Anybody hear anything about the Pierce mid-mount having problems?
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Thread: Pierce mid-mount
01-31-2001, 04:23 PM #1fyerfyter6Firehouse.com Guest
02-03-2001, 10:19 AM #2Chris309Firehouse.com Guest
Our dept is in the middle of spec'ing a midmount, and since we already own 7 Pierce trucks, including a 75' rearmount, we were excited when they announced they were going to produce a midmount tower.
About 2 months or so ago, we called our dealer and asked if he could bring the demo so we could check it out. He told us that it may take a little while because there was such a high demand to see it, but as soon as possible, he would bring it on over.
Well, since then, we've heard some pretty nasty rumors about it, including "the ladder failed testing", "the wiring is bad", "the thing bounces all over the road", "it's going to take Pierce 2 years to actually produce one for you"...etc. Not very promising.
Then we got a phone call last week from our dealer. "The midmount is coming your way, and we can be there Thursday night." Ok, we thought, lets see firsthand what the deal is.
I will say the following, and this is FACTUAL. The truck got there at 5pm and didn't leave until about 11pm. We flew it and drove it for hours. Yes, WE operated it. Not one of those 'ok, we'll take you up and drive you around because we know the limitations' type of thing. The rep from Pierce gave us a crash course in flying it, got out of the bucket and said "have fun guys". Had it not been 20 degrees outside, we would have pumped it also. Coincidentally, it was our monthly meeting night, so we put that thing through some test. All in all, I'd say about 30 of our members took part.
As far as the truck itself, hands down the most advanced fire apparatus PERIOD. That's one reason the rep cut us loose. The truck is so easy to operate and has so many failsafe systems involved it's unreal. Pierce uses a multiplexed computer system throughout the entire truck with displays in the cab, on the pump panel, on the turntable and in the bucket. Shows everything from tranny fluid level and temp to platform height and angle. Unreal. The platform is extremely sturdy and smooth. We tried our best to rattle the thing, no dice. Driving it was nothing short of Pierce's excellent reputation, the Cadillac of firetrucks. The demo was mounted on a Dash 2000 cab, and the truck will also be available with a Lance 2000 cab.
Overall Assessment: Extremely easy to operate all around, safety features are unparalleled and very likely the most technologically advanced fire apparatus out there. A+
As far as those nasty rumors, we saw no sign of them in the 5+ hours we had the truck. But we did sit down with the Pierce rep before he left and grilled him. He was very forthcoming with the issues they've dealt with. First, it will only take Pierce 10 months to build them at first (industry norm) because they already have orders placed. Once everything settles in, they'll pump them out in 7 months. As far as the ladder test failure, that was completely untrue. As far as the wiring, it was related to the computer, not electrical and was fixed promptly and never affected operation of the truck. From what I understand, they build redundancy into the system anyway, so there are always secondary systems to backup the primary systems. As far as the bad ride rumor, again, we felt it firsthand, smooth as a babies bottom. The only other issue he mentioned, which we didn't even hear about but he willingly disclosed was a design concern with the torque box on the body. He personally noticed some rust near the rear tires, called the factory and they asked him to bring it in right away. They took the body off and found a small crack in the front of the torque box. The engineers went back to the drawing board and redesigned the part so there would be virtually no stress on it anymore. That may be what the rumor about a structural failure was about.
The bottom line is that Pierce had the demo out for months, never had any major issues, and any that they did have were corrected on the demo and the production design. The other interesting thing is that they actually used the demo as a guinea pig, and the actual production models will have many other enhancements not seen on the demo. Call your dealer to arrange to see the demo and draw your own conclusions. It's good to listen to everything you here, but don't always believe it.
LEGAL INFO: Any and all views I've expressed above and on this site are not representative of my department. They are my personal opinions and views.
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