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Thread: who is the best fire truck company

  1. #1
    ladderman Guest

    Post who is the best fire truck company

    who is the best fire truck company and why?
    is it american la france e-one smeal pierce saulsbury kme or others

  2. #2
    firecadet613 Guest




    Joe Thomson

  3. #3
    ENGINE18-3 Guest


    Mack was with the old CF's. But now Pierce or Seagrave.

    The statements above are my own opinions

    FF Greg Grudzinski
    Oaklyn Fire Dept.
    Station 18-3

  4. #4
    86Rescuetech Guest


    WOW, this is a touchy subject. In the past, Pierce had the best quality in pumpers, Grumman had the strongest ladder, and Saulsbury made the best Rescue. Now, who knows. One thing I like is a single source company. It takes alot of the hassle out of follow up and warranty work. American LaFrance has come back strong and putting LTI ladders on them doesn't hurt.

  5. #5
    eng10drvr Guest



  6. #6
    FireOne Guest


    They are all good or they wouldn't be in business. Everyone has a personal preference.

  7. #7
    HHoffman Guest

    Thumbs down

    I'll take any but KME. I have worked on most of them with no trouble. KME has always had problems.

    Henry C. Hoffman Jr.

  8. #8
    WFD2122 Guest


    The best fire truck company is the one that will give you what YOU want, not what they happen to have or need to get rid of. Salesmen will promise you everything, but can they deliver? If you're looking to get a new truck, email me and I'll tell you about writing and rewriting specs four times this year, just to please the bean-counters uptown. Quality has been sacrificed, and we may wind up with something we know will be trouble. Sorry for the editorial, but the "Best" truck is the one built to your standards and expectations. Brand? I, like other postings here, have my favorite. But it's my opinion, and I'll keep it to myself for now.

  9. #9
    Engine 101 Guest


    With out a doubt ALF

    This is how I rank them
    ALF. E-one, Seagrave, Pierce
    To bad Mack is not around

    Tim Macias
    Chenzo likes this.

  10. #10
    esvfdfirefighter Guest

    Thumbs up


    Tom Pysh
    Ellsworth/Somerset V.F.D.

  11. #11
    FORT ff Guest


    1. Mack
    2. Seagraves
    3. American LaFrance/ Pierce

    bit of a tie there, i like them both alot.

    Mack Aerialscopes were the greatest trucks, now seagraves is stepping in with Mack's now retiring.
    Mack was always and always will be the best.

    All my best.

    These are my own ideas and opinions and do not reflect the Fort Washington Fire Company in anyway.

  12. #12
    TCFire Guest


    Our Company owns:

    1999 ALF/General Safety pumper
    1990 Intl/KME pumper
    1994 Intl/Marion 14' Walk-In Rescue

    So far (15 months) the ALF/General is a real nice truck, very few teething troubles. Quality is good, no major beef's. The extra money for the ALF, so far, has been worth it.

    The International chassis' on the other two have been fine, both are 2 doors with no frills.

    The Marion rescue has been a good truck, it goes to all calls. Quality is pretty good, only goofy problem has been scene light lens on the side of the box mysteriously popping off and disappearing. It's happened on all four of the lights (2 each side). Marion is scratching their heads on that one.

    KME is ok, serves as our hydrant truck/tanker as it carries 1500 gals and has a rear dump. Problem is it should've had rear tandem, its slightly overweight on the back axle and is tough on tires and brakes.
    Quality is fair, electrical has had problems, general fit/finish is not as good as the others.

  13. #13
    mike021 Guest

    Thumbs up

    My personal Prefernce is Pierce.

    My fav saying....

    This is your brain... Pierce
    This is your brain on drugs... E-One

  14. #14
    pwc606 Guest


    The quality is in the product tested over time. Who has a good product? Look around and see who is selling the most equipment with the highest customer satisfaction. Don't ask the sales rep about quality. He is going to tell you that his product is the best on the market. Talk to the owner/operators.

  15. #15
    ladderman Guest


    i have talked to alot of departments form around the country and i have herd the best from saulsbury and e-one and the a lot of bad things from kme and alf pierce is a good truck too

  16. #16
    EONESUX Guest


    Hmmm! This might be a no-brainer.

    1. Pierce!!!
    2. Quality (seen some good trucks come of their production line.
    3. Seagrave
    Might throw General in the mix.

    KME Keep
    E-one Well! Enough said.

    These are my opinions and you can not change them.

  17. #17
    FFCode3EMT Guest


    E One and Seagrave.

    **The preceding comments in no way represent the views of my department, its members, or associations that it may belong to.**

  18. #18
    m. rose Guest

    Thumbs up

    Mack was the best, and pierce right behind. Excellent quality and workmanship with Pierce. "Professional" tradesman in the company are what make Pierce so successful.


