Thread: E-One Issues

  1. #1
    CAPT123 Guest

    Post E-One Issues

    I would like to hear from anyone running E-One equipment. We are running all E-One vehicles right now, all purchased prior to my arrival at the Department. Recently have had tremnedous electrical problems with the 1990 Protector and a 1996 Hurricane. The Hurricane was out for 3 weeks for a suspected transmission problem, but tuerned out to be electrical. The bill was 5000.00 dollars, but the garage only wanted three because it was such a learning experience. I am spearheading the Department's search for new apparatus and need to know if anyone else has experienced problems with E-One.

    Also any experience with the American Eagle Series from E-One?

  2. #2
    Capt. Skippy Guest


    Our E-One force is as follows: At Station No. 1: a 1998 Freightliner/E-One Heavy Rescue, a 1990 Ford/E-One Engine (1250 gpm/1500 gallons), a 1996 E-One Protector Engine (1250gpm/1000 gallons). At Station No. 2: a 1993 E-One Protector Engine (1250gpm/1500 gallons) and a 1987 Ford E-One Protector XL (1250gpm/750 gallons).

    Of these units, the only problems have been with the 1987 Ford E-One Protector XL. It's problems have been associated with the motor's turbo unit. It has seen heavy service though and is due for replacement in 2002. Beyond that, no major problems, electrical or otherwise. We have had some minor post-delivery problems, but then I have those with every new personal vehicle I have ever bought as well. We deal with All American Fire Equipment out of Washinton Courthouse, Ohio. They have always bent over backwards to assist us.

    I suspect that your trans/electrical problem may have very well been with the electronics of the transmission. If this is true, the problem is with the trans. manufacturer, not E-One.

    If you chose another manufacturer, great, but I highly recommend steering away from Seagrave for ANY apparatus. They have been to date the WORST manufacturer I have ever had to deal with over any product. Just ask FDNY Ladder 104, or Kansas City, or more recently Seattle!

    Good Luck with your search.

    [This message has been edited by Capt. Skippy (edited May 23, 2000).]

  3. #3
    Nick SBFD 6 Guest

    Red face

    We have an 88 hurricane and it has seen some use, overall the truck is great, but the electrical system is funky, during a storm a couple of weeks ago it shut down on us, this is the firts time that has happened, so it's probaly not a big deal, before that a few years ago the Q siren brake was shorting out and cutting the engine off, makes for a wild ride to scenes, but that was a quick fix by a local mechanic. overall the truck has been great and hasn't been a problem at all

  4. #4
    STATION2 Guest


    Captain Skippy, I don't mean to be argumentative but... It was Ladder Co. 108 and the Seattle incident was a Ward La France w/a maxim aerial. Be safe.


  5. #5
    resqb Guest

    Thumbs down

    My dept. has 2 e-one's, a cyclone 2 rescue pumper and a quint (I don't work on it so I'm not sure of the chassis). I'm not sure if we got a lemon or 2 but here goes.
    The quint has lost its windshield twice (both right after delivery). Also the compartment doors occasionally pop open due to body flex. The A/c also hasn't worked since it was purchased.
    The rescue is a different story...It's been OOS more than a year of the 5 years its been in town. Welds cracking, transmission problems, Blown pistopn in the engine, blown turbo, electrical problems, cab hinge pins broken, overweight front axle (when the company split the body at the pump panel to ease the weld crack problem it shifted weight forward), cab aluminum corrosion, A/C consistantly broken, ladder compartment isn't enclosed. Generator blew up, genereator enclosure opened while going down the road and ripped welds (from the previously mentioned body flex point added). When it's in service the trucks great, but if I have to strip it one more time....argh

  6. #6
    Capt. Skippy Guest



    I stand corrected on Ladder 108, looked at the report too quickly I guess. As for Seattle - I have to blame the Chief, he relayed it to me. That's what I get for not checking it out first I guess!

    As for the corrections - always welcome. If I was never wrong then I guess I could walk on water too!

    Be safe, train safe!

  7. #7
    CAPT123 Guest


    Update on our E-One problems. While operating at a house fire on Sunday the 1990 Protector began to billow white smoke from the exhaust. In the shop getting the Turbo replaced. Today the 1996 cyclone completely shut down while filling a dunk tank for a local school, shifted itself to neutral and shut down, won't shift and had to be towed.

    Thanks all for your respones, keep them coming.

    Capt Skippy, could you be more specific regarding the problems with Seagrave, we are awaiting bid specs for a truck from them.

  8. #8
    rino Guest


    Sounds like you are having trouble with apparatus components, not the manufacture?

  9. #9
    S. Cook Guest


    rino quite possibly hit it if your rig has an Allison electronic tranny. Newer Allison trannys auto shift to nuetral when they get too hot (around 275 deg), then after 20 seconds the engine shuts down.

    Also, when talking about electrical problems, tell us what they are. Trannys have electrical systems seperate from the rig builder, the engine does, the light bar does, the siren does...

    Not to repeat Capt. Skippy, but your Hurricane was out for an electrical problem related to the tranny. Is it E-Ones tranny or the tranny your department spec'd? Is the electrical problem in the tranny itself or somewhere else?

