Thread: KME Apparatus

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    Default KME Apparatus

    Do any of you guys have an opinion on KME apparatus? My department has found a used KME tanker that we really like.

    I'd be interested in hearing positive or negative.

    Thanks!

    ps. I've searched this forum and no results.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FF-Andy View Post
    Do any of you guys have an opinion on KME apparatus? My department has found a used KME tanker that we really like.

    I'd be interested in hearing positive or negative.

    Thanks!

    ps. I've searched this forum and no results.
    Here is my opinion. For every person here that tells you they are junk there will be someone to tell you they are the best thing since sliced bread.

    I have only operated one KME rig in my career and it was a P-18 tender designed by the air force for resupplying crash trucks. I would not use my experience with that as a measure of what KME can do in the civilian fire service world. A friend of mine on my former career FD operated KME's on his department, both a rescue and pumpers and they loved them and kept going back. To me that speaks volunes when you are roght in Pierce's back yard.

    Look at the rig, if it meets your needs and it appears to be in good condition then pursue it. the best piece of advice is to go to your fire truck repair service and have a mechanic take a look at the rig. The money you pay them will be well worth it. It may help you get a great rig or prevent you from making a HUGE mistake.

    Good luck.
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    It all depends on the specs. I've operated three of them, two engines and a truck, and one engine and the truck were Grumman (older rigs, same company, different name). They are great, the truck burned through alternators like crazy, but switching to LEDs helped. The older engine is 27 years old and still runs like a champ. Blew an engine a few years ago, but few problems other than that. The newer one has a few bugs in it due to the electronics, but is a decent rig otherwise. Advice? If you get it, have a third party do the service, getting the company to service and fix things will cost an arm and a leg, and we aren't too terribly convinced that Kovatch's service center was "fixing" things that weren't broken to milk more money out of us.

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    Great information gentlemen, thank you!!!

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    2 KME's and a Grumman. Could not be happier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ToDaRoof View Post
    It all depends on the specs. I've operated three of them, two engines and a truck, and one engine and the truck were Grumman (older rigs, same company, different name). They are great, the truck burned through alternators like crazy, but switching to LEDs helped. The older engine is 27 years old and still runs like a champ. Blew an engine a few years ago, but few problems other than that. The newer one has a few bugs in it due to the electronics, but is a decent rig otherwise. Advice? If you get it, have a third party do the service, getting the company to service and fix things will cost an arm and a leg, and we aren't too terribly convinced that Kovatch's service center was "fixing" things that weren't broken to milk more money out of us.
    Actually KME was a seperate company that purchased the assets of Grumman, also until that point a seperate company with a LONG history of fire apparatus production. KME has also purchased Walters a crash fire rescue fire apparatus builder.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
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    We currently operate three KME rigs. (out of 9 total in the department) The latest is a 2007 Midmount 100 ft. platform. With the aerial, the problems have been with basket leveling, and a few minor glitches with the stabilizer computer programming. We had a problem with the control wire channel that looks like a 'dozer track, and required returning the rig to Nesquehoning for repair. (tree limb (stick) in the track tore up the channel) We reported the ongoing basket leveling problem to the service engineer, and the problem was solved. There had been a number of attempts by the field service mechanics, but they could not solve the leveling problem. The stabilizer troubles were solved by an update in the computer program for the self leveling stabilizer. This is a great piece of equipment, maneuverable & short enough to handle our tight corners. The "Short Jacking" feature is absolutely necessary as we have a number of streets with less than 21 feet of road width needed for set-up. Only major difficulty is the weight, being 79,500 lbs with a crew, as it causes some difficulty with bridge weights, and dirt road access. Basically a "Hard Road" rig. Heavy Rescue has 4 wheel drive as does the current lead engine. This is an absolute necessity for us as we cover 102 Sq. Mi. of sometimes "REMOTE" homes and camps as well as snow covered roads for 3 months of the year. Going North we have a "One lane abandoned railroad grade" track for over 20 miles, Both the rescue and engine negotiate this for accidents (logging) and lost or injured hunters. The equipment performs well under these conditions, and with the 20,000 lb front winches, serve to extricate the Pierce and Sutphen engines when mired-in. The Heavy Rescue has on-board Amcus PTO powered hydraulics and a hydraulic operated generator and light tower. Zero major problems with the rescue in over 10 years. Engine uses a 1500 gpm Waterous with a Class I pressure governor. The combination of pump operator training, pump size, preset pressure and engine power curve proved to be a problem severay years ago. Incomplete priming combined with set pressure of 180 psi. resulted in a run-away pressure spike (600 psi), blown attack hose, driver injury, and pump damage (on-board foam system and around the pump proportioner required replacement). We have returned to being great fans of pressure relief valves. From the crew standpoint, the seating is comfortable with more than enough room to pack-up during response. In general, we will probably give a great deal of consideration to KME when replacing the '79 Mack reserve engine in 2015.

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    Our department went from Pierce to KME they bought 4 engines. The one that was at our station was the lemon of the bunch. At least once a month it was in the shop, it had a habit of overheating when at idle. The other stations said that they were relatively happy with their KME's. That being said the County was not too happy with them and has switched back to Pierce. In the past two years the county has bought 4 quantum's to replace those KME's and sent the KME's to slower stations. Our experience may not be typical of KME but it certainly left a negative view of them.

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    We've had a KME engine on an International chassis for over 20 years now. Aside from an early issue with the booster tank (KME tried their hand at making their own poly tanks...), we've had no problems with it that could be blamed on KME (ie, if some part fails, it's generally on the part manufacturer, not the company that mounted it on the the truck). And anything along that line has been so minor that I can't even remember any.

    Like Fyred says - you can pick your brand and you'll find cheerleaders and detractors. If the truck is in acceptable shape and meets your needs, why not?
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    rather than worry about the builder -check out the specs -- is it powered and geared for your area -correct size tank to "fit in" with your area -will it need to pump? if so , big enough pump? need to carry equipment? tankers are fairly simple vehicles -if it doesn't fit your needs , reliability or lack of, may end up being secondary.
    ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    rather than worry about the builder -check out the specs -- is it powered and geared for your area -correct size tank to "fit in" with your area -will it need to pump? if so , big enough pump? need to carry equipment? tankers are fairly simple vehicles -if it doesn't fit your needs , reliability or lack of, may end up being secondary.

    Specs-wise it is exactly what we're wanting. None of us has any hands on experience with KME so I thought I'd ask here.

    Thanks again everyone for the information.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FF-Andy View Post
    Specs-wise it is exactly what we're wanting. None of us has any hands on experience with KME so I thought I'd ask here.

    Thanks again everyone for the information.
    1996 FL 60 engine here-had problems with poly tank , otherwise no problems
    ?

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