1. #1
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    Default FL80, 4400 & E-One

    This was discussed a couple years ago, but a lot has changed since then. We're looking at a commercial pumper, either a Freightliner FL80 4 door, or a IH 4400 4 door. Who has good or bad experiences with them? Is there enough room inside them?
    We're also looking at an E-One body. This would be our first aluminum body. Any problems with the body, cracks, paint, anything else? Any wiring concerns - they don't multiplex on their program trucks.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

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    We have been running 4-door FL-80's on two units since 1998 and in that time both trucks have been sent back to Freightliner for cracks in the nader pins on the doors. In both trucks the doors would fly open as we made turns. The trucks were repaired, but the cracks have returned. I would go with International.

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    We have run what your debating for about 3 years now. It is a FL-80 with an E-One rescue body. It is not a pumper, but a medium duty rescue unit. The overall quality of the apparatus has been an 8/9 out of 10. If I may, I'll break it down into components:

    Chassis: FL-80, 4 door with seating for 5 with 4 SCBA seats. There is only one thing I would change on the cab/chassis. If we were to do it over again, we would have the "raised" roof option that is available now on the FL series. It has good acceleration, nice tight interior components, switches and interior lighting modules are easy to service and there is sufficient room for the crew wearing PPE. As for the comparison between the FL-80 and the International 4400, we did that also. We spoke with departments that run the International chassis and the #1 complaint from them was the entry/egree situation. Other issues were the improved room in the Freightliner cab and service availability being greater. When compared, we agreed and found the FL-80 easier to get into and out of than the International when the crew is wearing PPE.

    Body: The body is an E-One extruded aluminum 18' non walk-in body. I have NO COMPLAINTS, GRIPES OR CRITICISMS of the body at all. It has held up well to a few changes we made in terms of re-configuring compartments and adding equipment and tools. Its a rock solid piece of aluminum. LOL.

    Overall, I recommend the FL-80 and going with E-One. Good combination.

    We also run 2 other E-One pumpers and an E-One ladder tower with no gripes at all. So much that we are buying another E-One pumper with a tele-boom.

    Stay low and move it in.
    Last edited by STATION2; 05-01-2003 at 12:27 AM.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

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    Larry, thanks for the information. The new 4400 cab is quite a bit bigger than the one from 3 years ago. We have seen one of these and there would be plenty of room in it. Good to hear that the E-One bodies hold up. We've never had aluminum. Might try one.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

    FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

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    My vollie dept just bought an alf rescue pumper with an FL-80 chasis and so far we have been nothing but impressed. The body is tight and the controls are easy to operate, plus there is a ton of room with the 4 door 5 man setup. You can manage to go from the front to the rear with ease without exiting the cab due to the large ammount of room between the driver and officers seat. A neighboring dept bout a similar apparatus with the international and so far its spent more time in the shop than on the road and there is considerably less room inside.

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    My dept has a Freightliner almost exactly like Chief Reason's, minus the bright orange paint job. It would be an excellent rural rig, but does not turn all too well in the city. Otherwise has been ok.

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    My dept. has an IH / E-One pumper (1000 gpm pump, 1000 gal tank.)

    My only complaints about the body are related to how it was spec'ed out, not how it was built or how it is holding up - mostly poor compartment layout.

    The IH cab is much too small for a crew of four - and we pulled out the fifth seat in the rear. Trying to wedge a fifth man in there would be pointless.

    Other chassis complaints are a gutless motor (again, under spec'ed for what we need, not a problem with the truck, per se) and a turning radius measured in ZIP codes rather than feet and inches. It would be fine in if most of our calls were rural, but running medicals in town on our cramped street layout is a nightmare.
    ullrichk
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    Ullrichk, what year is your chassis? The 2003 IH cab does have more room in it than the 2002. Do you know how many horsepower the engine is? Thanks.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

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    We have a 1999 4900 and that is a different animal than the 4400. However reading some of the posts, it sounds like the truck spec's did not include the 10" cab extension to make the 4900 4 door that much longer. It cost more money, but it allowed the SCBA seats to set back into the extra 10" and out of the door opening.

    I would ask questions and look at trucks that are already built to see how the 4400 cab is set up.

    Remember, there are many things that you can't change down the road when you spec your truck. By the sounds of the posts it has happened before. I know, I did the spec's on two of our trucks and would have changed things within days after delivery.

    Good luck...

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    Default Sorry for the delay . . .

    jboczek:

    Our IH is a 93 so hopefully we're talking apples and oranges.

