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  1. #1
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    Default Smeal Midmount Platform Vs. Ferrara

    I know they're both the same ladders. I'm looking for information on units in service. Any problems with these rigs, service, price. I cant seem to find any negative info on either of these trucks. Ive also been told that Smeal supplied the ladders (sticks) to Pierce in the 90's any problems with these also.Any info greatly appreciated.

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    Smeal builds a good product. The dealer in our area blew it for Smeal.

    Based on the manufacturers dealings with other departments, I would not consider a product built by Ferrara Ferarra.

    C6

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    Default FERARRA trouble

    My brothers department has a ferrara mid-mount, they have had nothing but problems. it has been back to LA a number of times. I know every manufacturer has trucks that are not a 100% perfect but the service was just not there when the problems started. Make sure you dealer has good service. What toped it off for them was 3 men 80ft in the air and the bucket tipped forward like a dump truck.

    If you are down between the two, I would go with SMEAL because at least they manufacture the aerial device and integrate it with the whole truck. But then I heard that my local smeal dealer out of Syracuse left for another brand because Smeal is having a lot of problems right now. Have you looked at some of the other aerials on the market? There are a lot of manufactures building good aerials.

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    Curious command6 as to what state your in?

    For the forum we own a Smeal platform and are very pleased with it
    100' rear mount

    Smeal did build ladders for Pierce in the 90's I think till around the mid 90's.

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    We have a Smeal ladder and a Smeal engine in service. No problems other than the typical minor new truck stuff and our dealer has been good to work with.

    We're very impressed with the quality of both units.

    I have also visited and toured the factory 4 times and have been impressed with the craftsmen and their work every time.

  6. #6
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    Command6,

    I would like to know where you are from? Whenever we have comment like the dealership blew it for Smeal, I would like to know where this has happened. Even if it is just the state you are from or the dealership name. Thanks.

    Commack95 - Call me if you have any questions.

    Smeal Fire Apparatus Co.
    Jeff Wegner
    Regional Sales Director
    Direct Line: (402) 568-2909
    E-Mail: wegner@smeal.com

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    We demo'd both Smeal and Ferrara ladders. We went with the Ferrara for 2 main reasons. 1st, the Ferrara cab was more roomy and firefighter friendly than the Spartan/HME offerings (At the time). 2nd, we preffered the extruded aluminum contruction of the Ferrara. Both companies have been super to deal with as far as service goes. We had minor glitches with the aerial in the beginning and the service from both MFG's rivaled any of the so-called "single source" builders.

    -Nick

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    I know you asked concerning platforms, but we run a Smeal 105' that is 6 yeras old and have been happy with it.
    Our local dealer's service has been good and very prompt when we have any questions or problems.
    As for the body I can say the Smeal has held up very well. Never have dealt with an extruded body. We know that if the body gets damaged we can take it back and our dealer or local body shop to fix it. You may want to check on is the extrusion proprietary to Ferrara or can your local body shop get it?
    May I suggest you ask for a customer list to contact people that have those type of units in service.
    Good luck!

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    I am not a fan of extruded bodies. You lose compartment space and like was said if the body ever gets damaged it probably has to go back to the manufacturer to be repaired. Im glad to see all the positive comments about the Smeal.
    We looked at one and were impressed with the ladder and the craftmanship of the body. I know a ladder truck is a complex piece of equipment and every manufacturer has a problem one time or another.But I dont want a truck thats going to be out of service all of the time.
    I've searched the net and can find many complaints for all ladders that were produced but I still cant find any on the Smeal.

    We are doing our homework and looking at every
    manufacturer.
    This post is not meant to bash any manufacturer.
    A ladder truck is a big investment and we want to make the right decision.
    Please keep the comments coming good or bad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by commack95 View Post
    We are doing our homework and looking at every manufacturer.
    Commack, we went through alot of manufactures when we started and narrowed our search down to 6. Ferera and Smeal remained on the top of the list to the end. We bought an Smeal RM tower quality of the aerial was 1st rate and smoothest we flew, body was well built. We also know eventually it will be damaged so it needs to be fixed locally, extrussion would hinder quick repair. Also we checked references on the dealer to how service was and our Smeal dealer had raving reviews. Good luck.

    Be sure to put the rung lighting on it is the cats meow!

