1. #1
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    Default Pierce-KME Is there a best choice ?

    My fire department is currently getting ready to go to bid for new apparatus. We want a single source manufacturer since we are looking to purchase a Quint, an Engine and a Rescue. All the same chassis. What is are best choice and if there are any other manufacturer suggestions please let me know.

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    Nope, you hit it right on ther head, Pierce and KME are the only two builders of fire trucks in the U.S.

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    How about E-one out of Ocala Forida? Maybe, Seagrave. If you purchase a KME, you might as well buy two, you'll need the extra one for spare parts!

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    Originally posted by the7tower:
    <STRONG>Nope, you hit it right on ther head, Pierce and KME are the only two builders of fire trucks in the U.S.</STRONG>
    Haha

    (hopefully that was a joke)


    Last edited by Resq14; 05-24-2011 at 05:15 AM.
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    We recently purchased a Pierce Lance pumper. We have had a Pierce Arrow ladder for 10 years. We haven't had any real problems with the ladder in the 10 years, runs great, operates great for us. The pumper is still brand new, haven't had a chance to put it to any tests yet. It has the new compressed air foam system. It can be seen on <a href="http://www.glickfire.com" target="_blank">www.glickfire.com</a> under apparatus and new deliveries. Feel free to drom me a e-mail maybe you can slide down and check it out. But from my experiences with Pierce, I wouldn't buy anything else.

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    KME- Keep Mechanics Employed!!!

    But I'm pretty sure La-- I mean the7tower would like you to buy a few E-Ones.

    But if you want a real truck, Pierce will be happy to fix you up...
    These are my opinions and not those of the organizations for which I work and/or volunteer.

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    Our department has always gone with Pierce. We are taking delivery of two Saber pumpers on Sunday. We have very few problems with our Pierces now. I dont believe we will buy anything else. I know some surrounding departments have bought other brands of apparatus and have not been happy with them at all.

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    Pierce will be real happy to fix you up with one of their trucks huh? They sure are fixer-uppers...

    Did You Know...<br />that you, too can own your very own Pierce truck for minimal cost. It's simple. Just go to a Pierce fire department and follow one of their trucks down the street. Then simply pick up the pieces it leaves behind. Pretty soon, TADA! Enough parts for one complete Pierce.<br /> <img src="tongue.gif" border="0">

    I used to laugh at all the stories of the constant maintenance issues with Pierces. Now I just yawn because it's old news.

    Why would I want to buy a "Pierce of $&#^" when other alternatives exist?

    Now this probably wasn't a fair thing to write. Afterall, you will probably agree that ALL manufacturers have lemons. I'd just rather buy from a company that doesn't enjoy growing lemon trees. It's hard to get anything other than a lemon from a lemon tree.

    This was all said in jest, of course. <img src="rolleyes.gif" border="0">
    Last edited by Resq14; 05-24-2011 at 05:15 AM.
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    Just remeber there are Hondas and Hyundais. Both look great when they are new but how will they hold up after years of use?

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    We have a 21-year-old Pierce telesquirt and a 29-year-old CF Mack that was refurbed by Pierce 13 years ago. We beat 'em and bruise 'em and stick 'em in places they don't belong, and they just keep coming back for more.

    We also "have" a 2002 Pierce 105' Quad just going on the line in Appleton, and we expect nothing less than the same durability and service we've always gotten from Pierce. We won't be disappointed when it shows up at our house in April, I'm sure.

    KME builds their "world class" trucks right up the road from us, and, based on things we've heard from a few users of KMEs in the area, we didn't even bother asking them for a proposal. One thing I can say for KME is that they're really good at low bidding. Interestingly enough, being only one county away from their factory, there are very few KMEs in my county. You can draw your own conclusions...

    As was mentioned, E-One is single-source, as are Seagrave and American LaFrance. Technically, I guess, that General/Metz/Central States/Rosenbauer combination is single-source, as they are all owned by the European Rosenbauer organization (like ALF, LTI and 3-D are all owned by Freightliner). I don't know much about Darley, since I don't know of anyone who buys them anymore...at least not anyone east of Nevada. Ferrara claims to be single-source (or, at least, some of their sales guys do), but I had always heard that their aerials were built by Smeal (who is not single-source)...you'd have to check that.

