1. #1
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    Default Company X says "yes", Company Y says "no".

    I am always amazed how one company will tell you that they can build what you want, then another will say it is not possible. I know there are a lot of apparatus out there that were "not possible" to build, but magicly were build.

    If a company says that what you want can't be done, does that mean they really dont want to build your truck? Or their engineers are inept?

    Has anyone shown the pics of a "not possible" truck to the rep who said that it couldent be built? What did they say?

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    It depends on what they mean by "not buildable" . I know a company that will build you anything you damn well please, be it engineeringly sound or not.

    Some engineers are more close minded than others, but some just refuse to build a rig that MAY be dangerous, bottom line.

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    Some builders will use the "can't be done" statement if something isn't in their standard way of doing things. Having said that, there is a limit to how much water you can put on a single rear axle, how much pump you can drive with a minimum amount of horsepower, etc. Not to bash who the different brands are, but it would be interesting to hear what you want to do, and who is saying you can and can't do it.

    Probably not the answer you were wanting...

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    This same question has been brought up by a number of our firefighters. We were looking for a 1000gpm rear mount mini-pumper. I had several manufacturers tell me that it wasn't possible, and even had one tell me to call them back when we realized that what we wanted couldn't be done! Amazingly enough, we had TWO manufacturers tell us that it's not a problem at all and give us specs on really nice trucks.
    After discussing it with several of our members, we have decided to invite one of the local reps that said it couldn't be done to our department next year when the truck is delivered....I guess it probably isn't the most politically correct way of doing things, but it will give us some sense of "winning" over the sales reps that think that just because they think it is impossible or because their company can't build it that we should change our complete line of thinking to suit what they are willing to do.
    I'm not sure if this is what you were looking for, but I will certainly let you know what we hear from those reps when we contact them if you want me to.

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    DellroyVFD08

    I would really like to here what that rep has to say, If he even comes at all.

    We got bids back from two companys that told us what we wanted was not possible, and offered changes in the spec. amazingly the other two companies bid and dident change anything from the spec. We will be going with one of these builders. I was just amazed that a company would say "that cant be done" when it is quite common.

    Remember the old saying in business,"if you dont take care of your customers, some one eles will".

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    "Can't be done" might be because:

    a) The further it is from "stock" the more likely it will have serious warrenty issues, which cuts into the profit margin of the truck.
    b) While it is possible to fit 50lbs of stuff into a 10lbs sack, what will happen when you go to repair something?

    In the first case, I've seen several "sister" trucks where one is a stock unit the other is quite heavily modified. In almost every case the custom rig has 10 problems for every one the stock unit has. This is of course due to the fact that new components were incorperated into the plans or tried and true systems had to be modified in order to work well with the modification.

    In the second case, I hate manufacturers who will build something that is impossible to work on. I see it a lot on boats, but fire trucks fall into a very simular category. I've seen trucks where you need a child-sized EVTto replace a valve in the pump compartment without removing the hydraulic generator first. It's been my observations that the big manufacturers with large servicing dealers are less likely to do this than the small guys that never do after sales work. And don't get me started about Hinkley boats! 2 hours to change the oil!

    There are some salesmen who either are learning the lessons or are being pressured from above to avoid these situations even at the cost of not making commision on the accessories you are asking for.

    I too am curious what it is you're spec'ing and who you've talked to.

    Now you'll have to excuse me, Bobo the chimp is having a hard time with lefty-loosey, righty-tighty and I need that valve replaced before pump testing.
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    Default wouldn't

    This one falls under wouldn't. This department wanted a 3 door HDR with a bench seat across the rear of the cab. They didn't want any seatbealts installed for the backseat. They said the seat would only be used for on the scene conferences, and to rest and cool down firefighters. My company refused to make the truck without the seatbelts because that seat has the "potential" to carry passengers down the road. We were only looking out for their safety. They may not have ever took it out with someone in that seat, but we weren't going to take that chance. Another manufacturer might have. Eventually they agreed on the seatbelts.

    With us, sometimes its safety, other times it just won't work within our designs. Thats not to say someone else can't do it thats safe engineering wise on their set up. I do know that we will make any truck within reason. There has been some pretty funky looking trucks going through...especially when it comes to HDRs.

    Stay safe.

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    Who cares about being politically correct?
    FTM - PTB

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    Quote Originally Posted by truckbuilder28
    With us, sometimes its safety, other times it just won't work within our designs. Thats not to say someone else can't do it thats safe engineering wise on their set up. I do know that we will make any truck within reason.
    Who is "we?"
    FTM - PTB

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    Quote Originally Posted by truckbuilder28
    With us, sometimes its safety, other times it just won't work within our designs. Thats not to say someone else can't do it thats safe engineering wise on their set up. I do know that we will make any truck within reason. There has been some pretty funky looking trucks going through...especially when it comes to HDRs.
    That's the difference between sales reps. Some claim a design impossible, can't be done simply because their company won't do it. We've had builders say, "sorry, WE just can't do that." That's fine, but don't tell me it simply can't be done. Honesty and an explanation why something won't be done can often times keep a builder in the hunt. Lies and deception put their proposal in the trash.

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    Quote Originally Posted by npfd801
    That's the difference between sales reps. Some claim a design impossible, can't be done simply because their company won't do it. We've had builders say, "sorry, WE just can't do that." That's fine, but don't tell me it simply can't be done. Honesty and an explanation why something won't be done can often times keep a builder in the hunt. Lies and deception put their proposal in the trash.
    That's the problem that I had with one or two of the companies. I didn't have a problem at all withthe companies that told us "sorry, we just can't build something like that"...no problem. It was the guys that said "it can't be done" that irritated me....those are the ones that I can't wait to see their face when we give the check to the manufacturer for a great truck that is what we wanted.

