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  1. #1
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    Default The Final Inspection

    It is nearing the end of the road for construction of our new engine. Delivery is expected in December. We plan at leas tone more in progress inspection trip, then its final time.

    I am looking for some ideas and advice as to how to go about the final inspection. Having never done one before, I want to assure we miss nothing. I assume its all about matching whats built to the specs and change orders, but there have to be some good pointers for this very important process.

    Looking foward to input.


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    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Making the selection of who exactly goes on the final inspection can "make it or break it" for you.

    First of all, at least one or two persons who are intimately familiar with your specs should be on the plane. Do either or both of them have a good, solid familiar knowledge of large trucks and truck components? Engines, Transmissions, Axles, Suspensions, electrical systems, etc......

    -Are they educated in the ways of the world of body assembly?

    -Are they familiar with pumps and accessories (foam systems, etc.)

    -If you dont have anyone who has the above knowledge, you should find someone who does, who could assist you.

    Scheduling: I would allow at LEAST a full 8-hour day at the factory. Start in the morning, at their normal starting time. If you have to travel, arrive the night before. Some salespersons or factory reps will try to "take you out on the town" and get you throroughly sloshed, so that the next morning you will not be at 100% (causing you to miss deviations/problems during the inspection). Politely refuse their invitation, keep it to a simple dinner and a few drinks. **DISCLAIMER: NOT ALL MANUFACTURERS AND SALES REPS DO THIS. BUT I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT SOME DO.**

    Let your sales or factory rep know that you will need ......... number of creepers and handlights.

    You need to bring the following:
    -2 or more sets of your specs
    -2 or more tape measures
    -pens of different colors and a grease pencil
    -Legal pads
    -digital or print camera
    -medical gloves (for crawling around underneath)

    A final inspection is not something to walk in and say "wow looks good, where do we sign?" You need to take your time, slow down, breathe, and go slow. did I mention to take your time?

    First inspection you want to do is underneath, while the truck is cool. Have your greasemonkey (who hopefully is familiar with the specs) get on the creeper, and have him get comfortable, cause he's gonna be down there for a while. If you have 2 greasemonkeys, have one start at the front and one at the back. This worked out well for us when we did the final inspection of our 2007 Toyne/Spartan. I started at the back, and chiefengineer 11 started at the front, and we met in the middle. I think we were both under there for no less than 2 and a half hours each.

    Look at everything. Wires, hoses, clamps, grommets, nuts, bolts, welds, straps, doozitswhatzits.....Make sure they are tight, painted, sealed, whatever they need to be. Check make, model, and serial numbers of components while you are under there. Check tires, wheels, brakes, steering linkage, hoses, wiring.........

    Check the specs if you question anything! Point out deviations/problems to the sales/factory rep, write it down and take photos!

    After you come up for some air, start measuring compartments. Check the measurements to your specs. Check the rest of the body for compliance. Use a handlight to check all flat surfaces for quality of the paint job. Check all edges of metal body panels for sharp edges (like inside compartment doors or under steps, etc....)

    Open up the pump panel, check inside there. Check to see that the UL test has been completed and passed. Do not accept delivery of your unit until the pump has passed (or aerial!) Check your specs and compare all pump pieces and accessories for compliance to your specs. Valves, Gauges, Swivels, Manifolds, Foam Units, etc etc etc. Check the tank installation certificate to ensure true capacity. Dont forget foam cells.

    Jack up the cab, start looking, yanking and pulling. Make sure all nuts, bolts and fasteners are tight. Make sure all wiring harnesses are secured and are not rubbing against anything. Same with all hoses. Check the routing of wiring harnesses through body panels and chassis components- are holes protected with grommets or edge protection? Check all cold levels of fluids.

    Ok drop the cab and fire her up. Let it warm up, and start checking lights. Remember that modern lighting systems will deactivate some lights while in park. So have someone remain in the drivers seat to place it in drive to check those lights. Check horns, sirens (ear protection of bystanders!) Will the factory allow you to do a road test? Take it for a drive. Get an initial feel for it, then check braking (without the auxiliary braking device ie jake brake or exhaust brake) also check accelleration. While driving, listen for any "thunks, thuds, or clunks" that dont sound right. When you get back to the barn, shut her down for a few mins, and re-check all fluid HOT levels. Drain the air tanks. Start it back up and check air fill time.

