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    Default Smeal Aerials

    Since we already ordered and it should be here before T-giving or sooner, any thoughts on Smeal Aerials. i.e. 100 platform quints.
    There are none in our local area that I personally know of, so we'll have a conversation piece I reckon.

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    FF44063 can give a much more detailed opinion on Smeal aerials. Me personally, they look nice and pretty. Beyond that I have no idea and don't care to find out the hard way, with Smeal or any builder - Buying one then finding out the problems.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

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    Nearly all of Charlotte Fire Department's ladder trucks are made by Smeal. They are just like any other company out there.. they have their pluses and minuses. I personally haven't experienced anything major.

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    Neighbors have a Smeal 85 foot tower/quint on an HME. As far as I know, virtually trouble free except for when they forget to wait for the overhead door to open all of the way before leaving. But that's hardly Smeal's fault...

    They switched from Smeal to a KME for their next rig, not really sure why.

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    My thoughts are with all of you. I've always felt Smeal was a decent rig.
    About like most.
    Ferrara, Pierce, and ALF were what the others looked at.
    I would of been happy with an E-One, but that wasn't in the cards.
    We have a Sutphen now, anything will improve upon that thing.

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    Is your Sutphen an aerial?? If so, I promise that you will rue the day that you buy someone else's rig after having a Sutphen aerial. If it's older, have your dealer bring you by a new model. They have made lots of improvements over the years. Pumpers - eh about average, Aerials - Top of the Game!!!
    I have but one ambition in life and that is to become a firefighter.

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    It's an 89 Quint. I meant "it", meaning our particular unit. We've had some issues with, part of that is it old and looks bad, underpowered, short ladder, etc. I feel Sutphen is a great aerial. I mentioned Sutphen and was almost run out of town. Our 2 pumpers "Sutphen" have been a problem also.
    Had it not been for our new Chief, we would be buying Pierce. But then our 2 yr old Quantum hasn't been trouble free either.

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    Not meaning to criticize anyone, but don't determine what your going to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into and have for 15+ years by how a current rig looks or if it leaks. It is not just one department that does this, it is many. Alot of makers build rigs with improvements like already mentioned, but some just stick with the way they have done things forever. Sutphen is no exception, hell either is E-One. Both have stuck with a design that works for them. Sutphen and Huck Bolting an aluminum aerial and E-One welding their aluminum aerial. Just because the Sutphen looks bad, leakss some and in general is old, doesn't mean that a newer version wouldn't work out fine for you, like you already mentioned by you throwing Sutphen into the conversation for consideration.

    And for the record, I am not advocating Sutphen over E-One, LOL. That will not happen. I am just saying be objective in the determination of who you buy from.

    And not directed at anyone on this thread, but isn't it amazing that the higher someone goes up the food chain in the fire service, the more restrictive the blinders they wear become, especially in regards to fire apparatus they will never ride on.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

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    WE have a 2 year old Ferrara quint (SMEAL LAdder) So far it's been trouble free. As I'm sure most of today's aerials are, it's pretty much idiot proof. I'd reccomend them.

    -Nick

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    Default Sutphen aerials

    The City of Springfield fire department in southwest missouri has quite a few sutphens in their fleet. They only have i think 2 pumpers still running. But they have 2 75' quints, and 2 100'? trucks. All are towers. Ive lived in this area my entire life and I have not seen these things out of service for anything other than minor run of the mill things. They have never gone back to the manufacturer or anything as far as I know. Things run smooth, and look great. Just my two cents.
    Firefighter/EMT-B
    IACOJ

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    I think if you call us here at Smeal Fire Appratus, we would be more than happy to address any questions you have. That also goes for all on this Forum. I am not here to provide a sales pitch, just answer any questions you may have. Thank You.

    Sincerely,
    Smeal Fire Apparatus Co.
    Jeff Wegner
    Regional Sales Director

    Phone: (402) 568-2224

    You might want to call next week as we are all at the IAFC this week. Just ask for any one of the Regional Sales Directors when you call. Thanks.

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    St. Louis has a bunch of them. Haven't heard if they have any problems or not. There is a guy in here from St. Louis that may see your post and can answer. His screen name is: StLRes2cue.

    It would be better than anyone from the factory exploiting them.

    Not sure if they make the aerial or not. May be some one else’s like LTI.




    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    There are thirty (30) 75' Quints, two (2) 125' Aerials and one (1) 100' Platform that are all Smeal's and the ladders are Smeal's, not LTI. Smeal has been building ladders since 1964. As a matter of fact the 1964 model was recently taken out of service, refurbished and is on the floor at the IAFC.

    Contact any of the upper command at St.Louis and I am sure you will hear good things.

    As far as I know, they still run one E-one platform and one LTI platform in addition to the above.

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    30-75' Quints - Smeal YES
    2 - 125' Ladders- Smeal YES
    Platform Smeal NO (E-one)
    1 - 100' (or close) Smeal ladder

    Sutphen and LTI and Pierce reserves.

