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  1. #1
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    Default Detriot or Caterpillar?

    We are still undecided which engine to spec in a new aerial?

    It will likely be a Detroit Series 60 515hp or the Caterpillar C-13 525hp? So here is your chance to help me decide. Both manufacturers have dealer service facilities close by, so support service is equal. My department currently runs mostly Cummins, but the ISX doesn't seem to be commonly used in the fire service at this time.

    The 60 has been around since 1996, and I have heard of no major problems.

    Factors my department will consider assuming that performance is acceptable for both are operating costs: fuel economy, repair costs, maintenance intervals, ect.,

    I know what the spec sheets say. I guess what I am asking is "What is the word from the street?" If anyone has recent experience with these two 2007- compliant engines, I would appreciate hearing them.


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Command6 View Post
    We are still undecided which engine to spec in a new aerial?

    It will likely be a Detroit Series 60 515hp or the Caterpillar C-13 525hp? So here is your chance to help me decide. Both manufacturers have dealer service facilities close by, so support service is equal. My department currently runs mostly Cummins, but the ISX doesn't seem to be commonly used in the fire service at this time.

    The 60 has been around since 1996, and I have heard of no major problems.

    Factors my department will consider assuming that performance is acceptable for both are operating costs: fuel economy, repair costs, maintenance intervals, ect.,

    I know what the spec sheets say. I guess what I am asking is "What is the word from the street?" If anyone has recent experience with these two 2007- compliant engines, I would appreciate hearing them.
    We went through much of the same exercise with our new engine ("we're Done, Whew, Toyne wins"). We went with the CAT C13 because it presents equal or better horsepower and torque curves and weighs several hundred pounds less. Like you, we have excellent service facilities nearby for both as well as Detroit Diesel.

    One point for you to consider - the Cummins ISX engine is considerably larger than the C13. CAT's equivalent to the ISX is their C15. Few, if any fire chassis builders are installing either because of their space and cooling requirements. Cummins' offering that is analagous to the C13 is their ISM.

    Over this summer I have gained over 6000 miles experience driving a demo quint through 13 states, mountains and flatland, interstates and skinny roads. The 75' Spartan/Toyne/RK single axle quint is powered by a Cummins ISM set at 500 hp. While my personal preference remains with CAT, I'm happy to say that the ISM 500 has held its end up quite well. If Cummins is your preference, I'd have no reservation recommending it. I don't think anyone can argue with the DD S60's track record in the fire service.

    Stay safe out there, everyone goes home!

  3. #3
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    Almost all my hands-on experience is with CAT, as I ran a (non-fire) truck company that used CAT almost exclusively. I didn't have a strong preference as to which engines were used, having had satisfactory experience managing large mixed fleets previously.

    But once I actually got my hands dirty running the smaller fleet, let me tell you, 5 hours of turbo disassembly to reach a leaking coolant hose on our C13s (2002 emissions) was one strike against CAT in my book.

    The twin turbos make for a crowded passenger side...

    Again, very little hands-on experience with other brands, but I would look closely at service access to little things like that while deciding on an engine spec.

  4. #4
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    Im not a big fan of the CAT. We have a 2002 Sutphen tower with the 505 hp in it. The truck is always trying to find another gear and doesnt want to get up and go. Yes, it is a 70k# truck, but I havent been real impressed with the engine all around. It just screams even at an idle. The other thing that you want to consider is the tranny. The two are married together and if you dont have a tranny that matches up well, the best engine wont be worth anything. I think Allison has a new 6 speed tranny out, and the more gears you have the better. With only having 5 or 6 gears, you may really notice having that extra gear when youre out on the road.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber npfd801's Avatar
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    The six-speed is an option if you aren't driving a pump with a split shaft application. I believe the ratios you would get with a six speed wouldn't work to properly drive the pump. Running a PTO pump or no pump, the six speed is the way to go. I just drove a demo with a six speed and it went like heck, especially given the rig's weight.
    "Share your knowledge - it's a way to achieve immortality." - Stolen from Chase Sargent's Buddy to Boss program

  6. #6
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    Default Detroit Vs CAT

    I've recently delivered similiar types of apparatus (Engines, Aerial Plaforms) to FD's that HAD Detroit Diesel Ser 60 and went to CAT and couple of things were noticed.

    The CAT doesn't accelerate as quickly from a start as the Detroit due to the Torque Curve however it does hold it's torque longer overall. So to the troops this was a negative even though explained it to them..
    So if going with a CAT maybe look at a higher rear end ratio.

    The CAT is harder on fuel consumption than the Detroit's.

    The CAT is quieter than the Detroit.

    Depending on your local dealer that's an important factor because when we first got these 5 CAT's delivered the dealer wasn't that "up" on fire apparatus compared to Detroit Diesel.

    As to the Cummins ISM a major customer which had all Detroit Ser 60 for their Aerials has gone with the Cummins ISM 500 HP due to valve/injector problems with Detroit and no complaints so far. They run smoother and quieter but again not as much torque off the line if that's a "big" deal even though we might be talking a 1-1.5 second difference.

