1. #1
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    Default Duty Chief / Command Vehicle

    Would appreciate hearing comments/suggestions from FD's that operate a Chev Suburban or equal type of Duty (Battalion) Chief Vehicle that is also used as a Command Vehicle for a full time paid FD with 5 stations and has a lot of steep grades (ocean to mountain winter snow etc.)

    Their risks are mainly residental and commercial and no industries so the call volume isn't very high and they use it for the Duty Chief to respond as well as deliver supplies and visit the stations.

    Would like pro/con's of the Suburban vs Ford Excursion and what features or options you'd spec or not spec.

    Thanks

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    Probably not as useful to you as you would like, but we just shopped an Expedition against a Tahoe and the Ford was thousands cheaper in our area, so that's what's been ordered.

    I'm sure I've read that Ford has a more "Suburban" sized vehicle coming out that slots between the regular Expedition and the Excursion monster, though I don't know if that will help you.

    We basically just compared the two "police" packages and I don't think my chief saw something on one vehicle and not on another that made any real difference to him, but again - I wasn't too involved in the process.

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    We have both, a 2500 Surburban 4X4 and an Excursion 4X4. Both are gas engines, the Ford being a V-10. Both are fully loaded with all the bells etc. The Ford is the newer of the two. They are driven by two different guys, but both are happy. The Excursion is higher off the ground, that may be the only grip on it.

    But don't get too attached to having an Excursion, they were axed last year. I'm sure there is plenty of dealer stock left thou.
    Ford is offering an extended length on the Expedition later this year, Expedition EL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by npfd801
    the Ford was thousands cheaper in our area, so that's what's been ordered.
    I can attest to the Ford being cheaper in more than the financial sense. Comparabley the Ford fit and finish is junk. We bought a Ford pick-up and saved $$$ on the GM P.U. Biggest mistake we made. The Ford handles terrible, and for the price saved is a real pain to get out and indiviually lock all four doors everytime you stop among other things. Next time I'd buy a Toyota and support american auto workers!

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    Heres an idea buy a truck with power locks. Why bash Ford for your own mistake? nothing better to do?

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    The biggest difference in the two if they both have four wheel drive will be the front end. The Chevy has IFS, while the Ford has a much stronger solid front axle assembly.

    I would go Expedition over Tahoe any day. More of an aftermarket and the 5.4 will put the 5.7 to shame.

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    GM doesn't put a 350 in trucks anymore. The only engine in a Tahoe/Yukon is a 323.

    The Expedition has IRS.
    FTM - PTB

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    Check out the new Chevy trailbazer line of flex-fuel vehicles. They are apparently coming out with a new E-85 version of the Trailblazer for '07. Granted, I live in New England and we can't even GET E-85 --- however it is something to consider if you have a fill station anywhere nearby. In the day and age of oil @ $70+ / barrel, I'd be willing to bet it will save money in the next few years. Chevy might also work out a deal just to get these things in circulation (one of our local casinos is using all Hybrids from Toyota and got a great deal on them -- hell, its free P.R. !)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Holyfield911
    Check out the new Chevy trailbazer line of flex-fuel vehicles. They are apparently coming out with a new E-85 version of the Trailblazer for '07. Granted, I live in New England and we can't even GET E-85 --- however it is something to consider if you have a fill station anywhere nearby. In the day and age of oil @ $70+ / barrel, I'd be willing to bet it will save money in the next few years. Chevy might also work out a deal just to get these things in circulation (one of our local casinos is using all Hybrids from Toyota and got a great deal on them -- hell, its free P.R. !)
    We are in talks with our local Chevy dealer for the same thing right now. The state already requires all state, county and municipal vehicles that run on gasoline to use Ethanol...as E-85 proliferates, I believe that will become mandate as well.

    Of course...being in Iowa...our station is surrounded by "yellow oil fields"!
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    There's not much corn in Connecticut!

    I truly think that flex-fuel and alternative fuel is something worth investigating thoroughly. Keep us posted on your progress, given the current revenue challenges of the big 3 and the petroleum issues globally, I think these companies will be looking to get this technology into the market (even as demos).

