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Thread: Bullard T3 Max

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    Default Bullard T3 Max

    Does anyone know how long the T3 Max was produced without the thermal throttle? We are among the lucky few who had purchased it before this addition.

    Also has anyone else had a core issue with the same model? We have had ours for a year and a half (half a year past warranty) and it has been used literally less then 10 times and it is back at Bullard for evaluation, if they can not conclude it was a manufactures defect then it is a $5500 fix.

    Thanks in advance.


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    about 2 years

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    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FF0104
    Does anyone know how long the T3 Max was produced without the thermal throttle? We are among the lucky few who had purchased it before this addition.

    Also has anyone else had a core issue with the same model? We have had ours for a year and a half (half a year past warranty) and it has been used literally less then 10 times and it is back at Bullard for evaluation, if they can not conclude it was a manufactures defect then it is a $5500 fix.

    Thanks in advance.
    First, you are not one of a few. Second, every product on the market goes through upgrades and improvements. Would you complain that your 2-year old POV didn't have GPS/mapping (or a 3.6L engine instead of a 3.4L engine), even though it is available now? Third, why would you have used a (roughly) $10,000 tool just 10 times in 18 months? Even if you just trained with it once a month, that would be 18 times....
    My comments are sometimes educated, sometimes informed and sometimes just blowing smoke...but they are always mine and mine alone and do not reflect upon anyone else (especially my employer).

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    Quote Originally Posted by firemanjb
    First, you are not one of a few. Second, every product on the market goes through upgrades and improvements. Would you complain that your 2-year old POV didn't have GPS/mapping (or a 3.6L engine instead of a 3.4L engine), even though it is available now? Third, why would you have used a (roughly) $10,000 tool just 10 times in 18 months? Even if you just trained with it once a month, that would be 18 times....
    firemanjb,

    I can feel the warm and fuzzy feelings from here. First, I did not know that the unit was produced with this feature for two years...hence the question. Secondly we get very few calls and the 10 (or so ) times that I was referring to was while at a real call and not during training,...my fault for not including this number in my original figure which raises the total to 20 (or so) times the unit has been used.

    Thank you for your valuable insight.

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    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FF0104
    firemanjb,

    I can feel the warm and fuzzy feelings from here. First, I did not know that the unit was produced with this feature for two years...hence the question. Secondly we get very few calls and the 10 (or so ) times that I was referring to was while at a real call and not during training,...my fault for not including this number in my original figure which raises the total to 20 (or so) times the unit has been used.

    Thank you for your valuable insight.
    I apologize for the tone, but your initial post is both sarcastic and whiny. I admittedly responded in kind.

    The T3MAX was produced without the Thermal Throttle for a between a year and a year and a half. You were complaining that you bought the TI before the ETT was available; while that may be disappointing, it is unfair to complain about it. Firefighters don't want manufacturers to stop innovating; but innovation means that something will always be made better or different in the future and someone has to buy the last one of the old style. There is no way around that. Just like someone has to buy the last 2006 model of a car or truck. The reality is that a TI is not like a computer; it is not "outdated" 6 months after you buy it.

    I cannot address your question about your TI problem because I don't know what is wrong with your TI. However, in just 2 posts, you have already changed the number of times it has been used. You have gone from "literally less then 10 times" to "10 (or so ) times" to "20 (or so) times" that it has been used. I know nothing about your FD, but even small rural departments get 2 or 3 fires plus 15 or so "investigations" or field fires a year. Call that 27 runs in a year and half where a TI could/should be used, exclusive of rural collisions where people could scan for victims, plus once a month for training and your are up to 45 times it has been used. Add a few times that people play with it while at the fire station, showing it to family or friends, etc., and suddenly it isn't "literally less then 10 times" it was used.

    Most TIs last more than 18 months before a problem. Plenty of FDs around the US, Canada and the world can testify that they are using ABC brand (or XYZ brand) thermal imager and that they use it 3 or 4 times a day and have done so for 4 years, doing nothing more than buy new batteries once. Just like most cars/trucks can go 50,000 miles without a problem. Some don't. Some also have a problem at 55,000 miles that is out of warranty. It's not a conspiracy and it is not a manufacturing problem; it's the reality of manufacturing. Not every product is made exactly the same, because not every component is made exactly the same. Stuff happens.

