Thread: HME questions

  1. #1
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    Default HME questions

    I have a few questions about HME trucks. First some background info. We just recieved bids back for our new pumper. HME had the lowest, with American LaFrance having the next lowest at $16,000 more than HME, and Pierce had the highest bid at $35,000 above KME. 4 guys and E-ONE have bid on the truck too, I do not remember their bids, but they are between American LaFrance and Pierce.
    We are having a custom 6 person cab and chassis. We are located in the Connecticut. This will be a rescue style pumper and have a tank size of 750 gallons, with a 1000gpm pump. The truck will make about 250 runs per year, and we intend to keep it for 20 years.
    HME is offering more to us than any other company, but as people say, a deal too good to be true usually is. Also after looking through alot of new deliveries and apparatus for sale, I do not see many HME at all. Also I have seen no posts on this message board about HME. Being a marketer and in business, I am kind of skeptical of HME at this point, and as to why not many departments have their trucks.

    Here are my questions:

    Has anyone had expereience in the past with HME, and how has it been, good, bad, ugly? Also please add what was wrong with the HME truck.

    Can we expect this truck to last us 20 years. The all bolted compartments seem like a good idea, but won't they come loose with time?

    How does the truck stand up to the rigors of time? Does it start to give problems down the road?

    Would you reccomend going with one of the other manufactur's even if it costs more money?

    Is there anything that I have forgotten to ask, that you would like to share?

    Thankyou all for reading this, I would not like my dpeartment to buy a truck that will end up being a lemon, or not be what we expect from a manufacturer and have to keep it for 20 years. Any and all input is appreciated.

    David Larson

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    Default HME

    The City of Stamford just ordered and placed into service several HME/Silver Foxes.

    I believe that one of those free newspapers we get mailed to our firehouses had a story about them in this months edition as well as a contact.

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    You might want to go over to the message boards at http://www.naevt.org and talk to the folks that fix 'em.

    Might get a broader base to draw from there.
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
    Stephen
    FF/Paramedic
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    There are a few posts here about HME.
    Here are some of them .....
    http://cms.firehouse.com/forums2/sho...threadid=57308
    http://cms.firehouse.com/forums2/sho...threadid=37177
    http://cms.firehouse.com/forums2/sho...threadid=55195
    http://cms.firehouse.com/forums2/sho...threadid=51762



    We took delivery of an all HME truck last september. It has been a great truck so far with a couple of minor problems.
    First the wiring for the flashers below the pump panel was damaged in transit we fixed that quick, Second we had a cracked windshield that happened again when it was being driven from MI to WA. HME replaced that for free through a local auto glass shop.

    Only other problem is how to test this damn 1750 pump on our single suction test pit. We worked out a way using a 6" and a 2-1/2" hard suction off the same side. That seemed to do the trick.

    Feel free to shoot an email or ask questions about our unit.

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    In August our HME pumper turned 4 years old. I think it's one of the best riding and handling trucks I've driven in 30 years of firefighting. We have a 8 man 1871 P2 cab with raised roof.

    The problems we've had with it have been mostly due to the body manufacturer and their installation of lights, controls etc. We did have a problem with the sight glass but that was corrected. Don't know if that was their problem or from Cummins.

    You're bound to hear complaints and people trash the trucks but they seem to be doing something right. Chicago has had quite a few in use for a few years.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
    Steve Dragon
    FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
    Volunteers are never "off duty".
    http://www.bufd7.org

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    Rosenbauer/Central States uses a lot of HME chassis. They do a nice job on them. I had the opportunity to spec and deliver last year. There were some problems (like trying to see if the transmissoin can catch up to the 450 hp engine when responding)but it is a nice chasis.

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    Fish, please let all of us know who you are. Anyone with a hint of intelligence can tell you are involved in the apparatus business. Your posts with an all positive spin towards Rosenbauer without any negatives, but with a few positives along with more negatives towards other builders (pierce, alf, etc) make that clear. Anyone from NY who reads your posts can figure out you used to be with a prominent NY manufacturer of top quality stuff. I really like a lot of the info and insight you present, but its tainted because it appears you are hiding your current involvement in the fire truck business. Be safe out there.

    FFP

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    Fish,

    I never hinted at having more intelligence than others on the board-you said it, I didn't. I won't get into the e-mail crap with you at this point, just so you can avoid this on the boards. I just asked that you indentify yourself. Reading your other posts in this and other threads makes it obvious you are affiliated with rosenbauer-general-central. slamming federal, HME over your "warranty issues", alf, seagrave in other thread, four guys and some others over things but having only glowing remarks about rosenbauer makes it obvious. You are free to your opinions and i still want to hear them, i assume the others do too. You appear to be an incredibly bright guy, but i think we all can see you sell and/or build trucks. Thats ok, just let us know, thats all. Please keep giving us info-its great!!!! Its informative, we all can learn from one another.

    be safe out there

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    DT - we have a new HME due in December. We called a lot of HME users, both people that have HME chassis's with others cabs and only found 1 negative in about 20 people we called.

