1. #1
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    Default ALF, E-One, or Pierce?

    A week ago we got the ok from city council to send out RFP's for a pumper. I sent them to 7 manufacturers, a few being ALF, E-One, and Pierce. I don't have any experience with ALF or Pierce, what's the good and bad with both? I know alot of guys bag on E-One here. We have 3 E-Ones, never had any major issues with them, unless they've really went down hill since we last bought one 10 yrs ago. Any help or comments would be appreciated!

    Thanks,


    Mike

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    ALF is going under, laid off 92 yesterday, mostly salary types. Pierce SUX!! E-1 builds a good truck, but the best thing they have going for them is tech support. As a road guy for a dealer that sells a brand you did not mention, I suggest dealing with E-1. I have worked on every brand of apparatus that is out there and it is almost a joy to work on a E-1. All I have to do is call Ocala and give them the S.O.# of the unit and they can e-mail or fax me any wiring diagram I need for the unit. And the tech support guys willing to go the extra mile to help. Pierce says to call my local dealer or to have my parts manager to call them with a P.O. and they will send me the info. I cover Va., N.C. and S.C. I do not have a local dealer or the time to wait on the U.S. mail system.

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    I have spoken with area chiefs that run E-One's and they plan to purchase another one when the time comes. Every manufacturer ocassionally produces a truck that has "issues." Go with whoever will give you the best service after the sale.
    I have only 2 allegiances, to my country and to my God. The rest of you are fair game.

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    I would suggest reading the other threads around here about E-One. They have been directed to cut 10 million in costs by the end of the year. I'm not sure if they can do that and still stay in business.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Farmington2313 View Post
    ALF is going under, laid off 92 yesterday, mostly salary types. Pierce SUX!! E-1 builds a good truck, but the best thing they have going for them is tech support. As a road guy for a dealer that sells a brand you did not mention, I suggest dealing with E-1. I have worked on every brand of apparatus that is out there and it is almost a joy to work on a E-1. All I have to do is call Ocala and give them the S.O.# of the unit and they can e-mail or fax me any wiring diagram I need for the unit. And the tech support guys willing to go the extra mile to help. Pierce says to call my local dealer or to have my parts manager to call them with a P.O. and they will send me the info. I cover Va., N.C. and S.C. I do not have a local dealer or the time to wait on the U.S. mail system.
    If " ALF " is going under, why did they spend tons of money building a " NEW PLANT " that is going to open this october 2007 ?????

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    Not to start an E-1 bashing, however in the past 10 years much has changed. The other 2 you mentioned have there issues as well. You might check the finiancial status of ALF and E1 and on the other hand, make sure the other one you mentioned is giving you all the bang for your dollar. Remember, the department needs an apparatus that has long service life, good customer service when something goes amiss, and long lasting roots in the fire service that will still be there in 20 years. Other than that, open up the bidding for more companies to level the field and see where the prices come in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firemanmikey View Post
    I don't have any experience with ALF or Pierce, what's the good and bad with both?

    Mike

    Lets keep it this way. How about KME or Sutphen?

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    We run 3 Sutphens. 2 being 1993 deluge pumpers and a 2003 110' Magnum aerial. The twin 93's are still going strong. Definitly worth looking into. The all stainless bodies are just starting to get a little corrosion, but the rig's almost 15 years old. I live in NW PA and get a lot of snow, ice, etc and they dump tons of salt every year, and the trucks have held up like champs. We've got 2 neighbors with KME Renegades that are about the same age and they are all just falling apart. If it's not too late I'd look into one. They're worth it in my book. My innitail impression of the couple of Pierce's that I've ridden in is that they're kinda cheap and not put together real well. I know I'm putting my foot in my mouth, but the fit and finish of things didn't really impress me. The departments that run them like them, but another local dept was looking hard at a Pierce adn they went back the another Sutphen (They have 2 others).

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    Quote Originally Posted by NewJerseyFFII View Post
    If " ALF " is going under, why did they spend tons of money building a " NEW PLANT " that is going to open this october 2007 ?????
    That's a good question! Why did Lynn Tilton by a company that was losing money, "debt free" from Freightliner, then sink millons into a new facility? "Debt Free" means that when she bought ALF, Freightliner took on all debts owed by ALF and all warranty claims for all units built while ALF was part of FTL. Call your local ALF dealer and find out when was the last time they got paid for a warranty claim.

