After reading a comment regarding what should have been used as a chassis and who's buying who, I though I would throw this out to crew on...
With Federal Signal and to some degree, Freightliner becoming somewhat of a powerhouse in terms of fire apparatus with it's recent acquirings has quality gone downhill. I would tend to wager that Pierce and shortly after Seagrave lead the indistry in chassis built quality. Saulsbury for rescue body's, Pierce and still LTi for arial sticks... what else guys...???
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12-28-1999, 09:03 PM #1Tower33Firehouse.com Guest
This will start quite a debate...
12-29-1999, 09:02 AM #2SBrooksFirehouse.com Guest
Hey Twr, you know Federal Signal owns Saulsbury now, right? So I guess from here out if you want a Stainless steel Saulsbury, it's got to come on an Aluminum E-one chassis or an aluminum Spartan (E-one's new economy line) or on a commercial chassis. Saulsbury now builds a stainless steel pumper body for E-one, let's hope they keep their quality up.
Of the independent body builders left, I like Marion.
12-29-1999, 10:51 AM #3STA2Firehouse.com Guest
As SBrooks said, Saulsbury has been bought by Federal Signal. I would agree that Saulbury is the one to go with for rescue bodies, followed by E-One. As far as chassis go, I still believe in E-One followed by Spartan. ALL of Spatans cabs are aluminum. They don't even make them themselves. If you ever go to their plant you'll know what I mean. They recieve them from a mfg and finish them out. They do build nice cabs and chassis though. As far as main ladders go, there is no choice in my mind. 75' RM, 100' straight stick, 95' or 105' platform or tiller, its gotta be E-One. Pierce makes nice chassis, I actually like the Quantum. But as far as ladders go, Pierce just began making their ladders only a few yrs. ago. Before that I believe they were made by a company specializing in cranes. That means alot to me. LTI doesn't make a bad product either, I just think that E-One is stronger, safer and more capable. A second in the tower ladder category is Baker. A proven product and design. Very versatile mid-mount that is good. As far as independents go, you gotta consider R.D. Murray. Be safe.
12-29-1999, 12:45 PM #4mtnfireguyFirehouse.com Guest
For Rescues, let not forget to look at SVI (Super Vac) Our experience has been very positive with quality products and service
12-29-1999, 03:01 PM #5cra539Firehouse.com Guest
Sorry Sta2 but RD is not independant anymore-they're tied in with freightliner. Yes, spartan doesn't build the cabs-some are by cincinnati cab-but most are made by Marion for spartan. The new e-one chassis by spartan has a marion made cab. the cabs are tough.
12-29-1999, 03:15 PM #6Batt #2Firehouse.com Guest
We own 5 Pierce chassis and have a 6th on order for 03/2000. We own a 1998 Pierce Tower 100 ft. Back in March of 1998 we pumped 3.6 million gallons of water on a millions pounds of tires over 2 days. The tower did not miss a beat at any time. Pierce started building ladders around 1992. before they used Smeal ladders under the Pierce name. Prior to Smeal they used LTI. I have visited the Pierce plant in Appelton Wis. several times. If in the area stop by and take a walk thru you won't be sorry.
12-29-1999, 05:09 PM #7STA2Firehouse.com Guest
I didn't realize the R.D. Murray got gobbled up by one of the big boys. When I was at the Spartan plant, almost everyone of the cabs sitting on the lot (And I mean sitting in the parking lot) were from Cincinnati cab. What model cab is Marion making for E-One? When we were at the E-One plant recently, they only build ON other selected cabs and chassis, and that list isn't very long. Not meaning to be argumentative Batt. 2, but prior to Pierce building their own ladders, they used ladders made by (Pardon my attempt at spelling, not sure how its spelled) Keonosha Crane Co. I kid you not. I probably didn't spell it right but it was a crane company I swear. Anyway, to all a good and safe New Year. Be safe.