    Is it disappointing when something you buy breaks? Of course. If there is a clear manufacturing problem, of course we should expect the manufacturer (or retailer) to make it right. But if something goes wrong out of warranty, we normally expect to pay for it. If you bought a TV, but watched it every Monday night for football only, yet after just 3 years (51 uses), it stopped working, would you expect Sony to extend its 1-year warranty? Of course not. As a car warranty shows, age and usage play a role (warranties are 3 yr/50K miles...a 5-year-old car with just 5K miles is out of warranty).

    If you want sympathy, feel free to ask for it. If you want to know if others have the same issue, ask about it. Just complaining and whining about an unfortunate situation will accomplish little.
    My comments are sometimes educated, sometimes informed and sometimes just blowing smoke...but they are always mine and mine alone and do not reflect upon anyone else (especially my employer).

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    Although I had not tried to come across this way I may have done just that, but after two years of fundraising, scrapping the cash together and buying what we thought to be a tuff camera and which has been used “very little” we are being asked to pony up another $5500.

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    Jonathan, unless you are a fireman don't go adding up runs you have no statisitcs on. Not ALL field fires need a TIC(been a long time since I had a 100 acre field fire where I needed to check for hot spots, most are just 1/2 to 1 acre and we have twice the water needed and we use it all) not ALL wrecks need a TIC (Our wrecks over the past 20 yrs and my shift totals probably 20-25, multiply that X3 and that is just 3 MVA per year) and yes to be honest if a salesman sold me a truck with a 3.4 engine and next week everything delivered had a 3.6 upgrade I would surely be on your case and that would be the last truck you sold me and to anymore of MY FRIENDS. Ethics in sales my friend...
    Last edited by Lieutenant387; 06-20-2006 at 06:47 AM.

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    387, have you ever bought a computer? Better yet, have you ever bought a computer that did not have an upgraded version within 2 months? How'd you make out getting that upgrade for free?
    "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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    Bones, I get software upgrade versions all the time for free. It even reminds me to download it.

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    Not talking software, but the hardware. Computerwise, there is a big difference over software and hardware. You don't actually buy the software, you buy the right to use the software. Hardware you buy, it's yours forever. And I'm sure you know, hardware is always being upgraded. How are you making out getting those free hardware upgrades?
    "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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    Here is my two cents worth on The T3 Max product. Caveat – I work for ISG Thermal Systems, the company that makes the ELITE thermal camera. As such, I am Jonathan’s competitor.

    First of all, Jonathan, I think you guys make a great camera in the T3 Max product. Your mechanical engineering capability is excellent. Bullard raised the bar on durability years ago with the “drop and tumble” TIx camera. Today, most manufacturers have exceeded even that level of durability. But I anticipate you will raise the bar once again when new offerings are available from Bullard.

    The question of the $5500 repair cost appears to be to be in-line with a replacement of the imaging engine. The engine is the actual electronics and sensor that make-up the brains of the camera. Depending on the age of your T3 Max camera, it may have a BAe SCC500L VOx core, or if you have a fairly new T3 Max, it will have a 3500AS alpha-silicon engine made by L3 Communications (Raytheon). Based on the $5500 cost, it seems it is likely to be a BAe engine. The BAe is more expensive than the Raytheon engine (not better, just more expensive). That said, I haven’t seen the defective camera in question but imagine the core needs replacement. Furthermore, the thermal throttle feature is only available on T3Max units that have a Raytheon engine, as far as I know.

    Bullard is right on target to go to a less expensive engine for T3 cameras that performs (in my opinion) better than the one they used to have. The savings is passed to firefighters buying cameras.

    Most camera manufacturers buy engines from third parties. Some manufactures actually make their own engines. The fire department’s total cost of ownership varies a lot based on the cost of the repairs. If a manufacturer makes his own engine, he can change a faulty resistor or capacitor within the engine for a much cheaper repair bill. Assuming of course you haven’t totally destroyed the camera by, say, running over it with a ladder truck or something like that (that is not too uncommon believe it or not.) I have a million stories about destroyed cameras, as I’m sure Jonathan has as well.

    So, just another consideration.

    I am not knocking your decision to go with Bullard. Thousands of departments have Bullard cameras. They are good. Just make sure you get cameras from a reputable company. MSA, Bullard and ISG combined make 9 out of every 10 fire cameras installed in departments worldwide. So there is your credibility. That is the short list.