    If your final inspection takes no less than 6 or 8 hours, in my opinion, you didnt do a good enough job (assuming this is an average pumper.) By the time you get done, you should have a list of deviations you want repaired, adjusted, replaced, etc. Some things the factory will do no questions asked, some you may have to beat them over the head about. Remember, in the end, you are paying an obscenely gross amount of money for something that may have to last you 20 years. Get it right before it leaves the factory.

    Anyone else have anything to throw in here? TC? Tony? Dad?
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Bring 4 members with you so nothing gets missed, also take a roll of the blue masking tape to mark areas that need work. It sould be a nice two hour drive from your location ! Good Luck, NJFFII

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    Default Final Inspection

    From my personal experience with the same company as you are purchasing from, they will want to use their "Final Production Release" or their specs to do the final inspection off of.

    I highly recommend that you tell them in advance that you will be utilizing YOUR specifications, from the original bid package that they bid on to do the inspection. We havve unfortunately found some problems after taking delivery that we did not see during the final inspection because they were not clearly stated in theie paperwork but was clearly stated in our orignal document.

    Like above, bring tape measures, blue tape, pens, pencils, paper, etc. Ask them for creepers to be available, I would recommend that you request them to make water available for you to operate the pump. Insist on driving the apparatus and take it up some of the hills around the area.

    Good Luck !

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    First of all, at least one or two persons who are intimately familiar with your specs should be on the plane.
    Plane? They're going from West Windsor (or East Windsor) somewhere in the Trenton Robbinsville area. They could almost walk to Nesquehoning.

    I think you pretty well got it covered. Like Randy says, take your time, don't let anyone rush you. Not them, not your own people. Don't be afraid to ask questions and don't let go until you have a satisfactory answer. And understand, no matter how much you look, you'll still miss something.

    One thing we did that he may have forgotten - restructure your specs so that they read from front to back or back to front or section by section. That way you can start in one area and have everything for that area in front of you instead of having to either flip through numerous pages to find it. Or, have to go back and forth, get under, climb back out numerous times.

    Make up your list of stuff that needs attention, and get their commitment (in writing) before you leave to correct them . Make sure that they understand that you won't accept the truck until it's right.

    Good luck, or better yet, be thorough and make your own good luck.

    Stay safe out there, everyone goes home!

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    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    I didnt know they bought a K-Mart. Take lots of pens and paper guys!
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Lots of good info so far, thank you.

    We have had almost no issues so far, cant expect to uncover too many more but who knows?

    http://jbhuntfire.com/images/production/6958/ the pics here are about 3 weeks old.

    the attached pics are from 11-03
    Attached Images Attached Images    

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    Quote Originally Posted by MG3610 View Post
    Lots of good info so far, thank you.

    We have had almost no issues so far, cant expect to uncover too many more but who knows?

    http://jbhuntfire.com/images/production/6958/ the pics here are about 3 weeks old.

    the attached pics are from 11-03
    Your department will be happy with both " Kme & JB Hunt ", we have a rescue and engine purchased from them and NO ISSUES OR PROBLEMS so far. One of our firefighters is a sales rep covering Sommerset & Union Counties, but not here in Middlesex, he did help us out with the apparatus specs !....

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    I can't add a lot more than what the other's have said, but I'll add a few thoughts from my experiences. Keep in mind that I serve on an apparatus committee that buys $1.5M worth of rigs at work every year, and also serve as co-chair of the apparatus committee in the county in which I volunteer, so I'll kind of blend some things together from both agencies...

    Our approach is to take a minimum of three persons per rig. When we inspect multiple rigs, we take 2 per rig plus one extra. We'll assign two people to be the inspectors for the rig, and the third (or fifth, or whatever) person will read OUR specification, line-by-line, and the inspectors will check out the vehicles to ensure compliance (again, against our spec's).

    The "reader" will note any discrepancies that arise, and jot these down for each individual rig that's being inspected. He's sitting at a table with his laptop, hard copies of the spec's, highlighters, and a legal pad. Everything is well documented.