12-29-1999, 07:59 PM #8fireferretFirehouse.com Guest
Ok, shed a little light on the whole cab issue. Not all Spartan cabs are aluminum. The City of Ithaca Fire Department has on order their 2nd & 3rd stainless steel spartan gladiators. They're a special order. Both Marion and TCM build cabs for Spartan, but the Spec was written by Spartan. The E-One Sentry II cab is basically the same cab as a Spartan Metro-Star. Pierce, Spartan and E-One all build excellent cabs (mostly aluminum) and although a little dated, Seagrave's is still one of the best built (but heavy.) Berwyn Heights' Truck/Rescue 14 just got a new Saulsbury Heavy Rescue on a Stainless Seagrave (answer's the question about what you can get a Saulsbury on.) Don't know about Pierces' original aerial's, but they used to build on Sutphen and LTI. However, Aerialscope (now owned by FWD, who owns Seagrave) builds the strongest, longest lasting boom and they use the same box construction used in most crains.
12-29-1999, 10:41 PM #9Batt #2Firehouse.com Guest
STA2 YOU ARE CORRECT ON THAT ISSUE. THE COMPANY IS LOCATED NORTH OF THE PIERCE PLANT IN WIS. I CAN,T SPELL IT CORRECT EITHER. THE COMPANY DOES MAKE CRANES FOR LARGE SHIPYARDS AND THE LOGGING INDS. THE PIERCE LADDERS ARE WELDED AT THIS PLANT AND SHIPPED TO THE APPELTON PLANT FOR INSTALLATION. AS WELL AS I KNOW THE WELDING IS PERFORMED BY AND QUAILITY CONTROL IS BY PIERCE WORKERS.
AS YOU CAN TELL I HAVE PIERCE BLOOD IN MY SYSTEM. NO PROBLEM WITH TELLING ME ABOUT THE CORRECTION ON THING ABOUT THE FIRE SERVICE IS EVERYONE HAS AN DIFFERENT VIEW OR IDEA. KEEP IT BURING TILL WE GET THERE TRACEY
12-30-1999, 12:29 AM #10Brian PrattFirehouse.com Guest
Our "Custom Fire" engine bodies are great but the Peterbuilt cab and chasis leave somthing to be desired. They were an attempt to save our small city some money. The more small companies that get gobbled up might leave smaller cities with less to choose from. But I am happy to say we are budgeted for a top of the line tower-ladder next year. I am hoping for E-One, still the safest ladders on the market. The bid winner will be anounced soon. It also helps to have specific dealers in your districts, they try harder to give you a better deal.
My views...not EFD
[This message has been edited by Brian Pratt (edited January 04, 2000).]
12-30-1999, 01:21 AM #11SBrooksFirehouse.com Guest
Yes we've got a Seagrave / Saulsbury... but Saulsbury bid on it before they were completely and finally owned by E-one. I'd be suprised if they do anymore bodies for other chassis manufacturers.
I'd have to say my all time favorite for squads now would probably be a Mack CL chassis with a Saulsbury or RD Murray, simply because I prefer stainless to aluminum in squad bodies (squad bodies are typically larger than pumpers and trucks [trucks might be longer but they've usually got a huge torque box]) and as the larger bodies flex, it fatigues the aluminum.
I agree with STA2, i think that E-ones have the best ladders out there, considering tip load and jack spread, as well as vehicle handling. For tractor-drawn aerials I'd go with seagrave...no one else sets up as fast. Plus you've got to put a lot of aluminum to get the strength of steel...no problem if it's on top, but if you've got to look around it from the tiller cage, well, it gets in the way. Gotta give it up for the Baker (whoops!-Seagrave Aerialscope) for lifetime achievement for durability.
Pumpers? I see less differentiation here, but if I had to pick, I'd still go with seagrave, built to last in stainless. Pierce are nice as well, but man is it cramped up front.
All we need now is for someone to make a Titanium aerial ladder...now that would be neat. (if a bit expensive)
[This message has been edited by SBrooks (edited December 30, 1999).]
12-30-1999, 10:35 AM #12edfcFirehouse.com Guest
Obviously everybody has their preferences. I wish you could take a little bit of somebody elses rig and build your own. However, we took delivery of a 4Guys engine built on an HME LFD/10 Chassis in July and we are most happy. In fact we are satisfied enough we just signe a contract with them to build our squad. For those of you not familiar with 4Guys check out their website at http://4guysfire.com. The East Derry Fire Company engine is on the opening page of their website. Our entire shopping experience with 4Guys and Commonwealth Fire Equipment was great.
