04/25/08 31 W, 1 I - + 18 - 14 Knightdale's New Pumper

Here's Knightdale's new rescue pumper as it nears completion. Due in early May, it's a Pierce with a 1,500 GPM pump and a 750 gallon water tank. Click to enlarge:

I’m guessing that this is outside of the county Contender purchase order?? Looks like a nice truck…
Gooch - 04/27/08 - 00:46

Saber, Non-County contract
gary - 04/27/08 - 00:48

The saber cab is the cab that all the contenders have. They just dont say saber all over them.
guest - 04/27/08 - 16:54

the difference between the two is one has more options than the other, and a few inches gained in length
guest2 - 04/28/08 - 08:30

Saber I think is made in Wisconsin at the better plant were contender is made in Flordia.
4447 - 04/28/08 - 17:52

Knightdale’s new pumper will be coming from Wisconsin (may 9th). There Contender came from Florida in 2006.
Jd - 04/28/08 - 18:08

The better ones to me seem to come from Wisconsin.
4447 - 04/28/08 - 20:40

friends don’t let friends buy pierces made in florida… j/k sorry mike I had to
CFP 7021 (Email) - 04/28/08 - 22:26

I like that CFP 7021, as a matter of fact I heard that they (Pierce Florida) was changing the name from Contender to Pretender. Can’t you see it now…... “PRETENDER, by Pierce.”
Answer - 04/28/08 - 22:32

In addition, does anyone know, or even want to share about the funding of this rig? Just curious did the Town of Knightdale fund it or Wake County? Nice truck though.
Answer - 04/28/08 - 22:33

municipally funded, outside of the county contract.
CFP 7021 (Email) - 04/28/08 - 22:42

This truck looks very similar to a contender to me. Regardless were it is made it still says Pierce on the front. The county truck is a good truck if you know how to spec. a fire truck. If it was not for the county and the apparatus committee most of the fire departments in wake county would not be riding around in new fire trucks.
Guest - 04/29/08 - 13:26

And it does. Not sure if I agree that the county truck is a good truck, I have heard many departments have had problems with them. Knightdale has the option of buying what they want, regardless of the “county contract”.
FF262 - 04/29/08 - 14:33

Guest, I think everyone has had their problems with the contender. It is funny though, every dept. has had the same problems.
Answer - 04/29/08 - 14:57

Contender: POS Firetruck that lacks saftey options such as tak-4 suspension and roll over protection. Low bid crap. Spend a couple extra dollars to ensure that the truck is a good one and it will work even if it means only 10 new trucks are ordered per year not 20.
Contender - 04/29/08 - 19:58

Definition of Contender
n. 1. One who contends; a contestant.

Years ago, many of the fire appratus manufacturers had two different trucks they would bid. If it wasa strictly low-bid situation, they had one truck they would bid, and for those that were not strictly low-bid, they had another truck. A sales rep for Seagrave told me that. And he showed me the difference right in their factory. Pierce did it also, as did E-One (I can show you some E-Ones in PA and NY that would rival anything Pierce has ever built). The low-bid trucks were intended to go up against smaller manufacturers, like Atlas/EEI was around here.

As the economy takes it’s path, you will probably see more Contender-type offerings. Fortunately, RFD and CFD have found a way around low-bid, but a lot of others have not. They still have the administrations that look strictly at price. I have worked for a few of them over the years.
DJ (Email) - 04/29/08 - 21:24

It’s all about perspective. If you’re used to having Dash-type trucks, the Contender just doesn’t have the same quality. If you’re used to having Ford/Chevy chassis with EEI-quality bodies, you’re probably happy to get the Contender (which for some is their first custom). It’s all about the money….you get what you pay for.
Chris - 04/30/08 - 07:45

There was a recommendation I ran across several years ago that was geared along the lines of “commercial” vs “custom” cab/chassis for fire apparatus. In summary, the author said that unless the unit was running over 1,000 calls/year (about 3-4/day), a commercial cab/chassis would serve just fine.

Now we all know of departments/companies that don’t run anywhere close to 1,000 runs in a year, yet they still buy full blown customized trucks.

And you’ll probably remember during the eighties, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Dallas, Charlotte, etc., ordered Ford C cabs for their pumpers, and occasionally for aerials. Those companies were running thousands of calls.

(Not making an editorial comment, just some food for discussion).