    Do things go wrong? Sure. In the early 90's my career department purchased some rigs from a "reputable" manufacturer who did not at that time produce thier own chassis, so a Spartan chassis was used. While the customer service was good, upon arrival at the factory, it was discovered that the wrong motors were installed in the rigs. The motors were 100HP less and 300lb/ft less than specified. "Sorry, Mr. Manufacturer, we're not accepting these." As you can expect, the rep and the manufacturer were quick to try to make amends - monetary compensation, etc - but we didn't care. We took delivery of the rigs after the correct motors were installed. Last time we purchased from this manufacturer.

    We're a Pierce department, but have purchased a couple of KME tankers over the past couple of years and one thing I've noticed about the KME people is that they want you to use thier build sheets for the final inspection. Don't do this ... use YOUR specs.

    Your personnel will be excited to see and take delivery of your new rig, as they should be. However, you need to be prepared that there could be things that preclude you from taking delivery of your vehicle. Don't let the inspection team simply "accept" things they shouldn't because they want to get the rig home ASAP. You only get to have your rig built once, ensure that it leaves the factory right the first time, even if it's later than you'd hoped.

    Read and re-read what's been written in this entire thread, and make sure your committee members do to!

    Now, totally unrelated, looks like your rig is going well. Looks like that Whelen siren has a Code 3 knob on it, wonder if this is something new for Whelen? Hope so, it'll make changing the siren tone a lot easier. Also, what made y'all select a T-handle gear shift versus a push-button?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    I can't add a lot more than what the other's have said, but I'll add a few thoughts from my experiences. Keep in mind that I serve on an apparatus committee that buys $1.5M worth of rigs at work every year, and also serve as co-chair of the apparatus committee in the county in which I volunteer, so I'll kind of blend some things together from both agencies...

    Our approach is to take a minimum of three persons per rig. When we inspect multiple rigs, we take 2 per rig plus one extra. We'll assign two people to be the inspectors for the rig, and the third (or fifth, or whatever) person will read OUR specification, line-by-line, and the inspectors will check out the vehicles to ensure compliance (again, against our spec's).

    The "reader" will note any discrepancies that arise, and jot these down for each individual rig that's being inspected. He's sitting at a table with his laptop, hard copies of the spec's, highlighters, and a legal pad. Everything is well documented.

    Do things go wrong? Sure. In the early 90's my career department purchased some rigs from a "reputable" manufacturer who did not at that time produce thier own chassis, so a Spartan chassis was used. While the customer service was good, upon arrival at the factory, it was discovered that the wrong motors were installed in the rigs. The motors were 100HP less and 300lb/ft less than specified. "Sorry, Mr. Manufacturer, we're not accepting these." As you can expect, the rep and the manufacturer were quick to try to make amends - monetary compensation, etc - but we didn't care. We took delivery of the rigs after the correct motors were installed. Last time we purchased from this manufacturer.

    We're a Pierce department, but have purchased a couple of KME tankers over the past couple of years and one thing I've noticed about the KME people is that they want you to use thier build sheets for the final inspection. Don't do this ... use YOUR specs.

    Your personnel will be excited to see and take delivery of your new rig, as they should be. However, you need to be prepared that there could be things that preclude you from taking delivery of your vehicle. Don't let the inspection team simply "accept" things they shouldn't because they want to get the rig home ASAP. You only get to have your rig built once, ensure that it leaves the factory right the first time, even if it's later than you'd hoped.

    Read and re-read what's been written in this entire thread, and make sure your committee members do to!

    Now, totally unrelated, looks like your rig is going well. Looks like that Whelen siren has a Code 3 knob on it, wonder if this is something new for Whelen? Hope so, it'll make changing the siren tone a lot easier. Also, what made y'all select a T-handle gear shift versus a push-button?
    The siren is a Whelen SL100, which is new. It is fully programmable to assign one of about 8 tones to each primary knob position and overide tones. Check it out here: http://www.whelen.com/install/140/14045.pdf One of the notable features of this siren is its Powercall tone capability

    Most of the crew liked the T handle better for more positive shifting and ease of use. We arent thrilled how far it sticks out, it was an oversight on our part. Its still much easier to me than those silly little push buttons, especially for emergency downshifting situations and a more sure pump transfer process. I have had times where the push buttond beeped but didnt actually "take" and you didnt realize you werent in drive to get the pump going.

