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  1. #1
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    Default Big Problems With NYC Firetrucks

    http://wcbstv.com/topstories/local_story_263084345.html

    (CBS) NEW YORK Some are calling it a crisis in public safety. New York City firetrucks, even brand new ones, are breaking down and the company that makes them is falling way behind in repairs.

    The repair yard at the East Brunswick, New Jersey headquarters of Seagrave Sales and Service looks like a graveyard for FDNY fire trucks.

    But one big problem is that three of the trucks, Engine 305, Ladder 147 and Ladder 175 are brand new. They’ve been sitting there for as long as three months. They are not in service on the streets of New York because the FDNY has a beef with the company over repair issues and the quality of the rigs.

    “This fire commissioner has purchased nothing but Seagrave rigs, they’re inferior, they’re not working they cant be repaired the company seems to be in disarray and its compromising the safety of the public,” says Steven Cassidy.

    The fire department freely admits it has a problem getting Seagrave to fix its trucks. But the unions say that’s an understatement.

    · Engine 293 for example, has been out of service for 9 months
    · Ladder 37 has been out of service for 8 months
    · Ladder 14, 6 months
    · Engine 83, 5 months
    · Ladder 168, 6 months

    The company agrees it had had a problem repairing trucks under warranty.

    “I will readily admit not getting repairs done as expeditiously as we would like but we’re in the process of recruiting qualified technicians so we can get on a level footing,” says Seagrave General Manager Creighton Pritzlaff.

    But union officials say that’s only part of the problem. They say the repairs are so slow that most of the spare rigs, some as old as 18 years are being used to fill in for the new trucks. That could potentially result in a new crisis if another 9-11 or other disaster hit the city.

    “We’re driving around with 15 or 20-year-old apparatus but even more importantly there are no spare rigs available or very few in case of a major disaster and firefighters are recalled like on 9/11,” says Cassidy.

    The problem is so intense that last week the fire department decided to re-bid a $10 million contract awarded to Seagrave for 12 tower ladders.

    "Seagrave needs to get its act together. If they don’t improve, we’ll buy other trucks, ” says Fire Department Spokesman Frank Gribbon


  2. #2
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    Is this really going on, it is a news story after all. How do you switch to a different brand after virtually building a fleet out of one brand truck in a department this large ? Should be interesting.

  3. #3
    Permanently Removed hoseheadmaps's Avatar
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    our neighboring company had to send their seagrave back because the *** end keeps kicking out. the problem occurred when they went to test drive it and the engineer told them the problem would correct itself after you loaded it up with equipment. it's been sitting in the shop for over 2 months. is FDNY having the same issue.

    "on a quite night you can hear a seagrave rusting off in the distance"
    Last edited by hoseheadmaps; 09-20-2005 at 12:59 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Seagrave

    Are the Seagrave units custom spec'd or generic? If they are custom spec'd then who the heck is on their committee? If the spec's are good then the builder has one heck of a problem.

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    It is my understanding that this has more to do with the local dealer than a company wide issue. From the mechanic I've spoken to it seems they had a number of guys quit and some third-party parts on the rigs are crapping out as they aren't quite the quality that they thought they were.

    I personally think the city is just bluffing and trying to offer a little "encouragement" to Seagrave to get this issue resloved before we really have to start looking for a new Manufac.

    FTM-PTB

  6. #6
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    The local dealer is Seagrave. Factory store isn't it? And if there wasn't a big problem why would the FD be so open with the news. With all the posts I see here on Seagrave being the only truck to purchase and how they are they only truck that stands up in FDNY I am supprised to see so little on this thread from those Seagrave fans. ANd as far as being a generic spec... not with FDNY. It's their spec 100% or don't bother.