    Of course, we're supposed to be the role models, so lets lead!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Holyfield911
    There's not much corn in Connecticut!

    I truly think that flex-fuel and alternative fuel is something worth investigating thoroughly. Keep us posted on your progress, given the current revenue challenges of the big 3 and the petroleum issues globally, I think these companies will be looking to get this technology into the market (even as demos).

    Of course, we're supposed to be the role models, so lets lead!
    Not a slam against you personally but I see this sort of attitude as government pork. Every decision I make here is strictly based on business and whether it pencils out in the end. If it benefits the district financially and operationally then I will do it. If not then no. I do not like to take risks with the tax payers' money. If a new technology is promising then private enterprise and the free market will make it work (barring the interference of the oil companies but I have no control over that). But I have a problem with government trying to move the market this way or that.

    Birken

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245
    The biggest difference in the two if they both have four wheel drive will be the front end. The Chevy has IFS, while the Ford has a much stronger solid front axle assembly.

    I would go Expedition over Tahoe any day. More of an aftermarket and the 5.4 will put the 5.7 to shame.
    Neither vehicel has a solid front axle both are IFS. You maybe thinking of the Excursion which is based on the F-350. And the 5.7l was retired from the light truck market in 2000. Depending on if its the 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton model you can get either the 5.3L or the 6.0L engine.

    E85 Ethanol is just a marketing ploy at this point. It is not cost effective for compainies to mass market. Ethanol is too expensive to produce at this point to be cost effective. It's simply a gimick to make it look like the government is doing something about the current energy crisis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jlcooke3
    E85 Ethanol is just a marketing ploy at this point. It is not cost effective for compainies to mass market. Ethanol is too expensive to produce at this point to be cost effective. It's simply a gimick to make it look like the government is doing something about the current energy crisis.

    As a person who lives in the grain belt i can assure you its not a gimick. Simple question: Would you rather have your money go to the middle east, or go to american farmers\workers? Ethanol costs about $1.36 \gallon to produce. How would I know? I own shares in one of many ethanol plants throughout the midwest.

    It may not be marketed properly in your area of the country. I am sorry for that.

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    Might I suggest looking into a diesel engine. They offer great durability and are very economical for the amount of power you get. Having the extra torque would also come in handy if you were to be towing a trailer with that vehicle.

    I understand wanting to be eco-concious and flexible with new fueling standards, but wide-spread ethanol use is still a bit off and you would probably be looking for a replacement for this vehicle by the time ethanol is the norm.

    BTW, this is my first post since coming back from my short sebatical that the Webteam graciously gave me. I have learned from this experience and I'm glad to be back.
    I can't believe they actually pay me to do this!!!

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    As a person who lives in the grain belt i can assure you its not a gimick. Simple question: Would you rather have your money go to the middle east, or go to american farmers\workers? Ethanol costs about $1.36 \gallon to produce. How would I know? I own shares in one of many ethanol plants throughout the midwest.
    A better way of saying it would be that it takes almost the same amount of energy to produce ethanol as ethanol itself produces. Gasoline on the other hand requires less than half of the energy it gives of to produce it.

    Does that make any sense?

    Right now gas in my area is about $2.75/gal 25% is taxes (roughly .69 cents), crude oil price approx 50% ($1.38), marketing and distrubtion is approx 12% (.33 cents), and production cost and profits make up about 20% (a whopping .55 cents/gal). I know the % to add up, I'm just approximating.

    So if ethanol cost about $1.38/gal to make and gas cost about $.55/gal to make which one comes out cheaper? The single driving factor is crude oil price, and even that's a load of crap. The price were paying for is the expected price of crude oil 3 months from now not todays price. Another point to consider is that there is not enough farm land in all of the US to produce enough corn to switch over to ethanol to feed the US gas market. Ethanol is simply a stop gap measure.

    Diesel on the other hand is the way to go. Lower production cost, better mileage and more power. Diesel motors are quiter and cleaner burning than ever. And to top it off last 2x as long as the majority of gas burners.

