1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Gibsonville, NC

    Default American LaFrance Aerial Difficulties

    A FD I work for has a 2000 ALF Silver Eagle 75' Quint that keeps having repeat problems with the rear end. The unit was purchased with the option that enables the rear end to steer in order to reduce the turning radius. The problems are as follows:

    1. The tag axle slips out of alignment repeatedly, especially when backing up.
    2. There is an intermittent air leak in the rear that causes one side of the truck to lean by several inches. ALF states that this is not a problem as long as pressure builds back up upon starting the apparatus. It has taken as long as two minutes for pressure to build back up.
    3. The tag axle will engage while the truck is in forward motion, causing the truck to drive off-track.

    Has anyone out there experienced the same problem with their ALF apparatus or do you know of a department that has experienced similar problems?

    Any help that you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    npfd801's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Somewhere in Illinois


    Myself having very little patience would go this route:

    Whatever department you work for (district, city, etc.) probably has legal counsel. Get them involved. If this has been an issue from the start, it should have been fixed by now.

    Obviously, regardless of whether or not ALF thinks it performs within spec, you're an unhappy customer. Legal action and negative press gets things done quite often. Why builders will tolerate unhappy customers is beyond me. Word of mouth is a big deal in apparatus sales.

    A department I used to work for had an engine delivered with numerous issues that were not being taken care of. Neither the chief, nor the city administration stood up to the manufacturer, and it took over a year to get the issues resolved. Brand new apparatus should not be out of service more than in service.

    I've ran across a web site with a similar 75'foot ALF with a tag axle in service. Is the tag axle tire diameter notably smaller than the other axles? Perhaps you're the same department, but if not - I'll try to find where they are and perhaps you can contact them and see if they have issues with their setup. I think they were somewhere in Wisconsin.

    Best of luck...

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2003


    I think before i had legal teams start working on this i would contact the dealer or alf directly. I am guessing that if you get hold of the tech support folks in charlston they can help you out. I would also make sure that the dealer is knowledged in this area if not find one that is. email if you need more help as i know a couple guys at our dealer that are great techs. firetruckfixer@cox.net jeff

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Asheville, North Carolina, United States of America

    Default Not just ALF

    Do not think that what you described happens only on ALF apparatus. My paid department runs Piearce, E One, and KME aerial apparatus, and each (from the day they were new) has/had it's own set of problems. The key is to stay on the dealer rep to fix the problems in a timely manner. You probaly put nearly a million or more dollars of the taxpayers money in that rig and greased some salesman's pocket well, so do NOT let them hand you a load of crap on working out the problems. Stay on your apparatus rep to GET IT RIGHT! One little note...having an air line (auto eject hopefully) plugged into the rig will solve the suspension problem, at least it did on our Piearce rig. And the axle problem is NOT unique to ALF. Those are really big, really complicated, really heavy suspension systems, and be it right or wrong, are going to give you problems. However, once about every five years should be the norm...if it is happening every year or less, then something is definitely not right!

    Hey guys...where are we going...and why are we in this handbasket???

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