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    Default ALF, E One or Pierce?

    Quote Originally Posted by firemanmikey View Post
    A week ago we got the ok from city council to send out RFP's for a pumper. I sent them to 7 manufacturers, a few being ALF, E-One, and Pierce. I don't have any experience with ALF or Pierce, what's the good and bad with both? I know alot of guys bag on E-One here. We have 3 E-Ones, never had any major issues with them, unless they've really went down hill since we last bought one 10 yrs ago. Any help or comments would be appreciated!

    Thanks,


    Mike
    Just saw your spec and pretty generic (6 Pages) so appears your looking for a pretty basic truck or a Stock/Demo Unit. Who else did you send the spec's to as there are a number of other qualified builders who sell in Alberta; Fort Garry, Smeal and Rosenbauer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firemanmikey View Post
    We have 3 E-Ones, never had any major issues with them, unless they've really went down hill since we last bought one 10 yrs ago. Any help or comments would be appreciated!
    Mike,

    Being in Alberta or Canada for that matter, your E-Ones are most likely Superior products which are a whole lot different then a Florida E-One. The Superior is, or was, a much better product. Like SAFETEK mentioned, if your spec is only six pages you're probably not too specific on what you want. I'm sure anyone can and will meet your spec. There are better quality and better valued builders then the three you mentioned. Just make sure that when you recieve them that you are comparing apples to apples. Read them over and over and over and then read them again. Also, don't be afraid to ask for clarification on items.
    Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SAFETEK View Post
    Just saw your spec and pretty generic (6 Pages) so appears your looking for a pretty basic truck or a Stock/Demo Unit. Who else did you send the spec's to as there are a number of other qualified builders who sell in Alberta; Fort Garry, Smeal and Rosenbauer.
    If you can deal with any of these three before E-One I would strongly reccomend it! We have had good luck with Smeal, and they have put together some amazing apparatus for us using the Spartan chassis. We have many E-Ones here, and they do not even compare to the new Spartans that we have been getting for the last year or two. The Spartans have been far more reliable in just about every department.

    Our E-Ones have been riddled with issues, most prominantly, serious electrical defects. In fact the first order of E-Ones that we recieved had to be half rebuilt once they arrived because of the severity of the electrical problems.

    If you want a solid reliable piece of apparatus look at the manufacturers that SAFETEK posted. If you want a rig that will spend more time in the shop than it will on the road look at E-One. We had high hopes for the E-Ones, but we will no longer purchase them because of the long history of problems that we have had.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firemanmikey View Post
    A week ago we got the ok from city council to send out RFP's for a pumper. I sent them to 7 manufacturers, a few being ALF, E-One, and Pierce. I don't have any experience with ALF or Pierce, what's the good and bad with both? I know alot of guys bag on E-One here. We have 3 E-Ones, never had any major issues with them, unless they've really went down hill since we last bought one 10 yrs ago. Any help or comments would be appreciated!

    Thanks,


    Mike
    We have all Pierce and have had good luck with them. ALF was purchased recently and I am still waiting to see ho wthe new company addresses some quality issues on them as far as I know finacially they are solid. E-one builds a decent product but federal signal who owns them just refused to allow them to build new and updated facilities, they also replaced Hebe as president, their financial situation seems to indicate that they are in trouble I would be very cautious about them right now until the new president has been given time to see if he can straighten things out. KME is solid financially and build a good product and so does sutphen. Rosebaur is the number 2 builder behind peirce I dont know anything about their qaulity. Pierce is very solid and builds a good product even though the pierce haters in here will tell you different. Hope that helps.
    Last edited by firetdriver99; 08-05-2007 at 04:27 AM.

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    Alf is not going under, what a stupid statement. Alf just moved into a a brand new almost 500,000 square ft state of the art facility. They moved from different facilities to one. There was a lot of duplication of jobs and (Dead Weight), they tidied up a bit.They still employ around 1200.

    Frieghtliner does not do the warranty for ALF, ALF does. The new system is online and being tweaked as needed. All the new systems for parts, payments, production, deliveries that have been developed are coming up to speed also. This is a major undertaking for any large corperation when you break off the "mother ship". Alf is fine and will be around for another 175 years.