    BTW glad to have you back Irons.

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    Default Duty Chief Command Vehicle Ideas

    Guys: PLEASE I asked for ideas and suggestions about pro's/con's between the Ford and Chev and not a bunch of responses pro/con on choices of fuels as that's a completely different subject ... Secondly in Canada we don't have the ethanol and Chev doesn't offer a Diesel for 2007 in the SUV.

    The choice is towards the new 2007 Chev Suburban and the FD doesn't want the new larger Ford Expedition so for the sake of clarity, can those FD's who have Suburban's let me know the features/options they go with.

    Thanks

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    Sorry to get off subject okay back to your original question.

    First I'd go with the Chevy Suburban get a diesel if you can if not get a midsize V8 probably the 6.0L. As far as the Excursion the V10 is a horrible gas guzzler, somewhere around 8-10mpg, which with todays gas prices just aren't feasible. The main reason to go for the Suburan is room. Plenty of room to mount a Command Cabinet, carry medical equipment, and other needed equipment.

    As far as equipment I'd probably go with LED lights in order to cut down on the amp draw. Depending on the amount of supplies your carrying to the stations maybe mounting a command cabinet in the rear with equipment mounted on a pull out tray. Also get a 9000lb winch mounted on the front with either a push bar or brush guard of somekind. Since you're running from the mountains to the sea I'm going to assume that you get some foggy weather along with snow I'd get some fog/driving lights mounted to brush guard/winch bumper.

    That's all I can think of right now, hope it helps. Oh get the one with the lift gate not the barn door type rear doors. That way if it rains you get some protection.

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    Default Chevy Suburbans

    I have been driving Chevy Suburbans since 1983. They just cannot be beat for durability and handling. The changes in about 2001 brought great brakes and the wonderful 8100 engine. Our current Suburban is a 2004 K2500. It is reliable and does the job we need it to do.

    John Doering, Fire Chief
    Dunlap, IL

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    What about the GMC chassis...I am pretty sure they have a vehicle on the same platform as the suburban...and they usually offer a little more in the way of powertrain options...see if you can have a 6.6l duramax dropped into one of those...
    This we do so others may live

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    Recently read an article on the new Surburban, the Duramax diesel will not be offered anytime soon. Try to find where I read that and post it.

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    Default Miami Dade

    Miami Dade has several nice Battalion Chiefs vehicles built on F-450's. If I knew how I would include a photo of one!

    OK may have figured the photo thing out. I am not a big fan of green but this rig s paint and striping scheme looked better in person than in the photo.
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    Last edited by Thrilbilly61; 05-22-2006 at 12:00 AM. Reason: Add Photo

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    Default BC Vehicles

    Thrilbilly61: Would you or anyone else know why they went to this size of vehicle for a BC Vehicle? I know that LA City has just done the same with an F350.

    What equipment would a BC carry in Miami Dade that would require such a larger vehicle? I guess there are pro's-con's to size but wondering how a BC would feel driving around in a vehicle like this for a shift..

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    SAFETEK: I am not from the area, but from what I have picked up on the web the idea seams to be they carry special use equipment and things like the RIT equipment so that when the apparatus that will be assigned to RIT has to stage away from the scene they do not have to carry all the equipment with them to the scene they just pick it up off of the BCs unit which will be parked very close to the scene.

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    I think a vehicle like that would be great for a BC. Obviously, equipment wise, you would think:

    turnout gear
    SCBA and perhaps an extra bottle
    command equipment including accountability boards, white boards
    preplans
    perhaps some sort of small folding table for command post
    perhaps an EMS jump bag, oxygen kit and defib
    TIC - just to have another one on scene
    road cones for blocking scenes and space off
    a radio compartment with all the needed communications equipment

    That's just off the top of my head, but with a truck like this you can certainly think way beyond what the traditional equipment in a Tahoe or Suburban would be.

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    With all the emphasis on securing equipment inside the cab of fire apparatus, this style of box makes sense to me. Imagine what some of the crud in your typical SUV command buggy would do, unsecured, in a serious wreck...

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