  7. #7
    Forum Member CooterRob's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    HANDS DOWN CATERPILLAR!!!! Detroit's leak, are loud as heckand get horrible fuel mileage.

    Detroit:
    Pros:
    1.ummm... cheaper obviously! lol
    2.You can pretend you're in a JET!!! WHOOOO lol

    Cons:
    1.2 stroke... meh. Anyone who knows 2 stroke motors, they hate IDLE!!! Soo most advance the timing on Detroits and by defualt your fuel mileage become horrible.
    2.SMOKEY, b/c of of how a 2 stroke is... nature of the beast!!!
    3.They leak over time
    4.They tend blow themselves apart if not maintained correctly. Ya have to take care of 2 strokes different than a 4 stroke!
    5. VERY noisy waste gate!!! You'd swear there's a jet turbine under the hood! lol
    6. Very loud fan belt squeal during rpm drop when shifting.
    7.They also get hot really quick!!!

    Caterpillar:

    Pros:
    1.4 Stroke!!!
    2.VERY POWERFUL
    3.Reliable
    4.YELLOW!!! WHEEE lol
    5.Quiet compared the Detroit

    Cons:
    1.VERY EXPENSIVE!!!
    2.CAT hasn't quite perfected the new 07' emission engine and have had plenty of problems soo far

    In all I'd rather go with a Cummins ISL for small block and the ISM for a big block... ya get the best of all worlds and great fuel mileage for a diesel.

    Just my 2 cents... take it for what it's worth
    Last edited by CooterRob; 08-10-2007 at 07:53 PM.
    "I don't wanna hear about it... I wanna see results!!!":-P

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber npfd801's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CooterRob View Post
    HANDS DOWN CATERPILLAR!!!! Detroit's leak, are loud as heckand get horrible fuel mileage.

    Detroit:
    Pros:
    1.ummm... cheaper obviously! lol
    2.You can pretend you're in a JET!!! WHOOOO lol

    Cons:
    1.2 stroke... meh. Anyone who knows 2 stroke motors, they hate IDLE!!! Soo most advance the timing on Detroits and by defualt your fuel mileage become horrible.
    2.SMOKEY, b/c of of how a 2 stroke is... nature of the beast!!!
    3.They leak over time
    4.They tend blow themselves apart if not maintained correctly. Ya have to take care of 2 strokes different than a 4 stroke!
    5. VERY noisy waste gate!!! You'd swear there's a jet turbine under the hood! lol
    6. Very loud fan belt squeal during rpm drop when shifting.
    7.They also get hot really quick!!!

    Caterpillar:

    Pros:
    1.4 Stroke!!!
    2.VERY POWERFUL
    3.Reliable
    4.YELLOW!!! WHEEE lol
    5.Quiet compared the Detroit

    Cons:
    1.VERY EXPENSIVE!!!
    2.CAT hasn't quite perfected the new 07' emission engine and have had plenty of problems soo far

    In all I'd rather go with a Cummins ISL for small block and the ISM for a big block... ya get the best of all worlds and great fuel mileage for a diesel.

    Just my 2 cents... take it for what it's worth
    Let's see here...

    Detroit two-strokes haven't been put in apparatus for a while...

    The last I checked, the Cat was cheaper than a Detroit on a rig I just sold.

    I'd probably lean personally to a Cummins, but I don't think any of them make a BAD motor. I'm kind of excited to hear that some of the Cummins motors for '07 aren't requiring all of the exhaust filtering stuff.
    "Share your knowledge - it's a way to achieve immortality." - Stolen from Chase Sargent's Buddy to Boss program

  9. #9
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    We've got two 2006 C-13's rated at 485 hp and have no issues with them. Like mentioned earlier, they seem sluggish off the line but as the trans shifts into higher gears they pull like a bugger. Oh ya, they are thirsty!
    Over the next few years all of our first line apparatus is being replaced which meant it was a good time to make an engine switch. I was unsure of the future of the series 60 because Mercedes has the MBE4000 in the same horsepower class and there were rumours flying around that the series 60 was going to be discontinued. Where the series 60 is popular in fire apparatus, it's not so popular in over the road trucks. In fact a truck, highway truck that is, has a lesser resale value if outfitted with a series 60.

  10. #10
    Forum Member Chauffeur6's Avatar
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    Something to seriously consider when looking at the Series 60 is that they will not be manufactured past 2010. They have already stopped producing the 12.7L version, only the 14.0L version remains.

    Our dept took that into serious consideration with our new rescue when spec'ing it last year, and decided in the end to switch to CAT (C-13 525 HP). We've had Detroits forever and never had a complaint with them. Looking towards the future, however, we decided it was in our best interest not to purchase a design that will very shortly cease production. Our apparatus typically serves for 20 or more years. What assurances do we have that parts will be available for the Series 60 15-20 years in the future? "None", and that came directly from a Detroit rep we spoke to.

