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Thread: ALF or E-1 ?

  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber asaffell's Avatar
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    Default ALF or E-1 ?

    Looking for info / opinions on custom pumpers built by American LaFrance or E-1.
    I need to know pros & cons on both builders.
    1) Durability
    2) Downtime / Out-of-Service time during 1st year & causes.
    3) Response to fixing repairs by builders. Slow / fast ?
    4) Repairs that required the engine to be sent back to builder/plant or repairs done @ the department.
    Stuff like that.
    I'm looking for responses from the folks who really nit-pick & NOT those who are "just here for 24 hrs" & don't really care what they ride.
    Looking for info that pertains to the builder only.... not about other stuff / brands of equipment that were added to the apparatus. Also, not really needing info on the hybrids (example: ALF cab with General frame).
    Saffell
    1 Corinthians 1:18
    For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.


  2. #2
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    Default

    No pumper, but we have a 2001 E-One 95' Tower that is right a year old. Best aerial made and good service from our dealer. Minor warranty issues. Most serious has been the pressure relief valve on the aerial waterway had to be replaced. Other than, great rig and good service.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

  3. #3
    Member FDirish's Avatar
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    Default Unimpressed with ALF

    we are replacing our fleet with E-1s. I really like dthe older ALFs but looking a new ALF units I was disgusted with how much Freightliner desing in now in the ALF. Too much cheap plastic interiors and shoddy work. Stay with E-One.
    celer et audax

  4. #4
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    Default

    ALF or E-one, pick anything else....

  5. #5
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    Default E1 or NO ONE

    My department has up until now been an E-One Company. We have a 82' engine that has been the work horse of the department. Even after having a major accident with this truck, it came back better than before. Its like a TIMEX watch. Takes a lickin and keeps on ticking. We also operate a 97 Heavy Rescue and 99 95' Tower Ladder. Both of these trucks have been virtually trouble free and have run like champs. The other two engines that we have are American Eagles, which was a company that was devised by E-One workers back in the mid-late 80's. Although they do not carry the E-One logo, they too have been very good to us although having more problems.
    Just the other night, however the department voted to buy an ALF Engine/Tanker. The E-One salesman lost the sale, that was basically given to him wrapped with a bow. I feel that we will regret this decision for years to come. Here are some details that I learned when we researched ALF.
    Bodies are built at various "other" shops and then delivered to their main site. I have heard of various "electrical problems" with numerous ALF apparatus in my area. I was also told "off the record" that in 3-5 years ALF may be another relic due to poor business practices. ALF has been known to charge MAJOR fees for even the most minor of change orders after the contract is signed. This adds up fast too...
    Do your home work on these manufactures and you will find that a little more money invested in the E-One will save you headaches in the future. Good Luck.

  6. #6
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    Just remember one thing. You only get what you pay for. Good Luck.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Just brought back one of our Ladder Companies from the American La France facility in Lebanon Penn. It had warranty work done on the aerial which the manufacturer had found and informed us about. Our dealings with the service manager was a very pleasant experience. They setup a timely appointment,had the apparatus done on time,and even repaired a part that was not their responsibility at no cost to the department. They also had the rig completely full of fuel.

    A year ago the department had to send out three 1989 E-One pumpers because of body mount cracks. It took months of dealing with E-One before they took responsibility and months before the pumpers were repaired.

    As it has been said so many times before, find out how the dealer handles the service end of the contract before you make your decision.

  8. #8
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Default

    We have 2 E-Ones, a 1991 and a 1995. Both have been very good trucks for us. Up until these two trucks we were strictly a Mack company.

    1) Durability - being located by the shore, salt water and salt air take a toll on all the metals made. The aluminum E-Ones pit (if left uncared for) but nothing like the rust that occurs with steel. We have had no problems with either truck with cracks or broken mounts or such, they both keep running well and our TeleSquirt continues to pass it's aerial tests.
    2) Downtime / Out-of-Service time during 1st year & causes. - Did not have any downtime/OOS for the first year and for many years after.
    3) Response to fixing repairs by builders. Slow / fast ? - Have had a need for some service to an airline on the 95 and our local rep was on-site within 24 hours to make the repair. It was not a "truck stopping" need so we had no problem waiting a day and the truck was not out of service.
    4) Repairs that required the engine to be sent back to builder/plant or repairs done @ the department. - We included in the purchase of each truck a 5 year service plan where the reps came to our building to do service. Have not sent truck back to local plant for repairs other than annual aerial test.

