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  1. #1
    Forum Member TFMBob's Avatar
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    Question AIR BAG suspension:

    Anyone having ANY luck with air-bag suspension? Seagrave recently delivered 13 engines to LAFD with air bag suspension.
    Last edited by TFMBob; 11-23-2007 at 09:10 AM.
    "we learn from history...that we do not learn from history"


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFMBob View Post
    Anyone having ANY luck with air-bag suspension? Seagrave recently delivered 9 [or so] engines to LAFD with FRONT [maybe rear also] air bags.
    Our new Spartan/Toyne has Neway air suspension on the drive axle. Spartan normally uses a different air suspension, but the Neway was the only one that could be used with the 17" EX225 disc brakes. Neway has been around the trucking industry for many years and has a good name. We called for air ride to prevent damage to the truck and its equipment on our wonderful Pennsylvania roads. So far, it's been great, the ride is noticeably better than the Duplex and worlds above our Hahn. It's too new to know if we'll have any maintenance issues, but I don't anticipate any.

    Stay safe out there, everyone goes home!

  3. #3
    Forum Member Firefighter807's Avatar
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    Content deleted by author.
    Last edited by Firefighter807; 07-08-2009 at 07:28 PM.

  4. #4
    Forum Member TFMBob's Avatar
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Firefighter807 View Post
    I heard they were craking the frames of the Seagrave chassis. They were sent back and returned with regular spring suspensions.
    I think this may be incorrect information. I talked with someone out there this morning, and this was not mentioned. If it were true, I am positive he would have indicated that. He did say the mechanics just love 'em, and they ride like a '56 Cady. However, it is possible that I could be in error too.

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  5. #5
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    Glad to see this topic come up...We are currently in the process of specing out a new 3000 gallon Engine Tanker and the idea of air ride has come up. I am a big proponent of it. Where I work we have tri-axle dump trucks that have rear air ride with great success and reliability. We don't experience any excessive rolling from side to side, even loaded. Some of the other members of the committee are skeptical though and think that the side-roll might be excessive and dangerous while responding. Anyone out there have air ride on a fire truck that experiences anything like that?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dakotafireguy View Post
    Glad to see this topic come up...We are currently in the process of specing out a new 3000 gallon Engine Tanker and the idea of air ride has come up. I am a big proponent of it. Where I work we have tri-axle dump trucks that have rear air ride with great success and reliability. We don't experience any excessive rolling from side to side, even loaded. Some of the other members of the committee are skeptical though and think that the side-roll might be excessive and dangerous while responding. Anyone out there have air ride on a fire truck that experiences anything like that?
    I forgot to mention in my earlier post that we also have Roll Stability Control. One driver did say that it felt different, but air ride will naturally do that, it is different. I don't think that RSC has anything to do with the feel, but for those who are skeptical, having RSC might allay their fears about air ride. We have it on an engine that's only carrying 600 gallons. I believe that the upcharge for the RSC was on the order of $1400. With a 3000 gallon tank, I don't think I'd want to be without RSC even if the truck had a Page & Page or a rubber block Hendrickson suspenson.

    Stay safe out there, everyone goes home!
    Last edited by chiefengineer11; 11-21-2007 at 07:18 PM.

  7. #7
    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    I recently had the chance to take about a 30 mile ride on a new Marauder II pumper with the front airbag suspension. The only comparison I have to make (versus straight axle rigs) are the 20 or so Pierce TAK-4 IFS rigs that I've driven.

    The driver of the rig, who had 25 years of driving experience, commented that learning to drive the rig took quite a while. In fact, a number of the drivers in the department commented that they made a mistake purchasing the airbag front suspension....before they learned the tendancies of this different suspension system. Now, most of them can drive it just like it has to be. However, there are still a few of them that still wish they'd purchased a straight axle.

    From the officer's seat, I can say that the ride was amazing, and the airbags were able to compensate for body roll much better than the TAK-4.

    I also understood from a number of source that the airbag suspension was causing frame cracks on some of the installations on the Seagraves, but I've yet been able to confirm this.
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  8. #8
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    Default Air Bags

    That side to side rolling you feel is what is on top of the suspension. Your wheels stay tight to the ground as opposed to a spring suspension where the body pulls the entire suspension up as you round a curve. I think anyone involved in trucking can tell you about the way freght rides in an air ride trailer as opposed to a spring suspension. Air bags are also a lot easier to repair than springs.

  9. #9
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    That may very well be but I'm NO fan of front airbags.The new rig will be air rear,spring front. I've been to too many horror shows where a rear bag has blown out and subsequently launched the vehicle in directions it wasn't headed.Now these are log/chip haulers but the end result is the same regardless.VERY few frt airbags around here,like CE11 says,prevailing road conditions keep most of the trucking/transport companies on the familiar path of front springs with a few IFS units. Yeah,I'm old fashioned but the "old"system has worked fine for us for decades. T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 08-30-2008 at 09:53 AM.

