1. #1
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    Default Is It A RiskTo.....

    discontinue 4 popular long-standing models of apparatus---Saber, Enforcer, Lance and Dash and replace all of them with two new otherworldly-looking apparatus? The former Javlin was discontinued but the market for that went over to the E-One Hush. The All-Steer option from Oshkosh is not advertised anymore. Am wondering out loud....is Pierce taking a risk by replacing four traditional models with two new futuristic ones? Anybody care to venture a guess?

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    Default Where did the old chassis's go?

    After talking with a Pierce sales rep at a show earlier this year, This same topic same topic was brought up. He stated that the reason for discontinuing the Saber, Enforcer, Dash and Lance was largely due to the new 2007 emissions.
    After the engineers determined they were going to have make radical changes to the past chassis platforms (cutting cabs, decreasing interior cab space, larger engine tunnels, etc's) it was determined that the best solution was to create a new set of chassis's to comply with the new emissions equipment. I'm sure there are other smaller issues but this was the biggest one. I know all of the fire apparatus manufactures had to make some sort of changes to make the new engines to fit. I think some of the other fire apparatus manugfactures even brought out new chassis's at FDIC. If I remember correctly, I believe in the year 2010, there is suppose to be another EPA emissions change. How this is going to affect the fire apparatus industry is any boys guess. I think all of the chassis manufactures (either single source or third party) are still working through the 2007 changes.

    In a nut shell, I guess is was the best business plan Pierce in the long run. Just my two cents.

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    Default Concerned

    If you have to eliminate very popular best-selling models for whatever good reason; and then substitute; NOT replace them with only two unproven otherworldly non-traditional aesthetically challenged models that do not have the physical appeal of the former; are we not risking a loss of clientelle to the E-ones and others who modified all of the existing lines and introduced new ones ON TOP of the old modified? I fear that the remaining traditional Pierce products are insufficient--the Arrox XT and the new-generation custom Contender with some aspects of the Saber integrated into the new -generation Contender----a very high-priced Arrow XT and Low-Budget Program line Contender---then three futuristic models--Quantum, Velocity and Impel none of which will win first prize for good looks.

    Some clients DO go by looks. They are not all state-of-the art minded and are inclined with long-standing traditions. This should not be poo-pooed. Many mid-country chiefs not that old biologically won't touch the the aesthetically unsightly models; add to that the sticker shock. Then you have numerous big-city customers that had in the last few years upgraded from cheap Sabers to more moderate Enforcers that could navigate old 17th century streets in big metro areas or big POOR metro areas that couldn't afford more than a Saber. Seems like if they stay with Pierce they will have to downgrade to Contenders.

    I don't see them upgrading to Arrow XTs and their conservative bent wont permit the new line to cross the threshold of their ancient big-city firehouses. I fear for Pierce that too many eggs in one basket has caught up to them and that ALF and E-ONE will reap the rewards. I may be totally naive and in error but that is what I am sensing from within..
    Last edited by wfd4fireman; 06-20-2007 at 11:51 PM.

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    What is with the look's issue, shouldn't we be purchasing these trucks on the merits? Beside the fact the 3 years (or whenever) we will have adjusted to these and thinking they look good, so the next generation we will be talking the same issues.

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    What is with the look's issue, shouldn't we be purchasing these trucks on the merits?
    You're right, but how many departments are running those futuristic looking Ferraras, or any of the Euro style rigs that were introduced in the 80's and 90's?

    Most modern rigs look surprisingly similar to thier 60's ancestors. People, inlcuding Chief's have a preconception of what a Fire Apparatus looks like. They are distrustful of potential fads.
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    Default

    Is it a risk?

    Not with the most loyal Kool Aid drinkers in the world for customers!


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    Default Looks?

    Even the brightest of the experts out here are ''looks'' conscious because medium to small departments both municipal and more suburban have to give a reply to tight-fisted bureaucrats---mayors, councils, boards of ''control'' that actually do the purchasing. So Kool-Aide aside I do not forsee these ultra-conservative entities out here in nowhere. podunk, anywhere, main street USA jumping on any band-wagons Velocity or Impel.

    A neighboring department with 10 in-service units chose a lesser brand in 2000AD because the Pierce mid-tower wasn't proven yet and so wouldn't take a risk. I still worry that Pierce has taken a huge risk with two not -appealing models and four war-horses gone.
    Last edited by wfd4fireman; 06-21-2007 at 05:29 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefSquirrel View Post
    Is it a risk?

    Not with the most loyal Kool Aid drinkers in the world for customers!

    Good one...