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    DellroyVFD08, I know a company that actually did the same thing. They ate an awful lot of crow a year later when their "custom designed" truck turned out to be a piece of crap that would not function reliably, just like the engineers from the rest of the companies told them.

    If 10 people say no and 1 says yes, I'd be very wary of the 1.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    We have a neighboring department that wanted a particular set-up on an engine. The engineers at company "X" rejected the spec and told them if they wanted to stay with the desired setup they would have to go with tandem axles. So the dept went to company "Y," who told them there was no problem building it on a single rear axle. Midway through the production of the truck company "Y" contacted the dept to tell them the truck was overweight on the production line (no equipment installed yet), but they would finish the truck if the dept signed off on it (releasing company "Y" from the liability). Needless to say the dept generally hates the truck and is already looking to replace it (It's only a 1998). I'll repeat whats already been said. If only one company is telling you it can be done, be skeptical and look into it before simply accepting their word.

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    Company Y sounds like someone I would like to deal with!

    They should have known the weight of it before they started to build it.

    Who the heck do they have in their engineering department?
    FTM - PTB

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    Check out Engine 700 on this website
    www.ovillafire.org

    We want a truck VERY simlar to this as a new first out engine. It will not be used for mutual aid tanker. We have limited man power durring the day and cant often have tanker shuttles. We wanted a pumper with CAFS that can pump for a long time on tank water.
    Funny thing, is even after we show them pics of the truck like we want, they said that what "Pierce did was dangerous and they made them sign a wavier". I cant imagine that Pierce would build a truck that is dangerous, as there reputation in on the line.
    We have had one other company that said it can be done also, so we dont think were asking for the impossible.

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    "It can't be done" covers a lot of area on both the manufacturer and fire departtment's wishes/design.

    I would think you can save some time and trouble by first sending out a general spec as a "Request for proposals". Let the manufacturers respond and tell you if it can be done.

    If you send out four requests and three come back saying it can't be done, you should rethink your design. Conversely if three say it can be done and one says it can't, the one probably doesn't want to do the "custom project".

    We bid a light rescue on a Ford F-550 chassis two years ago. The chassis was to be ordered through our local Ford dealer with the 6.0 Powerstroke, ambulance package, and hydraulic generator. One manufacturer insisted that the unit could not be built.

    We produced the order form from the Ford dealer for the chassis and the sales person still insisted that we could not get the 6.0 engine on an F-550.

    In addition he insisted that a hydraulic generator was not possible on this chassis. The generator manufacturer sent us a step by step installation package with pictures. He still insisted it was impossible.

    Needless to say he didn't get the bid. The other bidders had no problem with the spec and it has served us well other than some of the teething problems with the 6.0 engine which were fixed under warranty.

    Stay Safe
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    Last edited by Rayr49; 10-31-2005 at 03:18 PM.

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    Well, pictures can usually be very deceiving when it comes to the spec of a fire apparatus. If I were you, I would contact that owners of that rig, and have copies made of their approval drawings and spec sheet. That way you could go to the other companies that your interested in, and they can show you exactly why this truck is dangerous, and exactly what they can't do.

    Just because Pierce did it doesn't mean everyone else can.

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    Cool bottom line

    Anything is possible and some people will build anything for a price but if you have ever seen the History channels engineering disasters then you also should know that not everything is built right. If it is safe and sound then go for it but don't ever sacrifice safety just to have it.

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    That is one BAD@SS truck.

    Just go to Pierce and tell them to build the same truck, they have already engineered all the custom stuff on it.
    FTM - PTB

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    Well, I didn't want to use any namesso that this thread didn't turn into another brand bashing thread, but I will say that "Company X" in my last post was Pierce and they proved to be correct in refusing to build the unit on a single axle. I would be surprised if they allowed someone to sign off on a dangerous design knowing that just a few years ago they flat out refused to build it, with or without a waiver, due to the safety concerns. I think it is a huge mistake for any engineer to allow a unit to be built that they do not feel is 100% safe, even if the dept ordering said unit absolves the builder of responsibility.


    www.palmerfire.org

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    We dont want our engine to be exacly like Engine 700, but very similar. We have quite a few small changes. Nothing that would impact overall weight.

    I was just amazed that some reps said it cant be built and then we show them pics and stats, and then they said that it was a accident waiting to happen. I dont think Pierce would make a rig that was a liability. I think some of the smaller builders have inexperienced engineers.

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    That has got to be one really, really heavy rear axle. It makes me wonder why people are so dead set against using tandems when they should? It improves traction, braking, ride, off road ability...oh well

    It may not be dangerous but it doesn't leave much wiggle room

    Birken

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    Talking more for Birken

    Birken: I think that I have finaly convinced our department that if you build a unit that requires a 31000lb rear axle and is over 30 feet long it is time to consider a dual rear axle especially when you plan on loading it to capacity plus. Some things take time to sink in too peoples heads.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BVFD1983
    Who is "we?"
    "We" is the company I work for. Do you really need to know? The company I work for is talked about alot in here. Thats as far as I will go. I just add a comment here and there thats adds to the discussion. I don't want the discussion to become about me. Which I think it would if I said who I worked for. Lets just say the midwest and leave it at that.

    Stay safe.

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    The only reason we dident want Tandems was because of overall length. The guys really like the truck that isnt excessively long. We are specing IFS on it. Isnt the Pierce Tak-4 rated for 24k?? If we used that and a 31k rear it would make the truck 55k gross. I would think that would be enough.

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