  19. #19
    ENGINE 52 Guest


    My dept. operates a 1990 Pierce Lance
    1984 Pierce Arrow
    My choice is Pierce all the way!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. #20
    HAMMER14 Guest


    It all depends on what you are looking for:
    Chassis and Engines - Seagrave, Pierce
    Squad bodies - Saulsbury
    Trucks - Seagrave, LTI, Pierce - This
    includes tiller trucks. By the way
    are the only way to go, unless it's
    a Baker.
    Towers - What else.. Baker of course!!

    Junk - E-one, KME, new ALF.

  21. #21
    HAMMER14 Guest


    It all depends on what you are looking for:
    Chassis and Engines - Seagrave, Pierce
    Squad bodies - Saulsbury
    Trucks - Seagrave, LTI, Pierce - This
    includes tiller trucks. By the way
    are the only way to go, unless it's
    a Baker.
    Towers - What else.. Baker of course!!

    Junk - E-one, KME, new ALF.

  22. #22
    LHS* Guest


    If American's vote with their checkbook, and I believe they do then the largest are the best:

    1. E-One/Sualsbury
    2. Pierce
    3. KME
    4. Central States
    5. LaFrance

  23. #23
    M1NFD Guest


    I have to agree with the Mack statement. They built an indestructable truck and were at the time the only ones to give FDNY a 5 year unconditional warrentee. Any manufacturer will let you build a toad though and go too light with its construction. For expample there are many Pierces here in my area where the department didnt want to spend a lot and put the smallest motor in that would spin the pump. End result is a truck that is WAAAAAY underpowered. Seagrave has been around forever and their engineers will not let you build something that doesnt work because they dont want thier name on it. KME has had lots of quality problems in our area, which is right now the most popular builder, but they seem to use the cheapest components in the trucks. E-one is a throw away truck, but thier ladders seem to be OK. Hahn was a durable truck that lasted many years(Boston) but at the end of the companys life everything they built had the body rust off it the week after you wash it the first time. They are an Excellent candadate for refurbs though, it seems they took thier toughness cue from Mack. American Lafrance is back and in a BIG way. Right now they have the best dealer network being teamed with Frieghtliner, and thier people seem to have the appropriate training and are not just truck mechanics workign on fire apparatus. No more shipping the truck 1000 miles back to the factory for repair work. Alf is building one hell of a truck and it can be configured in more ways than most manufacturers. Keep and eye open for the new ALF unimog brush rig for example. So remember,the 3 major things in what makes a truck good are Quality of parts used to build it, Specs used to design it, and support once it is built. I think ALF wins this hands down

  24. #24
    FireGuyNeil Guest


    They all started out somewhere. For many years most swore by there CF Macks, Seagraves, and ALF's. All were good trucks, each offered something the others didn't and all of them rusted. Times have changed alot in the past 15 years. I personally feel that if you properly design/spec. your apparatus and the manufactor properly engineers, builds, and stands behind what they have created most apparatus built today are good. I also feel that you can get a better quality piece of apparatus from the smaller manufactures than some of the bigger ones. This is mainly due to the assembly line theory. Consider these things: it's kinda like cars and trucks we drive every day. Some of us may have a Chevy/GMC, Ford, or Dodge. Some may have Toyotas, Nissans, or even Jeeps. We all buy and drive different ones every day and for many different reasons. We all have different locations, weather, conditions, roads, and even altitudes. There are many reasons why we chose what we drive. When it comes to fire apparatus, what may work for me may not work for you. I hope we all buy what we think will work best and not just what our neighbor has or something bigger and with more gadgets on then. Don't be affriad to break trends such as several department have done in the past 5 years.
    I would also like to say I have no idea how the NFPA can say what sould be the standard for the fire service nation wide. They are always changing things but sometimes the chnages seem to make little or no sense. They get entirely to much influence from fire truck component and apparatus manufactures. Don't getme wrong, it's great to get expert help but sometimes it's gotta be a conflict of interest.
    Now back to the main subject at hand.
    If I had to pick the one I feel the who is the best could only be done one way. I would take all the apparatus I currently operate or have operated in the time during my fire service career. Which manufacture could build all of these different types? Which could build them exactly as they are or something equivalent.(apples to apples) Which could build them all exactly how I would have wanted them? (money being of no object of course)
    Here is what I came up with.
    Manufactures with their own custom chassis's-
    1. Pierce-
    2. KME-
    3. E-One-(only builds aluminum custom cabs)
    4. ALF-(doesn't offer elliptical tankers)
    5. Seagrave-(doesn't offer totally aluminum cabs or bodies)
    6. Fererra-(uses someone else's ladders)

    Manufactures using HME or Spartan chassis's
    1. Rosenbauer America - General Safety, Central States, RK Aerials, Metz Aerials
    2. E.V. Team - Quality, Luvern,& Road Rescue
    3. Smeal
    4. Marion Body
    5. New Lexington Fire App.
    (The mergers/partnerships seem to be the new trend towards the future. It offers them the ability to offer a wider variety of apparatus.)


  25. #25
    rudedog Guest


    Glad to see someone mentioned New Lex -there are still some quality builders that havent got eaten by the big boys. And I wish they still built Hahns ,Howes and Orens

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