1. #1
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    Default Central States/Rosenbauer

    Currently spec'n trucks for our dept. Any comments or complaints about Central States/Rosenbauer. So far they have very helpful dealing with and are open to our budgetary needs. E-one has also been very helpful. Can't really afford 2 custom jobs, any preference on commercial chassis...Freightliner or International.

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    Default We have three

    2 out of the 3 are junks and the third one can't be made to work on snowy roads. They have a problem with service ....made by farmers for farmers.....Oh yeah LOW BID !
    Last edited by Ltmdepas3280; 02-08-2004 at 11:36 AM.
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    Default

    Central States is indeed located in the middle of farmland. I just don't think everyone that works there is a farmer. They make a nice truck at a reasonable price. I recnetly spec'ed and delivered a CS pumper for my department. Good effort by the salesman and the factory people to get the truck build right. Their stock program offers a nice truck at a fair price. Several departments around here have CS engines, some in busy stations and they seem to work OK. Most are on HME chassis. My department has a ALF Frieghtliner and it runs and looks good.

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    Wink

    We have two Central States trucks. A '95 on a International 4900 and a '99 Centrion on another 4900.

    We have had a couple issues that have been delt with by the factory. In fact, Harold Boer the president himself!

    I don't care what make you look at the will have great trucks and not so great trucks. Sometimes it is the truck, sometimes it is the operator. Be it E-one, Pierce, KME, Central, and oh, by the way you can add Ford, GM, Dodge, Toyota etc to the list.

    Would it be fair to say that everyone on a given department is a less than stellar person? Would it be fair to say that everyone on another department is God's gift to firefighting? If you answer these questions truthfully it is not a big jump to apply the same logic to the wide range of truck builders. Don't generalize be specific.

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    Default Ok

    First let me say this chief, our department has the same drivers of the vehicles everyday with the exception of vacations. Now has for specifics, Our 75' Ladder has had a tag axle problem from day one ..they have changed it ,they have adjusted it and we still can't drive the truck on our streets with less than an inch snow. The tower that we purchased has had wiring and lighting problems from the begining. The R rig is not has bad it only had an oil leak that the mgf couldn't fix for a few months. We have had other truck with problems also, but it seems that the three from CS have more than there share of problems. The Ladder has left a sour taste in our mouth.
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    Talking Central Mistakes

    Chief,

    Not even going to go there.

    Although I think 99% of our Department has finally realized there is a special place at the bottom of Lake Champlain for our 1995. Just need to figure out how to get it there.

    But honestly to answer THE specific question mvfd99. From my dealings with Fire Trucks it all comes down to Service after the sale. Who's going to fix your problems and how soon are they going to get to your station. Any manufacture is only as good as there sales & service rep. in your area. This is true from the Truck's engineers prior to build; right through to Service 10 years after you took delivery.

    Same goes for cab & chassis. Who in your area (Freightliner or International) make Fire Turck Service Prioity one.

    In our area it's International; would you agree Chief???

    MVFD99 Do all your home work and you'll be fine.

    Thanks
    GB

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    Default

    Don't forget to look at Sterling. Especially if your thinking of a four door. They have more leg for the rear passengers and they are a sharp looking truck.
    Last edited by toddmcbr; 03-02-2004 at 02:22 AM.

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    I will agree with 640SATFD that in our area the International Dealer will make any service on a fire truck very high priority. (No matter who built it or if it is an International or not.) That is the reason we went with them for a chassis. No matter who put the rest of the truck together. Most of the dealership is somehow affiliated with the UJFD so they understand the issues FD's have.

    As for Ltmdepas3280 I would have to also say who is the dealer you have been working on the problems with? Like 640SATFD stated, it has just as much to do with service after the sale as what size tank or pump they install. I personally have had good luck with the former CS dealer we worked with but I know another department did not.

    I am not saying that your trucks have not had problems but have the people responsible for getting them resolved worked with just the dealer or have they gone to the factory? That is what I mean by being specific. If a sales person at a store gives you a hard time then you take the problem to the manager or store owner. Then if they can't come to a reasonable solution you can say "We did all of these reasonable things to get the problem resolved and they did ...." It all comes down to delivery of your side of the story. If your department has done all the reasonably expected things to get the problem resolved and they still don't help then say it. I feel that it would make your "opinion" carry more weight if people know that you did what should be expected of you.

    I hope that this clarifies what I meant in the other post.
    We all know that the media gives the condensed version of a story. You can tell them something and when you see it on the news the story is cut for their point of view and not all the details. mvfd99 is trying to get the whole story for his department so they don't get stuck with something they will regret. That is another reason I wanted Ltmdepas3280 to give more details on what His experience was with CS.

    Stay Safe...

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    Default Re: We have three

    Originally posted by Ltmdepas3280
    2 out of the 3 are junks and the third one can't be made to work on snowy roads. They have a problem with service ....made by farmers for farmers.....Oh yeah LOW BID !
    I don't have any experience with central states equipment, but we have trucks on Freightliner chassis, and on International chassis, and they work well year round.

    Commercial chassis do have a valid purpose in the fire industry.