    David A. Little
    President / CEO
    ISG Thermal Systems Inc.
    www.isgfire.com

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    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lieutenant387
    Jonathan, unless you are a fireman don't go adding up runs you have no statisitcs on. Not ALL field fires need a TIC(been a long time since I had a 100 acre field fire where I needed to check for hot spots, most are just 1/2 to 1 acre and we have twice the water needed and we use it all) not ALL wrecks need a TIC (Our wrecks over the past 20 yrs and my shift totals probably 20-25, multiply that X3 and that is just 3 MVA per year) and yes to be honest if a salesman sold me a truck with a 3.4 engine and next week everything delivered had a 3.6 upgrade I would surely be on your case and that would be the last truck you sold me and to anymore of MY FRIENDS. Ethics in sales my friend...
    I was a fireman for 12 years...and an EMT for 3 years before that. I've trained firefighters across the globe. But that shouldn't matter, because the hypothetical run totals are reasonable (or not) regardless of whether I am/was a fireman. The bigger point was that the TI went from being used "literally less than 10 times" to "maybe 20 times (or so)". It may have gone into less than 10 structure fires, but that is not the only time the TI is used or subject to abuse.

    As for the truck: if the salesman knows a bigger engine is on the way and hides that from you, yes it's an ethics issue. But if you buy your vehicle and are happy with the options, it's not reasonable to complain 6 months later that a new option is available.
    My comments are sometimes educated, sometimes informed and sometimes just blowing smoke...but they are always mine and mine alone and do not reflect upon anyone else (especially my employer).

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    Jonathan, unless you are a fireman
    Maybe someone needs to read a bio....
    With your argument, maybe you should go after MSA, Scott or what ever brand SCBA you have and demand free replacements, I'm sure they have been upgraded.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    Bones, had just that happen the other day.... Bought a new computer and within 2 weeks it was stuck into a perpetual reboot (would not go into safe mode or last know working mode as the computer had options for) took it back to the store and they offered me the next one above (upgraded me) as they no longer had that particular model and mine was actually a sell down to move the rest of their stock.

    Jonathan, I was trying to point out that the sales industry of the fire service has no concept of the fire service as they "generally" come off the streets selling widgits and within a few hours of training "think" they know all about a certain piece of fire equipment. For example, a sales rep firm was in my FD marketing a particular vent saw and pointed out that it had a see through gas tank, and all you had to do was hold it up to the sun and see the fuel level. I knew right then he was not one of us. I asked him what that benefit would be to me when I checked the saw's fuel level at the start of my shift and that most of the structure fires are in the night. His saw was in the $1400 price range. We could use our $350.00 Stihl, add the $350.00 special chain and bar from him. Now we have a $700.00 investment, get the same job done and we have $700.00 to spend on other equipment.

    Had another salesman come in to my FD one day with this absorbent stuff that was supposed to keep the vapors being able to flash from the moment it was applied. Chief looked up and said get a can. We put the amount of gasoline in the salesman said, put the absorbent in, waited 30 seconds and struck a match... POOF. We told the salesman to have a good day.

    The main thing I was trying to get at is l feel that the sales end of the industry is out of touch with the fire service of today. A good way to sum it up is with SurviveAir canister thing (evac) It is off the market now due to the product being unsafe and now SurviveAir is recommending buddy breathers.

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    Thumbs down Truth

    Jonathan who gives you the right to come on these forms and jump all over people that ask questions? It realy does not matter how many runs a person has or has not gone on. When there camera tanks they want to know why! But you take it upon yourself to be the defender of Bullard, (who realy does make good cameras) Why is that? When was the last time you took any camera in a good job and used it? If you have information that can help the brothers and sisters by all means get it out there!
    But do not place replys to people that belittle them, and remember there are a lot of educated brothers and sisters out there reading these forms!!!

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    Captain006, well excuse us there backdraft.
    Here, sense you seem to arrogant to look up his bio before slamming him, I will do it for you:
    Jonathan Bastian is a thermal imaging specialist for Bullard. He is certified as a thermal imaging instructor by the Law Enforcement Thermographers' Association (LETA), the international public safety organization specializing in thermal imager certification and training. He is also the author of the FD Training Network "FireNotes" book, Thermal Imaging for the Fire Service.

