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  1. #1
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    Jan 2002
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    Scottdale, PA
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    Exclamation 1998 American LeFrance Information Needed! Help

    I am writing to you in hopes that you can help our cause. I am located in<br />Scottdale, PA, and attached to Station 58 Volunteer Fire Department, in PA. I am in need of a listening ear to help make a serious issue come to light.<br />Our hometown has a population of around 5,000, and is a self<br />supporting Volunteer Service. As you can guess, money and time are the two most key features, that we are always fighting. In 1998, a full push to purchase a new engine was fronted. Without going into great details (at the present time), we purchased a top of the line, American La France.<br /> Since it's delivery it has been the biggest single mistake in decades for our department. Not buying the engine as per say, but buying it from<br />American La France. The paperwork trail is one that will amaze even the least educated person in firefighting. The engine was out of service at least 200 days out of the first 600 days that we had it. The new Engine suffered a blown engine around 3,900 miles, it has structural problems with the welds blistering through the paint, the pump won't work, we can't draft, the lights go out in route to calls (needless to say night time calls have a new meaning) and the list goes on. From failing at the scene of structure fires in pumping, drafting, lighting, to being unable to exit the station when it is raining.<br /> As a small department, we service a large area, and offer support to<br />the departments surrounding us. The issue of the $223,790.00 "Lemon" that we have been forced to upkeep, has brought us to this point. What would have been simple fixes, were solved by deceiving means. For example: A bad Tach System Indicator Light was repaired simply by disconnecting the wiring from it, so that I seemed to be okay. There are many more examples just as this, but I'm sure that you can get a small idea as to what we are up against.<br /> I have taken the time to put together a full time line of the American<br />La France Engine, complete, with the bill of sale, repairs that were to have been done, issues that are were effected by the bad service of the company (they even sent the truck to a repair service that didn't have a certified person to work on the truck), problems that are still haunting us today, and a complete reference as to what offers American LaFrance have made to "smooth the issue over. We want to make sure that before another fire fighter dies, the cause won't be a failure of the most import piece of equipment that supports the fight, The truck which brought him to the scene.<br /> What I need are those departments out there that have a newer American LaFrance, to share the problems that they are dealing with so that when American LaFrance comes to the arbitrating table on the 22nd of January of this month, we can display that there are problems not just with this one engine, but many. I have found several in Detriot, Houston, Ohio, but to build a strong case for the brother fire fighters through out the state, I'd like to have as much input to support our cause. You can email me at lightdoc@cvzoom.net with your information.<br />Thanks in advance and BE SAFE


  2. #2
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    Sep 2000
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA USA
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    Post

    lightdoc<br />Sorry to hear about your problems with your ALF. We bought a heavy rescue last year (and love it)and have a pumper on order (hope it's as good as the rescue).<br />We had several problems with our rescue when we took delievery but ALF fix every one of them to our satisfaction. They went to the extreme to fix the mounting to our light tower because it was something that I didn't like (but it worked the way it was).<br />Our sister station also bought a heavy pumper and they love it. They have had some problems also but have had them all corrected. As far as I know to there satisfaction.<br />I live in your area. If I remember correctly the back end of our rig wasn't built by ALF. Right? Sounds like this might be one of your problems. We made sure when we interviewed builders for our rescue that they built the entire rig. So if there was a problem there was only one place to go.<br />Our ALF has far exeeded our expectations.

    Sorry for your misfortune

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    Jan 2002
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    Scottdale, PA
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    Post

    Hi Jeff,<br />Thanks for your in-put, and spoken like a true ALF Sales Rep. But I asked for companies and departments that ARE having problems. To review items and issues just like these (Copy and paste this link)http://detnews.com/specialreports/2000/firedept/crews/crews.htm <br /> As far as who put the back end of our rig together; This company was an authorized contractor of ALF. And most of the problems that we are having stem from the Chassie. And I doubt that ALF will ever see the specs for the NEW Rescue that is about to be bought.<br /> <br />"PLEASE" address only issues about problems that are still having to be dealt with as a department or company. As far as claims of greatness of an engine. I can get that information from any rescue books' advertising pages. Thank you

