1. #26
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    You guys have a rear mount pump and panel concealed by a hinged stairway?
    Hmm, no it's not like that... That does sound unique.

    Our stairway stows on top of the vehicle and pulls down. The railings hinge up to provide access to the top coffin compartments. It keeps you from having to climb up a ladder or losing space by building stairs into the body.
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    Default Accessing Roof Compts

    Roof storage compartments are a great way to utilize the upper area of the vehicle for "LOW USE" equipment, yet too many times people are dangling from a crappy little ladder trying to go up or down with heavy tools. I FIRMLY believe in safety and a vertically mounted ladder as seen on 90% of the vehicles today IS NOT the safe way. Maybe this will explain, but I love the stairway idea and there are a couple companies that have been doing them for over 5 years.

    Stay Safe and Good Fishing.

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    Here is what I feel is unsafe in getting ot the roof or down (although this is a beautiful rig!!)
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    Default Stairs

    The safer way....yet they allow for storage of tools in the stair compts....
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    Originally posted by Bones42
    chiefwaterloofd, do you like Quints? Truly a multipurpose vehicle. Although, like most other multipurpose vehicles, gets a bad rap as a manpower killer.

    Yes in fact we do have a Quint. E-One Sidestacker 75 footer. It is not a mankiller here - but a multipurpure piece of the puzzle. Compliments our 1 due in Seagrave engine, and out Marion Heavy Rescue. Brand loyalty?? Every rig in our barn was made by different manufacturers and they are all quality rigs - and in which we have been very happy with. We spec what we want - and put a performance aspect in there so that if it does not meet the spec - take it back please. We have done this in the past - and the builder made a new one. I alway regard shows such as FDIC and ICHIEFS and the many regional shows as a place to see if other departments that have rigs there are specifying ideas that could put to good use in my department. I don't know if any off the shelf demo design would ever meet our needs - as what works for you would not work for us. I seen that Custom Fire was not there also (FDIC). Not one top mount enclosed pump panel anywhere in the RCA dome. Only 3 manufacturers even build them that I can think comes to mind (Marion, Custom, Pierce - sure I missed some). In harsh weather it does make it easier for the operator to concentrate, see the whole scene and stay away from the hoses. I'll bet if you were in Canada that would spark some interest. But maybe not in Texas....

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    Fort Garry Fire Trucks had an enclosed top mount on the south sideline of the Dome. It was a custom cab Spartan. Had some really strange SCBA bottle holders in the driver side high side. Had some questionable sealing surfaces where the cab met the pump housing too. Of course I'm not too familiar with them either so I cant speak on their construction methods. But it was there. I think Wolverine apparatus also makes enclosed top mount as well as Central States. I'm positive KME makes one or will make one. I've seen their photos of them.

    I think Fort Gary is either in Canada or else right across the border in the US New England area. They sell alot in Canada. Makes complete sense there.

    Our last Pierce was a 1973 Ford F-750 750/750. Not much too look at but it was one tough truck. In fact I often remind myself how easy that thing was to operate as compared to our KME Custom. Our KME was carefully spec'd out to meet our needs...but there was still something simple about a 150' preconnect laid on the running board and held in place with a bungee cord. I wish our KME hose bed was as low as our old Pierce. Could have done it yes...but we didn't know what we'd be missing.
    Last edited by fpvfd502; 05-05-2004 at 04:34 PM.
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    Ok, let’s clear up a few things. I have no problems with Pierce except what I have already outlined above. I have no problems with Marion, and from what I’ve seen, they build a fine product. I am a big proponent of rear-mount pumps, and strongly believe in improving topside access/eliminating the need for climbing on top by whatever means necessary – up to and including built-in staircases. Furthermore, I have no problem (and think it’s a good idea) to have storage compartments beneath the steps of a built-in staircase, as Firefish portrays.

    HOWEVER, I have a BIG problem with apparatus designs and layouts that do not make operational sense, and this is one of them.

