Looking for information on platforms , we will most likly be purchasing a 90'+ unit in 2000. I am looking for the good/bad/ugly . Also things that you only find out after having the unit in service and then find out what it can't do. Things you would change if you could , we are only going to have one shot at this and we want to try to get it correct.
Thanks in advance ,
CHRIS OBVIOUSLY THE FIRST CONCERN IS GOING TO BE THE MONEY.WHILE YOU DO LIVE IN PIERCE LAND WE ARE ALSO BIASED TOWARD PIERCE. THAT A SIDE YOU WANT TO LOOK FOR UNIT THAT IS BUILT BY ONE MANUF. ELIMINATES WHO IS RESPONIBLE FOR WHAT. GET PUMP IF BUDGET ALLOWS. MAKE SURE IT FITS IN THE FIREHOUSE AND THAT ROADS CAN HANDLE DONT WASTE MONEY ON FLASH ,AVOID SECOND NOZZLES ON BASKET UNLESS ABSOLUTLY NEEDED ,GET BREATHING AIR TO BASKET ,GET LARGER BASKET, DONT TRY TO JAM LONG LENGHTS OF LDH HOSE IN 400 TO 6OO FT GOOD, CLIMATE CONTROL GOOD INVESTMENT, IF OTHER THAN PIERCE MAKE SURE SERVICE CENTER CLOSE BY,CHECK WARRENTY,WE SPECIFY USA MADE ONLY, WHEN YOU BID TRUCK, BOND ENOUGH TO INCLUDE ALL EQUIPTMENT NEEDED AND INCLUDE WITH PURCHASE LESS HASSLES LATER.TRY TO INCLUDE A VEHICLE MOUNTED GENERATOR THAT RUNS OFF TRUCK FUEL TANK, WITH REMOTE START OFFICERS SIDE OF CAB,AND MOST OF ALL GET THE HEAVIEST DUTY LADDER YOU CAN AFFORD AND THE LONGEST YOU EVER THINK YOU NEED ,DONT FORGET SET BACKS
Stay away from KME otherwise you will Keep Mechanics Employed. We have a Grumman which is the same design as KME and it is a money pit every year when it is tested. Emergency pumps, outriggers, hydraulics, welds, valves switches, etc. for a truck that barely drives 250 miles a year in a volunteer company.
[This message has been edited by W. Cary (edited October 14, 1999).]
If you were to decide between 2 manufacturers - namely, Pierce and E-One - which would you pick and why?
I'm wondering about warranties, reliability, performance, etc. Thanks.
A bit more info...we will soon be purchasing:
- aerial platform (95' throw minimum, w/1500 gpm pump, Class A Foam, ventilation, rope rescue equipment)
- rescue pumper (1500 gpm pump w/CAFS, on-board generator, full extrication complement, EMS supplies, and water rescue equipment)
We are looking for a single source manufacturer, and this has led us to Pierce and E-One as our final choices. $650,000 has been allocated for the aerial, and $350,000 has been allocated for the rescue pumper.
We have pretty much finalized our specs, but have yet to select the manufacturer. We will be holding meeting shortly to compare and contrast the two proposals. Any info you can provide would be very much appreciated.
Again, thanks in advance.
Don't forget to look at Seagrave. They are also single source. You should also consider Saulsbury they will build on an E-one chassis and you will have single source.
West Elmira Fire Dept.
Although I am a Pierce lover, the fourth of the really good manufacturers has to be Sutphen. Solid equipment that takes a beating. My current dept. has 4 engines and a 100' tower (1985-1991 models)One engines been in two accidents, the towers been hit twice and fryed with electrical wires. both still operating.
In the looking we have been doing , E-One seems to have a better ladder and cab, I agree with fyrtrks if you could get a Saulsbury body with a E-one ladder you would have the best of both worlds.
Sutphen builds a soild aerial. Dept in our area bought one two years ago and love it and have had no problems.
Other thoughts...some mentioned before -
Make sure you have plenty of clearance in regards to station doors and walls, make sure the floor will hold the weight of the truck
Good stuff here, in particular:
Heavy duty ladders are well worth the money...we've got a 25-year-old, 100', heavy duty Grove stick that's going to out-last the truck it sits on.
Breathing air to the tip also provides huge savings in terms of wear and tear on personnel and gives longer working times up above.
This sounds obvious, but make sure that the nozzle on your basket is either mounted (or can be moved for "rescue mode") to allow you to get that thing right on top of roofs and right against walls, if you need to. I've seen pictures of some (don't know which mfrs) that don't look like they're capable of this. It would really bite to go for a 5th or 6th floor rescue and find out that the victim needs a pole to vault to your basket.
Consiidered a cascade system? The aerial is always right there in front and easy to get to for filling bottles.
As for manufacturers:
We've always had success with Pierce & LTI (LTI put the ladder on our Pierce quint and we're also about 20 miles from the LTI plant, so they do our ladder service), and I know of fire companies that have very good track records with E-One and Seagrave.
Keep in mind that the merged Freightliner/American LaFrance/LTI/Aerial Innovations in one big single source provider now also.
As for KME...you get what you pay for...personally, I think they only survive because of poorly written specs for sealed bids. Nobody with as many as two nickels to rub together would buy one otherwise.
A neighboring fire district just took delivery of a 100' platform on a Pierce Dash 2000 chassis. They have yet to put in service but it looks to be a nice piece of equipment. I'm sure that they would share any information about it with you. I know they paid $640,000 for it.
It's Central County Fire and Rescue in St. Charles County, Missouri.
