1. #1
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    Question Kme Aerialcat Ladder Platform

    We are looking for input on the kme mid-mount ladder platforms, they were built by the old " Grumman Emergency Products,Inc " in Virginia then there ladder product line was sold to the kme fire apparatus co. any input on there 81' mid-mount tower ladder , Please respond with your pro' & con's on this truck ! We all know about the " Philly Aerial Problem " are any departments in the New Jersey, Penn, New york area running late model 2000 - 2005 kme's.
    Last edited by NewJerseyFFII; 11-02-2005 at 07:13 PM.

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    Grumman, best around? Company near me has one and it has been renamed the "Aerial Crap" from "Aerialcraft". Piece of junk spent more time in repair shops getting seals replaced, waterway replaced, cracks fixed, teeth broken off the turntable, etc. After KME took them over, a complete overhaul was done on the truck and it is now a functioning aerial. I am far from a KME fan, but they have been a definite improvement for the Grumman line.
    "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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    Haven't heard much about them lately.

    What ever happened with East Providence suing them for out of service trucks or the Philadelphia units that were returned and rejected or the Munson Ohio truck that had all the problems, Ballston Spa, NY, I'm sure someone can name more.

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    The (one) unit that was delivered to Philadelphia was returned to KME by the city after repeated requests by Philly for KME to come and repair problems that it shouldnt even have left the factory with. After much complaining with no resolve in sight, Philadelphia had the unit towed back to the factory, and cancelled the next unit which was on the line in the beginning stages of assembly. Philadelphia has told KME "Dont call us; we'll call you." As for the money which was appropriated for the 2 rigs, it went back into general funds, and was not allocated for further apparatus purchases. Philly has more problems right now than to worry about two tower ladders. (I.E. possible company closings......)
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Thumbs down AerialCrap is Right!

    I believe the story on East Providence was reported on the Firehouse.com website as a lead story about two+ years ago (either 2002 or 2003). I seem to remember that the city bought five 100' stick/quint KME Aerialcats for $2.5 million, and that they were in the shop for 264 days out of their first 365 days in service! And that the city attorney threatened to sue them for fraud in calling them fire trucks if they didn't get their money back, if my memory serves me correctly. But it may not, exactly. So don't just take my word on that. Go back and check out the actual article yourself for confirmation, or call East Providence themselves. That would be the best thing to do. Now, how do I remember it that way? Because our 100' stick/quint KME Aerialcat has had similar unreliability issues throughout its eight years here. Yep, busted gear teeth, fried electrical systems, the works. It's still out of service for the last two months now, again, with no known return date. Ours either dies leaving the bay, or goes dead two blocks out, our goes dead upon arrival, or goes dead 3 minutes onto the scene, or goes dead shortly thereafter, and has done so since the day we got it. It was bought by our city fathers as the lowest bidder, despite overwhelming objection by the members here. Now they (city leaders) have gone on to other interests, and we're still here stuck with the damn thing ( or not stuck with it, if not having it here in our physical possession within our station house for a great deal of the time counts at all). The most frustrating thing for me personally, when I was an Engineer on it, was that their designers put a computer program into the controls that would shut down the entire aerial system if it had determined that a design limit was about to be reached. However, there was no information screen, warning lights, or any other indication that this was going on, and there was no way -short of going through an entire patchwork of bypass proceedures inside the apparatus chassis- to try to get it back on line and functioning again. That was when the electrical wiring of the truck wasn't burning itself up all on its own. I know that you are talking about a platform rather than a stick, but I have to wonder about that old saying: "Leopards don't change their spots". Still, I have a soft spot in me that wants to give everyone a second chance. So, it's ultimately up to you. Do what you want, it's still a free Country (for a while, yet), but do yourself and everyone else involved with this decision a favor and continue to check this animal out before making a Half Million Dollar plus decision. Good luck.
    Last edited by CptnMatt; 11-02-2005 at 07:34 PM. Reason: typos

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    FWD, you also know I'm sure that a big part of Philly's issue is that the truck was inappropriate for where they were trying to run it and the guys wanted nothing to do with it. It is a big truck and I wouldn't run ours in a city either.

    We have run a Spartan/KME for about 3 years and it is an excellent device. The auto level set up is very fast and accurate. The ladder is very well made and rock solid. We were not sold on KME until we ran them head to head in some performance tests, most notably against LTI which shocked alot of us there.

    We had some glitches early on, but KME's service support and our dealer JB Hunt have been there whenever we needed them.


    http://www.blackwoodfire.org there are pictures there of it in use, check the archives

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    Halligan84 , why did your fire company use a ( spartan chassis cab ) and not a KME Excel or Predator chassis ,and can you tell us what was the price tag of your tower ladder!

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    We have 3 other Spartans, we were originally looking at an LTI/Spartan. ALF then refused to build on anything other than their chassis. We have known the KME salesman for a long time, he made it happen. I personally like the Spartan and it gives some uniformity in the fleet as the only chassis maker. I don't have an issue with the KME chassis, I thought the Predator chassis looked good. Our rig cost just under 800 K, but it is admittedly loaded and we did pay an upcharge for the chassis.

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    Fairview, NY next to White Plains has a late model (2003 or 2004) 95' mid mount KME. The operator who demonstrateded it for us said unofficially they hate it. Repeated problems with body racking during set up causing the cab/body avoidance to shut down the aerial. Though they do have a new system called IQAN which they say eliminates the magentetic sensors.
    Also, call Auburn Maine, who's KME rear mount tower spent more time out of service than in during the first year. Major electrical issues and problems between the dealer, the factory and the dept. The dealer and KME went seperate ways over the deal. I was told that the KME pumper/tanker and rescues were top notch and the people in those factories were great to deal with. The same could not be said of the aerial division.
    You certainly need to, with any builder, explore your relationship with teh local dealer and their relationship with the factory.

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    dealer JB Hunt
    Good company.
    "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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    Thumbs down

    When the company was OREN is was a good company and good piece of apparatus. When Grumman Industries, aka. Grumman Air Craft Company got a hold of Oren, it built junk from the get go. The aerials were a lot of trouble and then they got involved with Grove Crane Company, which Oren was using to build their aerial ladder part. Grove later became LTI and that is when the frigging bottom fell out and Grumman became the worst piece of s**t fire apparatus, since American LaFrance, aka American LaJunk.

    Yes Philly and every one else that was unfortunate to award to the lowest bidder got screwed over and over. The KME’s and their junk became world know for the junk that they were. Fire department that ran like the large cities do found out fast that these trucks were nothing but trouble and that they would be spending more time in the shops, back at the factory than they would in the stations.

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    Default AerialCat

    Hello everyone, NewJerseyFF, sorry i can't help you out in the midmount department, but my career department we have a 102" rearmount and my vol. department we have a 75' rearmount, both are quints, both have had bugs, we worked them out, nothing to cry and scream about , every company has them, i will say from my understanding of things at KME, JB Hunt is a great dealer, did a demo with them in Deptford, NJ with my vol department Quint, they are great dealer, have to agree with Halligan84 on the philly comment, which THE PHILLY KME TOWER DID NOT COME BACK ON A TOW TRUCK TO KME EITHER FROM PHILLY. from what i rember seeing it never came back on a tow truck, but as i said before the KME - Philly problems are between them, whatever happened happened and that is that. just one point there is that Philly never went back out on bid for another midmount, now i know at that time if i am correct the hammer came down on spending, and no more purchases where made, just surprising that i never read nothing else about Philly looking into a Midmount Tower, which could go back to the point that Halligan84 made about running a midmount in the city, but again every city is different and every city has different needs,

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