    The wiring between the switch and component is generally (not always though) the mfg, but the component belongs to the component mfg. If your light bar craps out as a result of something unrelated to the wiring OUTSIDE the lightbar, it's not E-One, Pierce, Quality, ALF, or any other builders fault, it's the fault of whoever built and/or maintains the lightbar.

  10. #10
    Capt. Skippy Guest



    First, go to Fire Politics Forum and look for my post dated 3/2/2000. It was originally posted by me on 1/18/2000. Also check my post on Apparatus Innovation dated 1/31/2000 (list all topics to pull them up). It involves a 100' Seagrave stick.

    Since my last posting on this topic, I was suspended for 30 days over this issue (seems I embarrassed a councilman in front of the County Firefighters Association over this piece of junk), retained a lawyer, still awaiting an engineering letter from SeaGrave and depending on what this letter states, I'll be moving the issue to the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation for their investigators to pursue the issue against the City of Eaton (My wonderful part-time employer).

    I highly suggest you go to the US Fire Administration's Site ( and download the report on Aerial Ladder Collapse Incidents. Three of the five collapses involve Seagrave. Call Kansas City and inquire about their Seagrave collapse.

    The letter I mentioned above has been requested from top Seagrave executives five times in the last three months and we still do not have a letter response. I honestly can not believe that this company will stay in business if New York ever wises up and dumps them.

    Contact me directly by e-mail if I can provide you with more!

    Be safe, be aware and be educated!
    Capt. Skippy

  11. #11
    WRENCH Guest


    As a suggestion ,if any one needs an answer to a specific problem. Go to are some really good experinced mechanics on that forum.

  12. #12
    FireGuyNeil Guest

    Thumbs down

    My previous volunteer department had two E-One apparatus that were bought at the same time. Both are on Spartan Gladiator chassis because E-One didn't offer raised roof custom cabs at the time. The rescue is a 1991 LFD cab with a 24" raised roof. E-One 18' walk-in rescue body. It also has a 300 gallon water tank and a Hale 250 gpm pto pump. The engine is a MFD with a 10' raised roof. Hale 1500 gpm pump and 1000 gallon tank. It has high side compartments on both sides and hydraulic/electric ladder and hard sleeve racks on both sides. We have had numerous problems with cracking on both units. They have done almost everything possible to correct the problems with the rescue body. More chassis frame crossmembers, more body crossmembers, more supports, additional welds, ect. (Yes they removed the body from the chassis once.) The pumper body has cracked 5 times in the same placed directly under the crosslays. E-One no longer builds pumpers this way. (The pump panel attached to the compartment body.) I can say the pumper has the nicest pump panel of any truck I have ever operated and the hydraulic ladder/hard sleeve lifts are nice and trouble free. Both pieces have to high rear gear ratios - not enough from the start and all top end. E-One never did a set-up prep on the chassis's and both had minor problems that needed corrected once we took delivery. The transmission cooler exploded once on the rescue truck while at a call but it was due to materials failure and not workmanship. Spartan sent us a new one air mail asap. Spartan has given us minimal problems just things we didn't spec right from the beginning. As for E-One I'm not sure I would buy another one. I do know alot of departments with heavy rescues and larger pumpers who have had problems. Some departments who own E-One's love them and have had minimal problems others have had way to many and hate them. It's like flipping a quarters. Good luck and be safe.

  13. #13
    391HD Guest


    My observation is: Is there a price to pay for fast delivery? I know E-ONE always advertised the fastest delivery in the industry.
    If the components fail, were they properly installed to that manufacturer's specifications? I find it interesting that the "Q" siren brake on the Hurricane chassis was shorting and causing the engine to stop, when E-ONE is OWNED by Federal Signal, who makes that siren.
    The Ford Motor Co. had a host of problems with their ambulance chassis, until they instituted the Qualified Vehicle Modifier program, making amb. manufacturers abide by their specifications when installing bodies on the Ford chassis.
    Using a single source apparatus manufacturer on a custom unit makes sense, to aviod the "finger pointing" when something goes wrong. I think they are more willing to ensure customer satisfaction in that case. If they're not, then it is only a matter of time before they will be out of business.
    The remarks about Seagrave are interesting as well. I know the Federal government(taxpayers), help bail them out of finicial problems about 20 years ago, and within the last 2 years, their labor force went on strike. I had the opportunity to drive past their facility in July, and it doesn't appear that many new apparatus are produced there any longer.
    Just my thoughts, sorry for the long post.

  14. #14
    Da Sharkie Guest


    I have to say that I agree with rino that a lot of the problems stated seem to be component or other manufacturer problems. I also say that you get problems with any truck you buy no matter which manufacturer it happens to be. But back to the point of the thread....

    I have had experience with pretty much only E-One since I have been on a fire department, 5 engines, 1 ladder, 1 heavy rescue and 1 ambulance which are E-Ones. No major problems other than the normal switches needing to be replaced. One engine develpoed a problem with the emergency beacons. If at an incident and the truck is just at idle and all of the beacons are on they draw down the truck and it stops running. The dealer has been unable to rectify the problem BUT if the truck is throttled up to 1500 RPM by the pump operator there is no problem with the lights doing this. An odd quirk but easily taken care of. I have heard that a lot of departments have had mostly electrical problems with their E-Ones but I have no details of these rigs.

