1. #1
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    Default Pierce independent front suspension

    What have y'all heard about Pierce independent front suspension? Anybody got it? Pierce says it's the best thing since sliced bread. I'm not sold that the $7,000 price is worth it.

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    We've got it coming on both our new engine and new heavy rescue due at the end of next month. The larger braking components will make it safer since trucks going 60mph will stop in 60' less distance. Since that makes the difference between stopping and plowing down 6 cars, we thought it was worth the extra dough even if we never need it. The ride is unbelievably smooth. I rode in a mutual aid company's Enforcer with the TAK4 and it was a better ride than my Z71 pickup. Less jarring of the cab and truck as a whole will put less strain on components and make the life of the truck longer, at least the way we looked at it. And with the roads around Houston being far from smooth, we'll really be putting it to the test. But if you can, get out and hitch a ride with someone that has it and see for yourself. That's the only way to be convinced for sure.

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    Thumbs up

    MY DEPARTMENT HAS THE TAK-4 SYSTEM IN OUR 2002 DASH 105' AERIAL. I LOVE THE RIDE, NO MORE BOUNCING AROUND IN THE CAB ON THE NICE SMOOTH NEW ENGLAND ROADS
    Last edited by UFDFF15; 06-10-2003 at 12:07 AM.

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    We just got the TAK-4 on our 2002 Lance and the ride is fantastic. Worth every penny we spent on it. With regards to braking, I can only go by what Pierce says without testing it out ourselves, but I noticed the driver doesn't bounce around as much as he use to in our old engine. We still have our 84 Hahn and when we hit the same potholes with both engines, there is a difference. If you can afford it, I would purchase it both for the safety and comfort.

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    Talking

    We received our 2003 Pierce Lance with the Tak-4 IFS. The ride is unbelievable!! If you get a chance to ride in one please do. Call a Pierce rep and see if there is one in your area. Call that dept. and ask them. Not only is your stopping distance improved, but your brakes last longer. I checked with a service tech. about the IFS and he has had no problems yet. If you were to see the suspension, you would understand! Heavy-duty. The steering is very sensitive. It's worth the money!! And if you order a truck now (before Sept.) with the Tak-4 IFS you will receive the new roll-over protection system FREE! Go to their web site. www.piercemfg.com Good Luck.

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    One word: UNREAL! My vol. dept just bought 6 pumpers and a heavy rescue, all Enforcers with TAK-4. You really can't explain the difference and give it justice: you have to drive one. Handling is great, I'll have to defer to the engineers on braking distances; saying "it stops really good" is about as technical as I can put it. http://www.kleinfiredept.com to see our new ones. You won't regret the extra cash...
    These are my opinions and not those of the organizations for which I work and/or volunteer.

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    Truck Guy sounds like a rep.

    berger 3447, saw your truck in Austin, very nice.
    How did you swing the stereo system?

    BC79, bet you can't wait.

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    Got that right. I'm worse than a kid at Xmas. Although it's delayed for a bit on the rescue. Pierce is taking it to IAFC in Dallas because they like the design. Plus it was paid for by the grant, so a little marketing effort on two fronts. Can't complain too much about it, it's good exposure. Plus the department has made it by without it for 30+ years, so 3 weeks won't matter too much. Reminds me, I'll have to take off that weekend and go see it at the show. I'll need more pictures.

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    What about turning radius? Is Pierce promoting a sharper turning radii (greater cramp angle)?

    I just saw a protype IFS on a semi, they were claiming a sharper turning radii (55 degree cramp angle) and a smoother ride. This semi also had super single tires on the tractor and the trailer (as opposed to standard dual wheels) Super single are popular in Europe.

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    According to the literature on the TAK-4, they are saying that the cramp angle is 45 degrees.

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    NO!! ctxffman Not a Pierce rep. Just a firefighter that was working on specs. for a new pumper for two and a half years. This was going to be our first new pumper in ten years and I was fairly new to the dept. This was the first pumper I have ever spec'd and had built. Working with Pierce was excellant. Or I just had a good rep.! But you just can't say enough about that suspension. Just drive it!!!

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    If you been working on specs for 2.5 yrs, you may be qualified to go to work for Pierce. I hope you the truck works out for you and the dept.
    As for the TAK-4, I have driven one and it is nice. I wish our new Quantum had it.

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    ctxffman: Justification on the stereo was mainly that we'd end up installing our own on each of the trucks anyway, and to pay a little more to have it done at the factory would keep all of them to the same standard, and we wouldn't have to worry about our guys running wire and rewiring a brand new truck. Plus it makes for a real clean look...
    These are my opinions and not those of the organizations for which I work and/or volunteer.

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    We got our new Midmount Tower with the TAK4 and I have only 2 words:

    GET IT

    It is SOOOO worth the cost. No BS, it makes all the difference. We have a 1997 Lance pumper that we thought road smooth as silk...well, the Tower rides even better. If you've ever rode in the front of a charter bus (think Greyhound) it's kinda like that. That's the only thing I can compare it to.

    As far as turning radius, huge difference. Our truck is 47 feet long but makes tighter turns than our 32 foot pumper. Go figure.