    Thanks for the advice, keep it coming!
    Last edited by MG3610; 11-18-2007 at 12:50 AM.

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    I have one question that was brought to the forefront by some comments here. When the bid was awarded, the document that KME handed us doesnt include exact verbage of our original specs. Does this mean that their document overrides ours, or that unless they added it to their exception list ours is still as good as gold?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MG3610 View Post
    The siren is a Whelen SL100, which is new.
    Idiot me, we just installed one of these on the new EMS supervisor's Suburban, and I completely forgot about it. Thanks!

    Most of the crew liked the T handle better for more positive shifting and ease of use... Its still much easier to me than those silly little push buttons...
    OK, thanks. To each his or her own, I suppose. We've had really good luck with the push pads at work, but it's probably a lot in what you're used to.

    When the bid was awarded, the document that KME handed us doesnt include exact verbage of our original specs. Does this mean that their document overrides ours, or that unless they added it to their exception list ours is still as good as gold?
    Good question. Is this situation addressed in your original spec? In our specs, we ensure that the bidder's package MUST include our specs as part of the submittal, AND we also state in our specifications that OUR spec's will always prevail over the bidder's submission.

    If this isn't specifically addressed in your specs, I would suggest simply taking a stand with the manufacturer...after all, you wrote YOUR specs tailored around an engine that YOU wanted...not how you think that the manufacturer thinks you wanted it. You're spending a lot of cash on their products, and you, the dealer, and the builder ought to be able to come to agreements on the final product.

    CE11, TC, FWD, any similiar or dissimilar thoughts?

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    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MG3610 View Post
    I have one question that was brought to the forefront by some comments here. When the bid was awarded, the document that KME handed us doesnt include exact verbage of our original specs. Does this mean that their document overrides ours, or that unless they added it to their exception list ours is still as good as gold?
    When were you handed this document, did you go over it line-by-line, and then sign an agreement?

    This is why contract signings are so important. This is when the ink gets laid to the paper as to what the Mfr. will actually do and not do. What does the verbage say? Perhaps they are building what the intent of your spec calls out for, but just in a different language? ("Coal-Cracker Hillbilly" english as opposed to "Norf Jersey English".) The contract signing should be attended by no less than 2 or 3 members of the committee, who again, are intimately familiar with the specs and the intent of the company. Each and every line of the Mfr's contract needs to be gone over. Ask questions. Lots of them. Have the Mfr's secretary bring a pot of coffee, cause' yer gonna be there for a while. If there is/are major deviations, they should have been previously noted in the Mfr's bid proposal and either accepted or rejected by the committee, and then communicated to the sales or factory rep for clarification.

    Example: You spec'd a 60 Series Detroit Diesel engine with 535HP. You Spec'd this because one of your members is a Certified DD Technician, and there is a DD Service Center in your first-due. The DD Shop donates annually to your fund drive, and has also promised you "above and beyond" service if you got a DD in that new piece. Obviously it is important for you to have a DD in the new piece, and the committee agreed that you were not willing to deviate from that.

    Perhaps the deviation at the Contract Signing (or in the bid proposal for that matter) is something of lesser importance- They will install an electronic siren from Mfr. A, but not from the one you spec'd, Mfr. B. Or they have to use a push-button electronic gear selector, as opposed to the T-Handle, due to space limitations on the dash board.

    Whatever it may be, whoever is representing the buyer at the contract signing has to be familiar with the intent of the spec. If the Mfr is making a good intended substitution in lieu of what you had written, you need to consider it. If it will not live up to your intention, then dont sign the contract!
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by MG3610 View Post
    When the bid was awarded, the document that KME handed us doesnt include exact verbage of our original specs. Does this mean that their document overrides ours, or that unless they added it to their exception list ours is still as good as gold?
    We ran into that very thing twice now, with different results. We put the same language into our specs. With our '89 Duplex/Quality, they sent up their build documents, we read them over and signed off on them. Their did not take any exception to the language in our specs. At the final inspection we ran into a couple of issues. We were able to force their hand to make corrections.

