1. #1
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    Default 1/8" or 3/16" Body Thickness: Pros or Cons

    We are within days of finalizing our truck, but the two companies both push their own thicknesses. Am curious if anyone has anything to say about the two thicknesses and if it is worth the cost going half times thicker.

    Also, spot weld or contineous; who has them and strengths/weaknesses.
    BAClair

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    Default Thickness

    It doesnt sound like much but the 3/16th makes a hell of a difference. I saw a department that had a Pierce with 1/8" cab doors and a E-One with 3/16" cab doors and they pulled both trucks equally a little too close to the fire. Needless to say the cab was pretty much ruined on the Pierce and all that melted on the E-One was the lenses. Also try bending a Piece of 1/8 versus bending a piece of 3/16 its quite a difference. I would assume the 3/16 you are talking about is on an E-One, what truck are you looking at with a 1/8? One of the biggest things to look at is dealer support, dont buy a truck from someone who doesnt have EVT certified mechanics. Also look call other customers around who have there trucks and ask how they have been taken care of. Just my opinion!

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    Default more than thick

    I would look at more than just the thickness of the metal like what other safety features are incorporated into the construction. Never look at just a piece of the pie but the whole thing and then make sure that you get what you wanted and paid for as well as the after sale service. Service, service and service plus I would go for an extended warranty. Its not how much you pay but rather if the unit is built right and the company backs you up when things go wrong; or at least the dealer backing up the product.

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    The type of metal is just as important as the thickness. Dont use thickness to be your only factor for buying a certian brand.

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    On all our aluminum rigs,the bodies are specced 3/16 no exception allowed.While only a 1/16th difference the bodies seem to last longer with less trouble than some of our neighbors 1/8.As the others have mentioned,makes a difference who's building the body. T.C.

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    Smile

    We received a new 2005 " Program" series pumper with a 12 Ga stainless steel pumper/body that is very well built , all of our older pumpers have gavaneel 12 Ga steel bodies. If we buy Aluminum for our next aerial it will be 3/16" .
    Last edited by NewJerseyFFII; 11-09-2005 at 07:02 PM.

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    Default Body Material Thickness

    This is one of the better questions posed on here in a while so as others have expressed here except CFDEngine8 who's on his E One rant again, look at the type of aluminum sheet body materal used as many builders use 1/8" as their standard and some use 3/16" as an option or perhaps their standard, depending again on the type of construction IE: Formed or Extruded body construction.

    Look at are they using Marine Grade 5052-H32 or Utility Grade 3003-H14 in either thickness which is again a preference of the purchaser and builder and there is a cost for the 3/16" material in many cases depending on the builder.

    Some factors involved in body materals are Tensile Load Limit, Endurance Load Limit and Resisting Bending Moment (RBM) of the aluminum plate.

    No matter who you talk to their are considerations between the type of body construction as well relating to Formed or Extrusion construction.

    Remember in some cases with the Extruded construction those Extrusions are proprietary and if you damage the apparatus you have to source from the body builder and if they've changed their design or materials you might have a problem sourcing the repair materials easily and it may be more costly.

    I've seen more FD's going to the 3/16" material perhaps more of a comfort issue than 1/8" but I know of FD's that have 1/8" material body's on their Engines and Aerials that run 4000+ calls per year and they are pleased with the 1/8" material.

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    Default 4caster

    Even though we are not in the hunt, I represent Sutphen, SVI & US Tanker in Illinois. Each manufacturer has their own unique style of construction both of stainless and aluminum in 3/16" & 1/8". The Sutphen aerials are all built with stainless steel for the body. I believe it is more durable for the modular style of their construction. The aluminum pumpers are all 3/16" welded seams, not stitch welded, even on the Sutphen Shield series rescue pumper. Unless you order an aluminum extruded modular style.

    SVI & US Tanker build stout apparatus with both types of thickness that proves well. I would agree with lvwrench anyday. The service you recieve after the sale & delivery. We just signed with a department for numerous rescue pumpers with a five (5) year bumper to bumper warranty. There are way too many apparatus having electrical issues after 2-3 years. Another previous post by lvwrench in this forum addressed some multiplexing issues that is another consideration to look at on either thickness of aluminum or stainless built apparatus.

    Look at the cost of ownership over 5-10-15 years. This will seperate a lot of the players. You can get on any manufactuers website under new deliveries then call some of them and find out what you need to know.

    Take Care & Good Hunting !

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    Default

    4, I am just south and across the river from you, We are also specing a new truck. Bids to go out within 2 weeks.

    What are the 2 trucks you are looking at? Custom or Com chassis?