    There is no reason to have a pump panel that inhibits access to the top of the apparatus, or have the only means of topside access inhibit use of the pump and pump panel. I don’t care what is stored up there – IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. It is an extreme version of having compartments that you can’t access when the hydraulic ladder rack is down, suction troughs that you can’t open because a folding step is in the way, deck guns that you can’t use unless the light mast is raised, having a blitz monitor that is not pre-connected, having a hosebed/hose chute with multiple 90 degree turns, storing smoke ejectors and HRTs in highside compartments, storing your hose fittings and adaptors in some compartment on the officer’s side of the truck, etc. IT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE. When will people look at the big picture when they design apparatus and think about how it will work in real life, not just where they can fit things on paper? Most manufacturers will be of no help with this problem, and they very well may contribute to it. It’s time for the firefighters who use the trucks every day to step up and say “hey – that doesn’t make sense. I think we have a better way of doing it.”

    The pump panel wasn’t even NFPA compliant: large diameter discharge located directly adjacent to the operator’s controls, a T-style pull handle for the LDH discharge, etc. The design wastes space, is not functional, is unsafe, and creates a slip/fall hazard by making the engineer climb up on a step to operate the pump, without even offering the advantages of a topmount (another argument that we won’t even get into).

    In a day when “Ergonomics” is the industry buzzword everywhere you turn, how could anybody POSSIBLY design a piece of apparatus like this?

  7. #32
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    hey, in regards to the last post, look at the previous posts. the design of the marion was what the dept wanted for their operation, not anyone elses. Since when was a pull handle not nfpa complaint on a large discharge? It needs to be slow close yes, but it can be a pull handle, although it works hard. If the the dept wanted their pump and controls there, the custom builder would do it or the dept would go elsewhere. If any of us on this board wanted something built a certain way we would go to a manufacturer who would build it our way, not thiers-right?

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    Default I'd like to throw a different spin on this...

    Is the manufacturer (any manufacturer) the innovator when considering design changes and operational capability of an apparatus? Or is it the firefighters that spec the apparatus?

    Sure, the manufacturer comes up with some things on their own (multiplexing, aluminum aerials, not to mention ways to cut mfg costs and make more profit...), but for the most part the truly great innovations in apparatus design have come only at the request of--and because of--the firefighters buying the truck. Four door cabs, 10-man cabs, rear engine pumps, rear mount pumps, low crosslays, mid mount pumps, LDH discharges, CAFS, side mounted water level lights, no pump panel pumps (for that matter, look at a pump panel designed by a college educated no firefighting engineer and one designed by a firefighter/engineer--which one do you want to pump?), the Granbury chute (shamelss plug), and we all know the list goes on and on.

    I think fpvfd502 points this out nicely when he says:

    When we spec'd out our new custom chassis truck...Pierce wouldn't bid it. The local sales company said what we wanted was not "do-able" with our budget. We were running a Pierce before our current truck so I would have thought they would have wanted to keep it that way. The only responses were from KME, Ferrara, and Smeal. We got the KME even though it wasn't the cheapest bid. KME built exactly what we wanted and we even had cash left over. Enough cash to put towards our new rescue...which will not be a Pierce.
    Tommorrow, each manufacturer will have something similar to what fpvfd502's department spec'd and it'll be hailed as an innovation in apparatus manufacturing.

    Why should we give the manufacturer credit for our success?
    Last edited by ScottCook; 05-26-2004 at 09:13 AM.
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    I have to echo Scott's sentiment. Most of the major features of trucks were designed by the firefighters wanting things a certain way. The large covered bumpers with the hydraulic reels, hand tools, crosslays and the like were all FF thoughts. Which basically started as: I want this that and the other thing, can it be done?

    Same thing with the deck guns behind the cabs on quints. A FF on a scene probably needed a deck gun off a quint, and didn't have one. Now I see more and more having one on each side, remote controlled of course from the pump panel. I'm sure there were some things that the local Dilberts at the manufacturers thought such as rung lighting and some other things like that, but I think even the rear ladder gantry from Pierce was probably a FF request. They probably didn't like the side mount because it makes the compartments smaller, top mount comes down and blocks compartments, probably couldn't get the through the tank, so there wasn't anything left but to have it come off the back.