    And there has been no major problems with these trucks, but I am sure a few more years and you will start to see something. They run there trucks alot, very busy. Plus not the best streets in the world.
    Stay Safe
    Last edited by Crisb1419; 08-11-2005 at 07:42 AM. Reason: More Info
    FF/Instructor
    "Train as you life depends on it, IT DOES!!"
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    MABAS 32

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    My department has a Smeal quint on order. When we were shopping around, we looked at an E-One, two Pierce models, ALF and KME. I can honestly say that we played with each demo pretty heavily, let our entire department look at all trucks and the Smeal was head and shoulders above everyone else. In addition to being a great truck, the price was very competitive. We got in a top of the line chassis with a top of the line drivetrain for a price that the other manufacturers would only put is in a low level chassis with lower level drivetrain. I also spoke with guys on two separate departments who run Smeal aerials (one a smaller department and one a major metropolitan department) and they had nothing but good things to say about their trucks.

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    A lot of the guys wanted a Pierce, our last pumper purchase was a Quantum. But it was priced higher, Smeal came in a decent price and I believe the LDH bed was a big factor also.
    Our rig will be the only Smeal rig anywhere near our location. Everything around here is Pierce. New ones coming in every day. There are a couple of Sutphen depts, some Ferrara, but no Smeal. So it may be a heavily visited truck for other depts looking for a good aerial.
    I feel good about a Smeal, I'm glad they we went with them. Hopefully it will work out and be a good truck, cause $650,000 ? +/- don't grow on trees and it's got to hold up and last a long time.
    We also looked at a ALF demo, 100' platform, I had bad feelings about that truck, door handles off of some Chrysler product, I thought a PU, one said a Jeep, either way it didn't fit on a fire truck. A panel on the right rear was screwed on with silver screws. The LDH area was behind it, didn't look right, cramped cab in rear, etc. The rep didn't set it properly, the opposite stands came off the ground about a foot with the ladder extended out fully over to the opposite side. He fixed that quickly. The ladder seemed nice, but the body of the truck and design we didn't care for.

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    Can't offer opinions on them, my dept has an E-One quint, but Toronto Ontario Fire uses Smeal for pumpers and aerials

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    Default Smeal Ladders

    Our department runs Smeal ladders exclusively. They are a fantastic ladder; smooth, easy to stabilize, easy to operate. Little or no troubles with the ladder itself. Unfortunately our past Chiefs decided to put E1 chassis underneath them. The newest Chief went to Spartan, wayyyy better. Less mechanical downtime as a perfectly good aerial ladder was in the shop because of the broken down E1 under it. Just so the E1 guys don't get their backs up, we have 10 E1/Smeal combos and all the chassis have the same electrical gremlins and shoddy workmanship.

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    My department has a Smeal 55' Quint. She drives beautifully and is a very solid rig. When you close the equipment doors you can just hear how solid. She's only been out of service a small amount with a small radiator leak and a weld on the ladder that got damaged at a fire had to be rewelded. Besides that since 1999 it's been a great piece and you should be very happy when it arrives.
    Piscataway Fire Dist #2
    Possumtown V.F.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldarffer
    Unfortunately our past Chiefs decided to put E1 chassis underneath them. The newest Chief went to Spartan, wayyyy better. Less mechanical downtime as a perfectly good aerial ladder was in the shop because of the broken down E1 under it. Just so the E1 guys don't get their backs up, we have 10 E1/Smeal combos and all the chassis have the same electrical gremlins and shoddy workmanship.
    Was this some sort of funky E-One/Superior thing??? They really have Emergency One chassis under them?

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    Someone can correct me if I am wrong but the reason that they have the E-One chassis with the Smeal ladder is that E-One's aluminum ladder would not pass the Canadien UL test. It is a different standard than here in the states. It is possible that has changed now though.

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    I'm in canada and our e-one is aluminum. For us it works good. I think now NFPA and ULC are actually pretty close. Last I heard there was a harmonization process going on between them. They would have to be close, check out Pierce's 'site. Big ad on ULC.

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    Thumbs down

    Quote Originally Posted by SmealLadder1
    Contact any of the upper command at St.Louis and I am sure you will hear good things.
    Try contacting anyone but upper command and see what they say. We just spent many months doing exhaustive research to purchase a new tower ladder. Here's what we found: The guys that use the trucks everyday will tell you what they think, good or bad. They just want what works best. Now Chiefs and "upper command" personnel have some responsibility to their poor purchase desicions and often play games with local dealers. Its the sad truth. There is a lot of money being dealt with and not everyone is a boyscout.

    If SmealLadder1 is confident in their products his quote should read: "Ask anyone at St.Louis."

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    Wasn't Smeal the actual Pierce aerial device (as a sub assembly) provider for a few years until Pierce developed their own?

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    Content deleted by author.
    Last edited by Firefighter807; 07-08-2009 at 06:32 PM.

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