    The CAT motors are way ahead of the curve as far as meeting the future EPA requirements, which is why the C Series design will be around for quite awhile. Not so with the Series 60, which is why Detroit is killing it off in the next few years. They simply cannot meet the 2010 EPA requirements without a complete redesign, so it's cheaper for them to just start fresh.


    Quote Originally Posted by CooterRob View Post
    Cons:
    1.2 stroke... meh. Anyone who knows 2 stroke motors, they hate IDLE!!! Soo most advance the timing on Detroits and by defualt your fuel mileage become horrible.
    2.SMOKEY, b/c of of how a 2 stroke is... nature of the beast!!!
    3.They leak over time
    4.They tend blow themselves apart if not maintained correctly. Ya have to take care of 2 strokes different than a 4 stroke!
    Is there anything more annoying than an overbearing, obnoxious person who is completely IGNORANT? As npfd801 correctly points out, Detroit hasn't produced a two-stroke motor for fire apparatus since the Series 92, which they stopped offering in the mid 90s. The Series 60, a four-stroke cycle motor, has been the offering for the past decade plus.

    By the way, just for the record, the Series 60 has been around since 1987.

  11. #11
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    We just chose a Cat C-9 425 HP engine for our new 1250/500 Custom cab KME Pumper. We explored Cat because of the recommendations of the bidders as well as CE11 and a few others on here. Thanks for the good info guys!

    Cat was cheaper from KME but more expensive with other builders. Apparently price has something to do with how many of each brand the builder installs (qty discount?).

    As I remember of the comprable engines between Cat and Cummins, the Cat had nicer performance curves.

    We never consodered Detroit when we found out they only make the large 60 series now and the price was way out of our range...way out.

  12. #12
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    A few points.A 60 Detroit DOES NOT leak.At least not any more than the Cummins or Cat.Any of you who still have the old 71/92 series,well bad news folks.They are no longer supported,at least in certain models.Now we use Cummins,they've served us well and I like the idea that I can still get a chassis with a Cummins that DOES NOT require a DPF in the exhaust.And Rob,I don't know where you saw a smoking 2 stroke but if you did it's in desperate need of maintainence.I've got two and neither one smokes a lick,just pure heat running out the stack.Try running the racks once in awhile.Be a tough choice for me,I've had good luck with all three brands. T.C.

  13. #13
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    Also to add to his ignorance....If you can find a C-13 that gets better fuel milage than a 60 series detroit, you better keep it. Cats are alot harder on fuel than the detroit

  14. #14
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    Our new engine last month averaged 6.5 mpg from Nebraska to Tx. Series 60. Roughly 900 miles at 6.5 mpg. OUCH!!!!

  15. #15
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    Post Cummins ?

    Did the Cummins 425 HP motor replace the 400 HP motor after the (2007 ) EPA requirements ?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctxffman View Post
    Our new engine last month averaged 6.5 mpg from Nebraska to Tx. Series 60. Roughly 900 miles at 6.5 mpg. OUCH!!!!
    Did your department purchase a new " SMEAL " pumper !...

  17. #17
    Forum Member Frmboybuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctxffman View Post
    Our new engine last month averaged 6.5 mpg from Nebraska to Tx. Series 60. Roughly 900 miles at 6.5 mpg. OUCH!!!!
    Thats pretty good considering its an automatic and the engine is new. After a proper break in, your milage will increase. I drive a C-12(predesser to the C-13) every day and average 4.5 mpg with it. My old truck was set up exactly the same except it had a 60 series detroit and I averaged 5.5 with it. I prefer the Detroit over the Cat over all but the Cat will really pull on the hills. Ive never been a Cummins fan at all. I cant stand the way they start. I hate having to crank and crank to get them to run. My current Cat starts real nice you hit the key and it starts right now.

  18. #18
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    "Firstly" and "most importantly" we must recognize that CAT has the neatest advertising stuff (after Mack) This is very important to those in our profession.

    I could be wrong but overall I believe Cummins has about 70% of the fire apparatus business. Remember, they have a bunch of those little 9 litre engines out there. After 45 years of driving trucks I think they're all pretty good but for the last 9 years I have driven the ISM exclusively with no significant problems. I know when I go West towards California and you get to where the traffic is running near triple digits (and over) that you can set the cruise control on full throttle and run 85 all day long. This is also where it gets between 6-7 mpg. Most of the problems with the slow take off can be overcome by altering the EGR system but you can tear up the warranty.

    Our new demo will be a 505 CAT, which I am sure will outpull the Cummins on a long pull, but I will probably miss the Cummins.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by NewJerseyFFII View Post
    Did your department purchase a new " SMEAL " pumper !...
    Yes, that would be true.

  20. #20
    MembersZone Subscriber Paddiegrunt's Avatar
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    L.A. County Fire has exclueively used Cat sence 1993, 98% of their fleet of 160 engines and 28 trucks are Cat powered.
    Slop sink, Flags and pump 150
    Getting there is half the fun

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