    With Toyne it was quite different. They too, had a similar document. They had sent it to us in advance. We had a preconstruction conference at the factory. Present were ranking officials including the president, the warranty manager (who handles a lot more than warranties), the production manager, the national sales manager and our salesman. The chairman of our truck committee and I represented the fire company. At the outset of the meeting it was made quite clear that how that document (theirs) finished the meeting was how the truck would be built.

    The meeting took almost the entire day. We reviewed it in detail line by line, comparing each line with our specs. In areas where the two documents were not in agreement, we took whatever time was needed to get them into agreement. In some cases they weren't clear on what we were trying to do. In others, they offered better ways to accomplish the same thing. Each person made notes on each page of the build document and initialed each page. When it was over we signed off on it. The meeting was unhurried and they made every effort to make sure we understood the whole process. We, in turn, put the same effort into getting them to understand what we wanted. With the exception of four change orders, the truck was built just as the build document called for.

    Of the many things that I learned from that process, one stands out. When you get the builder's document, sit down at your computer and reassemble your own specs in the same order. We didn't but I'm sure now that if we had, the meeting would have taken less time. Also, we did miss a few things that would have been caught had we been looking at the paragraphs side by side instead of chasing around the specs trying to find it.

    I recently read a fire department spec that called for the bidder's proposal to be sequenced the same as the department's spec. I don't see that as realistic, but we'll see. Anyone else ever do that? If so, were you successful with it?

    That's the long of it. The short is, if the language in your spec making it the superior document survived the process, you might be able to make your case.

    One thing for sure - they, and their lawyers have seen it all before.

    And let us know when the truck comes in. I'd like to come over and see it.

    Stay safe out there, everyone goes home!
    Last edited by chiefengineer11; 11-18-2007 at 09:15 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    When were you handed this document, did you go over it line-by-line, and then sign an agreement?

    This is why contract signings are so important. This is when the ink gets laid to the paper as to what the Mfr. will actually do and not do. What does the verbage say? Perhaps they are building what the intent of your spec calls out for, but just in a different language? ("Coal-Cracker Hillbilly" english as opposed to "Norf Jersey English".) The contract signing should be attended by no less than 2 or 3 members of the committee, who again, are intimately familiar with the specs and the intent of the company.
    Each and every line of the Mfr's contract needs to be gone over. Ask questions. Lots of them. Have the Mfr's secretary bring a pot of coffee, cause' yer gonna be there for a while. If there is/are major deviations, they should have been previously noted in the Mfr's bid proposal and either accepted or rejected by the committee, and then communicated to the sales or factory rep for clarification.

    Example: You spec'd a 60 Series Detroit Diesel engine with 535HP. You Spec'd this because one of your members is a Certified DD Technician, and there is a DD Service Center in your first-due. The DD Shop donates annually to your fund drive, and has also promised you "above and beyond" service if you got a DD in that new piece. Obviously it is important for you to have a DD in the new piece, and the committee agreed that you were not willing to deviate from that.

    Perhaps the deviation at the Contract Signing (or in the bid proposal for that matter) is something of lesser importance- They will install an electronic siren from Mfr. A, but not from the one you spec'd, Mfr. B. Or they have to use a push-button electronic gear selector, as opposed to the T-Handle, due to space limitations on the dash board.

    Whatever it may be, whoever is representing the buyer at the contract signing has to be familiar with the intent of the spec. If the Mfr is making a good intended substitution in lieu of what you had written, you need to consider it. If it will not live up to your intention, then dont sign the contract!
    Ok. You seem to be beating on me pretty hard here, let me clear up some possible misconceptions. I wrote the majority of the original specs with input from a few people. I have never done this before, and I believed I did a fine job for the first time out of the gate. We went back and forth numerous times with vendors to clarify some very important specifics and assure they understood what we were demanding, in some instances. Other items were up to their determination as a best fit sort of thing. I am "that guy" who knows the specs and intent upside down, inside out.