    [ 11-30-2001: Message edited by: Bob Snyder ]

    [ 12-03-2001: Message edited by: Bob Snyder ]</p>

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    CHECK OUT THIS WEBSITE: <a href="http://WWW.PLEASANTHILLSFIRE.ORG" target="_blank">WWW.PLEASANTHILLSFIRE.ORG</a><br />THEY HAVE 3 SPARTAN CHASSIS BUT I'M NOT SURE WHO THE BODY MFG. IS. THEY SHOULD HAVE A CONTACT ON THIER SITE.

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    Well being from a department that has both Pierce and KME I can really answer this question for you. We have a 1994 Saber and 1988 Ford. We have 2 2001 KME engines and a 1997 KME Quint that runs as a engine/ladder company.

    That being said I would like to say the 1994 Saber is the worst truck we have. It has problems with everything from brakes to Door to windows. It has been nothing but a nightmare since we have had it.

    On the other hand the 1988 is my favorite truck to operate. It drives well and pumps well. It has been repainted and some minor body work but other than that its been a great truck. They keep a tight watch on us because they dont want us marking the 94 saber out just to get into the reserve truck.

    Now the KME's the engines have been awesome trucks. Very few problems so far and they are by far the best trucks we have had. Dependable and designed well they will serve us for years to come.

    The Quint is a 1997 and runs as engine/truck in its area. We have had some electrical problems with this truck but it was solved within the first year. I am not really a fan of the Quint but the truck is easy to drive and dependable.

    I guess what I want ppl to see is that the older trucks were just built better. I really dont see us get the same years of service of our newer trucks regardless of brand. I really wasnt a KME fan but I am a firm believer of writing good specs. On your inspection tours make sure you go over the truck well.

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    Pierce---no contesr

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    Interesting comments, never owned a Pierce but I have seldom heard bad about them (unlike E-One and many others) We presently have a 1987 Spartan/American Eagle 1250 pumper, can't buy that anymore (and that is a good thing). A '78 ALF Century - still the workhorse pumper of the station. We have a 1 yr. old Spartan/Hackney heavy rescue. Great truck so far. We considered a KME but the salesman talked us out of it when he started telling us all the things that "couldn't be done" on the heavy rescue. Many of which we had on a 20 yr. old truck and ALL of which we have on the new one. (maybe someday he will come by and see how it "can be done".) WE are currently beginning to spec a new Pumper (the eagle is getting tired), not sure yet what we are going to lean toward.<br />John

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    Well if someone want's to go with a K-Mart Express, so be it but we have had nothing but problems with it, as for the E-one I have heard nothing but bad things about them, and have sen some of their trucks in action, well let's say they showed up, but couldn't get it in pump gear or something else wouldn't work on it.

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    We are a predomiately Pierce department and Town, and can't say we've has any major problems. However, we have two Saulsbury rescue/pumpers on E-one Cyclone II chassis on order. The reason we changed is that we felt that the Saulsbury body was built much better than the Pierce. We are getting a 100% stainless steel body, Pierce doesn't even offer that. The closest thing that Pierce offers is an Aluminum body, but the downfall is that it is mounted on a steel support structure.

    Click here for drawings of our trucks:<a href="http://www.tcfd.com/apparatus/page.php?page=news" target="_blank">Saulsbury Pumper/Rescues</a>
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    [quote]Originally posted by TCFD12:<br />[QB]However, we have two Saulsbury rescue/pumpers on E-one Cyclone II chassis on order.<hr></blockquote>

    You'll love them.

    Great chassis, great body. We have one very similar.