    One of the Departments we spoke with was Apex, NC, which had the first "all HME" truck. They wanted more of them. A local department that has Smeal boxes on HME chassis has nothing but good to say about the chassis.

    They were the only builder to leave a demo with us. Only a handfull of other prospectives would even bring a demo to us, and then it was only for an evening.

    You do have the correct attitude with the "buyer beware" attitude. You need to compare specs, etc.

    Is it "too good to be true"? I don't think so.

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    Fish,
    I for one will miss your posts .........hurry back soon.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
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    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    I don't like to come off as a basher but we have a 1992 HME cab/chassis with a Grumman body for our rescue pumper. We will not be buying any more of them. Our problems include but are not limited to;
    Multiple electrical problems (relay board catching fire, several failed switches, two in dash fires from shorts, mislabeled wires in the harness)
    Interior fit and finish (dash and trim are falling apart)
    Way too much chassis flex(enough to rip the diamond plate on the walkway to the top mount pump.....twice, enough to pull the body part so that the officers side rescue comps tore loose from the body....9" separation at the top.)
    Exterior fit and finish (the sheet alum on the doors keeps popping out from under the window trim leaving it to catch debris and flap, windshield cracked from body movement (we broke it once, it broke itself once so we are even), the cab locking device has to be realigned and retightened regularly, the cab lift system is very weak every thing must be removed and it takes 10-12 minutes to raise the cab)

    I am sure that ours is just a lemon and by no means the typical unit, I am familiar with several other newwer units that have been reliable trucks.

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    Thumbs down HME

    We have a HME chassis in our station with a central states body on it. The truck had to be returned to HME to have the seat rearrainged because they told us that a seating arraingment was not avaible but after we took delivery of the truck we saw other trucks coming out of the factory sith the seat set up the way we would of liked them to be.
    Also if you want another companies thoughts on HME just ask any firefighter in the city of Loveland, CO. There struck has been back to the factory a number of times for a structual problem with the area below the center of the windshield, it has cracked at least twice. If it was my choice I would go with the ALF. I don't know what kind of truck you are looking at but we are also spec out a new pumper and been dealing with the guys at 4guys.

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    DT,Feel like a road trip?We just took delivery on a unit that might interest you(1500 pump,1250 water,Rescue pump body with rollup doors 9'7" high.But it's on a Spartan.We looked at HME(a lot of HME's)and ALF and Spartan.For the money we had to spend it was Spartan/Rosenbauer(Central states).Rosenbauer MAY have it on it's website,I'll have to check.Do yourself a favor and look at a bunch before you make up your mind,you'll have to live with it for 20+ years.T.C.

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    Thumbs down HME

    We have a 1999 Central Mistakes Engine on an HMS Chassis. Started going to peices the day we took delivery. The screws holding the door interior panels need constant locktite and tightening. The main wiring harness was poorly located so it gets wet from the road and shorts out causing problems. The chassis has started to rust worse thatn our 1978 Peirce/Ford. Th9is trcuk is maintained by career personnel who rinse at after each run in the winter, keep it washed and spotless and complete daily maintainence checks and weekly examinations of the apparatus. We were told by an outside nationally recognized apparatus consultant that he thought we might see 14 years out of it before a major rehab.

    As for the Central Mistakes parts- a perfect match to the HME- junk!!
    Poorly closing compartments, lightweight doors, improper flowmeter installations, disimilar metals issues, and overall poor fit and finish. Not a 20 year builder.

    This Engine runs out about 550-600 calls a year, 98% within a 9-10 sq. mile first due area.

    Just our experience with low bid stuff. And we have more, not one (except ambulances) is the same. Maxim ladder (out of service)

    EEI/International 1500 gpm engine (not bad but very big) 78 Peirce/Ford- tranny issues from day 1, but otherwise servd well. (needs replacement soon though.

    Good luck. If it were me I'd skip over HME fast.

    Stay Safe and wash up when your through.

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    seems like we're missing a few post

    RIP, FireFish

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    Anyone out there with HME SFO trucks?

  18. #18
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    I read an article in Fire Apparatus news, and I could sweat that the author was channeling the 'Fish.

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    WE HAVE 10 HME/SMEALS AND WE CALL THEM SMELLS. CAUSE THEY SMELL OF POOP. THESE THINGS ARE AT THE FACTORY HAVING THE BODY AND CAB WELDED BACK TOGETHER AS MUCH AS THEY ARE IN OUR STATIONS. IF YOU WANT TO EMAIL OR CALL ME I WILL BE GLAD TO GO INTO DETAILS. WE ARE A BUSY DEPT AND THESE ARE GOING TO STRUGGLING TO MAKE A TEN YEAR TRUCK.

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