12-30-1999, 01:19 PM #13fireferretFirehouse.com Guest
sbrooks, Saulsbury was bought out by Federal Sygnal over 2 years ago and I'm pretty sure they'll still build on anyone. With all the consolidation, the problem is that chassis manufacturers are associated with the Big Boys and won't sell chassis to final manufacturers who are owned by competitors. Companies like Pierce and E-One won't sell their chassis to any body manufacturers and companies like American LaFrance and HME won't sell to competitors. Often, though, they will sell to the customer and most of the good final manufacturers will build on any chassis you bring them (Volvo, Peterbuilt, Ford, GMC, Spartan, HME ...) Remember, whose name plates are all over the truck -- usually NOT the chassis manufacturers (except their normal markings.)
12-31-1999, 12:15 AM #14JBFireFirehouse.com Guest
I happen to be very close to a great number of these builders. Marion, Seagrave, Pierce, Welch, JB, 3D (ALF Now) and Oshkosh. Our dept has three pierce (2 Engines and 1 Platform). Our new 3D(ALF) Quint will be delivered this spring. Our Pierce trucks have held up for the most part. The vital parts of the truck (Engine,Pump,Transmission,Aeri al)...Fantastic! The little things that you count on every day (switches,window cranks,paint,door latches,springs)...seems like the surplus from Yugo. Dont get me wrong, there is a reason that we have three Pierce trucks, quality of the prior two ('83 &'85). The third (a '92), does not seem to have that quality that Pierce once did.
During our specs of the newly ordered truck, we had narrowed to Pierce and 3D (ALF). The choice came down to the things 3D was able to do and Pierce didn't want to was a major play in the factor. We were willing to overlook the little things, since the major mechanicals haven't been much of a concern.
It is my oppinion that ALF chose 3D, Becker and RD Murray because of the quality that they provide. It is the same reason that Oshkosh purchased Pierce and the MB purchased Freightliner, who purchased AI, ALF and all these other body builders.
Perception of who has the greatest benefit/value/quality to the $$$$$$ is all in the eyes of the person holding the Checkbook.
12-31-1999, 10:56 AM #15cra539Firehouse.com Guest
SBrooks, in regards to the 'whoops- seagrave aerialscope' comment, look who's body is used on them. i've been to the body builders plant and witnessed the bodies being built for the aerialscopes. They're 5 miles down the road from seagrave.
12-31-1999, 11:04 AM #16cra539Firehouse.com Guest
As far as aluminum not taking the flex as good as stainless, its all in the engineering and quality of construction. stainless will crack too under stress. you have to engineer to allow for flex no matter what the body is made of, aluminum, stainless, galv, plastic or whatever.
12-31-1999, 03:11 PM #17fireferretFirehouse.com Guest
The biggest cause of stress fractures in body material in a lack of acounting for flex a truck. Frame rails will flex under load and additionally will move independent of eachother (i.e. each can go up or door without affecting the other rail.) Manufactures who do not take this into account and try to attach a body (basically a rigid box) without allowing for flex in the mount will find subsbtantial body cracks in any material (Al, SSt or galveneal.)
JBFire, It's funny that in your list of what worked well on your new trucks, you list those items not manufactured by manufacterer that you purchased them from. Engines, Transmissions and Pumps are all common to all manufactures because the are purchased from companies like Detroit Diesel, Cummins, Allison, Hale, Waterous, etc and then they install them on their trucks.
Aerialscope bodies (since being purchased by FWD) were built by Saulsbury and are now built by Marion. However, the booms themselves will outlast two or three bodies or chassis, no matter who the manufacturers.
12-31-1999, 05:36 PM #18SBLGFirehouse.com Guest
The Pierce ladders were/are built by Kewaunee Enginering in Kewaunee Wi. They are ( were) subsidery of Marine Travel lift of Sturgeon Bay Wi ( builders of BIG boatlifts).Recently Oshkosh bought Kewaunee enginering giving them single source. I dont know where the Nova Line that Pierce bought is in all this rumor was they were moving it from Canada to Wisconsin
12-31-1999, 08:22 PM #19STATION2Firehouse.com Guest
12-31-1999, 08:28 PM #20STATION2Firehouse.com Guest
At the risk of sounding ignorant, can someone explain the benefit of a stainless body over alumium? An area dept. recently purchased an engine with a Spartan Gladiator MFD flat roof cab and chassis with a G-S stainless rescue body. That thing has got to be heavy and it was expensive. It looks great and they appear to be getting good service from it. Just curious. Be safe.
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