  7. #7
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    The local dealer is Seagrave. Factory store isn't it? And if there wasn't a big problem why would the FD be so open with the news. With all the posts I see here on Seagrave being the only truck to purchase and how they are they only truck that stands up in FDNY I am supprised to see so little on this thread from those Seagrave fans. ANd as far as being a generic spec... not with FDNY. It's their spec 100% or don't bother.
    There are some internal issues at Seagrave that are causing this issue. It isn't a surprise that the rigs break down (although some 3rd party parts have been breaking down) as they get a beating...it is more of the time it takes to get them repaired and back on the road.

    All rigs break down the issue here is more along the lines with having enough qualified mechanics to work on them.(seems Seagrave doesn't like to pay $$$ for good Mechanics) Hopefully they just contract out and allow our shops to do the work and bill them for the warranty work. I know some FDNY grease monkeys who would like the OT.

    PS- There is a fat f*ck EMS-Chief down there running the FDNY shops who has been f'ing up everything since day one. (He is the idiot who thinks E-ones would work great here, HAHAHA) This is what happens when you mix EMS and fire. This guy might know how to do CPR, but he doesn't know Fire appratus. So not all the blame can be put on to Seagrave.
    Last edited by FFFRED; 09-20-2005 at 07:15 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by FFFRED
    There are some internal issues at Seagrave that are causing this issue. It isn't a surprise that the rigs break down (although some 3rd party parts have been breaking down) as they get a beating...it is more of the time it takes to get them repaired and back on the road.
    Quote Originally Posted by FFFRED
    From the mechanic I've spoken to it seems they had a number of guys quit and some third-party parts on the rigs are crapping out as they aren't quite the quality that they thought they were.
    I have a problem with these statements. 3rd party parts/componets should have no bearing on why there are problems on Seagrave trucks.

    If you take a look at Seagrave's website:
    http://www.seagrave.com/About_Us/about_us.html

    It states:
    Company Overview
    Thank you for visiting our website.

    The entire Seagrave team is dedicated to manufacturing top quality apparatus for the fire and rescue service industries. As a single source manufacturer, we integrate both design, construction and assemble all under one roof. The result is a better performing, longer lasting product from bumper to bumper.

    If companies are going state that they are single source, then they need to back up their truck no matter what parts are on the truck. If they're not, well then there is absolutly no manufacturer that can state that the are "Single Source".

    To me, Single Source means that the company will take care of the warranty issues, no matter if it is Cat engine, an Allison transmission, a Waterous pump, the Chassis itslef, or the apparatus body.

    As long as the manufacturer wil back the entire truck up, I don't really care if the chassis is not built by them or what componets they decide to use.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Listen Todd,

    There is alot more to this story than just Seagrave as I alluded to in my previous post "PostScript". There are a number of factors that are combining to make this issue worse than it normally would be.

    -Numerous rigs replaced all at once after 9-11. Many rigs under warranty...upset the normal cycle of replacement.
    -We have a 5 year bumper to bumper warranty...anyone else out there willing to do that? As far as I know we are the only ones to get such a warranty. They are willing to fix the stuff...but it takes a number of guys to do it. Right now there is an issue with having enough Mechanics.
    -The idiot running our shop(not the mechanics) has to take some blame in this. (jftl41 would have more insight on this.)

    -E-One rescues are on their way out. (I hear the only reason e-one was involved was because they bought Sallsubury)
    -Ferarra Engines aren't that impressive...E54, E258, and E26 can attest to the low quality of those slugs. (There was a reason that the ALF and the Spirit of LA were at the Rock collecting dust and the Tower Ladder sent to L53 on City Island)
    -I just spoke to some guys who were in NOLA and they said their rigs wouldn't last 6 months up here.

    Take it for what it is...as much as they discuss in this story...there is alot of blame that could go around to more than just Seagrave.

    FTM-PTB
    Last edited by FFFRED; 09-20-2005 at 07:29 PM.

