebuild the pump: Very big yes, would also love a new pump from 1250 to 1500
    Rebuild the motor: if possible
    Change the transmission; big yes
    Change compartments; no, they are ok
    Upgrade electrical: very big yes
    Upgrade lights: very big yes.

    Other things needed:
    Proper seating. It's a crew cab with two bench seats and only lap belts
    Replace rear suspension that is frozen up
    Replace exhaust system that is leaking
    Repair air tank
    Repair or replace water tank. Currently 500 gallons

    Here is a pic of unit in question.
    http://www.michiganfiretrucks.com/Tr...v7bhf&lb=1&s=A
    Take your list and have a fire apparatus builder look at it. You will be surprised how expensive your refurb will be to get a 1989 truck back in service.
    you have several extremely expensive items on your list. new Pump with associated plumbing rebuild, bigger tank,[requires a major body rebuild], change from standard to an automatic $$$$$ [requires reengineering entire driveline, rebuild engine [gas or diesel?]
    I would be surprised if you could get your list of items done for under 75-100k unless you can find used pump & allison components in serviceable condition to transplant in.
    New those two components will run +- 40k alone without all the labor and parts to transplant them into your truck.

    A new international 4 door chassis will run around 120k set up for fire service use.

    As far as getting a AFG to replace it, how many vehicles in same class do you have & what is your fleet age?
    Last edited by islandfire03; 03-26-2013 at 12:28 AM.

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    Our fleet consists of a 2007 Spartan/Hackney Heavy Rescue, 2004 Ford Expedition Rescue, 1998 Pierce Dash Pumper, 1989 Ford FMC Pumper and a 1981 GMC 2500 brush truck.

    When we got the DJ letter it stated average age of fleet was the issue, but I read on firegrant board that was an error because everyone received that same justification for denial.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianB35 View Post
    Our fleet consists of a 2007 Spartan/Hackney Heavy Rescue, 2004 Ford Expedition Rescue, 1998 Pierce Dash Pumper, 1989 Ford FMC Pumper and a 1981 GMC 2500 brush truck.

    When we got the DJ letter it stated average age of fleet was the issue, but I read on firegrant board that was an error because everyone received that same justification for denial.
    You can rest assured that in your case, it's accurate. Your average age is way too high, even with the old brush truck. The apparatus grants are super super super super competitive, and age of fleet is a big factor.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianB35 View Post
    Our fleet consists of a 2007 Spartan/Hackney Heavy Rescue, 2004 Ford Expedition Rescue, 1998 Pierce Dash Pumper, 1989 Ford FMC Pumper and a 1981 GMC 2500 brush truck.

    When we got the DJ letter it stated average age of fleet was the issue, but I read on firegrant board that was an error because everyone received that same justification for denial.
    Sorry, I can't help much with the refurb info...but one question re: grant. Does your heavy rescue have a pump on it too? Or just a straight rescue? Because, if so, having 2 pumping apparatus less than 15 years old is a BIG disqualification for AFG, if you're going for another pumping apparatus.

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    It has a CAFS on it. We do note that in fleet descriptions.

    Quote Originally Posted by ATFDFF View Post
    Sorry, I can't help much with the refurb info...but one question re: grant. Does your heavy rescue have a pump on it too? Or just a straight rescue? Because, if so, having 2 pumping apparatus less than 15 years old is a BIG disqualification for AFG, if you're going for another pumping apparatus.

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