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    It is a freaking fire truck, a piece of public property/equipment, not a personal sports car. Anyone in the procurement process who allows looks to be a major deciding point should remove themself from the process.
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    Default yeah...

    Quote Originally Posted by DennisTheMenace View Post
    It is a freaking fire truck, a piece of public property/equipment, not a personal sports car. Anyone in the procurement process who allows looks to be a major deciding point should remove themself from the process.
    Yeah - so remove all the chrome, aluminum wheels, painted compartments, and bezels around lights. Forget fit and finish - its a work truck, a piece of public property! Build it like a Coca Cola delivery truck! Build it like a Municipal maintenance truck. Those trucks stand up to abuse - day in and day out!

    Yeah right....

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    Default

    I agree, form does not trump function by any stretch of the imagination, but it has some value in the process.

    It is a PR tool, recruiting tool, sign of professionalism, etc.



    And don't even start on the chrome. FF's learned years ago how to sell the "low maintenance" argument.
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    Default Looks Vs Form? Why not have both?

    The objections raised about looks /form may resonate well in many quarters but I am certain that small municipal and suburban fire services are tradition-bound to a large degree. The arguement concerning procurement qualifications doesn't wash out here. The CHIEF decides--no mayor no council no anybody presumes to know better---yet the chiefs this way here are traditionalists and are fearful of anything that is different-even such things as CAFS, different nozzles, and what not. I don't think Pierce is entirely patronized by state-of-the-art departments. There are many old-fashioned ones.

    The person I have known who maintains many Piereces as an approved Pierce mechanic has steered clientelle away from the multi-plexed Dash and onto the roomy but simpler Enforcer. Now, how big will the economic gap be bewteen the traditional-looking Custom Contender and the near-top Arrow XT? I feel the old line that was so best-selling should have been re-configured or the new line designed with more traditional appearance. Two new space-ships that look downright homely will force some purchasers away
    and over to ALF, E-One, Seagrave, etc etc.

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    Default

    I'm just a bit curious... I wonder if the Contender line has to be re-designed as well??? From what I know the chassis is made in Appleton, the cab is made by TCM who makes for a ton of manufacturers and then the body is assembled in Bradenton, FL. That makes sense considering that HME, Spartan and others don't have change much of anything to their cabs b/c they are made by TCM to accommodate the 07' engines. If anyone has the answer please post it.
    "I don't wanna hear about it... I wanna see results!!!":-P

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    Default Cabs

    All Pierce cabs are built in Appleton, and mounted on the chassis and then transported to Florida. TCM does not make the Saber/Contender cabs. The officers seat was moved back 3 inches for legroom and a blister is in the engine tunnel for the 07 emissions crapp.
    Pierce has a truck that moves the cabs from the fab plant to the paint/assembly plant
    A fully decked out Custom Contender is coming in around $ 390,000 with Cafs and no generator, with chevron stripes and all LEDS
    Last edited by Engine305; 06-22-2007 at 09:07 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Engine305 View Post
    All Pierce cabs are built in Appleton, and mounted on the chassis and then transported to Florida. TCM does not make the Saber/Contender cabs. The officers seat was moved back 3 inches for legroom and a blister is in the engine tunnel for the 07 emissions crapp.
    Pierce has a truck that moves the cabs from the fab plant to the paint/assembly plant
    A fully decked out Custom Contender is coming in around $ 390,000 with Cafs and no generator, with chevron stripes and all LEDS
    I guess I was miss informed then... hmm. Thanks for the clarification :-)
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    I'd much rather see Pierce keep their traditional lineup. I happen to see beauty in the older designs. As far as manufacturers re-designing for style...since when was a huge box with the aerodynamics of a deep freezer stylish. Fire apparatus vehicles are stylish on their own without much help from shapes and form.

    Dennis! You really are a Menace!!! To the pride and standing traditions of firefighting in the USA!!! I guess we should be like communist countries and just all have the same exact truck with no options or features whatsoever.

    I personally happen to love the uniqueness and variety of all the trucks, styles, shapes, features and colors. The chrome, paint, stripes and lights really make them stand out and say...."This profession and its people are different...they are the last hero's and their wagons tell the story".

    The trucks bring smiles to childrens faces. And adults too! When was the last time a trash truck or a dump truck hauling asphalt for the county government put so many smiles on faces and brought the sense that the disaster at hand might just be solved by heros in leather helmets and sirens ablaze?

    I don't see too many sanitary sewer vacuum trucks in parades. Maybe we shouldn't enjoy parades since it uses government right-of-way for its procession.