    Thanks to a few members of this board, I think what we ended up sending out to bid was a good document. I can say we would have changed a few sections slightly if I had to do it again, but can't we all? KME is certainly building to our desires thus far, even though the exact wording of some areas doesnt align, the intent has always seemed to be understood between us and them. We made some good clarifications at preconstruction. That was a good 8 hour day.

    My reasing for asking the question is that if something comes up that we are not thrilled with, what document rules in the end, and what is the likelihood of them siding with ours if theirs technically has the upper hand? I dont forsee any major glitches, but I need preparations in case something isnt what we hoped.

    To give you an idea how thorough I feel we have been so far, I have taken photos of all paperwork that they posted on the cab and chassis indicating what items are being handled at each plant/workstation. I even have a photo of the paperork indicating the main chassis component serial numbers etc (axles, brakes etc). I took these photos in case something comes in question.

    Maybe I am wrong, but I feel like youre discrediting me to some extent, and I have literally been losing sleep over this process because I don't want to see anything get fouled up. Thanks for listening, and thank you for your help. Perhaps I am just reading your tone wrong.

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    WHOA!!!!!

    Sorry, absolutely no discredit intended to you at all! Sometimes I come off that way, even when trying to convey useful information. I in no way intended to sound negative towards you in any way shape or form! You have my sincerest apologies, and I owe you a beer! (Not in the firehouse, though!)

    You asked: "My reasing for asking the question is that if something comes up that we are not thrilled with, what document rules in the end, and what is the likelihood of them siding with ours if theirs technically has the upper hand? I dont forsee any major glitches, but I need preparations in case something isnt what we hoped."

    I would think that the contract you signed with the Mfr. will be the final say, in whatever verbage it may be. But I am not a lawyer (thank god) nor do I play one on TV, and I did not sleep in a Holiday Inn Select last night.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Thank you. No problem. I drink Bue Moon, Honey Brown, Sam A, Bass....

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    I think I have your spec and as I remember, it was pretty well written. Although I participated in a couple of past efforts, like you, this was the first time that I was the person who did the writing. It's a monumental effort. I well remember the days when it was all done by hand or on a typewriter. After about the second revision you were done, that's all you could take. On a computer you can revise it as much as you want, it's a piece of cake.

    I'm sure that I said this several times before, probably it "We're done, Toyne wins" but it's worth repeating. The biggest challenge, as I'm sure you now realize is to have a vision of what you want. Then put that vision into words on paper. Then have the person who read those words come out with the same vision. It underscores just how important the preconstruction conference can be.

    Another point that I didn't mention in the earlier post. Communication back and forth during the build process is critical, too. In '89, that just wasn't done as liberally. With the Toyne, if they had a question they were on the phone with it. They posted pictures on their web site periodically. We would look at them and if there was something we had a question on, we were on the phone to them. It made it so easy to clarify and correct before something got out of hand.

    Stay safe out there, everyone goes home!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Making the selection of who exactly goes on the final inspection can "make it or break it" for you.

    First of all, at least one or two persons who are intimately familiar with your specs should be on the plane. Do either or both of them have a good, solid familiar knowledge of large trucks and truck components? Engines, Transmissions, Axles, Suspensions, electrical systems, etc......

    -Are they educated in the ways of the world of body assembly?

    -Are they familiar with pumps and accessories (foam systems, etc.)

    -If you dont have anyone who has the above knowledge, you should find someone who does, who could assist you.

    Scheduling: I would allow at LEAST a full 8-hour day at the factory. Start in the morning, at their normal starting time. If you have to travel, arrive the night before. Some salespersons or factory reps will try to "take you out on the town" and get you throroughly sloshed, so that the next morning you will not be at 100% (causing you to miss deviations/problems during the inspection). Politely refuse their invitation, keep it to a simple dinner and a few drinks. **DISCLAIMER: NOT ALL MANUFACTURERS AND SALES REPS DO THIS. BUT I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT SOME DO.**

    Let your sales or factory rep know that you will need ......... number of creepers and handlights.

