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  1. #1
    Lt161
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Exclamation Any Problems with KME

    My department is purchasing a new Engine. The committee is looking at KME. I have always been a Pierce fan and know little about KME. Would those of you who have KME let me know what you think good or bad.


  2. #2
    LHS*
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Ask Pasadena Texas about their experiences.

    [This message has been edited by LHS* (edited 04-17-2001).]

  3. #3
    N2DFire
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    We currently have 2 KME rigs in our house.

    a 1994 International 4900 w/ 1000Gal/1000GPM
    and
    a 2000 International 4900 w/ 1500Gal/1250GPM

    The only problem we have had to date (that I can blame on anyone other than our dept.) is the strap that holds the exhaust pipe on the 2000 truck burnt through just after delivery - KME is currently "re-engineering" the strap. Meanwhile we replaced it with a piece of chain and the rig runs great.

    (I'm waiting for KME to come back and tell us they have decided to replace the strap with a length of chain )

    you can see pictures at http://n2dfire.tripod.com/stationbio.html and if you're really industrious - Reynoldsburg is only about 7 or so hours from here - drop on by sometime. We'd be happy to let you take them for a shake down run.

    Take Care - Stay Safe
    Stephen
    FF/Paramedic

  4. #4
    HFD_CLanger
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    My department has run with KME rigs for the past 14+ years, and I can't say that we've had any significant problems to date.

    We operate a 1987 1,250gpm/1,000 gallon LDH reel truck on a Ford C-Series and a 1993 1,250gpm/1,000 gallon 4-door International 4900 as our attack piece. We will be taking delivery of a pumper/tanker (1,500gpm/2,500 gallon) on a KME custom chassis in July which will be the first-due piece on all structure fires/alarms.

    While the KME's have worked well for us, I don't think I would pass up the opportunity of getting a Pierce for a KME.

    Feel free to email me with any additional questions.

    [This message has been edited by HFD_CLanger (edited 04-17-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by HFD_CLanger (edited 04-17-2001).]

  5. #5
    wofd1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    opinions are likes as@#*%$ everybodys got one ask me mine. we run kme engines and are currently specing another, a rescue. no problems other than dept inflicted. Now ask me about saulsbury & pierce and the boys who like them will be mad. we wont start it here. stay safe

  6. #6
    wofd1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    opinions are likes as@#*%$ everybodys got one ask me mine. we run kme engines and are currently specing another, a rescue. no problems other than dept inflicted. Now ask me about saulsbury & pierce and the boys who like them will be mad. we wont start it here. stay safe

  7. #7
    USAR29
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    My station runs (2) KME Renegade pumpers. One is a 1994, the other is a 1996... I wouldn't give you a dime for the pair of them.

    My other station runs (2) Pierce Lances... Now there is a real fire engine! The fit and finish of the Pierce puts the KME to shame... A much better built engine!!! KME is the only manufacturer that I have seen that would deliver a pumper with a warped compartment door. Their warranty also sucks... 5 year paint warranty, as opposed to 10 years from manufacturers such as E-One...

    I could go on and on... bottom line: I wouldn't buy a KME, your life may have to depend on it someday!

  8. #8
    wofd1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    yeah we we junked our pierce too. not worth the effort to saw pierce.

  9. #9
    Nate Marshall
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    KME is like buying a yugo while buying a Pierce is like getting a mercedes.

    The 3 companies to buy from are clearly:
    1.Pierce
    2.American Lafrance
    3.E-One

    Smaller comapnies like Smeal, Central States do great work. KME is trash, their management is incompetant, their dealers dont have parts, some of their shop employees are about as mechanically inclined as Bill Gates.

  10. #10
    wofd1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Could someone out there remind me how good pierces warranty work is, i keep forgeting. The pierce that i'm familiar with must be an odd ball. They repaired it twice under warranty and now that its broke again its costing us to repair it. Thats not saying about the guys that were entering the building when it **** the bed. I keep forgeting. stay safe and pierce free

  11. #11
    Chief51
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    We currently have a 1997 KME pumper on an Excel chassis and have had minimal problems with it. The biggest problem we had was with the Onan diesel generator which had a bad armature and this was eventually repaired by the Onan folks. We are located less than an hour from the factory and were able to make numerous visits during the construction of the apparatus to make sure everything was in order.

    ------------------

  12. #12
    37 Fire/Rescue
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Wink

    KME=K-Mart Engineering or Keep Mechanics Employed. Enough said.