    Better tell every FDNY station that all the "bling" and paint jobs on their trucks has to come off because its a piece of government property and belongs to the State.
    Last edited by 2Chief; 06-28-2007 at 02:18 PM.

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    If you take the standard mirrors off and put on more familiar styles like what was shown in the Miami-Dade aerial picture in another thread it looks fairly normal to me. The aerial that was at the New England Chief's show sort of reminded me of an old Pirsch. That truck had Velvac mirrors on it.

    I also believe the Saber has been brought back into production. Makes sense since it is the Contender chassis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2Chief View Post
    I'd much rather see Pierce keep their traditional lineup. I happen to see beauty in the older designs. As far as manufacturers re-designing for style...since when was a huge box with the aerodynamics of a deep freezer stylish. Fire apparatus vehicles are stylish on their own without much help from shapes and form.

    Dennis! You really are a Menace!!! To the pride and standing traditions of firefighting in the USA!!! I guess we should be like communist countries and just all have the same exact truck with no options or features whatsoever.

    I personally happen to love the uniqueness and variety of all the trucks, styles, shapes, features and colors. The chrome, paint, stripes and lights really make them stand out and say...."This profession and its people are different...they are the last hero's and their wagons tell the story".

    The trucks bring smiles to childrens faces. And adults too! When was the last time a trash truck or a dump truck hauling asphalt for the county government put so many smiles on faces and brought the sense that the disaster at hand might just be solved by heros in leather helmets and sirens ablaze?

    I don't see too many sanitary sewer vacuum trucks in parades. Maybe we shouldn't enjoy parades since it uses government right-of-way for its procession.

    Better tell every FDNY station that all the "bling" and paint jobs on their trucks has to come off because its a piece of government property and belongs to the State.
    Actually, what you see on the trucks we pay for out of pocket and often do in house. Secondly, if the city has a problem with something we do they have the right and will remove it from the truck, IE- Q's or radio's. So yes, the city allows us lee-way to personalize the truck but they do have the right to remove it. Thirdly, all our trucks are standard. Co X does not have 4 Q's and 8 roto-rays on it, while Co Y does not. You can take any truck from any house, remove some paint and relocate it.

    Point B- Dennis is right. The purpose of a fire truck is to bring firefighters and equipment to the scene of a fire or emergency. It is not to win awards in parades. If you are designing your apparatus to look nice in parade's your priorities are in the wrong place. Children do not care how many loud sirens you have on it, women don't care how many lights are on it, and men don't care what color it is. When they call 911 they care that it gets there with trained knowledgeable firefighters on it
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    Who on here has the notion that the job of a fire truck was NOT to bring equipment and firefighters to the scene of an emergency? Form following function. Thats always the case.

    Guess it depends on who is on the city council. Ours actually has made us change features on specs so that the trucks look their best for the community. IE: Mirrors, wheels, tail lights, paint scheme. So image is worth something to some.

    And I've spent several thousand dollars of my own funds in the past 12 years to customize our trucks to my own taste...and that of others.

    We bring the trained experts, the critical care, the water and the hose in rapid time. And we do it in traditional fashion with good looks to spare. A call to 911 gets the emergency care needed and then some. Above and beyond.

    Like the sides of our trucks say..."Proudly Serving".

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2Chief View Post
    I'd much rather see Pierce keep their traditional lineup. I happen to see beauty in the older designs. As far as manufacturers re-designing for style...since when was a huge box with the aerodynamics of a deep freezer stylish. Fire apparatus vehicles are stylish on their own without much help from shapes and form.

    Dennis! You really are a Menace!!! To the pride and standing traditions of firefighting in the USA!!! I guess we should be like communist countries and just all have the same exact truck with no options or features whatsoever.

    I personally happen to love the uniqueness and variety of all the trucks, styles, shapes, features and colors. The chrome, paint, stripes and lights really make them stand out and say...."This profession and its people are different...they are the last hero's and their wagons tell the story".

    The trucks bring smiles to childrens faces. And adults too! When was the last time a trash truck or a dump truck hauling asphalt for the county government put so many smiles on faces and brought the sense that the disaster at hand might just be solved by heros in leather helmets and sirens ablaze?

    I don't see too many sanitary sewer vacuum trucks in parades. Maybe we shouldn't enjoy parades since it uses government right-of-way for its procession.

    Better tell every FDNY station that all the "bling" and paint jobs on their trucks has to come off because its a piece of government property and belongs to the State.
    Every truck puts a smile on my kid's face, dump truck, garbage truck, sewar vacum truck, fire truck, does not matter, as long as it is big and seems to do real work he loves it. And in fact our county's new sewer vacum truck WAS in our county neighborhoods day parade last month.