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    [quote]Originally posted by TCFD12:<br /><strong>We are a predomiately Pierce department and Town, and can't say we've has any major problems. However, we have two Saulsbury rescue/pumpers on E-one Cyclone II chassis on order. The reason we changed is that we felt that the Saulsbury body was built much better than the Pierce. We are getting a 100% stainless steel body, Pierce doesn't even offer that. The closest thing that Pierce offers is an Aluminum body, but the downfall is that it is mounted on a steel support structure.

    Click here for drawings of our trucks:<a href="http://www.tcfd.com/apparatus/page.php?page=news" target="_blank">Saulsbury Pumper/Rescues</a></strong><hr></blockquote>

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    Sorry I just meant to grab a part of that post.

    Pierce does offer stainless steel bodies.

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    [quote]Originally posted by Mike3:<br /><strong>Sorry I just meant to grab a part of that post.

    Pierce does offer stainless steel bodies.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Sorry, Pierce does not offer a stainless steel as a Heavy Duty Rescue pumper style body. Maybe in something else??? <img src="confused.gif" border="0">
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    Stay away from KME, we hae had nothing but problems. We also recently got an HME and that has been an even worse experience.

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    Wisconsin has several Truck Builders (Pierce, American LaFrance, Marion, US Tanker, Welch, Seagrave, and Darley to name a few) within a relatively small drive from one another. Our department is within an hour drive of 6 of these builders. Over the years, our ALF's and Bean's were replaced with 3 Pierce. During our last truck purchase, (2000), our Old ALF (1972) was replaced by a New ALF Quint. We did not purchase a Pierce, even though we have three others. Our choice came down to purchase who WE felt would build us the truck we wanted. Not what we read or who we talked to or who bashed what truck builder. Every truck builder will build a lemon and every one will build a rock solid unit. You take a chance no matter who builds your truck!

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    never owned a Pierce but I have seldom heard bad about them

    If you paid Porche prices for a VW, would you tell anyone you're having problems with it?

    I'm not saying Pierce is the VW of the fire service, but all apparatus have problems, regardless what E-One-sux-***** (who by the way has never presented any evidence of a legit problem that could be blamed on E-One) and others have to say.

    All apparatus have problems. Call any mechanic shop that specializes in apparatus repair and they'll tell you one has no more problems than the other, Pierce just has blind followers like E-One-sux-***** who obviously have no agenda and don't get to ride in the truck they want that will make spit up about everyone else.

    e-one-sux aren't you the same clown that tried to blame E-One because on of your guys drove the truck into a bar ditch or off a culvert or something like that?
    It's only my opinion. I do not speak for any group or organization I belong to or associate with or people I know - especially my employer. If you like it, we can share it, you don't have to give me credit. If you don't, we are allowed to disagree too (but be ready to be challenged, you may be on to something I'm not). That's what makes America great!

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    I am from a fairly busy department, many years ago our station was protected by only Mack fire apparatus. Once Mack went to the way side we began to replace our engines with Pierces; these '81 and '83 1250 gpm pumpers are still in great shape with minimal maintenance issues. In the early nineties our department came under our local government, which meant no more buying what we wanted. It was now low bid time, and that is exactly what we got. In 1996 we purchased a KME Renegade Pumper, I don't know of a time we did not have any problems with it, let me list the good ones: Delamination of the paint off the body, doors don't seal, doors fall open, latches on doors fall apart, door open warning continually fails, electrical system does not produce enough volts, foam pro system installed upside down, foam system installed with light weight hose which constantly burst and dump all 30 gallons of foam on the ground, pump valves plumbed wrong, ac unit leaks into cab, air horn switch shorts out, cab mounts broke (nothing like have your cab not connected to the chassis), cab jacks can not raise the cab, nor lower it because they leak too much hydraulic fluid, etc, etc, etc. Since all of this we have just completed our new bid for two new engine rescues, both will be Pierce. Hope this helps you in your quest for a quality engine.

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    As has been said so many times before.. they all make good ones and bad ones. Have a good spec, do some research and make plenty of inspections to ensure the work is going right. Low bid is really only a bad thing when you have a lousy spec. Spec what you want and you get it built your way.

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