    We have been very happy with our trucks and have nothing bad to say about them. They are solid and dependable and fit our needs well. My only complaint would be about the wiring under the dashboard being that it's not protected and is exposed. Seems like someone could be kicking the wires with their boots or such, but has not happened.

  9. #9
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    Default The Truth

    Here we go again with the half truths and the here say and the scare tactics that many other manufacturers have resorted to after the resurgance of ALF. It is untrue that ALF has a main plant and that outside vendors make the bodies and send them to the main plant. Where is this main plant,I would like to visit there. Secondly, ALF is the subsidiary of one of the largest Manufacturers of Motorized vehicles in the world. For those of you that do not know, ALF is owned by Daimler/Chrysler, better Know as Mercedes/Benz, with a surplus of over $198 BILLION. ALF has Fire Truck plants in WI,PA,NY,CO, and SC and they all build the complete truck on site. They recieve the chassis from the ALF chassis plant in NC, that is also responsible for producing the class 8 over the road trucks for Freightliner. It is time we started looking at the truth and stopped with all the slander. If you are not educated on the matter, do not talk about it. I am a fire service instricter and I teach with the thought in the back of my mind that some one might have read the book, so I do not teach things that are not in the book, nor do I make up my own stuff. The letters do not lie, and in black and white, ALF is here to stay. All the people at the other manufacturers wish this wasnt true, but it is, get used to it and start with some real truths. ALF offers a better standard warranty, an ALF pump made by Hale with a better standard warranty 1 year vs 3 years, and they were also the first chassis manufacturer to have the chassis meet or exceed the European Chrash Worthiness Test that are far more stringent that those of the NTSB. Lets look at the most important thing about buying an apparatus, That is the DEALER. If you buy a Cadillac from a dealer who will not service you or a Hyundai from a dealer that provides the best service and always takes care of you, who got the better deal, I say the guy who got the service. A fire truck is a fire truck and for the most part with the big 3, they are pretty much the same, so what should set them apart should be price and the service you are going to get after the sale. Sorry for the tirade, but I am sick and tired of people running there mouths and saying things that are not true.

    These are my opinions and not those of the people I work for.

    David
    Volunteer Firefighter/EMT, from a house full of E-ONES soon to be recieving our brand new ALF from WI and darn proud of it.

  10. #10
    Forum Member Engine101's Avatar
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    Default

    We have 3 E-one's 2 1992's and 1 1996 we will be taking a purchase of a 2002 E-one Cyclone this fall

    We use to have a 78 E-One Type 3 Engine
    All are very durable. E101 had a pump packing leak last October and that has been it's only major problem
    E102 has been having problems with there MDT But I doubt that has any thing to do with it being an E-One
    E201 No problems I am aware of

  11. #11
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    Default Just the facts, Ma'am . . .

    I would certainly agree with the position that apparatus purchase should be based on facts, not rumor, myth, "old wive's tales" or innuendo (and no, that's NOT an Italian suppository). Syracuse has had apparatus from most of the major manufacturers (American LaFrance (the OLD one)- Seagrave - Sutphen - Saulsbury - E-One - Pierce - KME) and we have had a mixed bag of experience with each one. Well-written apparatus specifications are the answer to most - but not all - of your problems.

    To address the question this topic was formed on, our experience with the "new" American LaFrance company is just beginning. We currently have Eagle pumpers on order from them, 2000gpm stainless steel bodies with 50-foot TeleSqurts. They will be assembled at the R.D. Murray plant in Hamburg, NY with delivery scheduled for around Christmas. I will keep you informed as to how they work out. Our experience with E-One has been, as I said, mixed. We had a series of four or five E-One pumpers on Spartan chassis in the early 80's that were OK, in fact a couple of them are still around as spares (they will go when the ALF's arrive). There is a 1985 E-One 135' aerial in the fleet, that has also been OK. However, we have a 1997 E-One heavy rescue that has been a disaster and must be replaced this year. Body cracks, frame problems, you name it, it's busted numerous times. E-One has transported it from central NY back to Florida three times, unmounted the body, "fixed" it, and remounted the body again. It's still not right. To their credit, E-One has stepped up to the plate and admitted that this vehicle is a problem. They have done their very best to correct it, but it appears to be beyond their ability to repair. Their engineers are of differing opinions as to what they did wrong, and that doesn't exactly inspire confidence on our part. Now, would we buy from E-One again? Not a rescue, that's for sure.

    Just goes to show you that any manufacturer can squeeze out a lemon or two. CAVEAT EMPTOR.

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