    The eastern block communist country's actually did put alot of bling on their municple and other government vehicles, it was the state that got the bling, the people got the drab. Here in the land of freedom it should be the opposite. The people's tax dollars should take care of those that serve the community, but it should not be going for bling on a piece of work equipment. If a volunteer company wants to use some of their donations and hard earned bingo/fund raiser money for the bling, than go right ahead, but public money should not put looks anywhere near the top of a purchase qualification, at best you should use it as a tie-breaker. Just as the boys at FDNY use their own house funds to decorate thier apparatus, not public funds. Even the great looking murals on E10 and L10 were donations, not city bought. As you said "Fire apparatus vehicles are stylish on their own without much help from shapes and form." The red paint and the knowledge of what they do should be all the added style that they need.

    A department that calls itself "progressive" should not feel a need to get the most futuristic looking fire engine, and a department that considers itself "traditional" should not feel the need to only order apparatus that look like 1949 ALF's. Get the apparatus that serves the need, then worry about looks, but don't reject the one that works because it does not have the "look" you are used to.
    Last edited by DennisTheMenace; 06-29-2007 at 08:53 AM.
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    Default Any Risk of Lost Business?

    My question is more of a business one rather than the merits of function versus form although that in itself is an interesting side issue that probabaly should become a separate thread.

    What I am concerned about is this:Is Pierce Taking a calculated risk that their 2 new futuristic-looking models will sell whilst discontinuing 4 older traditional-looking lines? Will the company risk loss of revenue to competitors with more standard-looking trucks? Will the 2 remaining traditional lines at Pierce offer enough diversity and price options? What will the Arrow XT retail for as opposed to the Custom Contender?

    So all arguments aside regarding looks: Is Pierce taking a risk at losing customer base by putting all their eggs in just one basket? The Enforcer was rapidly becoming a top seller since it had the roominess of the Dash without the multi-plexing?

    Your thoughful replies please?

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    I don't think any of the chassis manufacturers build enough product to make the investment that is needed to build us what we need. I think this is why progress comes slowly. International is the only purely domestic builder left and is probably saddled with the same expenses as GM paying for benefits made years ago when the money was rolling in. We would all benefit if somehow the industry got together and designed the "MAXIMO" fire chassis. I think Worldwide DENNIS is the only non-North American fire chassis still being produced and though it is as agile as a sport car it does not have components heavy enough to suit our needs. This means that the rest of the world's fire departments must use commercial or vocational chassis. This creates a large market and the major truck builders constantly try to outdo each other for the business. My personal favorite is the Scania, I spent a day at the plant and the test track and drove 16 different fully loaded trucks and combinations weighing up to 120,000#. These trucks are incredible and you can pick one up off a dealers lot. A nicely equipped four door cab costs about half of what we pay for our customs here in the States. This is not due to being gouged by the builders but by the economy of scale.

    Back to Pierce, they are doing what they must to meet the unfunded mandates which will become funded when you get your bill. It's nice to see that they are willing to chance losing sales to further improve the product. Enclosed is a Scanny off of FreeFoto.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfd4fireman View Post
    discontinue 4 popular long-standing models of apparatus---Saber, Enforcer, Lance and Dash and replace all of them with two new otherworldly-looking apparatus? The former Javlin was discontinued but the market for that went over to the E-One Hush. The All-Steer option from Oshkosh is not advertised anymore. Am wondering out loud....is Pierce taking a risk by replacing four traditional models with two new futuristic ones? Anybody care to venture a guess?
    Not much I would say. I am sure Pierce along with e-one has done some marketing homework if they didnt think these chassis would sell they wouldnt have made them.

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    Talking Scania Chassis

    While, I think most of the european chassis such as Scania, Volvo, Dennis,Mercedes, MAN etc. are nice chassis, the ones used for fire apparatus have a big limiting factor that prevents them from replacing custom desiged and built fire chassis in this country. "Horse Power"

    The european fire appliance chassis is typicaly in the 250 - 300 hp range with the 300 hp. being aerial apparatus. In this country it "ain't" a real fire truck unless it has 500+ horsepower, 2,000+ gpm. pumps and every bell and whistle known to man!

    With this mentallity, I doubt if you see any significant number of european style fire apparatus chassis in this country anytime soon.

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    Done That you are correct. The Dennis is definitely lacking for the US market but not so for the rest of them. Remember that the ratings you see for them are DIN and not SAE. The Mercs, MAN's and Scannys can easily be ordered with 500HP + However these rigs are not yet sold in the North American Market but since all US truck builders with the exception of International are partnered to European companies it is only a case of time.
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