  4. #4
    Senior Member ENG6511's Avatar
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    Mar 2000
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    It sounds to me that there may more to the problem then just the Engine.
    Bob Compton
    IACOJ-Proud
    IACOJ-HALL OF FAME-2003

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    Jan 2002
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    Scottdale, PA
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    Post

    Hello Bob,<br />Here's a link for you to review the trucks time line and for the trucks calendar lines. This might give you a better look into what we are dealing with as a whole. Just Copy, Cut & Paste these links to view.<br />Doc

    <a href="http://www.cvzoom.net/~ruthb/time" target="_blank">http://www.cvzoom.net/~ruthb/time line report of engine.doc</a>

    <a href="http://www.cvzoom.net/~ruthb/1998.jpg" target="_blank">http://www.cvzoom.net/~ruthb/1998.jpg</a>

    <a href="http://www.cvzoom.net/~ruthb/1999.jpg" target="_blank">http://www.cvzoom.net/~ruthb/1999.jpg</a>

    <a href="http://www.cvzoom.net/~ruthb/2000.jpg" target="_blank">http://www.cvzoom.net/~ruthb/2000.jpg</a>

    <a href="http://www.cvzoom.net/~ruthb/2001.jpg" target="_blank">http://www.cvzoom.net/~ruthb/2001.jpg</a>

    [ 01-15-2002: Message edited by: lightdoc ]</p>

  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    Jan 2002
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    Scottdale, PA
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    Exclamation

    Hello Again,<br />I'd like to thank Everyone for the great emails and Information that has been sent. We are still collecting Data about our situation (that is posted below). For those of you that are new to the post take a second and review it. Any and all information about problems will be useful.<br />Many Thanks,<br />Doc

  7. #7
    Junior Member
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    Jan 2002
    Location
    Scottdale, PA
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    Thumbs up

    To All That Have Helped and have followed this event:


    As Promissed>>>As of evening of the 22nd of January 2002, a meeting took place between ALF and Station 58, in Scottdale, PA.<br />Here is what happened. ALF's CEO and other representatives attend along with the Board and the Body of our department. The Issue of the trucks problems were examined and reviewed. I was very much surprised to find out that the problems that we have been having were found to have been caused by a lack of communications between ALF's management and/or the representatives, and NOT just a simple case of Neglect. I met and had the chance to express my concerns about the ALF Company with the CEO, and I was taken by the actions of this man. He was not only a very down to earth person, but a person that you enjoy listening to. He explained as to where the problems lied, and how they have since been corrected.


    I'm not one to read between lines, but I'm sure that since this conversation, I can only imagine as to what the correction may have been.(there maybe a few job openings) I went into this meeting with a slightly bias opinion, and left with a feeling that there is a chance for Big Business, and the people that they serve to respect each other. I state with good intentions, that if this man is the new wave of management at ALF, this company will shock the firefighters in the near future with better service, more interaction, and a top of the line product.


    ALF has not only taken our problem under it's wing, but under the watchful eye of its Management team. I caution to the other apparatus builders out there....there's a new sherif in town, and his goal is to clean up the place........


    To those of you that have written me about issues concerning problems in the past or present, your information has been delivered. Also, if you are looking for an avenue to travel, find your way to the person that cares. I don't think that this man will pass the buck....


    Many thanks to all of you that aided in this intervention, and have helped in more ways in one. I'll also keep you posted as to the outcome of coming events.


    Thanks


    Doc

  8. #8
    Senior Member ENG6511's Avatar
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    Mar 2000
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    Doc, Thanks for your post re: the meeting with ALF. If you look above at my initial post, I based my opinion on almost 30 years of representing manufacturers and consumers in product Warranty disputes including more then 300 law suits and trials to resolve them. Only the lawyers won. You did the correct thing with ALF and your problem will be resolved. If other CEO's and consumers would do what ALF and you have done my law firm would be out of business.
    Bob Compton
    IACOJ-Proud
    IACOJ-HALL OF FAME-2003

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