  13. #13
    ROB Z
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    THE DEPARTMENT I BELONG TO OWNS FOUR KME'S. THE FIRST ONE PUMPER WE BOUGHT IN 1993. IT WAS A GOOD PIECES OF APPARATUS. IN 1994 WE PURCHASED A 102FT AERIAL CAT AND ANOTHER TWO PUMPERS.THEN THE PROBLEMS STARTED. THEY ARE JUST FALLING APART. WE CAN'T KEEP COMPARTMNET DOORS ON THE AERIAL. THE MOUNTING STUDS IN THE DOOR JUST SNAP AND THE DOOR FALL OFF!! THE WE ALREADY HAD TO REPLACE THE FRONT SPRINGS AND KING PINS! KME TOLD US IT WAS A LACK OF MAINTENANCE, LITTLE DO THEY KNOW WE TOOK THE TRUCK UP TO THEIR FACTORY FOR THE YEARLY PM! WE HAD TO MANY PAINT PROBLEMS WITH ALL THE TRUCK! AND ON AND ON!! I KNOW THAT THERE IS NOT A PERFECT PIECE OF FIRE APPARATUS ON THE MARKET! EVERY COMPANY HAS THEIR PROBLEMS! I AM A STRONG BELIEVER THAT PRODUCT SUPPORT & SERVICE SHOULD BE LOOKED AT WHEN PURCHASING. IT SHOULD BE AS GOOD AS THE TRUCK ITSELF, IF NOT BETTER. OUR PROBLEM WAS WE LACKED THE SERVICE AND SUPPORT.

  14. #14
    ffnbs
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Unhappy

    Constant electrical problems! We have two KME, a 1996 and a 2000. The '96 has a 55' squirt that the nozzle at the tip of the ladder wasn't even hardwired at the factory and was running on the battery backup system and wasn't realized until we had it in service for a year. The switches for the on-board generator constantly failed as with the hydraulic ladder lift. The reason for the second purchase was because we needed to make an emergency purchase when we found out our backup pumpers cab mounts ('84 Grumman) were so rusted that the DOT inspectors ordered it scrapped. The 2000 KME is a 'show truck' that had Class A & B foam, which we really wanted, already installed. Last week we were assisting PD with laddering a building to investigate a B&E and received a call to assist our rescue and couldn't get the hydraulic ladder rack to go back up. We had to 'jump' the switch which delayed us a minute or two. I think it's time NFPA gets it's act together and starts requiring 'beefed up' electrical systems that are proven to withstand moist environments (isn't there moisture involved with firefighting?). I've also heard of problems with the Pierce Quantums steps not going up when the door closes.

    When we recieved our 2000 KME and the companies rep was showing us how to work the foam system, we found out when we filled the foam tank that the hoses that connected the tank to the foam system wern't even connected so 4-5 gallons of class-A foam ended up on the ground! (embarrassing moment for the rep)

  15. #15
    86Rescuetech
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    First let me say I was a Sales Rep for KME. Enough said. Back in the day, KME was the red headed step child. Today, there are a little better. I have seen some things at the factory that would amaze you. The craftsmanship is not of the level of Pierce (which has had some problems in the past) and Saulsbury, but it is a very sound truck. My former department had spec'd a 1992 KME Renegade Pumper. A few minor problems to speak of, but nothing bad. First, the pedals are hung and not floor mounted, and the brakes squealed from day one. Their ladder line is one of the strongest in the world. They took the Grumman ladder and made improvements on it. I don't believe they have ever had one fail. Take a look at 4Guys/Spartan. My company now has three and are very happy with them. We might get our fourt if they can put a ladder on one. Just my thoughts. Be safe

  16. #16
    mike021
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Well I cannot speak with any experience of KME, but I do have 10 years of experience of Pierce with another pumper on the way and I can tell you that there is no way I would go with anything other then a Pierce. The quality of the truck is unmatched, and the service we received in even better. We have only even had one problem with our ladder in the 10 years we have had it. And that was a safety valve blowing out on the ladder pipe. It was while flowing water from the tip at a fire, but it kept goin to put the fire out. It was fixed and replaced in 24 hours. Take care and good luck, if you can get a Pierce over KME. Just my opinion.

    ------------------
    Norwood Fire Co. No. 1
    http://www.nfco1.freeservers.com

  17. #17
    jizumper-5
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Lightbulb

    Hey, does a bear crap in the woods?!

    Where to start?
    (background: 1997 KME Engine, 800+ runs a year)

    How about the bolts that hold the cab on all snapping...opps don't stop too fast

    Or the officers seat breaking loose...hey why do we need that?

    Or maybe a screwy electrical system? Well back in the old days we didn't need electricity.....

    Or on the servie end, KME connecting the foam system incorrectly...

    Need I go on...


    ------------------
    Keep Safe!

    [This message has been edited by jizumper-5 (edited 06-22-2001).]

  18. #18
    Ggg
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    See my post under KME LADDERS.

  19. #19
    WillB
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    hmm, one neighboring company absolutely LOVES their KME so much they just bought another one (they had a tanker, soon they will have a pumper that matches to go with) Another neighboring company has all pierce trucks and defends them to the end, but their less than 10 year old $275k rescue has been out of service for over 2 weeks while all of the cab rust is repaired (at their cost)

  20. #20
    heatseeker
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    LT161
    Have you considered Sutphen. Everyone has mentioned service problems and one thing I will credit Sutphen is their service. All manufacture's have problems but service is the key. My department has two Sutphen engines and every problem has been fixed by Sutphen at our station and they have been quick to respond, never more than two days.

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