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  1. #1
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    Default GMC/Chevy 4500--good/bad?

    I have not seen a whole lot of these in the fire service. Is there something that makes them inferior to an f550? To me it looks like a real medium duty truck, not a glorified pickup. how much less is the ford? can you get a 4x4?


  2. #2
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skipatrol8
    I have not seen a whole lot of these in the fire service. Is there something that makes them inferior to an f550? To me it looks like a real medium duty truck, not a glorified pickup. how much less is the ford? can you get a 4x4?
    firenresq77 has one at his department.(www.northwoodfire.com) unit 806........it is a midi pumper ........cant recall the price they paid and I believe 4 x4 is available as well.
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    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
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    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    Forum Member Fyrtrks's Avatar
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    Default Watch the Weight

    My only concern with the GMC 4500 and 5500 is a weight issue. I saw some units at Harrisburg I thought might be very close on axle weight rating with out personel onboard. I don't think they are a bad unit just make sure when you are specificying the unit that you do not ask more of it than it will be able to give you. I would suggest going the next step up and use a true medium duty and not a softened up medium duty.
    Fyrtrks

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    I've worked with the Ford F450/550 and I like them very much, I haven't really even seen many of the GM 4500/5500 trucks to compare.


    Fyrtrks makes a good point, figure out the weight and then find a truck that can handle it.

    People have been overloading 3/4 ton and 1 ton (8,000 -12,000 gvw) trucks for years by making them into brush trucks with oversize tanks and mini-pumpers.

    The Ford F450/550 and GM 4500 / 5500 provide a good chassis to adequately perform those tasks 1 tons have been pushed into, they work great for brush trucks or light rescues. But just as people have been trying to make a 12,000 gvw 1 ton carry around 14,000 lbs, I know some are now trying to squeeze a 24,000 - 26,000+ gvw truck onto a 15,000 - 19,000 gvw chassis. Use the right chassis for the job, its cheaper in the long run.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Weruj1
    firenresq77 has one at his department.(www.northwoodfire.com) unit 806........it is a midi pumper ........cant recall the price they paid and I believe 4 x4 is available as well.

    Are you sure thats a 5500, it looks more like the 6500, I didn't think the 5500 was that big, (or maybe that trucks not as big as I think it looks ).

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    Thoes are awfully big "Mini" pumpers. Any bigger and you might as well have a full sized engine.

  7. #7
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ledebuhr1
    Thoes are awfully big "Mini" pumpers. Any bigger and you might as well have a full sized engine.
    well I siad it was a MIDI pumper ..........and to tell you truth I am not sure which one that is ........'77 is on a little vacation this weekend ......I will email him this thread for his input.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    Forum Member dragonfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NonSurfinCaFF
    Are you sure thats a 5500, it looks more like the 6500, I didn't think the 5500 was that big, (or maybe that trucks not as big as I think it looks ).
    All GM C-series chassis are built on the same 80,000 lb frame rails. They are not glorified pick-ups with 35,000 lb frame rails. Therefore it is tough to see the difference between them without seeing the badging on the hood.

    If it's a 4X it can only be a 4500 or 5500 as GM does not make a 4X in the 6500 or above. There should be no problems with the axles. 4500 4X's are 17,500 gvw and the 5500's are 19500 gvw.

    Visit GM's website for any other spec questions, http://www.gmc.com/mediumduty/topkick/index.jsp or send me a private e-mail as I sell the GMC's and will try to help you.
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  9. #9
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    Default

    the front axle on the gm is rated heavier than the front on a f-550.

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    True, but isnt the F-550 rated for 19,000 GVWR? That is a lot for a glorified "pickup".

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    I agree that the Ford's are not just glorified pickups, that was probably true with the old super dutys but the current F450/550 are well beyond a beefed up pick up. Looks like the GM's take that a step further.

    (actually re-reading your comment I don't know if we agree or not, that could be taken as a put down of the 550)

    As an example

    F350 16" wheels, 10,000 gvw, optional 13,000 gvw, 141" to 176" wb

    F450 19.5" wheels, 15,000, optional 16,000 gvw, 141" to 201" wb

    F550 19.5" wheels, 17,500, optional 19,000 gvw, 141" to 201" wb

    F650 22.5" wheels, 26,000 gvw, 134" to 260" wb

    The 350, 450 & 550 are available with factory 4x4, the larger trucks (650 up)require an aftermarket conversion.