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    Great discussion here, fellas.
    Just to end suspicion, the two trucks are Alexis and E-One. BTW, the thicknesses are reversed; E-one is 1/8 and Alexis is 3/16.
    The reasoning for the question is that we have two excellent options here, and are just wondering what benefits/probs come with the different thickness. The biggest pro I have found is that contineous welds are applicable in 3/16, not in 1/8. Full stitch vs. patch. You be the judge.
    Other than that, it's a tough decision, but one I am glad I personally do not have to make. I just inform the trustees.
    bj, commercial International 7400. Anything else, let me know.
    BAClair

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    Quote Originally Posted by CFDEngine8
    It doesnt sound like much but the 3/16th makes a hell of a difference. I saw a department that had a Pierce with 1/8" cab doors and a E-One with 3/16" cab doors and they pulled both trucks equally a little too close to the fire. Needless to say the cab was pretty much ruined on the Pierce and all that melted on the E-One was the lenses. Also try bending a Piece of 1/8 versus bending a piece of 3/16 its quite a difference. I would assume the 3/16 you are talking about is on an E-One, what truck are you looking at with a 1/8? One of the biggest things to look at is dealer support, dont buy a truck from someone who doesnt have EVT certified mechanics. Also look call other customers around who have there trucks and ask how they have been taken care of. Just my opinion!
    Too bad the doors on the E-ONE body are paper thin!
    FTM - PTB

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4caster
    Great discussion here, fellas.
    Just to end suspicion, the two trucks are Alexis and E-One. BTW, the thicknesses are reversed; E-one is 1/8 and Alexis is 3/16.
    The reasoning for the question is that we have two excellent options here, and are just wondering what benefits/probs come with the different thickness. The biggest pro I have found is that contineous welds are applicable in 3/16, not in 1/8. Full stitch vs. patch. You be the judge.
    Other than that, it's a tough decision, but one I am glad I personally do not have to make. I just inform the trustees.
    bj, commercial International 7400. Anything else, let me know.
    Since it is E-ONE and Alexis you are choosing between, support the local guy and get an Alexis.
    FTM - PTB

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    Quote Originally Posted by BVFD1983
    Too bad the doors on the E-ONE body are paper thin!
    What are you calling paper thin? 1/8"? That's real funny because that is exactly what Pierce uses! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    I can't believe they actually pay me to do this!!!

    One friend noted yesterday that a fire officer only carries a flashlight, sometimes prompting grumbling from firefighters who have to lug tools and hoses.
    "The old saying is you never know how heavy that flashlight can become," the friend said.
    -from a tragic story posted on firefighterclosecalls.com

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    Pierce doors are double walled, nice and heavy. You know when you're closing a Pierce door.

    $860,000 114' Bronto, flimsy doors.
    FTM - PTB

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    Default 1/8' or 3/16" body thickness

    The Body Specs I Have Say The E-one Door Is (.1875)3/16" Outer Pan And (.125)1/8" Inner Pan And The Pierce Is .090" Outer And .090" Inner

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    That is great, but on the truck I saw, the doors were flimsy at best.
    FTM - PTB

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    Default

    You could put 3/16 on a crap body (crummy frame) and 1/8 on a solid, well built framework where it won't make a lick of difference. In my opinion, the answer is it just depends...

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    Default Sheesh

    BVFD have you recieved your monthly Pierce commission check yet? Good god get of your soapbox. How many post are you going to dig up and say Pierce is the Best? Bottom line the thickness is improtant but also look at body construction. Extruded Aluminum is THE strongest and most durable body material to use. The Extrusions make up the framework for the body. Any other body (formed aluminum, stainless, etc..) the compartments are not self supported, they lean on each other for support. Look at any body that has been damaged and you will see that extruded aluminum is THE strongest! Who are your dealers for each truck? Service and support are a huge issue. Look at how long your dealer has been selling that particular truck and how many of those trucks they have sold over the last ten years. Call there customers and ask them how they take care of them.

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    This post was not dug up.

    Aluminum extrusions are strong, and they look good to boot!
    Last edited by BVFD1983; 02-28-2006 at 01:26 AM.
    FTM - PTB

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    Quote Originally Posted by CFDEngine8
    BVFD have you recieved your monthly Pierce commission check yet? Good god get of your soapbox. How many post are you going to dig up and say Pierce is the Best? Bottom line the thickness is improtant but also look at body construction. Extruded Aluminum is THE strongest and most durable body material to use. The Extrusions make up the framework for the body. Any other body (formed aluminum, stainless, etc..) the compartments are not self supported, they lean on each other for support. Look at any body that has been damaged and you will see that extruded aluminum is THE strongest! Who are your dealers for each truck? Service and support are a huge issue. Look at how long your dealer has been selling that particular truck and how many of those trucks they have sold over the last ten years. Call there customers and ask them how they take care of them.
    Ever been involved in any metal forming? Know the difference between stamping and extrusion? Extrusion is a type of metal forming --- sounds like a line that a salesman has passed out

    now if you told me that a certain body, or framerails, or whatever was stronger because it was hydroformed.......

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    I'm not getting in the middle of the whole Pierce is #1 one thing, but if you're convinced that aluminum extrusions are the cat's meow in fire apparatus bodies, Pierce is not where its at. Take a look at E-One, Ferrara and General Safety if you're wanting extrusions - these are the folks that truly integrate a large number of extrusions into their bodies...

    Others like Pierce use extrusions, yes - but not to the same degree as the previously mentioned builders.

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