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  1. #1
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Default Doing a middle of the build inspection...any advice?

    Thursday we are making a trip to the builder of our new rescue engine for a middle of the build inspection. The cab is on the chassis and the body is being built but may not be installed by the time we get there.

    So any advice on what I should look for? Besides the fact that they are building what we specced?

    FyredUp


  2. #2
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    look for anything that could be a problem in the future. Look at the quality of welds, look at the way things are mounted to the frame. Make sure that the frame has not been welded on or cut with a torch. Make sure that all bolts in the frame are frame bolts or bolts with a flange head. Look for any sharp edges, especially where any wires,air/hydraulic lines may rub or chaffe. If there is any wiring, air lines, or hydraulic lines run, make sure they are properly routed and secured. Make sure they are not going to be too short and get pulled out, or they are not pulled too tight already in the way that they are routed. I'm sure there is more, but that is what just popped off of the top of my head!

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    BTW What mfg did you use? That might help in determining what trick some try to use?

  4. #4
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    The manufacturer is Ahrens Fox HME in Michigan.

    Keep the advice coming guys.

    Thanks,

    FyredUp

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    One of the things we worked out on our unit a mid construction was location of all maintenance points- Fluid checks, strainers, anodes, filters, grease fittings, access to valves and check valves, drain valve locations, primer locations- anything that would be an issue down the road or could be missed because its hard to get at. Confirm your actual compartment sizes and door opening widths Ė then figure what you will loose on a tray / shelf and or tool board - too many times departments overestimate what they really have to work with for compartment sizes.

    Just my .02 cents

    SBLGFD

  6. #6
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    We had HME build us two Aherns-Fox Class A pumpers in 2004 and here is what we had problems with:
    Compartments were the wrong deminsions
    Air lines leaked air
    Our tail/brake lights never got hooked up until they reached Washington St.
    They didn't paint the body to match the cab
    They placed the headlights in front of our hardsuction, blocking the headlight
    Lights were placed on crooked
    They use vinyl tape on the front roof corners and it had bubbles in it
    They forgat to place nuts and cotter keys in key places in the pump compartment. We had discharge handle come disconnected from the valves.

    If I remember more or find our notes I will be more than happy to pass them on.
    http: www.icfd2.org

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber npfd801's Avatar
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    Personally, I'd rather see the rig to inspect when the body is mounted, just prior to paint. Having a somewhat complete body sitting off the chassis to inspect seems counter-productive. Having the body on the chassis as it would look when you're pulling equipment off the rig really makes for some good ideas for how stuff will look mounted, on shelfs, etc.

    I agree though, do your measurements now and make sure the compartments are as shown in the specs. Make sure the chassis is perfect. Look at the mechanicals, make sure the right axles and such are present. I work for a dealer of a different apparatus brand, and you're bound to find something to change, you don't like, etc. at this stage, no matter the brand - and this is exactly why you're inspecting it now. Its way too hard to change things once paint is on the body, etc. Check everything - air horn brand, every specific chassis detail. This will save you time at the final. Of course if they're mounting the body on a commercial chassis, the cab may not be 100% complete, but a custom will need little attention from the builder to be 100%.

    Good luck. Take tons of pictures, and ask as many questions as you need to because it is much easier to understand what is happening when the rig is right in front of you. If I think of anything else, I'll add it later.

    The sad thing is - the only thing that I have had in life that I anticpated more was the birth of my two kids. The rig we just received might as well have been another child. We're expecting another rig in a couple of months, so a bunch of us are excited again. Don't let the excitement and gee-whiz effect of the new rig get in the way of the serious part of the inspection...

  8. #8
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    I am going to suggest something that will take considerable time (Almost a fullday) but is worth it in the end.

    Take the specs that were approved by your department and the builder. Make sure they are identical in every respect. Then get a couple of creepers and cover every spec item, component by component down to the part and model numbers. Do this from front to back on what they have completed.

    The rig may not be completed, but it is better to find mistakes and oversights at this point in the build process then on the final inspection, or worse yet upon delivery. They can be fixed/changed relatively easily right now, later on it takes longer, the opposition to changing them increases from some builders and the desire to just "Accept it as is" increases.

    Just some thoughts.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber dday05's Avatar
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    Take pictures of the rig,take alot,our truck had a arrow stick built on the rear of the truck it was suppose to be built to fit flush so that the ldh wouldn't hit it and all that good stuff when it was deployed so when we went to do the final there was no light stick so we got the photos out and proved that the stick was suppose to be there so it ended up being mounted.There is also some other things they did that we found.Our neighbors bought a truck a few years ago from a dealer that I wont mention and my buddy took some photos of the truck and when they went for their final the pump panel was not even close to what it was when they did their middle build inspection so they had to fix it.So take alot of photos so they dont try to pull any shady work over your eyes.

    On a side note when we did our final inspection the 2nd day of our trip they put us in a room for awhile and said our truck would be ready in a little while so we sat there and waited and waited and finally our salesman came in and said your truck got damaged on the way in from being pump tested last night so they were trying to half a#^ fix it so we were'nt happy campers after we heard that and I took about 2 rolls of film of the damage and it had to be fixed the way we wanted it.We would not have been so upset if they would've come out and say we damaged your truck and we have to repair it but they didn't do that and to top it off the person who wrecked it had never driven a fire truck before.Have a good insp.