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    Our experience has been mixed at best. We have had a difficult time with our dealer for one. Seems to only call when we are in the market for our next purchase, otherwise we can never find him or get a call back. He is interested in our money and service is of little concern. Service has been poor, from the smallest of items to the largest. One of our ladders stayed out of service for almost a year after we received it due to rear axle problems. We had problems with others. The interlocks have failed more than a few times, the short jacking interlock was the most serious of those. We even had problems with the waterpipe system which was unsafe. We voiced our thoughts and recomendations on improving that, and we were soundly slapped in the face by the vice president of the company himself. We did get an apology letter that was high handed at best and so our President requested futher action from Smeal. We then got a second letter and i have copied these in below. It was my opinion that we should not have had to ask twice. While I think they are good craftsmen they seem to have serious difficulties with prompt service and dealing with customer concerns. Dealers will vary considerably but they are a factor and ours is terrible. The whole experience left a bad taste in the mouths of many Firefighters here while others like the Smeal. Mistakes happen, I understand this, but I am sure the attitude that was displayed toward us wasn't changed just by writing a letter. Attitudes like that don't usually change.


    Date: November 29, 2002
    Subject: Smeal E-Mail
    To: All Members
    Most of you are aware of the derogatory email sent by a representative of Smeal Fire Apparatus. The email was intended to be inter-office correspondence between two Smeal associates. It was inadvertently sent back to fire station 125.
    The Toronto Fire Services have sent a letter concerning this matter and Smeal Fire Apparatus, responded with an apology letter.
    In reviewing the correspondence it is evident that we need acknowledgement from Smeal that they are committed to listening to firefighter feedback in regard to their equipment.
    I am subsequently sending the attached letter on behalf of Toronto Fire Fighters. I will send out the response when it has been received.
    Sincerely
    President, Local 3888
    Attachment



    November 29, 2002
    Mr. Delwin Smeal
    President, Smeal Fire Apparatus Co.
    P.O. Box 8, Hwy 91 West
    Snyder, Nebraska
    68664
    Dear Mr. Smeal:
    I am writing in regard to the Jeff Hunke email and the resulting apology letter sent to the Toronto Fire Services. Although the letter offers an apology and explanation of the email there are a number of issues left unresolved for the firefighters involved.
    Firefighters have a proud history and tradition in the community. The involvement of firefighters in improving public safety is well documented. Firefighters have built public awareness on issues ranging from proper building codes, fire extinguisher standards to lobbying for mandatory smoke detector legislation.
    This tradition of community public safety awareness has been developed through a desire to improve our communities and to provide for the safety of both firefighters and the public.
    It is in this regard that the email originating from your senior staff person Jeff Hunke, has been seen as an affront to firefighters. The modification requests sent in by the firefighters was done in a professional manner. It provided your company with immediate insight on how your product had been received by the firefighters. The response by Mr. Hunke shows contempt for anyone suggesting improvements.
    Of particular concern in the email is the derogatory comment in regard to the request for a “failsafe” on the master nozzle. Perhaps you can explain why this caused Mr. Hunke to question the commitment of firefighters, when it was already recognized by your own staff to be a problem?
    As the representative of 3,000 fire fighters in the City of Toronto, I need to know where your company stands in regard to the improvement of quality in your product.

     Is the feedback from frontline firefighters a priority to Smeal?
     Is this feedback utilized to improve your product?
     Are you committed to improving your product both for safety and ease of use?
    I am sure all parties would like to put this unfortunate incident behind them. I know I would like to be able to assure my membership that the comments in the email in no way reflect your companies’ commitment to firefighters.
    Any letter in response will be forwarded to our membership.
    Thank You
    President
    Toronto Professional Fire Fighters, Local 3888

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    Has Smeal ever redesigned their outrigger assemblies due to problems with them falling off?

    And for the record, it doesn't matter if you buy Smeal or Ferrara aerials as they are all made by Smeal.

    The Smeal bodies I have seen have been beat to within an inch of their life and have held up very well and still look relatively good after years of hard running, poor upkeep and lack of care. Ferrara has a good extruded aluminum body and a far better designed and safer cab than the Spartan/HME offerings currently.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

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    New York Chief we had the same problem when we demoed one with the leveling. Scared the crap out of us. Is your brothers dept on the island?
    As Far as Chassis weve been running Spartans since 1988 with no major problems. The Ferrara cab is nice but Spartan is right up there as far as room and reliability.

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    Post Smeal & Ferrara

    If your department buys a Smeal MM platform , go with the " ALTAIR " chassis and you will have both a Ferrara chassis with a Smeal ladder !...

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    Commack,
    Smeal has a new dealership on the Island, I would look into this and see if they have any qualified technicians on hand (EVT/ASE certifications) or perform "in house" 24/7 repairs. Also has this dealer sold any aerials? If you are looking for a steel mid mount ladder the ALF-LTI product is top notch. I work for the dealership which is located 10 minutes away from your FD, LTI is also located about 4.5hrs from your FD. Check us out, you wont be disappointed. You can PM me for more information.

