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    Default Pierce TAK-4 suspension

    I am looking for information, good or bad on the Pierce TAK-4 suspension. I am on our engine committee and our mechanics are questioning the TAK-4 suspension. The questions are if work needs to be done on the suspension does it have to be done at Pierce or can a local big rig shop work on it? Have there been any problems in the real time use of these? Thanks for the help

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    I do not endorse this info and have no opinion on the Pierce Tak-4 suspension, but I stumbled across it in another recent thread so I thought you may like to know of someone’s experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chauffer6 View Post
    : Our dept has now owned and operated a TAK-4 equipped tower ladder for 3.5 years. In that time, the truck has responded to 1,500+ alarms. It is far and away a better handling, braking, turning and riding rig than any of the straight/solid front axle apparatus we operate. This is firsthand experience, not buying into sales literature or marketing hype.
    Just trying to help, TL

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    I would think your shop would be able to work on it. The only downside is that some parts may have to come from either Pierce or Oshkosh.

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    We have an '02 Enforcer with Tak-4. Its has over 40000 miles on it and has STILL not needed a front brake job and STILL stops on a dime.

    It is the best handling, smoothest ridding piece of fire apparatus I have driven in my 24 years on the job. Our mechanic, who has worked on large trucks for 30 years, has told our Pierce dealer that he would recommend it to any FD or FD mechanic.

    We are so impressed that from now on, my FD will only buy apparatus with an IFS.

    As for who can work on it I cant help you. Ours has yet to need any work, other then a steering pump that was a Meritor (I think) problem and not Pierces. It was a recall issue and Pierce did handle the replacement even though our mechanic could have.
    Last edited by Dave1983; 06-19-2007 at 09:10 PM.
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    Will take some getting used to. Steering wheel is a little stiffer than a straight axle truck. Worth it though.

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    I would contact the shops at the LAFD. They have been running them for awhile.
    This space for rent

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    It kicks ***. Turns circles around our other trucks and stops like car.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KyleWickman View Post
    I would contact the shops at the LAFD. They have been running them for awhile.

    I have heard they have replaced all the Tak-4's in there fleet due to cost, maintanence issues and down time.

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    Let's start here... IFS in general is by far leaps and bounds better than a straight axle. Here's the kicker... they work well on smaller trucks and cars. I have driven many IFS rigs. One thing I didn't like about them is they seem to wander around the road and I didn't notice a difference in the stopping. I even turned off the jake brake... nothing. Now onto to TAK-4. I personally don't like IFS... I'd rather have a straight axle. Proven tried and true and less moving and breakable parts. Spartan had a huge tie rod problems on their IFS which prompted a recall. Seagrave uses Spicer and have had luck with it, plus you can get Spicer parts anywhere... it's Spicer!!! lol TAK-4 in my opinion is a luxury and an expensive one to fix at that. They claim it stops 60 ft. shorter than a straight axle w/ 15" disc brakes. "w/ 15" disc brakes" is what I said... wince when are we putting disc brakes that small on fire apparatus anymore??? Just making you think about it...

    Things to think about...

    TAK-4 IFS
    Pros:
    -torsion bar type IFS

    Cons:
    -more moving parts
    -Pierce and only Pierce specific parts
    -BALL JOINTS on a big truck... EEEKKK!!!!



    Spicer IFS (what Seagrave uses)
    Pros:
    same as Pierce
    Cons: only problem is they run off airbags... I like airbags, but not on fire apparatus!
    "I don't wanna hear about it... I wanna see results!!!":-P

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    We have 28 Pierces in front line service, none older than a 1998 model. All the pumpers and heavy rescues are Quantums, and the tower ladders are a mixture of Lance and Dash cabs. All of the vehicles we've purchased since about 2003 have had IFS. We're a busy department, handling about 40,000 runs a year.

    Personally, I have to agree with Res343cue about the "feeling" of the IFS. It does tend to wander across the lanes for my taste, and you don't get the "feel" for the size, weight, and dimensions of the vehicle. The department I work for employs 525 people, and we're hiring so many people today that have zero prior experience driving a vehicle of this size. It's an injustice when we place someone behind the wheel of a fire engine that handles as well as the Toyota Cressida they drove to work that morning. In my humble opinion, the straight-axle rigs give you a more true feeling of what the rig and the road have to offer, and how the handle the apparatus.

