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  1. #1
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    Feb 2004
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    18

    Default Specs-"design or performance"

    We're about to begin specing a new pumper and I was wondering how most departments write their specs.Are they performance specs based on certain requirements that the pumper must be able to acheive or are they design based, where you spec it right down to the type of wheel nut cover?If it's the later,have you already decided who is going to build the truck?Otherwise are you not ruling out other brands as every manufaturer has their own design details,I'm talking body builders and chassis manufacturers.Are performance specs the same as Request For Proposals?


  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Location
    Black Hawk VFD, South Dakota
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    629

    Default

    First I consider performace specs and design specs as two parts of the bid package.

    The performace part deals with your local operating conditions. For example "The apparatus, with all equipment, full water tank and five personnel shall be able to climb a 10% grade on an all weather roadway at no less than 25 MPH." or "The apparatus, fully loaded shall accerlate to 50 MPH is 45 seconds or less." This makes the bidder design the chassis and drive train to meet those specs.

    Design specs deal more with the body layout, compartment size, locations of discharges etc. Yes you can spec the chrome wheel covers as part of the bid package.

    The request for proposals should be a general package stating the type of apparatus you want, what you want it to do and what features you are looking for. Body design, storage, discharge and intake locations, generator, etc should be included in general terms. Make it clear that this is not for bid but you would like an estimate and a list of options with cost. Manufacturers interested in bidding will respond with a proposal for your review. You can then decide what is practical and affordable.

    Use your proposals to write the final bid package. You can save some time by stating that the apparatus must be NFPA 1901 compliant. Go to the Fire Apparatus Manufacturers Assoc. website and use their equipment calculator. This will help you determine compartment space and chassis GVW. Spec that the apparatus will have ____lbs of additional capacity for the stuff you forgot to add or will add later. Some bidders will have exceptions to the bid specs. They will propose to do things a different way that may be acceptable to you. Require that exceptions to your bid specs be listed separately with reference to the part they are taking exception to.

    Try to avoid specing construction details such as metal thickness etc. Each manufacturer has their own way of building and a difference of .001 in metal thickness won't make much difference.

    Stay Safe
    IACOJ

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    18

    Default

    OK...
    I'm just unfamiliar with the whole process.I know what I want,it's just how to get it.I'm an EVT so I'm very familiar with the NFPA requirements as far as performance goes.I know what components we want and where we want them located,engine make & hp rating,pump brand and capacity etc,etc.I've read specs spelling out every manufacturers name brand in them and I guess that's where I got confused.I take it these were written after the bid process began,after the RFP?

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Location
    Black Hawk VFD, South Dakota
    Posts
    629

    Default

    Most likely. I have know of bid specs being done without a RFP. Normally this creates more problems.

    Just watch out for sales people that tell you you can't "do it that way". If you get ten responses to the RFP, nine say they can do it, and the tenth says it has to be built this way, the tenth probably doesn't like to custom build or doesn't have the ability.

    We went through that on a light rescue last year. One manufacturer claimed that you couldn't get the Ford F-550 with the 6.0L Powerstroke. We were supplying the chassis through our local dealer. We figured that the company had a bunch of 7.3L Powerstroke chassis they were trying to move. Being $10,000.00 over the low bid didn't help either.

    Stay Safe
    IACOJ

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 1999
    Location
    Granbury (TX) VFD
    Posts
    194

    Default

    Don't forget in the performance portion to address issues like:

    Weight - make sure the apparatus doesn't overload roads or bridges.

    Turns - make sure the apparatus can make all the necessary turns in town.

    Approach and departure angles - make sure the apparatus doesn't drag or high center on dips and bumps.

    Length, width and height - make sure it will fit in your station and doesn't clip trees, power lines and other overhangs when rolling down the road.
    www.gvfd.org

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