  10. #10
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    Thumbs down

    Quote Originally Posted by tomwnh
    The local dealer is Seagrave. Factory store isn't it? And if there wasn't a big problem why would the FD be so open with the news. With all the posts I see here on Seagrave being the only truck to purchase and how they are they only truck that stands up in FDNY I am supprised to see so little on this thread from those Seagrave fans. ANd as far as being a generic spec... not with FDNY. It's their spec 100% or don't bother.

    I have to agree with this. Where are those Seagrave is the best everything else is crap people now? I have to find that kid of telling. There are only a few Seagraves in my area and all I have seen and heard is that they overpriced and the quality is not there that used to be. I know of a department just south of Buffalo that refused delivery if their newest Seagrave and is currently suing them because of all of their problems with a previous delivery. Let's see what happens if Pierce, Smeal, KME or some other manufacuter (other than E-One or Ferrara) gets in there. Also, what would happen to Seagrave if they lose the NYC contracts? Can they survive??

  11. #11
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    Default

    "Are the Seagrave units custom spec'd or generic? If they are custom spec'd then who the heck is on their committee? If the spec's are good then the builder has one heck of a problem."

    Do you really think that FDNY doesn't know how to spec out an apparatus?
    The problem is the same everywhere now... big companies trying to cut every penny that they can to earn more money per rig which results in alot lower quality than in the past. If Seagrave where to lose FDNY is would REALLY hurt.

    Ask some of the Baltimore City guys about their new Seagrave trucks .... CRAP!

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber BVFD1983's Avatar
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    Buy Pierce.

    Problem solved!

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    Default Bvfd1983

    I am not the Seagrave dealer in Illinois, but it gets real old when the only imput is buy Pierce, problem solved or something that is very negative towards any other manufacturer. Try something constructive because all this does is diminish any credibility the author of posts might have.

    No matter if it is the brand your loyal to or brand x most of the people are looking for advice or plain conversation instead of the usual negative posts or the famous survey: Pierce or Seagrave from a previous post while I believe from a previous post your up in Appleton. Take the blinders off, every manufactuer has issues.

    Have a great day !

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber jfTL41's Avatar
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    I didn't see the report on the news, however there are a few different issues here. The main issue with Seagrave has been warranty work (or lack thereof) Seagrave Sales and "Service" has been claiming to be understaffed for at least the last three years, when it was Campbell Supply and not a Seagrave factory store they were on top of things, then Campbell went to ALF and so did many of their best techs. Now Seagrave can't find techs and the business people (not firetruck people) want to fight about responsibility for warranty work. So there they sit. Also many of the rigs with lots of down time were delivered in 2002-03 as regular orders, add ons, and WTC replacements, once again proving that you cannot rush and be successful. They were banging out rigs in record time and getting them where they needed to be, the price is being paid now.
    As I have stated in many post Seagrave builds FDNY rigs, we don't buy Seagrave rigs we buy FDNY rigs, our rigs get the balls beat off them from day one and we squeeze them for 11 years of first line service, tens of thousands of runs. If Pierce, ALF, KME, whoever can build our rigs and provide the depth of service support required they will get the contract. While many of you sit down with your chosen builder to draw up the specs for your new rig, we sit down, firefighters, line officers, chiefs, fleet personnel (not with Seagrave)... and design and improve our apparatus specs.
    Other Mfgrs have been knocking at the door, Ferrara, ALF, Peirce, and of course everyones favorite disposable fire truck E One. Ferrara got a few small one off rigs, Pierce is building a Rescue, ALF tower ladders have been demo'd as have E-One and Ferrara.
    E-one, Pierce and ALF have the financial depth to go after a NYC contract, Ferrara will, IMHO, put themselves out of buisness trying to build out a NYC pumper, rearmount, tower ladder, or TDA contract, they simply do not have the network in place in the region to support the rigs once delivered. I don't know that they could complete the delivery schedule for an order of 15 aerials to be delivered in a 90 day window, just MHO.