    Educated at Brown University and licensed as a high school teacher in Illinois, Bastian served 12 years on the North Park Fire Department (IL), including the last three as a captain. As Health and Safety Officer, he led the development and implementation of the department's Rapid Intervention Team SOG. Bastian is a certified Fire Instructor I and Firefighter III, and he spent 12 years as an EMT-I/D. He has taught classes on thermal imaging, rapid intervention teams and search and rescue operations. He is currently a public safety official in Central Kentucky.

    PS- you better go look, I think 1 of your horses got out....
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lieutenant387
    Jonathan, I was trying to point out that the sales industry of the fire service has no concept of the fire service as they "generally" come off the streets selling widgits and within a few hours of training "think" they know all about a certain piece of fire equipment. For example, a sales rep firm was in my FD marketing a particular vent saw and pointed out that it had a see through gas tank, and all you had to do was hold it up to the sun and see the fuel level. I knew right then he was not one of us. I asked him what that benefit would be to me when I checked the saw's fuel level at the start of my shift and that most of the structure fires are in the night. His saw was in the $1400 price range. We could use our $350.00 Stihl, add the $350.00 special chain and bar from him. Now we have a $700.00 investment, get the same job done and we have $700.00 to spend on other equipment.

    Had another salesman come in to my FD one day with this absorbent stuff that was supposed to keep the vapors being able to flash from the moment it was applied. Chief looked up and said get a can. We put the amount of gasoline in the salesman said, put the absorbent in, waited 30 seconds and struck a match... POOF. We told the salesman to have a good day.

    The main thing I was trying to get at is l feel that the sales end of the industry is out of touch with the fire service of today. A good way to sum it up is with SurviveAir canister thing (evac) It is off the market now due to the product being unsafe and now SurviveAir is recommending buddy breathers.
    I am not in sales...haven't done sales for years. I agree that there are a number of sales people who fail to adequately learn their customers, much less their products. I don't defend bad salespeople, and I certainly don't defend unethical salespeople. I guess my point was that it is unfair to complain about products being improved...isn't that what firefighters want?

    A good salesperson is worth his weight...he will sell you what you need, not what he has or what he gets paid the most to sell. The problem is that frequently, the best salesperson, who does the right thing, is not the cheapest.
    My comments are sometimes educated, sometimes informed and sometimes just blowing smoke...but they are always mine and mine alone and do not reflect upon anyone else (especially my employer).

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    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain006
    Jonathan who gives you the right to come on these forms and jump all over people that ask questions? It realy does not matter how many runs a person has or has not gone on. When there camera tanks they want to know why! But you take it upon yourself to be the defender of Bullard, (who realy does make good cameras) Why is that? When was the last time you took any camera in a good job and used it? If you have information that can help the brothers and sisters by all means get it out there!
    But do not place replys to people that belittle them, and remember there are a lot of educated brothers and sisters out there reading these forms!!!
    I have as much "right" to write on these forums as you do. I even post my name and bio. I did not jump on him for asking a question, but for unfairly complaining. He even admitted that his concern may have come across improperly and I even apologized for being a little aggressive. So, we're apparently cool with it...you're not.

    I will defend ANY manufacturer when they are unfairly criticized. I have pointed out unfair attacks against ISG, MSA and Bullard. Since I work part time for Bullard, I have a certain knowledge about the manufacturing process as well as the technology.

    Since I have not been a firefighter for about 4 years, I guess it's been that long. Excluding, of course, all of the training and evaluation burns that I've been in since. I'll also exclude the acquired structure burn that I was in 2 weeks ago. I share as much information as I can that promotes a fair understanding of thermal imaging. I try to avoid promoting one brand over another, because it's more important that an FD have plenty of TIs that they use properly rather than buy a specific brand or model because I prefer it. In fact, if you review all of my posts and articles, I don't think you will ever find that I have suggested one brand or model is better than another.

    I am glad that there are educated firefighters out there...and I am glad that they continue to expand their knowledge. I'll do whatever I can to help. What about you?
    My comments are sometimes educated, sometimes informed and sometimes just blowing smoke...but they are always mine and mine alone and do not reflect upon anyone else (especially my employer).

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