    As for the maintenance issues, we're having outstanding luck with the IFS. The brakes are lasting longer, and the suspension doesn't appear to be showing the wear that the straight-axle rigs do. There is little complaint from the mechanics about the IFS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    Personally, I have to agree with Res343cue about the "feeling" of the IFS.
    How'd I get dragged into this? LOL!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Res343cue View Post
    How'd I get dragged into this? LOL!
    Ha! Sorry about that, think I had my mind on another thread you just posted in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MurphysFireKC View Post
    I have heard they have replaced all the Tak-4's in there fleet due to cost, maintanence issues and down time.

    Can anyone verify if this is a true statement?

    Also approx. what is the cost of IFS. I know Pierce it is standard, but I'm sure there is a credit if straight axle is ordered. What about other manufacturers; Spartan, Ferrara, Seagrave, etc?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FD1976 View Post
    Can anyone verify if this is a true statement?

    Also approx. what is the cost of IFS. I know Pierce it is standard, but I'm sure there is a credit if straight axle is ordered. What about other manufacturers; Spartan, Ferrara, Seagrave, etc?
    We were given an approximate price in the $14,000 range from Spartan and Seagrave a few months back when we explored it. KME won the bid and we dropped the IFS prior to the bidding due to budget limitations.

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    Default Thanks for the help

    Thanks for all the great information. This will come in handy at our next meeting. Can anyone give me verification of fact that LA replaced "all" their suspoensions from the TAK 4? That seems pretty outrageous since most of what I have heard is good.

    Thanks, Will

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    You can expect to save around $7-8k if you delete the IFS from your Pierce custom cab rig ... as was stated, IFS is a standard now.

    I think we all know that if LA had replaced all thier IFS with straight-axle, it would be BIG news, espcially with the cost that would be involved with such a task.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MurphysFireKC View Post
    I have heard they have replaced all the Tak-4's in there fleet due to cost, maintanence issues and down time.
    Says the ALF DEALER from KANSAS CITY.

    If you're going to make claims like this in a feeble attempt to trash the competition, at least show some FACTS to back it up, not just "My brother's cousin's ex-bf's dog told me..."

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    Default Not true!

    Quote Originally Posted by MurphysFireKC View Post
    I have heard they have replaced all the Tak-4's in there fleet due to cost, maintanence issues and down time.
    I was at Pierce a few months ago at the same time LA City was. They were inspecting 13 new pumpers on the Arrow XT chassis. Every one of them had Tak 4.

    A salesmen from a competitor of Pierce had hinted tto me that LA City had TAK 4 issues. I asked LA City and they commented on a steering pump issue that was someone elses fault and stated that Pierce worked with them to correct the issue.

    If they had issues I don't think they would have ordered 13 more.

    I was also told that they spec the pumpers with a straight axle (to keep the bid spec open) and then add the TAK after they award the contract to Pierce.

    I think they like it.

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    IFS handles better,stops quicker and brakes last longer. Now let's put those 17" Disc brakes on a straight X and what do you think will happen? I'd be willing to bet that it will stop quicker and the brakes will last longer.In fact,I'm so confident of this that it's in my spec for our Tower.The ride probably won't improve much however.IFS in itself is not the reason a rig equipped with it stops faster.But it does make for a nice ride. T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chauffer6 View Post
    Says the ALF DEALER from KANSAS CITY.

    If you're going to make claims like this in a feeble attempt to trash the competition, at least show some FACTS to back it up, not just "My brother's cousin's ex-bf's dog told me..."
    I'll see what I can come up with. I have heard this, albeit not from the horses mouth. I don't believe I was trashing either. I would love to see some data proving the advatages of IFS over other options such as the 17" disc brakes on a straight axle and an air ride cab. I don't think there is any.

    If I was an over the road driver I think IFS would be very important to me. As an engine operater driving a rig for 5-10 minutes to a call and back it is not important to me.