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    Default Re: Re: We have three

    Originally posted by pfd3501


    Commercial chassis do have a valid purpose in the fire industry.
    You are absolutely correct we have 2 and they run like champs. Our problem with CS as stated before is the inability to correct problems and the unwillingness to take responibilty for a design flaw..ie the tag axle
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    Default

    We just had our first Pierce delivered last night, and I can't say enough good about the truck and the company. This is a company with a phenomenal factory and high-tech, well-engineered plans. Some of the smaller companies we've dealt with are mostly (like ltmdepas3280 said) "made by farmers, for farmers". Now, in their defense, some of these farmers are pretty good at building fire trucks. However, I see a lot more guessing and estimating than engineering here. "How big should this piece be, boss?" "Oh, about yay-big..."

    The obvious down-side is that all of this technology and engineering costs money, and we paid a lot of money for our truck. But keep in mind, you can buy a new Kia for about $10,000, but it's not going to be a Cadillac. We were fortunate that our city wanted us to have the Cadillac of fire trucks. We get a lot of support from the community and we work to return that to them through extra public service that we do.

    Now, if you're like 99.9% of fire departments out there, money is tight. You can get a good truck from these smaller manufacturers - several of them from my immediate area: Toyne, Luverne (I think they're called Crimson now), Smeal. If your budget is small, but you want a quality truck, I'd recommend letting Toyne's in Breda, IA, put together a bid. Had we not had the money for a Pierce, I think we'd have purchased a Toyne.

    Whatever your decision - make sure you spec it out properly. We've had some issues with one of our Toyne's and it sounds like it is mostly the result of US not doing OUR homework when defining the specs.

    Todd - Tell your chief 'thanks' for me. I'm teaching at the WITCC fire school with him, and in the brochure he listed me as "CAPTAIN Gary Merrill, Denison Fire". I'm not a captain here, but I'm trying to get my chief to acknowledge that Bob promoted me. He's not buying it.

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    We have had no problems at all with central states .
    On a county truck there was one thing wrong with it (interior light in a compartment would not come on ) and the dealer took care of it promptly with no attitude .
    The costomer service in this area is great along with the trucks they build . A lot of depts here have central trucks and a lot have em on order
    In my book central gets a 9 out of 10 .

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    Default

    As a truck technician and the person who keeps up all of our equipment, I would have to say that the wiring on the CS is terrible.

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    Default Central States

    Ok so fireman have alot to say when it comes to fire trucks. But how many of them have a real true chance to be on a truck day in and day out. The dept. I am on has 2 E-One's and a Pierce pumper and ladder. we have had problems with all, but we are a busy dept. But to say that the are JUNK. Not going to happen. We have had more problems with are 2000 E-one the most, but with all the eletrical wiring and computers on trucks now, would you expect anything less. Well for half a million dollars, YES you expect the best. CS has had a good service record in most areas. But if there is a problem, it may not be with Central States. What about the dealer who sold you the truck. We got no help form our E-one dealer after we bought a 2000 pumper. Does that say bad things about E-one, No but it does about the dealer. Look at who is selling you the truck, if you can get them to understand you needs after they get your money. Then it will help your Dept. in the long run. As for Central States very good trucks for what I have seen, and if you all want to look further in to this, check out Rosenbauer.com, the own CS and General.

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    Talking

    I think no matter what you buy, there's always going to be one thing that sucks. There's always one bad experience. We've been doing our homework, and talking to everyone. I wish we had a little more money to work with, so does everyone though, because our reps that we have worked with have done a good job. Of course, we haven't bought anything yet. Our CS guys have been the best, answered questions that you wouldn't expect them to answer truthfully. I just hope that if we buy from them, there is plenty of White Castle's. I know you read this every now and then Mr. CVFPD.

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    Default

    Fast food, thats getting off cheap. Thought maybe a good steak dinner or some Bar-B-Q. Later

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    Default

    I think mvfd99 hit the nail on the head! All things made by a mans hand will break. Now how does the man intend to fix them on a timely basis? All trucks, and I mean ALL, have issues. That means ALL manufacturers, no matter how glorious or perfect one persons experience may have been with them, ALL have problems. We can bash manufacturers, but how do we truly partner with a manufactuer to form a relationship, to ensure they grease our wheels when they are broken? As far as a manufactuer standing behind their products, I would suggest that if they are a company in the BIG 5, which Rosenbauer certainly is, as it is rumored they would be #1 in the world this year and actually #3 in the U.S. (total units delivered), they have the ability and will more than likely do stand behind their product, or they would not be in that position. The purchase of a fire truck is diverse and complicated in regards to the "soft stuff", long before we talk about engines and sheet metal...such as the dealer, the service center, the internal manufacturing support, the aftermarket warranty support and further more the overall support before, during and after the sale. If you can answer yes to all three segments (before, during and after) that a manufacturer can support you, then you should feel comfortable buying from them, if you have thoroughly evaluated all areas. One thing I have learned over the years, never be afraid to jump to the next level of the company, if you the individual you have asked to do a job is not performing. Always give the individual the chance to succeed first, if then then fail, it is time to take it up a notch. Sooner or later, you will find someone who will grease your wheels and take care of you! Sometimes painful, but you will be taken care of by legitimate manufacturers, as they rely on your business in a small market of 5000 trucks per year built by North American Builders. Think about it, comparatively, the Class 8 commercial truck market in the US is in the 100's of 1000's of unit's per year, so the small fire truck manufacturer (including Pierce, E-One, Rosenbauer and ALF) needs our business and they need us happy. As far as "Ltmdepas3280" comment on "farmers", you have a lot to learn sir. That is the most rediculous comment I may have ever seen on firehouse.com!

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