    Good salespeople will listen to the departments they go around to, asking what they like and don't like, and what changes they think should be made. That's why I believe when you start to spec a truck, ask everyone you can find that just bought a new one (regardless of manufacturer) what they like, don't like, would change, and what isn't working the way they thought it would. Don't listen to gripes, keep it functional. Find out how the rollup doors are working out for them. Ask how functional the pump panel layout is the way they have it. And so and and so forth. You could have what a marketing department extolls as the most innovative truck on the road. But if it doesn't work the way you want it to, it's not doing anyone any good.

    We had a similar situation with our heavy rescue that fpvfd502 had, only it was Pierce that ended up doing what we wanted. If they didn't, we wouldn't have gone with them. Building the truck the way you want it built is more important than who's badge is on it. It doesn't matter how well it gets there, if it's not what you want, you're wasting your money.

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    A lot of us here are constantly arguing this guy vs this guy when it comes to manufacturers. Who came out with this first and so on. But Scott is dead on with his comment.

    WE are the ones that have created these innovations through the years.

    The mark of a good manufacturer is when they try to incorporate these ideas into their product so it's available to the masses. If my dept's truck committee comes up with a great, unique idea for a truck we're specing, I would want it out there for anyone to use. Maybe it will serve other depts purposes, but they hadn't thought of it.

    So I applaud the manufacturers out there that realize this. Yes, of COURSE they're gonna spin it into good PR and marketing for themselves. They are in business after all. Most of these guys wouldn't be around today if they hadn't cornered a segment of the market for themselves.

    Here are some quick examples. Obviously #1 is brand loyalty. Goes without saying, so we'll not even consider that factor. Look at E-One, their niche was aluminum aerials. Look at Saulsbury, their's was a highly specialized and customizable stainless steel rescue. Look at Seagrave, their's was simple, dependable engines and ladders, and the FDNY market which many depts look up to. Pierce has always been on the cutting edge with a lot of their features. KME came in with great designs that were actually affordable compared to the big boys.

    But out of all of this, the bottom line is US. We're the ones driving and pumping and flying these things, not the suit and tie in the corporate office. We base a truck design on our needs and expect them to build it that way. When they start to see a few depts asking for the same thing, it's in their best interest to make it a standard feature or option. And it's in OUR best interest too.

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    Chris309,

    Look at Saulsbury, their's was a highly specialized and customizable stainless steel rescue.
    It seems as though this was written in past tense? By design or by mistake?

    If by mistake, ok. If by design, who will replace them if it is a "was" statement, who will fill the void or be the next "Saulsbury" full blown innovative custom rescue and rescue pumper builder or persons?

    Stay safe and good fishing.

    Fish

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    Fish,

    Actually, if you re-read my post, you'll see that it was neither meant to be explicitly past tense or otherwise. I was actually remarking that the virtues of each manufacturer I listed is what distinguished them from other manufacturers. Some of them achieved this right from the start, and for others it took some history to build their reputation.

    But what I do find odd is how you singled out Saulsbury. I spoke of all the other manufacturers in the same tense, but you made no mention of them. Which leads me to the obvious conclusion that your dept has a Saulsbury rescue and you felt the need to defend them. You concluded that I was implying Saulsbury making a high quality specialized product was a thing of the past. In fact, I meant no such thing.

    But, since you brought it up, you got me thinking. Is Saulsbury REALLY better off as a subsidiary of Federal Signal/E-One? Are their pre-1998 products better, worse or equal to their current products?

    There are many hardcore manufacturer supporters on these boards, we all know that. You can almost always count on a this vs. that thread raging on. But forget about that for now...let's just look at Saulsbury.

    Were they better off as an independent company? Was there more attention to detail when they were a small upstate operation? I've heard from a few friends who's depts have or had both generations and the majority feel Saulsbury's products are in fact inferior today. I'm not suggesting they're junk, don't misunderstand me. Matter of fact, I've never personally operated one, so I have no firsthand opinion at all. But I do feel that often times a small company like they used to be has no choice but to pay attention to the smallest detail. One unhappy customer could spell disaster for them. But if you're now backed by one of the top 4 names in the industry, that blow is cushioned. And moreover, is there really the same pride of corporate ownership now as their was when they were an independent company? How much of the operation is now outsourced to E-One rather than being performed in-house upstate as in the past?

    I'm not suggesting they don't still make an excellent product, I've seen them up close. I know depts that have them and love them. I myself would be happy if my dept had one. Our dept has an old E-One rescue that has been rock-solid for 20 years now.

