1. #1
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    Default Commercial Chassis: Pierce Vs. E-one

    For those depts that have a Pierce or E-one commercial chassis, my dept.recieved a grant and are looking for depts that have these trucks to give us some feedback. Pros-Cons ect...Thanks for the feedback in advance. I'll post an email address later on this evening.

    HTVFD

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    You can send emails to CodyHercamp@msn.com

    thanks

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    Would I be incorrect in saying both Pierce and E-One essentially use the same commercial chassis lines?

    I know they have their lower end custom chassis lines (Contender, etc), but for true commercial chassis choices, aren't they the same?
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    Pierce normally builds on Kenworth or International. E-1 seems to be International. Both build "factory" four door cabs.

    You should probably base your decision on chassis by visiting other departments with similiar chassis. You can then decide which cabs have the best layout for your needs.

    Which chassis manufacturer has the best service facility in your area? This should also be a prime factor. You don't want to take the vehicle long distances for service or wait an excessive amount of time for parts.

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    both pierce & e-one will build a apparatus on any commerical chassis no one apparatus builter uses one type of commerical chassis over another i have seen both e-one and pierce use kenworth,freightliner,international,peterbuilt, ETC ETC its all up to the dept to spec out what they want for a commerical chassis

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    Thanks guys for the comments. We are pretty well set on a Freightliner, the question we have now is what are your thoughts on each of the bodies. We have heard good things about both and abd things from second hand. Any comments on this would be great.

    Thanks

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    Are those the only two companies you are looking at? If so why?

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    We bought an E-one on a Freightliner FL107 about 5 years ago. Big mistake compared to a custom chassis. Would never do it again, keep your money until you can afford a custom. Custom is built better and stronger they ride nicer, handle better, for the extra it costs its worth it They make the chassis wider so the tank sits down for better and lower weight displacement and you will find that a custom will probably last you longer than a commercial one.
    Just my humble opinion

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    Default Wider isn't always better

    Wider isn't always better depending on your response area.I have several areas that a "Custom"won't fit into.My advise would be to attend a trade show if one is within driving distance.You can compare many vehicles in one area,it allows you to make informed choices.You can see how different mfgs do things,also look at who's going to service your new apparatus.We recently specced a new vehicle using the above method,and it was very helpful to look at different "floorplans"which we then incorporated into our spec.Good luck,T.C.

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    Pierce and E-one are the 2 that we are looking at. Why?...well Out of the the 9 fire depts. in our county 7 of them have Pierce or E-one Engines, compatability. Another reason well is the old school of thinking. Stay with what we know. I know those aren't very good reasons. As for a custom, that doesn't fit the needs of our dept and isn't really cost effective. If it wasn't for this grant we wouldn't be able to get anw engine for many years to come on our own. We want to get the best truck for our money and a commerical chassis allows us to be more cost effective. Our dept doest run every day, or even every week, so a commercial should last us a very long time and hold up for us (with care). I have attend FDIC in Indy this year and viewed some of these trucks. We have talked with both reps in our area and the E-one rep seems to have it together more then the Pierce rep and the service side should be about the same. Thanks for all the helpfull comments, keep them coming.

    HTVFD

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    I am always confused by thoughts such as those presented by Rescue101. Pumper bodies from Pierce, E-ONE and most others, with the exception on Pierce's HDRP, are 96 inches wide. It doesn't matter if is on a custom or commercial chassis. The custom cab is also 96 inches wide. So if a custom cab is "too wide" then how will this same width body fit in a given spot using a commercial cab? Maybe I'm missing something. The perception is that if the narrow frontend of a commercial cab will fit through a space, then the entire truck will fit. I see some manufacturers are now using 101 inch bodies even on a commercial chassis. How will that truck fit into those areas that are too wide for a custom cab? Just some food for thought.