    You need to bring the following:
    -2 or more sets of your specs
    -2 or more tape measures
    -pens of different colors and a grease pencil
    -Legal pads
    -digital or print camera
    -medical gloves (for crawling around underneath)

    A final inspection is not something to walk in and say "wow looks good, where do we sign?" You need to take your time, slow down, breathe, and go slow. did I mention to take your time?

    First inspection you want to do is underneath, while the truck is cool. Have your greasemonkey (who hopefully is familiar with the specs) get on the creeper, and have him get comfortable, cause he's gonna be down there for a while. If you have 2 greasemonkeys, have one start at the front and one at the back. This worked out well for us when we did the final inspection of our 2007 Toyne/Spartan. I started at the back, and chiefengineer 11 started at the front, and we met in the middle. I think we were both under there for no less than 2 and a half hours each.

    Look at everything. Wires, hoses, clamps, grommets, nuts, bolts, welds, straps, doozitswhatzits.....Make sure they are tight, painted, sealed, whatever they need to be. Check make, model, and serial numbers of components while you are under there. Check tires, wheels, brakes, steering linkage, hoses, wiring.........

    Check the specs if you question anything! Point out deviations/problems to the sales/factory rep, write it down and take photos!

    After you come up for some air, start measuring compartments. Check the measurements to your specs. Check the rest of the body for compliance. Use a handlight to check all flat surfaces for quality of the paint job. Check all edges of metal body panels for sharp edges (like inside compartment doors or under steps, etc....)

    Open up the pump panel, check inside there. Check to see that the UL test has been completed and passed. Do not accept delivery of your unit until the pump has passed (or aerial!) Check your specs and compare all pump pieces and accessories for compliance to your specs. Valves, Gauges, Swivels, Manifolds, Foam Units, etc etc etc. Check the tank installation certificate to ensure true capacity. Dont forget foam cells.

    Jack up the cab, start looking, yanking and pulling. Make sure all nuts, bolts and fasteners are tight. Make sure all wiring harnesses are secured and are not rubbing against anything. Same with all hoses. Check the routing of wiring harnesses through body panels and chassis components- are holes protected with grommets or edge protection? Check all cold levels of fluids.

    Ok drop the cab and fire her up. Let it warm up, and start checking lights. Remember that modern lighting systems will deactivate some lights while in park. So have someone remain in the drivers seat to place it in drive to check those lights. Check horns, sirens (ear protection of bystanders!) Will the factory allow you to do a road test? Take it for a drive. Get an initial feel for it, then check braking (without the auxiliary braking device ie jake brake or exhaust brake) also check accelleration. While driving, listen for any "thunks, thuds, or clunks" that dont sound right. When you get back to the barn, shut her down for a few mins, and re-check all fluid HOT levels. Drain the air tanks. Start it back up and check air fill time.

    If your final inspection takes no less than 6 or 8 hours, in my opinion, you didnt do a good enough job (assuming this is an average pumper.) By the time you get done, you should have a list of deviations you want repaired, adjusted, replaced, etc. Some things the factory will do no questions asked, some you may have to beat them over the head about. Remember, in the end, you are paying an obscenely gross amount of money for something that may have to last you 20 years. Get it right before it leaves the factory.

    Anyone else have anything to throw in here? TC? Tony? Dad?
    Couldnt be anymore dead on here!

    And what he said about having people who know the specs at the finale is VERY important! We made the mistake of not doing that and paid for it later.

    The finale should not be a social trip or a vacation, which is how our ex-Chief treated it.

    In our case, 2 of the 3 people who met with the factory engineers at pre-build did not go to the finale (including myself). BIG mistake. It took us nearly a year to get the electronics/lighting straightened out (my part of the process) after we had the rig.

    Stuff that could have/should have been taken care of before it left the factory.
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

    "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
    RUSH-Tom Sawyer

    Success is when skill meets opportunity
    Failure is when fantasy meets reality

  20. #20
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    Interesting questions I came up with...

    Is it resonable to ask to flow some water at the final? What about flowing water from EVERY discharge, and refilling the tank at least once? Should we bring a bucket of our foam concentrate to run through the foam system to assure it works right?

    Lots of good advice as usual, thanks!

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