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  1. #1
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    Question Need Info..Ferrar Engines and Quints..Quality, Reliability?

    We are STILL looking at quints, and were wandering about the people that know/have/deal with/etc. about Ferrara Fire Apparatus. It is my understanding that Smeal builds the ladder for Ferrara. Whether you know about ladders, engines, brush, etc. we want to know about the pros/cons on this manufacture. Can anyone please take a moment and give us an honest oppion. The trucks we have looked at from Ferrara have had some good reviews from us (quality, craft, etc.)however, we don't have a Ferrara to look at long term so we are hoping we could get some help from you guys. We really apprecaite you taking time to assist us with this!


  2. #2
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    Post

    Send me an email avaal@psci.net

  3. #3
    Forum Member allineedisu's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    If you are buying anything, pumper areial, quint, brush, tanker, etc, have it sole source. If you don't you are asking for problems.

    Ferrara on a HME chassis and a LTI aerial = bad news. No one will accept the blame or responsibably if something goes wrong.

    Stay with the same company. Pierce, Seagrave, E-One.

    Leave the combinations alone and to the crub!

  4. #4
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    As mentioned, stick with sole source. It will save you many, many headaches down the road. As for Smeal, an adversary of mine, FF43065, can elaborate on the Smeal gizmos and gee whiz devices they offer alot better than me. They biggest question to ask yourself is, has one of their aerials ever gone to the ground when it wasn't supposed to? The answer is yes. But I bet the blue rung lighting and the "Caution your too close to the body with the aerial" alarm were still working. LOL. Only funning with you FF43065. LOL. Seriously, ask San Antonio about their experiences with Smeal aerials on FFA rigs. Just some thoughts.

    Stay low and move it in.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

  5. #5
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    We have a 75 foot Ferrara Quint, It is a Smeal Aerial built on their own Igniter cab and body. So far so good. There are more and more popping up in this area.

    -Nick

  6. #6
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    we have a hme truck with a central states body and RK ladder so far no problems.

  7. #7
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    Not to be on anyone's band-wagon, but I understood that Ferrara had / was donating trucks to FDNY post the 9/11 fleet wipe-out - trying to make a push to get a foot in the door so to speak.

    Perhaps you would contact someone in their fleet shops to find out how the Ferrara rig(s) are holding up in wake of the beatings they go through up there (high run volumes and like anywhere else, not the best of paved roads).

    Otherwise, like previously stated, stay with a sole source builder.

  8. #8
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    FFA donated an Inferno to FDNY, I think it's at the training academy. But they have built atleast 4 units since for FDNY using FDNY's specs. We got to check one out while we were at the factory for final inspection. Pretty heavy duty and they look conspicuosly like a seagrave.

    As far as the single source issue, we had a small problem with our ladder when we first took delivery. Our rep took care of everything and Smeal stood up to the plate. You'd never even know that there was a difference in manufacturers. Single source manufacturing isn't the real issue, service is the issue. if you have an inept sales rep you can have all the single source trucks in the world you'll still have problems. With the right rep, you'll never know the difference. It's just a scare tactic used by the big manufactuers to keep you from going with the little guy.


    -Nick

  9. #9
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    NickSBFD6,

    I've worked on one of those new Ferrara High Pressure Engines. They are the Biggest POS I've ever had the sorry pleasure of working on!

    The Power plant is way under powered, it is a slug by all acounts...the guys there say the rig has been out of service mulitple times. Everything on there is far from heavy duty, Many things have broken off and the mechanics don't like them either. They've had to send it back to the manufact twice already that I know of.

    While they might look like Seagraves they aren't even close. Don't buy one. Go with Seagrave.

    FTM-PTB

  10. #10
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    I get a real kick out of Larry at Station 2 being the self professed expert about fire apparatus and he can't even get his facts straight.
    He must be on E One's payroll the way he preaches about how great they are. If he knew the facts about the Smeal in San Antonio he wouldn't make the statements he has.. Also "every" manufacturer has at one time or another had a problem that they get blamed for but in fact it's operator error or lack of maintenance.

    As to the sole source claim why is it that the E One's, Pierce etc. don't use that line when it's a commercial chassis..?

    The single source is smoke and mirrors and as others have previously stated "It's the dealer's or manufacturer's support that's important and how quick do they respond to parts and service requests!

    For example, I know for a fact that a number of FD's wait 4-8 weeks for parts from Pierce for example and pay big bucks for the parts.

    The Smeal is an excellent product and I think you'd be hard pressed to find a FD that legitimately doesn't like the ease of operation, reliablity and service support.

  11. #11
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    Aerialguy1, I am glad you get a kick out of my posts. I am not, nor ever have been, on E-Ones payroll. Further more, I never have, nor do I now, profess to to be an expert on fire apparatus. I, like you, have my opinions and certain builders that I like more than others. So, if you feel the need to continue to attack me personnally, get YOUR facts straight first. Now, on to other matters...