    Also there are some brands of IFS out there that if you need a part you can go to Napa or somewhere similar to get it and your mechanic can replace it, Instead of ordering a back ordered part and having someone travel in to fix it.

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    Content deleted by author.
    Last edited by Firefighter807; 07-08-2009 at 08:19 PM.

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    Just got back from taking a ride in the first Velocity in sold to a dept. in Canada. Equipped with Tak-4. All I can say (compared to the equipment I currently use) is wow. Now I'm no mechanical expert but I can say that I was impressed with this vehicle. I will only comment on the Tak-4 and not get into the velocity thing. It drove a lot smoother than I expected it to. It stopped a lot better than I expected. I know there's the whole rotor size thing and whatever else but the whole system worked well together. Very smooth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MurphysFireKC View Post
    I'll see what I can come up with. I have heard this, albeit not from the horses mouth. I don't believe I was trashing either. I would love to see some data proving the advatages of IFS over other options such as the 17" disc brakes on a straight axle and an air ride cab. I don't think there is any.

    If I was an over the road driver I think IFS would be very important to me. As an engine operater driving a rig for 5-10 minutes to a call and back it is not important to me.
    If you're driving around pothole laced, busy, congested streets, the IFS is an advantage. Having actually driven both straight axle and IFS equipped IN-SERVICE rigs (not just taking a demo for a quick spin around the local school's parking lot), I found that out for myself firsthand. Air suspension or not, you still have one wheel reacting to what's happening to the other side with a straight axle, i.e. when you hit a large pothole the entire front end of the truck doesn't jar/hop violently with IFS like it would with a straight axle. Seeing as how each wheel assembly has its own suspension system that's not directly tied to the other side of the vehicle, the tires will maintain contact with the ground better. With a straight axle, if you have to put a tire up on a curb (as does happen on congested roads in busy areas, believe it or not), you don't have the other side practically riding the sidewalls.

    I'm not here to sell anything, nor could I really care any less what anyone else drives or specs for their dept. But it is clear that some people here have their own agendas, be it dealers always trying to trash the competition's products instead of concentrating on what they can offer, or people that talk out their rear end without having any actual firsthand knowledge. Anyone can sit behind their keyboard and profess their expertise about any given subject.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    IFS handles better,stops quicker and brakes last longer. Now let's put those 17" Disc brakes on a straight X and what do you think will happen? I'd be willing to bet that it will stop quicker and the brakes will last longer.In fact,I'm so confident of this that it's in my spec for our Tower.The ride probably won't improve much however.IFS in itself is not the reason a rig equipped with it stops faster.But it does make for a nice ride. T.C.
    I agree, the whole selling point of it braking better is pretty lame. Their may be a little bit of truth to it, but I doubt it's significant enough to notice. Gotta compare apples and apples. Saying a 17" equipped IFS stops better than a 15" equipped straight axle is absurd as a selling point for the IFS. That being said, I do believe IFS offers a "nicer ride", which I think many times is confused with it being some sort of luxury item. I beg to differ, as noted in my post right above this one. I believe better handling leads to a much safer vehicle to operate, without question. I've hit potholes with a straight axle truck (newer model, not some old junker), and have had the steering wheel jerk almost out of my grip and the entire front end jump sideways. Not a pleasant feeling. Hit that same hole with the IFS rig and it's a much different story.

    To be fair, I don't like the way the vehicle with IFS tracks at highway speed, it doesn't seem as responsive as a straight axle. Also, the steering wheel doesn't return to center as quickly in an IFS rig. However, given the better handling and ride (which also translates to less wear and tear on the chassis itself), in my own opinion I believe it's more than a fair tradeoff.

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    That's my point.IFS without a doubt improves the ride but it in itself making the rig stop better is a bit of a stretch.And some straight X's will do potholes better than others.Spring length,FAW,loading all factor in.Still not as good as IFS but some are manageable and others can be downright nasty.As a former OTR driver,it (IFS)wouldn't be my first choice.But for top performance on a emergency vehicle pushing the boundaries it is an item worthy of consideration.And on the parts issue,any truck part comes from a major OEM. Pierce the last time I checked doesn't manufacture ball joints.So at some point the parts will become available from the aftermarket. T.C.

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