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  1. #1
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    Default Chassis purchase

    Anyone have experience with purchase of chassis (commerical) thru a truck dealer vs buying same chassis thru the apparatus mfg?

    For example chassis price at HGAC.com in the $60k range apparatus guy is quoting $90-100k. That's nice profit.

    Have to spec/bid for correct chassis. But may be a place to save some $.

    Looking for input on experience of others who may have done the extra leg work to buy chassis seperately. Did you actually save $? How much (on what chassis)? Worth the effort?


  2. #2
    Forum Member medicmaster's Avatar
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    Before I moved, I was on an apparatus spec comittee to replace our department's aging rescue.

    We used Alexis Fire Equipment as our builder. The truck was to be built on a Chevy 8500 chassis. They (alexis) bought trucks from a dealer that I believe was from up around Chicago.

    We ended up providing the chassis ourselves which we bought from Karl Cheverolet in Des Moines. They have a specialized emergency vehicle sales department (the manager is a FF/PM), and they were able to work with Alexis to get a chassis that met the engineering requirements for the rescue body.

    This saved about $12,000. Karl Chevy even delivered the chassis to the Alexis factory.

    (By the way, even though I live in Central Iowa now, my old department was located in SE Iowa, so this was not done as a favor to the local department...they actually deal statewide.)
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    Anyone have experience with purchase of chassis (commerical) thru a truck dealer vs buying same chassis thru the apparatus mfg?

    For example chassis price at HGAC.com in the $60k range apparatus guy is quoting $90-100k. That's nice profit.

    Have to spec/bid for correct chassis. But may be a place to save some $.

    Looking for input on experience of others who may have done the extra leg work to buy chassis seperately. Did you actually save $? How much (on what chassis)? Worth the effort?
    I was the lead person on two such purchases. ('94 and '98) We did it using the State contract pricing that Vermont had. It allowed any VT municipality to get the same price as the State would for a given model chassis for the various options available. We got the required specifications from the dealer/manufacturer and made sure they met what they needed. It was really the snowplow truck chassis contract but..... better than retail!!!

    The dealer we went through is VERY intune with Fire needs. Owners are former and present chiefs and or other officers... puts it in a different playing field than normal. However, any dealership worth doing business with should be able to handle this type situation. It is not suppose to , but can make it better if the local dealership that is doing the warranty work actually sold the chassis.

    Plus an added benefit, You pay for and own the chassis.

    Worth asking questions on pluses and minuses of this type deal...

  4. #4
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    Default Chassis Purchase

    Spec the chassis as an option to the body bid and have the commercial dealer bid the chassis. Have the body builder get you the chassis spec to be sure it meets what they need and bid the chassis seperate.

    Just a thought.

  5. #5
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    The manufacturer can usually get concessions on price since they by a larger number of chassis from a prefered dealer than your department could get buying a one timer. Also some small chassis spec items may be overlooked if you are not familiar with the build process such as factory switch panels, proper axle and spring sizes,axle ratio, transmission programing, etc. Even if it does not save you much money, it will save you a lot of hassle buying through the builder.

  6. #6
    Forum Member dragonfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WCENG23 View Post
    The manufacturer can usually get concessions on price since they by a larger number of chassis from a prefered dealer than your department could get buying a one timer. Also some small chassis spec items may be overlooked if you are not familiar with the build process such as factory switch panels, proper axle and spring sizes,axle ratio, transmission programing, etc. Even if it does not save you much money, it will save you a lot of hassle buying through the builder.

    A good fleet minded dealer will give the municipality the same if not better price compared to what we give a builder. GM will give more "Bid Assistance" to a municipality while manufacturers can only get normal fleet rebates unless they apply for the BA.

    neiowa: send me a private e-mail with what you're looking for. I'm the fleet sales manager for a GMC dealer. We order and ship across the country so let me see what we can do for you. I'm currently working with a company in Virginia and giving them a better price than they got from a manufacturer.
    Steve Dragon
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by WCENG23 View Post
    The manufacturer can usually get concessions on price since they by a larger number of chassis from a prefered dealer than your department could get buying a one timer. Also some small chassis spec items may be overlooked if you are not familiar with the build process such as factory switch panels, proper axle and spring sizes,axle ratio, transmission programing, etc. Even if it does not save you much money, it will save you a lot of hassle buying through the builder.

    You're probably correct for the 1250gpm 1000gal crewcab IH or M2. Apparatus mfg uses a few to many per month. Large chassis they would be buying one at a time. Some very attractive contract pricing at HGAC.com. Yeah, make sure it's speced right.

  8. #8
    Forum Member bjlffire's Avatar
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    We purchased a 2006 7400 4door International chassis through the State of Missouri's bid process for less than the builder was selling a 4400 2door.

    Definatly woth the extra paper work with the state.

    I would check with your state first.
    We had the bids come in both ways with and without the chassis.
    They did not have a problem with it.

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    I'll let you know next week. We are doing a side by side quote right now.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

  10. #10
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    Default A long shot but...

    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    Anyone have experience with purchase of chassis (commerical) thru a truck dealer vs buying same chassis thru the apparatus mfg?

    For example chassis price at HGAC.com in the $60k range apparatus guy is quoting $90-100k. That's nice profit.

    Have to spec/bid for correct chassis. But may be a place to save some $.

    Looking for input on experience of others who may have done the extra leg work to buy chassis seperately. Did you actually save $? How much (on what chassis)? Worth the effort?
    I can think of two areas of risk when buying the chassis and providing it to the manufacturer.

    1) There are potential warranty repair issues. I have known apparatus builders who respond to repairs issues with something like, "You supplied the chassis to us, so any repairs regarding the chassis are between you and the chassis manufacturer." I will add that it's amazing to see the finger-pointing that goes on when trying to get something fixed. The issue of divided or shared responsibility should be clearly addressed in your specs.

    2) I am aware of a volunteer department in my county who purchased a custom chassis direct in order to save several thousand dollars. At some point after the chassis delivery to the apparatus builder, the builder closed their doors and filed for bankruptcy. The chassis ended up in legal limbo for close to a year. Since it was deemed a unit "in production", some of the assets of the company were attached to the truck. As crazy as it sounds, the department would have faced criminal charges for going to retrieve their own chassis. Again, this can be addressed in your bid specs in the form of bonding.

    While many non-governmental fire departments omit bonding requirements, many state and local governments require them.

  11. #11
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    Talking Commercial chassis which will be local dealer warrantee in any event. Fire grant now requires bond on all apparatus purchase (and w/penalty clause)

    Just received HGAC quote on a IH Workstar (7600) with Emerg pkg, Cummins ISM 410hp 1550Ftlb, Allison 4000, Ext cab, 56000lb GVWR

    Mfg list is $168603
    HGAC contract price is $100285

    Will be taking a look at the new IH/MANN MAXXFORCE 11l or 13l engines (less $ than the Cummins) and have some other changes to make (such as larger alternator, perhaps 66000lb GVWR)

    I'll get quote from local IH dealer to see what they come up with.

    Allison 4000EVS is $23683 list.

    Notible that the 2007 emission upcharge is $7000. Call your local enviromental wacko (and idiot US senator/rep) and thank them for that responsible use of tax $.

  12. #12
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    NE,We traditionally over the years have prepaid our chassis prior to delivering them to the builder.And this INCLUDES the Custom chassis.And yes,you can save a chunk of change doing this.Some of the savings can be different depending on how the builder is financing the rig.If it were me,that would be one of the questions I wpuld be asking potential builders. T.C.

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