My engine committee has decided to recommend Pierce and American Lafrance to our company and let the members decide which one after a visit by the manufacturer to the firehouse. I would just like to know, through experiences, which one you guys would recommend and the reason(s) for your decision. Thanks.
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Thread: Pierce or American Lafrance
09-18-2000, 02:14 PM #1Pat222Firehouse.com Guest
Pierce or American Lafrance
09-18-2000, 03:37 PM #2Halligan84Firehouse.com Guest
Their both great trucks. Personally I'd go for the ALF with the RD Murray built stainless body. We have 3 of them and they are really solid, incredibly well built trucks. Im not really pleased with ALF overall as we try to purchase a new tower, but I do think the Murray body and workmanship are fantastic
09-18-2000, 08:55 PM #3ADSN/WFLDFirehouse.com Guest
The new ALF hasn't been around long enough to make an educated statement about their quality. Our department just ordered an ALF so I guess well see in a few years.
Who has service centers or parts dealers close to you? With Freightliner as a parent company parts should be readily available. (the ALF rep told us that the vast majority of parts can be ordered from any Freightliner dealer) We have had good luck with our Pierce rigs, and every rig has some problems, so I would go with whoever can be fixed with less grief.
09-19-2000, 02:38 PM #4RKSmithFirehouse.com Guest
My Department has had 10 Pierce products over
the last 13 years. We have had virtually no
problems with them. Service has been excellent. I'm not sure your average Freightliner dealer would know what to do with an ALF firetruck unless it was a drivetrain problem.
09-19-2000, 06:21 PM #5jemarFirehouse.com Guest
With PIERCE you have 8 custom chassis + non-custom. You should find something to fit your needs!!
09-19-2000, 10:58 PM #6Kevin WhiteFirehouse.com Guest
I heard that American LaFrance has mobile mechanic trucks that will get the part you need and service your vehicle right inside your station. Not sure about the truth to that but Ive heard it from many sources. But even still, Freightliner should have all the parts nessesary to do they work and if not, I guess you'll have to rely on your department mechanic to do the work.
A lot of towns around me are going with Pierce but we are expecting delivery of an ALF pump soon. They are supposed to be tough vehicles. A city not too far away has one and they love it.
09-21-2000, 01:08 PM #7morrissFirehouse.com Guest
My vote is for Pierce. We have had Pierce units since 1979. We currently have a 1987 Arrow and a 2000 Dash. We've had no rela problems and their service has been good.
09-21-2000, 02:56 PM #8laddermanFirehouse.com Guest
You are a fire dept so you want a real fire truck. Go with pierce a real fire truck unlike the Alf a very cheaply made truck but sold at a high price
09-24-2000, 12:02 PM #9grc063Firehouse.com Guest
Freightliner, who owns ALF, first started out with the notion that their Class 8 service centers would handle fire truck service. The concept was to promote 24/7 service, choice of service centers etc.. This did not work. Freightliner rapidly realized this and went on a temendous campain to sign up dealers who dealt strictly with fire apparatus. They also kept some Class 8 dealer ships that were doing a great job, others they took the apparatus sales away from. In my area, we have a dealership that has been in the apparatus industry for over 30 years, and they signed on with ALF. It has worked out very well. The one thing you have to say about the Freightliner/ALF marraige is that they saw a need to make a change and went for it. Service is EVERYTHING! As for the cheaply made comparison vs. Pierce, define cheaply made. I have seen some Pierce cabs and some other mfrs. cabs that I would not give you .02 for. One item to compare is headroom. Look at a Dash or Saber, (non raised roof), then compare it to an ALF. NO COMPARISON. We could go on & on, & I am not going to use this forum for that. Choice is what makes the world go around. What ever works for your department, go for it.
Stay Low & Safe!!
09-24-2000, 11:19 PM #10LooperFirehouse.com Guest
We have bought Pierce exclusively for 25 years and are very satisfied with them. I would recommend them to anyone.
However, what you need to do is figure out exactly what you department needs and then see which manufacturer can come the closest to filling that need, at a price you can afford. Pay attention to warranty specifics and the location of authorized repair shops -- you will have some problems with the truck, no matter which kind you get.
On a side note. If you are a department with more than one or two rigs, look real hard at selecting a manufacturer for the long haul. If you consistantly purchase from the same place, you end up with one repair facility, the trucks are all similar, you know the reps (and where to go for fun on the factory trips!) and you build a relationship with the manufacturer. Don't do like some departments and order each truck from a different company. Houston was a real bad example of this: they would buy from E-One one year, Pierce the next, then Quality, or Salsbury. I think they had a couple of trucks from almost every manufacturer in the business. HFD finally corrected this (mostly) when they made a huge order with E-One for 55 engines and a bunch of ladders.
My advice -- find a manufacturer that CAN HANDLE all of the needs of your department and stick with them.
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