    If I am so wrong about the FFA/Smeal issue in San Antonio, enlighten me and all the others. Tell me how it failed and how the aerial took out power to part of the city. Or, how about the stabilizer system falling out from underneath the rig? As for builders being blamed for issues that are operator error, I do agree with you. But if your headed down the track I think you are, keep going. LOL, this will be good.

    I also agree that alot of possible re-peat customers are won or lost based upon service after the sale. From warranty issues to non-warranty issues, this is a make or break for future rig purchases. Also, how the local dealer deals with the customer can make a HUGE difference. If they accept what you have to say and work with the department or talk down to the department and put them off and put them off can seal future rig purchases and either build or break brand loyalty.

    As for single source and Pierce and E-One pushing that until they want to sell a commercial rig, come on man your reaching. That is a decision that is based, most of the time, on available funds for the purchase of the rig and departments know up front if they can I believe in sole source for the previously mentioned reasons by other posters to this thread, plain and simple. Does that make them all wrong and you all knowing? I think not. Its called opinions and personal experience. I believe in E-One and others believe in Pierce, Sutphen, Seagrave, etc. I ride on E-One aerials in my career department and my volunteer department and trust them above and beyond any others out there. Again, my opinion from first hand experience. If I cannot voice my opinion then I guess you should be the moderator for the world. My volunteer department has BOTH single source E-One rigs and E-One rigs on commercial chassis. I have seen first hand the run around you can get from people saying its not their fault. We are currently in the process of recieving and placing in service an E-One rescue quint on a custom chassis. That thing has had a number of issues since it got into the dealer, so I know that no builder is perfect. From the CAFS compressor not spinning up when it should to the front bumper mounted extrication system there have been problems, but they are being worked out and fixed. How about a number of E-One pumpers from 1999 to 2001 that have to have certain discharge piping re-braced. Again, a pain in the butt but its being fixed. I can show you a department right this moment that wants to return its brand new fleet of Pierce Enforcer pumpers that are not even 1 year old because of a nightmare of issues. So no builder is immune and no builder is perfect. E-One as a matter of fact had some issues with the E-One Rescue assigned to Rescue Co. 11. It was, at the time, the largest rescue ever built by E-One and it presented some huge problems (Like both light towers coming up as it was traveling under an overpass). All you can do is spec want you want, stick to the spec and find a builder that will do what YOU want and not what they want. So, quite simply..........

    The floor is yours to enlighten me and others.

    Stay low and move it in.
    Last edited by STATION2; 06-15-2004 at 02:31 PM.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

  12. #12
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    (I can show you a department right this moment that wants to return its brand new fleet of Pierce Enforcer pumpers that are not even 1 year old because of a nightmare of issues.)


    Larry, are you talking about the Klein pumpers. If thats true, this is a first time that I heard this. They are changing some gears in the pump. From what I was told, Allison shipped Pierce transmissions programmed to Hale specifications not Waterous. Pierce and Waterous are doing all the pumpers before problems occur. Like I said this is what is was told.

    Jerremy
    "Dont forget to wear your Reed"
    "When you buy junk, you now own junk"

    J.Brown

  13. #13
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    Larry: This incident happended about 5 years ago and I personally talked to the 3rd party independant person who was hired by the FD to investigate what happened and here are the facts as he related them.

    The heel pin on the base section on the street side had come loose and worked it's way out. So much so that the head of the shaft rubbed the side of the Turntable console, so it wasn't just a spontaneous situation but had worked it's way loose. Obviously the aerial device hadn't been inspected and checked in accordance with the manufacturers requirements.

    I was told the aerial was in fact being cleaned up for a FF funeral and was being elevated out of the bed and extended and with the heel pin coming out the base section it naturally shifted and the ladder came down and hit the power line in front of station or shop. The aerial itself DID NOT fail but as you can well imagine being only held in place by the RH curb side pin would cause it to shift. How can you blame the builder for something that should not have in fact occurred.

    Smeal immediately investigated and took action by issuing a campaign to provide a locking device on the heel pins and sent them out free of charge to every FD user with information about what had occurred.
    To my knowledge this solved the problem but don't blame a manufacturer for the lack of maintenance or inspection of a aerial device.

    Thank You.

  14. #14
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    Larry: This incident happended about 5 years ago and I personally talked to the 3rd party independant person who was hired by the FD to investigate what happened and here are the facts as he related them.

    The heel pin on the base section on the street side had come loose and worked it's way out. So much so that the head of the shaft rubbed the side of the Turntable console, so it wasn't just a spontaneous situation but had worked it's way loose. Obviously the aerial device hadn't been inspected and checked in accordance with the manufacturers requirements.