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    stay a way from ALF(they are not what they use to be).i am on 2 dept.(career&vollie) we have 3 ALF pumpers between the 2 dept. all 3 are the biggest p.o.s ever, never know if they will start letalone pump at a fire.the trucks are all 2001-2004 so they are pretty new.i have heard good things about KME,pierce and sutphen,GOOD LUCK

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    Default RFP's

    I have just gone through the same thing regarding an RFP for a pumper. E-one never responded ( and contrary to what you may have heard, the Superior line in Red Deer AB has been shut down ). Good quotes from all of the reliables such as Smeal ( Safetek ), KME, Seagrave and Ferrara. Ft.Garry had a lengthly delivery, as did Dependable Emergency Vehicles in Ontario. ALF didn't even come close to specifying what we were asking for. Pierce your way may be reliable but down here everything goes through the Quebec Dealer - Thibeault. That alone can cause un-necessary delays. Basically deal with who you are comfortable with, but don't hesitate to consider the other players. That's how we ended up purchasing from other manufacturers outside of Ontario, such as Danko. Ben

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    Well, at the risk of throwing my 2 cents in here.......

    I prefer E-One over all others, that is no secret. However, their quality over the past few years has slipped some. If you were talking an aerial, I would be fighting over how much better an E-One aerial is than anyone else.

    But since it is a pumper, anyone can build a good pumper. Only a few things to remember:

    1) Really and truly look at your NEEDS, not wants, before you start specing
    the rig
    2) Spec the pumper for YOUR needs, not your neighbors
    3) Make the maker BUILD to your specs, not change your mind to make it
    easier on them
    4) Make sure the maker has service after the sale

    With that said, ALF is on the lower end of quality since the early to mid '80's. To many hands in the cookie jar for it to have settled and really start producing good rigs again.

    Pierce is going to be on the high, atleast in my experience, and for no good reason. They use the same components everyone else does. They just put them together in their part of Wisconsin.

    E-One has slipped in quality control and attention to detail, again in my opinion. Their biggest obstacle right now is an ever diminishing dealer network. If they can correct things then they can make a comeback.

    Just my thoughts.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

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    Quote Originally Posted by MurphysFireKC View Post
    Alf is not going under, what a stupid statement. Alf just moved into a a brand new almost 500,000 square ft state of the art facility. They moved from different facilities to one. There was a lot of duplication of jobs and (Dead Weight), they tidied up a bit.They still employ around 1200.

    Frieghtliner does not do the warranty for ALF, ALF does. The new system is online and being tweaked as needed. All the new systems for parts, payments, production, deliveries that have been developed are coming up to speed also. This is a major undertaking for any large corperation when you break off the "mother ship". Alf is fine and will be around for another 175 years.
    Most of the dead weight you mentioned are good friends of mine. I worked for ALF corp. from the FTL start up in 1997 until 2006. So you could say that I have a few good sources of info about the ALF situation. FTL ASSUMED liability/warranty for all units produced before the sell off of ALF. So, Stick that in your pipe and smoke it!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Farmington2313 View Post
    Most of the dead weight you mentioned are good friends of mine. I worked for ALF corp. from the FTL start up in 1997 until 2006. So you could say that I have a few good sources of info about the ALF situation. FTL ASSUMED liability/warranty for all units produced before the sell off of ALF. So, Stick that in your pipe and smoke it!!
    So it sounds like you're an ex-employee with sour grapes. You're not naive enough to think that Patriarch would buy a "money losing" company and not cut costs and make it a "leaner" company are you? Investment companies like Patriarch buy "failing" businesses cheap, reorganize it, return it to profitability, and then possibly resell them at a profit. What you are seeing right now is the "reorganization" part.

    Does this put some people out? Unfortunately yes, but the remaining employees usually end up working for a stronger company in the end.

    Watching from the sidelines, it looks like American LaFrance is currently more stable than E-One. At least ALF is already on the way to reorganization. But E-One is just starting.
    I can't believe they actually pay me to do this!!!

    One friend noted yesterday that a fire officer only carries a flashlight, sometimes prompting grumbling from firefighters who have to lug tools and hoses.
    "The old saying is you never know how heavy that flashlight can become," the friend said.
    -from a tragic story posted on firefighterclosecalls.com

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    So it sounds like you're an ex-employee with sour grapes.