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    Default Alf/lti

    It took 3 phone calls to you guys to get someone to call me back.
    I talked to someone at the Wilidwood show. Possibly you. I was told that someone would get in touch with me to look at a truck. Noone ever contacted me. To me it looks like you're not interested in trying to sell me your product.

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    Quote Originally Posted by commack95 View Post
    It took 3 phone calls to you guys to get someone to call me back.
    I talked to someone at the Wilidwood show. Possibly you. I was told that someone would get in touch with me to look at a truck. Noone ever contacted me. To me it looks like you're not interested in trying to sell me your product.
    To: Commack95 , Try contacting ( John Olsen ) or ( John Tepedino ) at Campbell Suppy LLC. phone No. ( 732) 287-8884 they handle all sales for long Island,NY !.....
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by NewJerseyFFII; 11-03-2007 at 05:27 PM.

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    Commack,

    Someone from LI will reach out for you today and set up a demo.

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    Default Have you bought a truck yet?

    Commack, have you bought anything yet? or found any that you like?

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    Commack,Any chance you're going to Harrisburg? Our 100' MM will be there. I'm VERY happy with our dealings with Smeal.As far a the leveling is concerned there is a hyd dampening adjustment that takes the "scary" out of the bucket.No issues at SMEAL I'm aware of,there have been a couple isolated "dealer" issues. We just got done doing the final,looking at early June for final delivery. T.C.

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    Yes, we just awarded Smeal the truck. 100' Midmount Platform on Spartan Chassis.
    Rescue 101 I cant make Harrisburg but a few of my guys are going there to look at your truck on Saturday.
    Our's will be very similar to yours. We went with conventional doors on the body and the Gladiator classic extra long cab with the thru compartment under the rear seats. 11' 6" body too
    I will post the drawing as soon as we are finished with prebuild.
    Last edited by commack95; 05-10-2009 at 04:57 PM.

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    Have them make themselves known.If I don't happen to be at the booth,have 'em talk to Jeff Wegner or Rich Froh and get the grand tour. I'm VERY pleased with the outcome of our labors.I doubt you'll want some of the stuff we put on ours,but it should give you guys a good beginning punchlist.Sorry you can't make it,but you're welcome to visit anytime for your own look. The rig MAY be going to NEFC in Springfield too but that's yet to be decided. T.C.

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    Ok Thanks TC. We looked at Wanaque New Jersey's Midmount 2 months ago the day after it came in. That was the icing on the cake. We are very pleased so far and look forward dealing with Smeal.

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    Two things:Would you Email me the specs(if you have them in that format)so I can peek? Second,who's your dealer(or salesman)? I've been involved in building five rigs here and this Ladder was our biggest project yet.I have an OUTSTANDING sales rep and the folks at Smeal stayed open on the weekend at prebuild because we had a bunch of canceled/screwed up flights.I can't say enough about the job that was done and that EVERY changeorder was gone over and then gone over again. We had a problem with the EMS box,they couldn't make our original "sizing" work.Tom Z (Z) E-mailed twice,and called twice.We told him finally" Z,take the original rough sketch and make it fit between the seats and have the right amount of space inside. DEAL WITH IT." The results? A box that is EXACTLY what we envisioned. This rig took the most prebuild and planning time but it's as close to what we wanted as could be built. Did I mention already how accommodating and helpful the staff at Smeal is? As long as you know what you want,you will be offered a certain amount of alternate possibilitiies at prebuild.I recommend you do it at Smeal if at all possible. In doing this we made several deviations from our original spec that gave us a much better end result. When you can actually look at something in it's normal place instead of a drawing it makes it much easier to build.Your guys will find some good ideas on other machines at Harrisburg,I'm sure. By the way,there's a rumor that our platform MAY serve as the basis for Smeal's next MM demo.If they can get it built before they sell it,hehe T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 05-10-2009 at 05:29 PM.

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    Commack 95 if there is anything we help you with before you get to prebuild let us know. My experiences with Smeal tell me you are on the right track to a wonderful truck. Hope your guys stop by and see the product of our committees labor in Harrisburg. Like TC said have them speak to Jeff Wegener from Smeal or Rich Froh from New England Fire Equipment and Apparatus (our local dealer). Both will be at the show and can speak at length about the entire project. We will also be there if you want to fire any ? our way that's fine also. As TC said if you want any input on what you have for specs, drawings etc. we'd be glad to throw our 2 cents in for your consideration...TC won't even charge for his time


    Glen Garland, Fire Chief
    Bridgton Maine Fire Department
    firechief@bridgtonmaine.org

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