    Not trying to persuade anyone to go Ford over GM, just responding to the glorified pickup comment, the Ford F450 / 550 are very good for what they are, an in between size from a pick up to medium duty. They are a compact "lightweight" medium duty truck and provide a good step up from a 1 ton, not a small 26,000 gvw truck.

    Looking at the GM site listed it looks like the 4500/5500 are equal to the next size up in the Ford (4500 = F550, 5500 = F650). Looks like the GM is a little cheaper too, the only down side I see is size, the GM's looks quite a bit larger.
    Last edited by NonSurfinCaFF; 07-15-2006 at 11:04 PM.

  12. #12
    Forum Member Res343cue's Avatar
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    Looking at the GM site listed it looks like the 4500/5500 are equal to the next size up in the Ford (4500 = F550, 5500 = F650). Looks like the GM is a little cheaper too, the only down side I see is size, the GM's looks quite a bit larger.
    The GM's cab might be bigger, but the turning radius is better then the Fords in most cases I believe. A neighboring 5500 will out turn our F550 and it even has a slightly longer wheelbase...
    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleMan
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ledebuhr1
    True, but isnt the F-550 rated for 19,000 GVWR? That is a lot for a glorified "pickup".
    the front axle is still 6000 lb. the gm can be heavier gvwr with a higher rated front axle. the front axle rating on the 550's limit what u can do with one. it most certainly is more than a glorified pickup...but again 6000 can limit just what u want to do.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Res343cue
    The GM's cab might be bigger, but the turning radius is better then the Fords in most cases I believe. A neighboring 5500 will out turn our F550 and it even has a slightly longer wheelbase...
    GM's have a 52 degree wheel cut which allows the better turning radius. Most wheelbases will turn inside a Pontiac Grand Prix/Ford Taurus size car. Also the front sight line is 1/2 Ford's, 13 feet vs 26 feet. Ford sales people will tell you that's not an important safety issue.

    ALSO; there are some Ford sale people out there telling customers that Ford offers an Allison transmission in the 450/550 but they don't.
    Steve Dragon
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  15. #15
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    Default Chev/GMC 4500 Chassis ??

    Has anyone had any experience with using the 4500 series as a ambulance. I am spec'n out a new ambulance and must choose between the typeIII Ford E450 or the GMC 4500. Price wise, I'm going up about $20,000
    If anyone out there has done any studies or research, I would appreciate any feedback.
    My dept is a semi rural dept running over 1000 calls per yr. 80% being EMS. Our present unit is 18 months old (E450) w/ 40,000 miles already. We have 4 other E450's in the fleet, and have had to do extensive front end work on 2 already (tie rods, shocks, springs, ball joints).
    Most of the people I have talked to, state that they start looking into re-chassis of the E450 at about 120K. About 4 years. I'm thinking that the medium duty cassis will give me anywhere from 6-7 yrs of service.

    Email: firetimv5@yahoo.om

    Thanks everyone

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    The EMS service I work for part time has two 4500 amb, they have been in service about 9 months I think??? They have not been recieved well; they seem top heavy, sway very bad as traffic passes, not alot of room in the cab(its real bad for the passenger). The EMS provider has already changed to the International chassis for the next 4. FYI they used the old F-450 Superduty prior to 1999, then changed to the current F-350 superduty.

  17. #17
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    yes .........LCEMS just bought some from http://www.burgessambulance.com/
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  18. #18
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    It all comes down to who 1. Speced the unit 2. Who built the module. I agree on the leg room issue. IMHO same as a E series - needs a cab extension. If no extra sway bars speced that might be a problem. I also feel if you do not put the right wieght module onto the right chassis causes problems - ruff ride, top heavy etc.

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    they take a while to get, we ordered a 5500 chassis in March and just recived word that it will be built on Oct. 8.....so get ready to wait

  20. #20
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    also seee this months Jems magazine ............Charlotte SC/NC is running 4500 4 door units as transporting units !
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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