    I'm at another station today and we've been pretty busy so I haven't had a chance to check on the hp.

    Given the track record of the former chief who ordered the chassis, I'd say it had the smallest motor available
    ullrichk
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    "the smallest motor available",

    now there's something I can relate to.

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    My experience with the FL-80 is limited to trying out demo's in that family (actually an FL-60 Medic Master Ambulance). Both of the departments I am involved with have the previous series (4700-4900) Internationals. For the most part they have been good solid trucks. All of them I have ever driven (new or 200,000 miles of commercial duty) have made the same peculiar noise in the front end but it never seems to bother anything. Power is a definite concern. The DT-466 engine is seriously lacking in Torque. And Torque is really more important than Horsepower in a diesel engine. Therefore if I were going to spec an International for a commercial chassised engine I would spec the HT-530 engine series as it has the most torque. If component standardization is a concern Freightliner offers engine options from other manufacturers. If we had gone with a medium duty chassis for our new ambulance I would have pushed for the FL as I could get Cummins power. Having driven the smaller version of both I found fit and finish better on the International and turning radii to be comparable.

    Peter Mullin

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    We're in the process of specing out a new truck for delivery in 2005 and have pretty much decided to go with a 2 door cab with an enclosed cross-mount panel. Scba seating for 4 in the pump panel house and just easier entry and egress all round. Haven't decided on mfg for chassis or body but leaning FL80 with E-One (Superior) or Fort Garry. Currently running a 1985 C-70 Chev with a 1000 us pump and 1000us tank. Superior with Hale pump. No problems with body except for tailboard and ditches. New truck probably won't have a tailboard. Can't ride it anyway and it gets in the way more than it is useful.
    This is of course only my humble opinion, but then again, its likely the only one that matters.

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    At my full time job we use Frieghtliners on the medic units...this is the second year and our logistics guy is pretty fed up with thier service department. They are MedicMaster units which are nice, its just get FL to do the warrantee work in a timely manner and correctly thats been a problem.. They are actually talking about going to the Sterling Chassis next year.

    I drove one of the Pierce Contenders on the Kenworth chassis, the 4 door is very roomy. Worth a look if your checking out those others...

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    I really think you should be looking at the New Freightliner M2 Chassis. It is the next generation of medium duty chassis and is built like a tank. It has a 55 degree turning radius and the cab is constructed of aluminum. You have a choice of engines including Mercedes Benz diesels. I know ALF and E1 have been building on this chassis. This will definately be the chassis of choice in the future.

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    The M2 isn't available in a 4 door yet, at least according to E-One. That's why we're looking at the FL80.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

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    Originally posted by MJ801FL
    At my full time job we use Frieghtliners on the medic units...this is the second year and our logistics guy is pretty fed up with thier service department. They are MedicMaster units which are nice, its just get FL to do the warrantee work in a timely manner and correctly thats been a problem.. They are actually talking about going to the Sterling Chassis next year.
    Uhh thats nice but Sterling and Freightliner is same company. http://www.freightliner.com/

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    Yes and no, just Frieghtliner bought em out...The company was established before the buyout. A county south of here switched to them and are having much better luck than with the FL chassis... The key is that they can keep the same Box by Medicmaster and keep the "office" part of the truck standardized.

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    Uhh actually, Freightliner bought out the Ford heavy truck line (which had existed for many years) just over 5 years ago, consolidated those manufacturing operations with many of their own and formed the division of Freightliner called Sterling. Many Sterling products are built right along side their Freightliner cousins within the same facilities. The only product that has kept it's basic preacquisition foundation is the class 8 L series. The Acterra line is actually a ground up design from the engineering folks at Freightliner. The new M2 from Freightliner shares quite a few design features with the Acterra, like the extremely tight cramp angle that was mentioned earlier. It basically comes down to which hood you like better.

    As far as FL versus IH, a neighboring town has had numerous problems with their FL80 pumper...primarily electical and brakes. We have had an IH 4900 for about 2 years now, and with the exception of having an injector replaced, it has been trouble free.

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    My money is on Freightliner. My vollie dept. has a 2000 FL112 tanker. Great truck, one minor electrical problem in 3 years. The turning radius is incredible. As for IH, my work truck is a 2000 5300 and it has had nothing but problems in the last three years. Off the top of my head: excessive oil consumption, rad has gone, alternator, air system replaced, trans replaced. This is with only 54,000 km on it. But as stated well by the CEO of Toyota "Of the cars we make 80% are Ok, 10% are amazing they will last forever, 10% are lemons and will have nothing but problems". Luck of the draw.

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