1. #1
    RRepasky
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default Southern Coach

    Can anyone give me some insight about Southern Coach & American LaFrance ? We were at an expo last week and saw a Southern Coach on an American LaFrance chasis and really liked it. One major concern we have is for service on the truck. Since we are in PA and the factory is in FL. Any pros or cons are welcome.
    Thanks


    ------------------
    Robert Repasky, Captain
    Sayre Fire Dept.
    Sayre Pennsylvania

  2. #2
    Fyrtrks
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Capt. Repasky Service is all how you word in your bid spec you have to spec a service center within so many miles. ALF has service in Binghamton, Scranton & Syracuse. The pump is made by hale so any qualified center; like Sullivans in Horseheads, should be able to do repairs. You can service done locally you just have to get the okay from the factory before you have it done most places will be happy to bill the factory.

    ------------------
    Dan Jenkins
    West Elmira Fire Dept.

  3. #3
    STA2
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Capt. Repasky, Just one comment about your post. Both the new American La France and Southern Coach are new to the fire truck business. Both are untried designs to a certain degree without a long inservice time to evaluate them. Like Fyretrks said, service is how you spec it. I personally prefer a single source mfg from the service standpoint. One responsible party for everything. Even with the pump and lights and everything else being built by different companies the mfg is still the ultimate responsible party. This also keeps ALF from saying its a SC problem and vice versa. Just something to think about.

  4. #4
    STA2
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Be safe Capt.

  5. #5
    Fyrtrks
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Sta 2 has a good point you must make someone accountable for the apparatus. If you buy from brand x you bought it from them. Some depts will buy the chassis and then send it to another company to have the body done, I would shy away from this. Buy the complete truck from one source, they didn't have to build the whole thing but they are responsible for the whole thing. Single source dosen't have to lock you into a limited number of mfgrs. Again it's all how you spec it!

    ------------------
    Dan Jenkins
    West Elmira Fire Dept.

  6. #6
    Scoco
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Fyrtrks,

    I have a different opinion. We can get the chassis on a state bid price. Most of the fire mfg reps expect depts to do this because of the cost savings and evidently the mfgs don't have a problem with this and more importantly, we haven't had any problems with this approach. One mfg in Florida refused to deal with us unless the chassis was purchased through them. For the same specs, their chassis price was +$32,000 higher. We took our business elsewhere.

    I think we all agree that any buyer needs to do a lot of work before making a commitment.

    Scoco

    Be safe.

  7. #7
    RRepasky
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    I have to agree with SCOCO. Most companies are now put almost any chassis and
    box together. Just out of curiosity, was the company in Florida E-One ? We
    looked at several E-One's and was not too impressed.



    ------------------
    Robert Repasky, Captain
    Sayre Fire Dept.
    Sayre Pennsylvania

  8. #8
    Fyrtrks
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Scoco,
    Holy cow 32,000 less than manufacturers price wow! We can not get custom chassis on state bid in New York. We can get a state bid chassis but it's only a commercial. Usually any dealer will match the state bid price if you compare brand x with brand x but from different dealers. My only point with shying away from purchasing your own chassis was the warranty repair and chassis modfication issues.

    ------------------
    Dan Jenkins
    West Elmira Fire Dept.

  9. #9
    STA2
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Scoco I am a little familiar with what you speak. Hear in Texas if you do our version of the "State Bid" you speak of its for a complete apparatus.All the mfg bid on all types of apparatus. That way you get the best price on the entire rig and not just the chassis. It covers pumpers to rescues to tower ladders. As far as that Florida builder I hope its not E-One. We recently purchased a heavy rescue from them. On one of our inspection trips we saw many different chassis types there. Spartan, Freightliner, Duplex, etc. All had E-One bodies on them and were being built there. One thought is to bid the rig. In the bid specify the cab and chassis to the fine details. As an example you can use Spartan as an example. Specify something like this: "Spartan Gladiator LFD w/10" raised roof with seating for 8 OR equivilent." If they want your business they will get to your price range because they know you bid it to other builders. This makes them atleast get closer to your price range than if you shop it around and just ask. If they know your serious they will work with you. Capt. Repasky we have had nothing but good luck w/ E-One here and our rescue was from them. Our next pumper will be also for my volunteer dept. from them. My career dept. has numerous and just bought 55 E-One pumpers and we have good luck with the 17 E-One ladders we have with plans for more. Just something to think about. Be safe.

  10. #10
    RRepasky
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Thanks STA2! I always liked E-One's, but the the ones I have seen recently just didn't do anything for me. I'm sure we'll still have them bid on ours and see what they come back with.

    ------------------
    Robert Repasky, Captain
    Sayre Fire Dept.
    Sayre Pennsylvania

  11. #11
    J0929
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    CHECK WITH AMARILO,TX,JACKSONVIILE,FLORIDA ORANGE COUNTY FLORIDA ALL HAVE SEVERAL
    SOUTHERN COACHS, THEY HAVE BEEN AROUND SINCE
    THE MID 80'S AND THEY WERE A PRETTY SOUND BUILDER. DO NOT KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN SINCE BEING BOUGHT BY ALF, i would make sure they a local dealer and mobile service is available so you do not have to drive all over the countryside for service

  12. #12
    grc063
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Southern Coach was recently purchased by the American LaFrance/Freightliner group. It is my understanding that within the next 20 - 30 days, all of the members of this alliance, (S/C, RD Murray, Becker, 3D), will be bidding units as American LaFrance. The single source issue could be argued since NO manufacturer truly makes the ENTIRE unit anymore. Seagrave was one of the last manufacturers to truly make almost the entire unit, (engine, pump cab, body, booster tank, aerial). Any drivetrain problems now are not handled by the apparatusmanufacturer, but by the drivetrain manufacturer, (Cummins, Detroit, Cat, Allison, Meritor). THis brings me to my last point - you need a reputable apparatus dealer to truly service your entire unit. A dealer who will make that phone call for you. With having a great dealer, there should only be one call made - To the Dealer!

    Be Safe

    ------------------
    GRC063


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