    I was told the aerial was in fact being cleaned up for a FF funeral and was being elevated out of the bed and extended and with the heel pin coming out the base section it naturally shifted and the ladder came down and hit the power line in front of station or shop. The aerial itself DID NOT fail but as you can well imagine being only held in place by the RH curb side pin would cause it to shift. How can you blame the builder for something that should not have in fact occurred.

    Smeal immediately investigated and took action by issuing a campaign to provide a locking device on the heel pins and sent them out free of charge to every FD user with information about what had occurred.
    To my knowledge this solved the problem but don't blame a manufacturer for the lack of maintenance or inspection of a aerial device.

    Thank You.

  15. #15
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    Larry: This incident happended about 5 years ago and I personally talked to the 3rd party independant person who was hired by the FD to investigate what happened and here are the facts as he related them.

    The heel pin on the base section on the street side had come loose and worked it's way out. So much so that the head of the shaft rubbed the side of the Turntable console, so it wasn't just a spontaneous situation but had worked it's way loose. Obviously the aerial device hadn't been inspected and checked in accordance with the manufacturers requirements.

    I was told the aerial was in fact being cleaned up for a FF funeral and was being elevated out of the bed and extended and with the heel pin coming out the base section it naturally shifted and the ladder came down and hit the power line in front of station or shop. The aerial itself DID NOT fail but as you can well imagine being only held in place by the RH curb side pin would cause it to shift. How can you blame the builder for something that should not have in fact occurred.

    Smeal immediately investigated and took action by issuing a campaign to provide a locking device on the heel pins and sent them out free of charge to every FD user with information about what had occurred.
    To my knowledge this solved the problem but don't blame a manufacturer for the lack of maintenance or inspection of a aerial device.

    Thank You.

  16. #16
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    The "buying commercial from Pierce/E-One/Seagraves/ALF" is s stretch. The difference is, all of those folks take care of the problem first and then figure out who to bill for it. There is no "true" single source manufacturer. Why? No one builds their own pumps, motors, trannies, etc. They all buy from Detroit, Cummins, Hale, Waterous, Allison, etc, etc, etc. The difference is when one of the above four have problems with a truck they sold, they take care of it first, then worry about warranty issues with the equipment manufacturer. Ferrera, Crimson, and some others all at one time or another refused to do work until they figured out who's fault it was. We had a chassis issue with a Spartan chassis Quality (now Crimson) and they refused to work on it until they figured out whether it was Quality's fault or Spartan's. So we had a roof leak for 7 months that caused more damage that they argued over as collateral damage from the original problem. You don't get that from from the big four.

    Not to say the others can't build a quality truck the way you want it, but you have to take the stance of WHEN you have a problem, not IF. No matter who you buy from there will be problems at some point in the life of the truck. Go with who will handle it properly.

  17. #17
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    Aerialguy1, your 100% correct in that you can not blame a manufacturer for a lack of maintenance. You can however look at that from the other side of the coin if you choose to in regards to the depth of engineering to prevent catastrophic failures even when important components are compromised or severly damaged. Take the fabled Chicago E-One incident that all of the E-One critics speak of. They talk of a 100' E-One aerial "Failing" years back. As the story goes, this aerial was covered up, literally, with tarps and taken to Area 51 in Roswell never to be seen again. LOL. When asked for specifics regarding this supposed failure, a similar occurance to what you speak of with the Smeal was relayed to me. The right side lift cylinder literally seperated from the bed section of the aerial due to a severe lack of maintenance leaving the aerial in the elevated position with only the left side lift cylinder holding it up. The aerial was gingerly retracted and bedded. The big difference is that it did not fall to the ground, even with a lift cylinder seperation. Now I know that a heel pin failure is not quite the same as a lift cylinder seperation, but they both go towards a lack of maintenance as a common theme.

    All in all, a vast majority of apparatus problems, specifically aerials, are due to a lack of maintenance to some degree. I have seen it first hand as have you I am sure.

    As for what BC79er mentioned, we too have had issues with our 2-1996 Spartan/Quality rescue pumpers. It always came down to Spartan blaming Quality and Quality blaming Spartan for issues that we were stuck with. We even had to go so far as to get the local E-One dealer to fix the problems because the local Quality dealer couldn't or wouldn't.

    Stay low and move it in.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

  18. #18
    Forum Member ff43065's Avatar
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    Station2,

    I see you finally get the facts and you still manage to twist it around.

    Scenario - An E-One has a heel pin work it's way out due to a lack of maintenance or testing. It goes to the ground.

    Question: Since it is an E-One, is it a failure?

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    FF43065,

    Tell me what instance your speaking of and I'll let you know. LOL. If your referring to the Alabaster incident, that would be a "NO", its not an E-One failure.

    Stay low and move it in.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

  20. #20
    Forum Member allineedisu's Avatar
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    Angry

    Emergeny One's and KME's are still a piece of crap and an accident waiting to happen.



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