    Braking is up too. This truck weighs 80,000 lbs and stops pretty darn quick.

    That's my 2 cents worth...

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    Default steering problems

    Have any of you had any steering problems with the IFS? We are having terrible problems and have been told by pierce engineer that it is the nature of independent front suspensions. It is especially poor on the return steering.We are at the point that we may have it replaced.

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    None here, and considering the Texas State Animal is the pothole, we've beaten on it pretty good with no problems in 18 months.

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    We have a 2002 Enforcer rescue pumper with TAK-4. It has just under 29k miles on it and no problems yet. Unbelivable smooth ride.

    But the thing I like the best is it stops on a dime! I dont recall what Pierce claims on the website about the improved stopping distance (65%?), but belive it. Ive had to get on it hard a couple times.

    For the improved braking ability alone its well worth the 7k.
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    We have a 2004 Enforcer Rescue with the Tak-4. The problem we are experiencing is a lack of power steering on the return. All of our equipment is Pierce but this is the first with this suspension. When we enquired to Pierce and had them look at it they said it was because this vehicle has the IFS Tak-4 and the steering will be different. Is your steering different from any of your other apparatus? We are at the point where we believe it is too dangerous to have the comfort of the ride. By your responses I really question that it is US getting use to a new suspension system. Many of us believe that there is something wrong. What we need is someone from a department that has this setup drive our vehicle.

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    From my understanding, the IFS has nothing to do with the decreased stopping distance. It is because the brakes are upgraded when the suspension is added. The brakes can be upgraded w/out the suspension for a few hundred dollars.

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    viking73 where are you located? Did you contact your dealer? They should be able to tell.

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    Originally posted by viking73
    We have a 2004 Enforcer Rescue with the Tak-4. The problem we are experiencing is a lack of power steering on the return. All of our equipment is Pierce but this is the first with this suspension. When we enquired to Pierce and had them look at it they said it was because this vehicle has the IFS Tak-4 and the steering will be different. Is your steering different from any of your other apparatus? We are at the point where we believe it is too dangerous to have the comfort of the ride. By your responses I really question that it is US getting use to a new suspension system. Many of us believe that there is something wrong. What we need is someone from a department that has this setup drive our vehicle.
    Its not a problem. What you describe is exactly how ours works. You need to understand, as Pierce told you, the TAK-4 is different, it does not "return" like apparatus with traditional power steering.

    I dont understand why you consider it dangerous. Its just something different that requires training and getting used to. I picked up our TAK-4 unit from our Pierce dealer. The drive was about 60 miles and by the time I got to the station, I was used to it.

    I would say the exceptional stopping ability, turning radius and the fact that we have to replace brakes much less compared to our other aparatus, more then makes up for a little extra time behind the wheel to get the "feel" of the steering.
    Last edited by Dave1983; 04-01-2005 at 12:17 PM.
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    Originally posted by jmurphy139
    From my understanding, the IFS has nothing to do with the decreased stopping distance. It is because the brakes are upgraded when the suspension is added. The brakes can be upgraded w/out the suspension for a few hundred dollars.
    Pierce claims it does. Check out the website.
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  23. #23
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    Some very large FD's specifically identify that the steering wheel readily return to center from any position in their specs. In most cases steering geometry and front-end alignment play a major role in a self-centering steering system. I've seen trucks with I beam front axles where the wheel did not return to center without moderate operator assistance. Does an IFS system affect the centering or lack of it? Yes. But, if your spec calls for self-centering and the mfg really wants your order (more than one or a few rigs) their engineers will be put to work to satisfy your requirement.

    Braking performance can/is enhanced to a certain extent by suspension type. However, the majority of brake performance enhancement comes from the type, size and aggressiveness of the foundation/disc brake components/system.

    My personal preference if I had to choose. Id prefer a self-centering steering system to a cushy ride. Especially when navigating through heavy traffic and congested streets with constant left - right turns.

    The Pierce IFS system is a quality product and in no way am I trying to claim anything otherwise. Id just like to see their engineers do the research and perform the necessary upgrades to get it to self-center. Its not impossible to do, just needs to be nudged onto their list of priorities. Something a 20+-truck order with IFS might do.
    Last edited by tjsnys; 08-12-2005 at 11:19 AM.

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    Cttx,Stereo in todays rigs isn't much of a deal,I believe it's now "standard" on Spartans.I realize we're talking Pierce here but a lot of Mfgs throw one in,it's good(and cheap)business. As far as IFS and braking goes,under some conditions I can see reduced distances.But I've never had much trouble shutting down a "beam" either.Now I'm a bit biased 'cause when I started trucks weren't overburdened with adequate brakes so any of the new product offerings are like driving a Caddy to me.You'll see the others offering IFS very soon,a lot of them have started now. T.C.

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    We have an engine, a 75' quint, and a 100' Skyarm aerial all with TAK4 on Dash chassis. The engine is the oldest, a 2002 with 30k miles-and it still rides great. The aerials do too. Really notice the difference when a rig goes in for maintenance and we get the spare engine, an 89 Pierce Arrow with 110k miles. That 89 will knock your fillings out. We have not had any suspension problems with any of them.

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