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    Default Spencer Manufacturing

    My department is currently specing a new Heavy Rescue and one of the companies we are seeking a bid from is Spencer Manufacturing, Inc in South Haven Michigan. I was wondering if anyone on here has delt with them and if so how there dealings were/are. Thanks for imput.

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    I live about 20 miles from the factory. They recently built 17 or 18 heavy rescue/hazmat units for the State of Michigan (homeland security money) which are assigned around the state. We currently have a 75 ft. quint on order with a Spartan cab. They are a small company but very good to work with.
    Pete Sinclair
    Hartford, MI
    IACOJ (Retired Division)

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    02-25-2007 10:59 AM pete892 - They recently built 17 or 18 heavy rescue/hazmat units for the State of Michigan (homeland security money) which are assigned around the state.
    If you would like to see a picture of a rescue/haz mat from the state of Michigan order, use the link to the Youngstown Fire Forums. http://www.youngstownfire.com/phpbb/...?p=26799#26799

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    Just be careful with a small manufacturer. Make sure they are properly funded.

    As any of the companies in PA or NJ what happened to their deposit money they gave to New Lexington.
    Steve Dragon
    FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
    Volunteers are never "off duty".
    http://www.bufd7.org

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    Quote Originally Posted by pete892 View Post
    I live about 20 miles from the factory. They recently built 17 or 18 heavy rescue/hazmat units for the State of Michigan (homeland security money) which are assigned around the state. We currently have a 75 ft. quint on order with a Spartan cab. They are a small company but very good to work with.
    I have been to the Spencer Manufacturing, Inc plant when I was out in South Haven several years ago doing some training with the South Haven Fire Department. When I toured the Spencer facility I was quite impressed with what I saw! It was a nice little facility. I am curious who is building the ladder for your Quint? They did not at the time build any aerial device's, the only built Rescue's and Engine's, and I have not heard that the now build aerial ladders.

    The one problem with this type of facility is you now have three companies in the warranty process, Spartan (Cab and Chassis), Spencer (Body) and who ever the aerial builder is. We had problems with our 1991 Quint back in 1992 & 1993 when Spartan blamed every thing on the body builder and refused to honor any warranties. So be careful.

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    We have one of the state hazmat trucks, as well as two ALF/Spencer pumpers. I am on the HM team and my company rides one of the ALFs. We also have Pierces and Sutphens.

    The HM rig is new and good to go-so far. It doesn't get much use. The pumpers are both 1998s and have approx 70K miles on them. Both are falling apart, and have been nightmares from day 1. The Pierces have held up much better. Major problems with the pan style doors and latches, out of alignment, hinges bent, latches breaking. Non-stop electrical problems on the back end, lights shorting out on a daily basis. Roll out shelves not built for the equipment specified bent the first day.

    I wrote this on another thread in 2004, admittedly many of the problems are the ALF. At the time I didn't ride them, but I do now:
    I don't have a single good word to say about them. We originally leased them for 5 years, and despite the problems, the chief has decided to keep them because we'd lose to much of our investment on the turn in-"besides, they've been almost completely rebuilt".

    We switched from Pierce to Lafrance for the 2 rigs in 98 bcause Freightliner opened a dealer in our community. After the problems started, they refused to honor our warranty. The rigs are identical, 1500 gpm/500 gal Rescue/Pumper types. The chassis is ALF with a body by Spencer, a company in western Michigan. Naturally, ALF and Spencer blame each other for many of the problems.

    A list of the problems that I'm aware of, and I am not assigned to either company:
    -At least 5 alternators (2 on E4 last week)replaced per rig
    -2 transmissions each
    -Rust, rust rust
    -compartments doors out of alignment on delivery
    -a flood of water sloshing on the officer if the A/C is on (condensation)
    -so many electrical problems that both trucks have been completely rewired, without improvement
    -water tanks leak
    -poor service and warranty work

    Our apparatus committee did a lot of research before going with ALF/Spencer. Unfortunately, ALF was new, and Spencer had done most of it's rigs for volunteer departments with low run volumes. My department puts approx 2000 runs and 12K miles on our engines each year.

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    Default Basic Specs

    The basic specs for our quint are as follows:

    Spartan chassis with tandem rear
    Cummins power with Allison trans
    75 ft steel ladder from R-K in Nebraska
    Waterway with 1,250 gpm fog or straight tip
    Body by Spencer
    Hydraulic generator
    992 Gal tank (we wanted 1,000)
    1,500 gpm pump
    Double plumbed from tank
    Main hose bed of 1,000 ft 5" and 500 ft 2 1/2"
    2- 2 1/2" crosslays
    1- 1 3/4" crosslay
    LED lighting package
    Screaming Eagle siren

    Will replace a 1981 Pierce Arrow w/50 ft Telesqurt

    Half the cost was donated by an individual with the stipulation that it be purchased locally (i.e. Spencer)

    This will be the first out unit on structure fires just like the 1981 has been.

    Note: the 1981 will be for sale.

    Stay safe,

    Pete
    Last edited by pete892; 03-02-2007 at 01:45 PM. Reason: spelling
    Pete Sinclair
    Hartford, MI
    IACOJ (Retired Division)

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    Exclamation

    You know the main problems with several manufactures making a piece of apparatus, when a problem comes up, no one wants to step up to the plate and say, its is ours and we will take care of it. Prime example was when Ferrara built a 75 foot Quint on an HME chassis and used a LTI aerial. Problems came up and no one would admit that it was their problem. They blamed the others.

    It probably is always the best practice is to buy from a manufacturer that builds the whole rig and not one that builds this and someone else builds that. You may pay a little more, but you will be better satisfied and service from them, over the Mom and Pop companies.


    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    I would maybe consider another builder if you want an arial. Spencer is good, as long as your specing a simple low run volume truck. they make mostly pumpers and tankers for volley departments.
    They have made VERY few arials. I wouldent want you to be the "guinea pigs" for their ariels.

    You need to ask your donor if you can buy the truck from a manufacture that specializes in ariels. There are none in Michigan. Maybe look a Sutphen, Pierce, E-one, ALF.

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    We have two Pierce now and yes we did look at a number of Aerials they have done. Unless you understand the politics involved you can't understand the decision. Just one of those things that happens. I'm glad I an retired.

    Pete
    Pete Sinclair
    Hartford, MI
    IACOJ (Retired Division)

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