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    Originally posted by LACAPT
    We bought an E-one on a Freightliner FL107 about 5 years ago. Big mistake compared to a custom chassis. Would never do it again, keep your money until you can afford a custom. Custom is built better and stronger they ride nicer, handle better, for the extra it costs its worth it They make the chassis wider so the tank sits down for better and lower weight displacement and you will find that a custom will probably last you longer than a commercial one.
    Just my humble opinion
    Please enlighten with specifics. A Class8 truck is good for a couple million miles. Seems to be adequate for a typical fire dept for the next 50-60 years. A medium or heavy truck consists of an assembly of assorted commercial components. You spec what brand/model of axles, brakes, springs/suspension, steering you want (and can afford). Fire truck mfg purchase out of the same parts box. Built stronger? How? Chassis wider? - hows that work? Same 96" max width and dual tires (frame has to fit between). Curb weight is function of components spec + equipment + WATER TANK SIZE. You want a lighter truck? Reduce tank size or equipment load.

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    153,I fail to see your confusion.I plainly stated I had response areas a Custom wouldn't fit in and I do.I'm not telling you that a SFO or an equivalent wouldn't fit just that your AVERAGE Custom won't.We just ordered a new Custom and there are certain areas of town that the old 78 International will be the attack piece and the Custom will haul water.Like it or not commercials will sometimes go where the bigger trucks won't.Think about it for a minute,how many fully geared FFs fit in a commercial chassis?Usually about two in a two door or four in a four door,comfortably.How many in a custom?Where do you suppose that extra space comes from?In probably 80% of the country it is a non-issue,in my space it can be a MAJOR issue.As our respondent was asking for opinions,I threw out that what the vehicle is being bought to do had better be a "fit"for the area it is going to work in.You will also find if you look around a bit,that Custom chassis TEND to have considerably less body ground clearance than a commercial.Does it matter?Not to me,I'll tow either one out.T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 10-27-2003 at 03:54 PM.

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    Originally posted by neiowa


    Please enlighten with specifics. A Class8 truck is good for a couple million miles. Seems to be adequate for a typical fire dept for the next 50-60 years. A medium or heavy truck consists of an assembly of assorted commercial components. You spec what brand/model of axles, brakes, springs/suspension, steering you want (and can afford). Fire truck mfg purchase out of the same parts box. Built stronger? How? Chassis wider? - hows that work? Same 96" max width and dual tires (frame has to fit between). Curb weight is function of components spec + equipment + WATER TANK SIZE. You want a lighter truck? Reduce tank size or equipment load.
    Ive never understood this line of thinking either. I drive for a living, we put 75-100 thousand miles on a truck a year. The problem I see is that departments put too small a chassis under a 30-40 thousand pound pumper. If you're looking at Freightliners, consider something like a Fl112 instead of the Fl70 or 80, or business class. With the larger truck you can spec larger engines with minimal increase in the trucks physical size.

    And I'm with Rescue 101 on this one (hey, us Maine boys gotta stick together.) Sure a customn cab is 96 or 102" wide, now add mirrors, grab rails, lights and other things. and now your "narrow" custom pumper is a foot wider than a comparable commercial. Ground clearence is the biggie, for towns with alot of rural roads and camp style driveways, a custom just won't do it.

    DON'T get me wrong, I love our custom trucks. Our department has 3 customs and our tanker is a commercial. But I realize there are pleanty of needs for a commercial cab too, and shouldn't be set aside for the "bargain" trucks.

    -Nick

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    Originally posted by NickSBFD6
    The problem I see is that departments put too small a chassis under a 30-40 thousand pound pumper.
    AMEN!

    The problem with commercial chassie ratings (IMHO) is that while the truck might be rated as a 36,000lbs GVWR, very few commercial trucks spend their lives at full capacity. My oil truck is rated 36,000 and 2-4 times a day it sees a full load, but that's probably only 5% of its on the road time and less than 1% of its total life. A fire engine sits very close (if not over) its GVWR almost 100% of the time (the only time it will ever not be heavy is driving back from a fire with an empty water tank, if your FD allows that practice). An FD I used to belong to had an International chassie that used to break leaf springs (no BS!) sitting in the barn. When they talked about beefing up the suspension (truck was way out of warrenty before this all happened) there was concern that the frame might be damaged if the springs were too stiff.