  10. #10
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    St. Paul is ordering everything new with some form of the Hendrickson Air walking beam suspension. Along with retro fitting all the rigs that have springs with some type of air suspension. So far it has been great for drivability and ride quality, what I see, and much better from what the shop says on service live and repair ease.
    As far as knowing any technical bs, I'm the wrong guy to ask, but I can get you the number of the shop guru that does all this work.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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  11. #11
    Forum Member TFMBob's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    That may very well be but I'm NO fan of front airbags. The new rig will be air rear,spring front. I've been to too many horror shows where a rear bag has blown out and subsequently launched the vehicle in directions it wasn't headed. Yeah,I'm old fashioned but the "old"system has worked fine for us for decades. T.C.
    1. I think too, the OLDER [70's - 80's] air bags were susceptible to failure, mainly due to the control system used to monitor the bags. On the early models, two separate mechanical control arm/rods, ran from each side of the axle to the frame. When the vehicle leaned, air was forced into the bag in the direction of the lean. Not a neon light idea. Many improvements have been made over the years, and presently there is only one arm connecting the axle to the frame, with little or no adverse lean effects.

    2. Shock damage to the drive line and chassis from road conditions, has been nearly eliminated [by air bags], and there are fewer failures of air bags than broken springs...which can and have done major damage to the entire under carriage of the vehicle.

    3. Since fire apparatus is unlike commerical delivery, that f/a remains loaded constantly, springs [esp. rear] become un-sprung if you will, and will need replacement.

    Sup to you...but I would suggest at least looking into A/B next time.
    "we learn from history...that we do not learn from history"

  12. #12
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Hehe Bob,get your cheaters on.Notice I said we'll have AB REAR but no way am I having them on the steer axle.Yep 'sup to me and it ain't happening.I'll put enough springs under it,they'll last to retirement just like the other rigs. T.C.

  13. #13
    Forum Member TFMBob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    Hehe Bob,get your cheaters on. Notice I said we'll have AB REAR but no way am I having them on the steer axle. Yep 'sup to me and it ain't happening.I'll put enough springs under it, they'll last to retirement just like the other rigs. T.C.
    Sorry, I missed the AB REAR in your post. Dropped my bi-focals, and had 'em on upside down...ever sone that? What MESS, huh

    After a bit...check with LAFD and see how they like 'em [on the steering]. It is relatively new [there]...and most common carriers do not use them on "the two-wheels"...YET! I understand LA has MANY "dips" in their cross-streets for rain water flow, and hitting them HAS caused some front end dammage with the "spring-things, but with the AB's, they say they flow over them like a '56 Caddy ambulance. Time 'll tell I guess.
    "we learn from history...that we do not learn from history"

  14. #14
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Oh man! I just had to clean my screen.I used to drive an old Caddy ambulance and there ain't no way I want my fire truck to handle like that.I don't know how you would describe it but the car in Roger Rabbit comes to mind,Hehe T.C.

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    Any one have any experience or thoughts on the Hendrickson FireMaax or the Raydan Air Link? We are just about ready to go to bid on our tanker and the last thing holding us up is deciding between these two.

  16. #16
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Our new ladder tower(due in March) will be on Raydan. Folks I've talked to that currently have them appear to be satisfied.Ask around like we did and see which has better service/works better in your area. T.C.

  17. #17
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    We looked at the Raydan and Hendrickson specifically. Most all the air-ride suspensions on fire apparatus in the area are Raydan, and the users reported no major issues.

    For that reason, and because the Raydan seemed a simpler design, we chose Raydan for a 58k tandem rear.

    C6

  18. #18
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    Default Air Ride Suspensions

    I've spec'd the Raydan Air Link Rear Tandem Suspension for both Aerials and Tandem Pumper Tankers and Edmonton have taken delivery of 5 Platforms with it and Toronto 5 Aerials and 1 Platform and they are very pleased with the ride and reduced maintenance. The nice feature of the Raydan is that it's a simple walking beam with one bag and the manufacturer builds suspensions for the Oil Field trucks and they are very hard on suspensions.

    I've not used the Hendrickson version but have heard no complaints about it either.

    As to the Single Rear Axle Air Ride I strongly recommend the Neway vs the Reyco as the Neway uses a Beam style design with the Air Bag and Reyco uses a Leaf Spring and I know of a FD who bought 12 Saulsbury Pumpers with the Reyco and they've been a nightmare and NO support from Reyco to own up to the failure of both the U Bolts and Leaf Spring.

  19. #19
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    That seems to be the common theme that I am hearing...Everyone has had good luck with the Raydan, but no one has really used the Hendrickson.

  20. #20
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    Neway is definitely the cream of the crop but I think they have recently been purchased by Holland, I hope they hold the standard.

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