  10. #10
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    We went over it with a fine toothed comb. We only found one issue and they are working on it. The plumbing for the rear intake was not what we were told it would be so they are going to have to re-engineer it I guess.

    We made a few minor changes in shelving and track for mounting tools. Did some measuring and the compartments are dead on what the spec said.

    A good, friendly, informed group of people working at HME both in the office and on the line. It made the visit very pleasant and informative.

    I have pictures I need to clean up a bit that I will post either later tonight or tomorrow sometime.

    FyredUp

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    Sounds like you had a good trip. Hope the rest of the build goes as well, and you guys end up with the truck you want.

    My dept. just approved the specs for our new Pumper/Tanker. A Spartain Gladiator with raised roof and it will be built by 4 guys. It will be very much like DelMar's ( a dept. near us) http://www.delmar74fire.com/engine2.html
    And we were 99.9% ashured that we would get a 06 engiene for get if it was a cumming or detroit.

  12. #12
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Do you guys want to see pre finished pics? I have pics of this with the cab and pump on the frame abd the body being wired ans such but not on the frame yet.

    Let me know.

    FyredUp

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  14. #14
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    What are some of the details of the unit in the pictures?

    We are waiting for the final version of specs to come back (Tuesday) before we do our line by line sign off to order from HME.

    We have had a good service relationship with the dealer for over 10 years. He is now representing HME and it seems like a reasonable product. I know you can have issues with any builder and I don't want any BS about who is better.

    That is why I am asking since you have first hand experience with THIS builder.

    Ours is spec'ed to be
    1871 P2 Mxl 12" raised roof, 370hp ISL, EVS3000, extended front bumper, front suction, front trash line, Q2B, Electronic,Grovers, LED light package, 6k hydraulic gen, 12v scene lights, 2-750w 120v lights with other outlets for reels, 2000gpm Q-max with MIV valves both sides, port-a-tank storage through the tank, 10" newton, 1217gallon tank, Hale foamlogix Class A system on 3-4 discharges, rollout trays on 3 of the 5 compartments. Highside left, low side right, ladders on the right 28/14/10, deckgun riser., traffic advisor on rear, reflective chevrons on rear facing compartment faces, satin rollups, painted body (made mistake of painted rollups last time)

    I know I left some stuff out but that is the most of it. So you can see I have an interest in non-biased feedback of your experience.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp
    Do you guys want to see pre finished pics? I have pics of this with the cab and pump on the frame abd the body being wired ans such but not on the frame yet.

    Let me know.

    FyredUp

    Yes, that would be pretty cool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefDog

    That is why I am asking since you have first hand experience with THIS builder.
    We have an HME Central States. Both parts are terrible. The chassis by HME, is an SFO. The main wiring runs are exposed to all road salt, sand and water. We've had a few wiring fires as a result and the harness has been reworked twice, I believe. The inside door panel screws need to be tighted during the weekly maintenance. The seatbelts do not properly retract everytime and the shoulder strap often gets closed into the door latch. The unit is a 1999 and has significant rust, though this is a staffed engine that is washed after every winter or rainy run. In all fairness the dept. next door has to P2's that are better on fit and finish but are starting to show rust and they're only 2001's. But, all in all we will never buy another HME product. As for the Central States end of it? Same story, but not really your issue.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM
    We have an HME Central States. Both parts are terrible. The chassis by HME, is an SFO. The main wiring runs are exposed to all road salt, sand and water. We've had a few wiring fires as a result and the harness has been reworked twice, I believe. The inside door panel screws need to be tighted during the weekly maintenance. The seatbelts do not properly retract everytime and the shoulder strap often gets closed into the door latch. The unit is a 1999 and has significant rust, though this is a staffed engine that is washed after every winter or rainy run. In all fairness the dept. next door has to P2's that are better on fit and finish but are starting to show rust and they're only 2001's. But, all in all we will never buy another HME product. As for the Central States end of it? Same story, but not really your issue.
    We have two Central States trucks, 1995 and 1999 on International 4900's. Both have had very few problems, less than what other departments around here have had with other vendors. They both have had to go in for service but guess what they get used. For our department they are the trucks most likely to be on the road for us. MVA's/Fires for the Engine and Mutual Aide/Structures in non-hydranted area/Wildland for the tanker/pumper.

    I have seen where people have bashed Central States and said their choice in manufacture was 1000x better... etc etc etc. Guess what, the next truck WAS their manufacture of choice and that truck too had issues. That is why I said "THIS" manufacture.

    My experience has been to go with a dealer that will take care of you. They are the ones closer than the factory in most cases and they don't want you upset with "their" service.

    I do appreciate the HME info. I think that those issues will be looked at. I would think from your info, the 2001's were better than the 1999. I would hope that HME has an improvement process and have redesigned problem areas. I would guess that a 2006 would have more improvements still.

    Thanks, and FyredUp the pics would be great....

  18. #18
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Okay somebody help me attach some photos!!

    FyredUp

  19. #19
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Let me see if I can get this right this time!!

    Fyredup
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  20. #20
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Man what a pain in the butt.

    It says some of the pictures are too big. So if any of you want to see more tell me how to do this!!!

    FyredUp

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