    Custom rigs start with heavier frames and suspension. Our rescue pumper is a single screw at 53,000lbs, a commercial chassie that heavy would most likely be a tandem, and again not designed for 100% duty cycle.

    It comes down to the old saying, you get what you pay for. I know some FD's just can't afford to buy Custom, but you get a lot of bang for your buck if you do.
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    First let me say that I am not confused about the need for a heavier chassis. Several of you have stated what I believe to be correct: You need the stronger frame and suspension components of either a well designed and well built custom chassis or a Class 8 truck chassis. The lighter duty vehicles were not designed to live 20+ years fully loaded. As to the wider custom cab fitting were a commercial cab will, I still stand by my opinion. The mirrors on the commercial cab must extend out to the point were the operator can see past the body lines. On a custom cab the mirrors must do the same, therefore the overall width should be the same. The grab handles do not extend past the mirrors, so that should not be an issue. The ground clearance may be an issue if angle of approach must be considered. In that area the commercial will win, otherwise they should be equal. As to the amount of personnel you can fit into either cab, yes more fit into a custom because it wider, but generally not wider than the body it carries. The commercial cab carries less because the shell is narrower. But as I stated before, add mirrors and you're right back to the same width. My experience training drivers used to commercial cabs and farm trucks including C-cab Fords has been that if the cab fits the rest of the truck will follow. But put them in a "wide" custom cab, they get nervous until you put the tape measure on both the vehicles. At that point they realize that it is just perception. Don't believe me, measure the trucks in your station. The overall width should be very close, if not the same.
    As to the original question, my suggestion is to look closely at the fit and finish of your intended vehicles. If it is to have a topmount pump panel check the step height and width. Also does the manufacturer offer a non-glare panel? Stainless steel will give a blinding glare when the sun is just right. Try to make the truck as maintenance free as possible. Both manufacturers offer stainless plumbing. Also I noticed on some trucks at a recent show (different manufacturers) that there was a card listing exact washing requirements. If these requirements were not followed the paint warranty would be void. Be careful with that. Can you guarantee that you followed the "rules". Both Pierce and E-ONE build a decent truck. Service after the sale is also very important. One question I have about E-ONE is on their paint process. On their brochures they go into great length about the primers and topcoats and how important that is to protecting the metal. Agreed! Why then don't they paint the underside of the body? This includes the bottom of the compartments and the areas that you don't see. It seems to me that these areas should have at least this much protection since these areas never get washed.
    Just my observations.
    Last edited by Engine153; 10-28-2003 at 10:18 AM.

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    Originally posted by Engine153
    One question I have about E-ONE is on their paint process... Why then don't they paint the underside of the body?
    Not sure if the underside of our E-One is painted, I'm pretty sure it is painted black, I know the frame is painted black. Regardless, its all aluminum (the body and cab) and does not need to be protected. Paint on aluminum is purely cosmetic, and in some cases actually creates more problems.
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    We have just taken delivery on an EOne Top mount four door on a fl70. Seams to be a good truck. Bare bones no frills Not to much diamond plate. This truck in replacing an International top mount 4 door lemon. Make sure that what ever you get you speck it to fit your needs. We looked ar a Kenworth/pierce that we really really liked but .... politics ect we are back in E one again. Like i said the new truck seems to be built better than the one it replaced. The reps in your area will be glad to arrange a testdrive of any new local deliveries if it means that they get a chance at your bussiness. Good luck

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    Greg bring up a good point: get a demo to drive around, preferably in your district, but if not possible in your area then at least get some of your drivers behind the wheel in someone else's. These are the people that have to be comfortable operating the truck, not the chiefs. The test drive will give you an idea on where the truck will fit, how it will handle the terrain, and all of that other good stuff you'd like to know before buying a truck.

    Happy hunting.

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    Thanks guys for all the help, we are going to get a demo from E-one to come so we can drive, pump, ect. The Pierce rep we talked to hasn't even offered one to us and the newest Pierce commercial chassis by Pierce in our county is a 1999. almost all of the rest have been by E-one. I'll keep you guys posted on what is going on. Thanks gregblewett for the first hand thoughts.

    HTVFD

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