    Also, like it was prviously stated MOST problems that develop can be easily eliminated if the truck is built by 1 manufacturer and not hodge - podged by many apparatus manufacturers. This way you don't have one company blaming the other because it worked when it left their factory.

    I didn't do it, nobody saw me do it. You can't prove anything.

  15. #15
    Thomas Guest


    Remember the days of a manual transmission and a manual PTO pump engage?

    And the twist cable throttle control, the manual crank style relief valve.

    The truck never shutting down no matter what the temp.

    Technology, good or evil?

    Better airpacks now.

    Larger cabs carrying more personnel to the scene.

    Better radios.

    cell phones.

    Poly tanks giving you the ability to carry more water-with an extended lifespan.

    I personally believe technology used in its proper place is good. It only seems to turn evil when it is used to make things more convenient such as electronic shift transmissions.

    just my opinion

  16. #16
    LeoVincent Guest


    I stand by what I have said before. E-one is a great company that is VERY well run, that build poor examples of fire apparatus. The fire service needs to learn the difference. Running a business, especialy one that is selling to the municipal market has very little to do with building a quality product. It is only a half a step diagonally from selling to the millitary.

    Big, Successful Fire Apparatus companies learn how to best play the municipal bidding game. Work the spec, use smoke and mirrors to deflect the importance of specification tricks, and make the sale. How many fire trucks are ever returned for a full refund?? Once the order is signed, the important part is over as far as the company is concerned. Building the truck is secondary.

    Leo Vincent
    Seeking Firewolf Industries Items!

  17. #17
    S. Cook Guest


    "E-one is a great company that is VERY well run, that build poor examples of fire apparatus."

    If this were the case, how could they continue to be the largest single mfg in the nation?

    "Big, Successful Fire Apparatus companies learn how to best play the municipal bidding game. Work the spec, use smoke and mirrors to deflect the importance of specification tricks, and make the sale."

    So are only the small guys the honest ones with the best quality?

    What about Pierce, ALF, Sutphen...? All big manufacturers. Are they just masters of the bidding wars?

    I submit that if what you are saying is true, that the big companies are just masters of the bidding wars using smoke and mirrors, then the people/departments buying apparatus from them are idiots - Boston, Chicago, New York, Houston, North Las Vegas, Frisco, Cypress Creek, The Woodlands....

    Would you agree? After all, if what you say is true, they're not smart enough to see they're being fooled.

    [This message has been edited by S. Cook (edited September 09, 2000).]

  18. #18
    Resq14 Guest



    There isn't too much that is unique or special about Firewolf trucks.

    Rather standard and conventional.

  19. #19
    Ladder Man Guest

    Thumbs down

    Here in the great state of Indiana, we call them E-JUNK!

  20. #20
    ricky Guest


    Check out for the latest in Houston's ongoing E One issues.

  21. #21
    LHS' Guest


    Typical news story. Dollar late and a dollar short.

    Months ago a cosmetic non-structural crack was noticed on an accessory that mounted to the frame on 13 trucks. Of course it has been widely reported that all the frames in the entire fleet had cracks, when in fact it is not the frame. It is the gadget the hydralic cylinders used to tilt the cab attack to. They were inspected and found not to be of any significant problem and did not risk the crew or the vehicles and the rigs were kept in service. All 13 were rewelded within a 10 day time frame. New pieces could be ordered to replace all the accessories.

    Of course the next thing you heard was the fact they were welded weakened the steel around it risking safety. That seems funny though the original component was welded too. So is any weld bad? Especially non-structural cosmetic welds?

    The warranty department for E-One is the Houston fire department. It was part of the contract when they bought the rigs. They make money doing their own work.

    The accessories were changed out on the entire fleet starting several months ago at no charge to the FD by E-one not the warrantee center whose job it was to do the work, the FD.

    The air problem to the engine was solved by simply changing the air filters. Earlier claims made by alleged FD members said it was a design flaw. Some air cleaners had 500 hours on them without being changed.

    What is interesting, in an earlier story over a year had passed and not a single warranty claim was filed on a fleet of 70 rigs, hundreds of work orders were falsified, and still others were hidden and there has been a bit of house cleaning in maintenance since.

    All this at the same time the union is trying to get the contract in order and staffing is down. Might be a connection.

    As long as we're sharing web pages if you really would like to know what is going on in the rumour mill of a big city simply read:

    Note, no one has to give there name to make any charge they like.

  22. #22
    engine1401 Guest


    Our department Has two E-ONE's. One is a 1985 Hurricane engine, the outher is a 1999 95' platform quint. we have never had problems of any type. the '85 has only been out of service for basic prevetive mantanance. Our department buys only E-ONE now. We have had too many problems w/ LaFrance and Seagrave!

  23. #23
    ricky Guest


    According to Larry's title block on his last post, it looks like he and I are neighbors. Welcome LHS !

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