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  1. #1
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    Default Starting Search for New Truck

    My fire department is going to be purchasing a new front line engine soon and I was just wondering what everyone likes and dislikes about their apparatus.


  2. #2
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    Cool good grief

    It depends on which manufacturer you want to hear about and how much time you have to listen. I think if you hunt and peck around the posts here and throughout the forums here you will pretty much get all that you can handle and then some.For most here your question is a loaded one.

  3. #3
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    Default

    One thing to keep in mind about speccing a new truck. Don't spec the truck you new today, spec what truck you will need ten years from now.

  4. #4
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    Default

    I agree with Benson......Make sure you plan for the future. We have one whole cabinet plus other room that we don't have much in at this point. We feel we have plenty room for additional equipment in the years to come. When we were at the stage that you are....we sat down and put a list together of things that we need the truck to do....and a list of things we would like the truck to be able to do. Once we came up with that.....we started going to departments in our area to look at the 3 manufacturers we had decided that we were going to evaluate. We took pictures of all the different trucks, talked to the people that use them, then we also toured 2 of the factories that we were evaluating before we even got too deep into anything with the sales reps. We were not able to tour the other manufacturer because it was in Florida. With being from Wisconsin we have the luxury of having 2 of the major players plus several others right in our backyard. Good luck!!!!

  5. #5
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    Default New Truck

    Everything depends on where you are located. Some areas have great dealers that carry good brands, some areas have terrible dealers that rely on the brand name to sell trucks. Check out all the dealers and see which one has a large commitment to service and support after the sale. Then get a list of things that you want for your truck and once you have a wish list, meet with all the manufacturers you can and go from there. It is a very involved process and you need to find a salesman that is willing to go the extra mile for you. What area are you in? What is your budget? Are looking for a commercial (Freightliner or International) or a Custom (Cab Over)? Just trying to narrow it down.

  6. #6
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    Default Planning for new apparatus

    There are numerous things to consider when planning a new rig:

    1. Like previously stated, don't spec a rig around your needs of today. Most dept's make this mistake. They model rig after rig aroung their last "new" rig and after 2 rigs their needs have changed and they're behind in the game.
    You must think ahead. Envision your needs 5 years from now, 10 years from now.

    2. Do your research. There is always something new (technology) coming out. Don't settle for old technology just because thats what you've always had. For example: A Telma retarder instead of a Jake Brake is a very nice improvement. Still a lot of departments buy Jake Brakes "because thats what we got on the last truck".

    3. Write your own spec! Don't take a spec from a dealer. Only you know your needs. If you take a pre-written spec and don't know what to look for, it can be costly! Be very careful here especially!

    Hope this helps.

    Check out our website: www.ewfac.com or give us a call @ 1-866-843-1075

  7. #7
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Default

    bryan...

    Form an apparatus committee with people that have expertise in various areas. Out committee had 4 members. We solicted ideas and opinions form the entire membership of the department. We then established a "wish list" of what we wanted on this rig. Believe me there were some varying and sometimes extremely radical ideas. I do agree with what others have said about looking to the future. We planned for continued growth and the need for more specialized rescue capabilities.

    If I can be of assistance please feel free to e-mail me. I am not an apparatus manufacturer or representative nor a paid consultant. I am just a FF that recently went through the process and happy to help.

    FyredUp

  8. #8
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    Default

    Don't hesitate to ask for truck specs from area towns. Before a couple of years ago in my dept the only people to spec a truck was the chief and asst chief. Since we became born-again, we now have a truck committee and one of the first things we did was ask area depts for there truck specs so we could at least get a basic format. From there we tailored it to fit our needs. Unfortunately, the chief wanted a certain manufacturer. Now that he is gone we are on our second truck spec and the new chief says getter done!!! On what truck would work for you is up to you. Go and look at other depts trucks and get ideas. Figure out what is going on this truck and then add at least 25% more space for future. I don't know how long this truck is going to last for you but it should last at least 15 years. Is your dept in 15 yrs going to be close to paid people? so you may need a custom cab vs a commercial cab. If it was a choice that I had and cost wasn't a problem we wouldn't buy any more commercial cabs, all custom!! Safety!! Commercials aren't designed in rollover protection like custom are. Just some more info for YA. GOOD LUCK

  9. #9
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    Default truck

    i agree look at other truck specs close to want you want, and take your time if this is a custom truck. if you like something that one manufacturer does, and something from another make them incoroporate that some of the manufactures, or salesmen will say that they can't do that, well they can do that they just don't want too! do be satisfied with just a new fire truck, it is your money and you have to work of this truck for many years to come, make sure you get exactly what you want!
    michael umphrey
    captain higgins twp fire/rescue/ems
    roscommon,mi

  10. #10
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    Default Look ahead before specing!

    I whole heartedly agree with looking foreward at new technology. The industry will see many new equipment changes in the years to come and you want to make sure the apparatus can adapt to these as they come.

    Obvioulsy you can't look into the future but you can "peek" by going to trade shows like FDIC etc. and watching for new product ideas. LED lighting for example is not new, but moving forward at a faster pace now that pricing is more realistic. In ten years, it may very well make the incadescent bulb obsolete.

    Also I agree with the committee idea, sometimes too many cooks spoil the pot, but different ideas from different viewpoints never hurts!

  11. #11
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    Default Go on a trip!

    Take the time to find out who in your area has apparatus similar to what you want/need. Go see the trucks, ask questions and get honest opinions on features, service issues, what works and what doesn't. Tip: talk to firefighters not Chief's. Usually the guys that work the trucks are open about issues, where some Chief's are in bed with the dealer and won't say anything bad. Of course some firefightres may also represent the dealers. We did this when speccing a new tower and it proved invaluable. We had one firefighter and crew that talked great about their KME while the Deputy Chief was standing there and when we went up in the bucket he covered the intercom and let out a flurry of negativity that would make Eddie Murphy blush! Suffice it to say the troops hated the truck and the Chief was instrumental in buying it!

  12. #12
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    Default Agree

    I agree with what I have heard 100%. Don't look at what you have now, look toward the future. I know a company that is buying a new apparatus and they are buying pretty much the same thing as they are replacing, a 1976 apparatus. No innovation at all on there new apparatus. Another thing I recomend is, and this depends on the money available, get the apparatus you want. Think big and out of the box and don't try to make your new engine match your old 1976! Innovation is everything today. Some companies like mine and maybe yours only buy a new engine every 20 - 30 years. Make it not only functional, make it something you and your members will be proud of, not only when in is delivered but 10, 20 years down the road. And I know the KME bashers will be attacking me about this but, don't be hung up on big names like Seagrave/Pierce. KME is very innovative and will give you a nice truck for a decent price. fire.kovatch.com/

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