[This message has been edited by mikey (edited October 22, 1999).]
Let me throw my two cents in here. Single source is the way to go. There are a few builders that can truely do this. In my opinion as far as ladders go there is only one choice. E-One is the best there is. Every area: Distributed load, outrigger design and use, water flow capabilities and quality. I would shy away from companies that have recently merged to form one big company. American La France is still a new design in my opinion and unproven and its built on a commercial chassis to start with. I am not knocking ALF, I am just not convinced their chassis can handle a ladder over time. I may be wrong, we'll see.
I do have some concerns about what Wrench had to say. Second nozzle in basket is important. The main purpose of the platform on the fireground is master stream operations. Don't skimp on the area that is most important. Flow as much as you can. Don't buy the heaviest duty ladder you can afford. Buy the heavy duty ladder to do the job. Buy one that allows you to flow the most water and move the most people. Lets face, it most rescues are made over ground ladders or interior and exterior stairs. But when you do need to move people you need to be able to do it then, not later, and most of all safely. Check with departments that have bought light weight ladders and find out about their failures. Buy above what your expected use will be. You can not put a cost on the safety of your people and the citizens. Generators. PTO is the way to go. Quieter, doesn't take up compartment space and can take the entire load of the rig off the alternator and batteries. As far as remote start goes that is nice to have but why on the officers side? Doesn't the officer of the Truck Co. have enough to do while approaching the scene? Allow him to do his size-up and here and give orders. Don't put anything more than needed on the OIC side of the rig. Fuel tank generators are maintenance nightmares with more fuel lines and filters as well unnecessary noise. Breathing air to the bucket is now REQUIRED by NFPA, its not an option anymore. Hose on the rig. Its simple. Don't spec what he says or I say. If YOUR dept. needs to carry 2000' of LDH then spec it to carry that. The platform my volunteer dept. just speced out will carry 800' of 5" hose because that is what WE need it to carry. Ours will need to be able to generate its own water supply and pump its own water. If you need a pump on it then get it. Cascades are necessary on the fireground. They are however not necessary on important rigs. If you need a cascade put it on a utility vehicle or make it its own vehicle. Don't tie a Truck Co. to a Haz-Mat scene for SCBA refill and have it miss a structure fire. So endith the sermon.
As far as a platform goes, why? Don't buy one because North Anywhere has one and you have to keep up. Do a needs assessment of your territory. You may find that you need 2-75' ladders instead of a platform or even a tiller might suit you better. Consider offsets of structures. Keep in mind about roads and their limits along with bridges, tunnels and anything else that might restrict its use. An area dept. to here just bought a pumper that won't fit down half of its streets because of low clearance. Don't be that dept. Buy what you need. Money is an issue, but an educated public, city council and mayor is a good list of friends to have when it comes time to asking for funding.
I didn't mean to bash anyone, just point out what I thought. Be safe.
Thanks for the comments. Just one thing to follow up on some of Larry's comments...our department conducted an entire review of our fleet and coverage area. We determined that we were "too big" and are selling some of our trucks (five), and replacing these 5 with an aerial platform and rescue pumper.
This was after an extensive review of population growth, a review of commercial and industrial properties, manpower and staffing requirements, new construction techniques, high pressure gas lines, new commercial power generation facilities, coastal growth, etc.
We started with this process first...then worked our way to determining what we needed as a department. I found this to be a very logical and important process.
It also helps to justify new purchases to the municipal Council members and the community at large. This way we end up with what we truly need, not what we think we MIGHT need.
Saulsbury, Seagrave, ALF, and others were excluded early on in our manufacturer selection process for various reasons. This has left us with 2 major single-source manufacturers to provide us with comparable specs.
Ultimately, this will somewhat justify our "price tags" for the new trucks by being able to stand behind 2 comparable price tags for comparable trucks from comparable manufacturers. We don't want people thinking we're designing the trucks solely around 1 company, or being extravagant in our budget.
And yeah, make sure the trucks can roll down the roads, under the overpasses, over the bridges, and--most importantly--into the station.
One quick question...on a comparably equipped E-One and Pierce aerial ladder...what is the real difference in weight? I've yet to get a straight answer on this (aluminum vs. steel ladder construction) and I'm worried that some think the steel ladder makes the truck too heavy. Is this true?
Our department uses both E-One and Pierce pumpers. Five years ago after a year of research we went with a E-One 95' platform and have been extreamly happy with it. Since then have purchased 2 more E-One's.
As far as weight goes a neighboring department purchased a 100' Pierce platform the same year as us. The Pierce fully loaded with pump and NO tank is 72,000#. Our E-One fully loaded with 300 gal. of H2O is 66,000#.
As far as Ladder construction don't only look at weight ratings but look at what safety margins are used, operating range and was the test done by a third party. Other considerations are outrigger design, set up time and space. Ladder width and handrail height for egress, safety and rescue.
Well we just got rid of our '86 E-one 95' platform(thank God) for a '99 Pierce Dash 2000 100' platform. weights about 71,000lbs with rear mount steel ladder. The basket on this thing is huge and you can just walk in unlike the E-one we had you to duck under the handrail. The biggest complaint is that the chassis bounces little too much when you hit a bump in the road. The outriggers come out alot further than E-one and can shortjack IF NEEDED.
Most drivers in our dept cant stand E-one, most of our equipment is from E-one. I know some depts have great luck with them but not us. I never used E-one before i got on the job here and glad i didnt...miss my old 70 CF model Mack pierce pumper
Oh yes very important, make sure it FITS and not by an inch or two!!!!!!!