    No sour grapes here! The last thing I want to see is ALF fail. All I was trying to do is help to answer firemanmikey's question. ALF, E-1 or PIERCE? My point of view for answering his question comes from the service side. If you have a problem, ALF can't help you, Pierce won't help you and E-1 has a team of guys that are there to help you. If the E-1 dealer in your area sux, I would advise to go with somebody else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FF21CFD View Post
    If you can deal with any of these three before E-One I would strongly reccomend it! We have had good luck with Smeal, and they have put together some amazing apparatus for us using the Spartan chassis. We have many E-Ones here, and they do not even compare to the new Spartans that we have been getting for the last year or two. The Spartans have been far more reliable in just about every department.

    Our E-Ones have been riddled with issues, most prominantly, serious electrical defects. In fact the first order of E-Ones that we recieved had to be half rebuilt once they arrived because of the severity of the electrical problems.

    If you want a solid reliable piece of apparatus look at the manufacturers that SAFETEK posted. If you want a rig that will spend more time in the shop than it will on the road look at E-One. We had high hopes for the E-Ones, but we will no longer purchase them because of the long history of problems that we have had.
    Why not look into a " Spartan/E-One apparatus " ?

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    Or why not look somewhere else? The only new ALF in our area is FOR SALE and the Chief of the Dept that owns it says NEVER AGAIN.It is OOS more than it is in.E-one,if you utilize the search function will bring up numerous issues primarily electrical.Pierce? If you don't mind spending a bunch more money for the same pile of components you will probably be satisfied with the results.They do build a nice rig albeit usually overpriced.A six page spec? Our last RFP was over eighty. Who can/will service you after the sale? An often overlooked but very important piece of the apparatus buying process in my opinion.There are a number of builders that will build a unit for your needs besides the three you mentioned.Why not see who REALLY wants to play? Personally,we've had good luck with Spartan equipment as we phase out the Internationals.Others will have good luck with HME etc.What does your local dealer/repair center favor? Once you buy it you'll be using it for awhile,now's the time to ask the questions.Or you'll feel the pain for years to come. T.C.

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    Our E-Ones have been riddled with issues, most prominantly, serious electrical defects. In fact the first order of E-Ones that we recieved had to be half rebuilt once they arrived because of the severity of the electrical problems.
    I am surprised how little manufacturers are doing to prevent moisture/road salt/brine from entering the multiplexed electrical systems. I have opened more than a few pump panels, compartment doors, etc and found open wiring connections. It seems like such an easy preventative measure to take, but it is going unused.
    I have only 2 allegiances, to my country and to my God. The rest of you are fair game.

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    E-One, ALF & Pierce are all great companies, or where at one time. I think they are all going through problems as each company needs to build more and more custom trucks as demands are changing and this brings profit way down. In no way is ALF going under, that is just a stupid thing to say! Yes they are making many changes, but you will not see a company pump all that money into a brand new building just to close its doors. I mean come on! E-One has been having troubles now for many years and I donít have much good to say about them at this point. Pierce is a great company and is in better shape than both ALF and E-ONE as of right now.

    Some other to look at.... Crimson, Marion, Rosenbauer, U.S. Tanker & Ferrara. All of these companies are good customers of mine. They all use a product called ECK, for corrosion/electrolysis prevention. Pierce will use ECK and do use it on their Ambulance vehicles but do not use it to build fire trucks. I would never buy another truck without this product! You can request it when you spec a vehicle & it will cost you very little! It is a no-brainer!

    Back on topic, I would stay away from the three builders youíre looking at and look into Crimson Fire. They make a great truck and are on the up and up! www.crimson-fire.com

    Good luck and donít forget to SPEC ďECK" on your next build to keep your trucks out of the paint shop and looking better longer!

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    Quote Originally Posted by firepiper1 View Post
    I am surprised how little manufacturers are doing to prevent moisture/road salt/brine from entering the multiplexed electrical systems. I have opened more than a few pump panels, compartment doors, etc and found open wiring connections. It seems like such an easy preventative measure to take, but it is going unused.
    ......i agree with this... i know of more than one surrounding department who has had several issues in this area.... so make sure your spec is tight on the protection and warranty of these components....... ..i would also say look at some other builders if possible.... lafrance is living off of its history and they seem to have gone to the dogs with quality....... pierce is expensive and e-one may have some financial worries...

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