    FDNY99 got any thing to add? Lotsa drama while we were gone huh?
    Last edited by jfTL41; 09-21-2005 at 11:19 AM.

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    Default

    xxxxxxxxxx
    Last edited by jfTL41; 10-19-2005 at 06:45 PM.

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    Default Right Then, Ladders or Towers just got axed

    I think its time for FDNY to visit CaptainS at his new ALF shop. CaptainS has gone back to making ladders out of wood and open tiller positions. " We have no options, says CaptainS, except the color of the life net."

    "With the advent of spring loaded ladders, firemen will recieve an upper body work out as well saving lifes and property."

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    Cool NYC shop

    FFFred: An EMS guy running a maintenance shop? Holy cow Batman who thought that idea up. Since when do medics know how to fix fire trucks? I don't do medic work and they sure as heck don't dictate to me how to fix a truck. The fire guys and rescue people are here to take care of the public and I'm here to take care of them from the transportation and fire fighting equipment side.

  18. #18
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    FFFRED,As I know you're finding out a warranty is only as good as it's support structure.If you don't have the people or parts to support that 5 yr warranty what do you really have? You know the answer.And I'm not sure you'd be any better off anywhere else.My experience with warranties is that the Mfg will do whatever they can to weasel out of them.There are exceptions of course.A EMS guy in charge of repair? Wouldn't be my first choice,I'd prefer a guy(or gal)that had worked half their life around equipment.And preferably had seen the business end of a wrench before.As far as breakdowns/reliability;welcome to computer/electronically controlled vehicles.It's certainly not a problem unique to either Seagrave or NY.And I suspect it will get worse before it gets better.Now I know tomnh,he takes care of my rigs and does a good job at it.Others aren't so fortunate.BUY PIERCE! Uh huh,and where do you think those parts come from? Take a Seagraves and a Pierce and "frame 'em" (Fred this line is NOT for you)Then tell me where all the major differences are.Oh,you'll find a few,but it's going to be X motor,X trans,X frt axle,X rear axle,X pump etc.Two people build the electronic controls so it'll be x or y.Now we're down to the cab.Yep,differences but both hold 6-8 bodies.So where's the big difference? MAYBE in the pride/work ethic of who built it.If you want to see if anything is any good,sent it to NYC.If it's still working and in one piece in a year(or two)without major service it's good stuff. I can't think of a better general proving ground for anything Fire than FDNY.Climate,geography,roads,f requency of use;it's all there. And the Dept has unique needs based on these factors.But it's still a great place to test equipment.Fred I wish you the best of luck in getting your rides fixed.But I'm afraid it could be the start of a long process. T.C.

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    Detroit went to Pierce and they have been excellent rigs. Pierce gave us a 5 year warranty and they have been right there for the repairs. When I retired in July our fleet of engines were almost totally Pierce and half our trucks were Pierce. I rode both and in my opinion they are one excellent piece of fire apparatus.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireLt1951
    Detroit went to Pierce and they have been excellent rigs. Pierce gave us a 5 year warranty and they have been right there for the repairs. When I retired in July our fleet of engines were almost totally Pierce and half our trucks were Pierce. I rode both and in my opinion they are one excellent piece of fire apparatus.
    Sort of off topic, but Ive always wondered about Seagrave being the only rigs that can stand up to the abuse of FDNY.

    The reason I say this is we run ALS engines here. Most are Pierce, and we have some rigs in the county that run between 5000-7000 calls per year (counting both fire & EMS), which I would say are comparable to what they run in NYC.

    There are a couple Pierce engines here with close to 150K miles (now reserve), a rescue with close to 300K (still front line) and we put almost 120K on our last quint (sold to another FD for front line use). No major malfunctions as far as I know with any of them. So, it seems to me anyway, that at least one other builder could perhaps handle the call load of FDNY. I do admit I have no idea the condition of the roads in NYC, and that would figure into it.

    Perhaps it really boils down to who will build to their unique specs.
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