    Bottom line is that all these manufacturers make a good product. They all meet or exceed the safety standards set by the government and NFPA. They all perform the same basic function, which is obviously to enable us to save and protect life and property. I for one don't care what manufacturers nameplate is on the front of my truck at 2am rushing to a working fire. As long as it gets me there safely and performs as expected so I can do my job.

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    BlitzfireSolo you forgot a major Peirce "innovation"...
    AllSteer

    Something that cranes have used for about 40 years.
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    True, but who else thought about using it to shorten the turning radius on a fire truck?

    Innovation doesn't mean coming up with the invention, it also means using an existing product in a new way. Underslung jacks like what E-One uses have been on construction equipment for a long time. But no one else put it on a fire truck. Innovation? Yep. Piercing nozzles weren't new, but Snozzle was the first to put them on a master stream device. Innovation? Yes. The air conditioner was taken from the refridgerator. Most technology in any industry is taken from earlier works, many in other industries. But using it in a new way on of the definitions of innovation: something new, and contrary to established customs, manners, or rites - www.dictionary.com

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    Originally posted by Fire304
    BlitzfireSolo you forgot a major Peirce "innovation"...
    AllSteer

    Something that cranes have used for about 40 years.
    I started laughing because I thought your point was going to be the "incidents" that have taken place with All-Steer.

    Sigh.

    You let me down.
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    Well, sorry to disappoint you 14.

    I had considered bringing up the accidents All-Steer has caused, and I was tempted to mention the info we got about the largest FD in our area locking out their All-Steers and seriously considering buying new axles for all their trucks only to find that there is not enough room to put dual rear tires into the body of an All-Steer and how badly it eats tires when the All-Steer is locked out, but I though I’d just mention it as an “Innovation” and try not to show my bias for or against any particular manufacturer.

    BC79er makes a good point, after all Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR) had been in aircraft since the 60's but it wasn't until some smart innovator at Raytheon put it in a handheld unit that it became a TIC.
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    All steer or rear stearing ladder trucks I believe first showed up on Seagrve trucks. If I rember correctly they were controlled with a lever in the cab. Just about all of there ended up locked out because the driver had to move the wheels back to center.

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    All steer or rear stearing ladder trucks I believe first showed up on Seagrve trucks. If I rember correctly they were controlled with a lever in the cab. Just about all of there ended up locked out because the driver had to move the wheels back to center.

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    Originally posted by Fire304
    BC79er makes a good point, after all Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR) had been in aircraft since the 60's but it wasn't until some smart innovator at Raytheon put it in a handheld unit that it became a TIC.
    Actually, I think some government firefighter asked if it could be done and EEV developed the first uncooled IR sensor, the pyroelectric vidicon, and bthen uilt the first handheld TIC with that back in the 70s, production models came around in 1984.
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    As some of you probably noticed, Custom Fire was not there this year. We, FDMH, didn't buy a truck from them this last year. The one that was at FDIC 2003 is the last new truck that we purchased from them. They should be back next year, with our new pumper rescue.

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    Originally Posted by Fire304:
    BlitzfireSolo you forgot a major Pierce "innovation"...
    AllSteer
    Or did I?

    Originally Posted by Resq14:
    I started laughing because I thought your point was going to be the "incidents" that have taken place with All-Steer.

    Sigh.

    You let me down.
    Resq14, my friend, I would never let you down - you just need to go back and re-read my previous posts....one step ahead of you

    Originally Posted by BlitzfireSolo:
    How about the big Pierce innovations of past years? TAK-4/IFS? E-One comes to mind. All-steer? Yes, true, they certainly one-(or two-)upped the tag axle people there, but now look at them: they have departments driving into telephone poles! I guess that’s why they had to come out with their roll protection system

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    Opps, guess you didn't miss that one, hehe

    Heard one where they were backing an all steer into the barn and it suddenly decided to switch itself on (was turned off) on its own resulting in wiping out the stairs up to the turn table on the back of the rig. Luckily this is a big enough issue that Pierce made the stair case unit (about 9ft x 9 ft x 4 ft) a seperate module, you unbolt it and replace it (for $$$ as I recall), now that's innovation!
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