Is there a point where a non-busy department is paying more than they should for apparatus?
harkey (Email) (Web Site) - 04/30/08 - 11:44

To your question: No! But it looks good in the annual Christmas parade!
FF262 - 04/30/08 - 13:46

I know Durham bought a few commercial style pumpers a few years ago. Anyone here from the Bull City care to comment on them?
Silver - 04/30/08 - 15:21

For me it’s the simple fact that commercial cab trucks are not designed to be fire trucks period. They do not have the handling, braking, acceleration nor safety features that custom cab trucks should/do have. We have custom chassis now with airbags, rollover protection, independent front suspension, and braking systems that are designed for the usage that we put them through. Yes commercial cabs will run forever if they are being used as a pepsi delivery truck that runs every day with the same driver and is not subjected to the rigors of emergency driving. There is also the issue of access and room within the cab. They are not user friendly during emergency operations, just look to see how high the steps are into the cabs. Not to mention the fact that these trucks are not designed to be used with SCBA seats. As for pumpers whenever you are adapting one thing to another there will be problems. It’s why single source manufacturers are so sought after. It’s a one stop shop and they design the chassis and cabs to be fire trucks, not concrete trucks or trash trucks.

I also think you get more service life out of a custom cab/chassis because it is doing what it is designed to do. For tenders and the like commercial cabs are fine, as the speed should be limited on these trucks anyways as the new NFPA 1901 standard dictates.
CFP 7021 (Email) - 04/30/08 - 16:14

How will this unit and the new station affect the apparatus line up? Is there still a unit at public works? What is the fate of the old Guilford College Telesqurt and Service unit. Thanks.
Steven (Email) - 05/02/08 - 16:49

Plans are, to have a rescue pumper placed at station two and run with a driver/operator and firefighter. A 2003 International commercial cab pumper is housed at the public works location and is rolled by public works personnel during the day and volunteer personnel at night. The telesquirt is currently ran as a ladder truck (station one) but it has some age on it. I believe they are trying to obtain a grant for a new ladder truck. Hope that helps!
Hinton - 05/02/08 - 20:33

I would tend to agree with CFP 7021. But…those pesky budgets and politicians get involved. And then there are those people that tend to think that schools, parks, greenways, and libraries are way more important than fire trucks that are seldom used. Whereas the older commercial chassis tended to last longer, they were much better built. The current Freightliners and Navistars are just not built to the same standard. I would take the 1962 Chevrolet that was Yrac #1 over a modern day Freightliner or Navistar any day.

I do think that sometimes we overspend on some of the trucks. Although I have always liked all of the stainless and chrome trim, along with the bells, in my old age, with a mortgage and an annual property tax bill… I do
question some of the expenses. While the younger me that lived for the pager thought “spare no expense for a nice truck”, the older curmudgeon I am becoming takes the stance that if it does not contribute to the firefighting function of the vehicle or the safety of the occupants, then maybe it is a bit much. And I am also not one for all of these multi-mission trucks. It seems that they do a lot of stuff, but nothing real well. Oh well. I guess they did not consult me on that.

Now, if we could just get Pierce to build a 1 ton or 1 1/2 ton chassis, suitable for use as an (whispering) ambulance, then maybe we could get decent ones.

I know, I’m dreaming.
DJ (Email) - 05/02/08 - 22:01

Multi-mission trucks were originally designed by the NFPA (National Fire Protection Accountants). Is it cheaper to fund the acquisition and personnel for 4 pieces of quasi-speciality function equipment to a minimum staffing standard (even if it’s 2) or invest a few more dollars in the multi-mission apparatus and assign it the same minimum staffing compliment? And you guys thought tradition was impeding the Fire Service in the US…

Our problem is the same with every other public safety discipline – we’ve learned to get by on less, do it faster, look good on television (most of the time) and therefore pretty much tank any ironclad cases for a significant change in the way we are publicly financed.

Boy have we hijacked this thread or what???
Olson - 05/04/08 - 22:22

Hijack? Nah. Any really good discussion naturally rambles. Besides, it keeps you from having to hit the back button, go to another thread, type there, go to another one, type there, etc.

“Our problem is the same with every other public safety discipline – we’ve learned to get by on less, do it faster, look good on television (most of the time) and therefore pretty much tank any ironclad cases for a significant change in the way we are publicly financed.” Well said, and it is against every thing we stand for to do otherwise.

But I still do not like the ‘multi-mission’ trucks. My first exposure was to “TELE-SQUIRT 11” with Anne Arundel County (MD) Fire back in the 90s. It was a 1500 gpm pumper with a 75’ telescoping boom, 500 gallons water, 250 gallons AFFF, four 1 3/4” crosslays, 1500’ 5” hose, and all of the equipment carried on a pumper.

How did it work out? They got rid of it after 4-5 years. Too big for a pumper, too little for a ladder, not enough usable storage space, and the hosebed had trouble deploying the 5” LDH. Of course, part of it had to be in the design. But one thing for sure, it sure did look good.

Most of the time I see the ‘quints’ with a 1500 gpm pump and a 300-500 gallon tank, and the pump is seldom used, the hose is seldom (if ever used), etc. Same with most of the platforms that have crosslays- never have seen them used.

OK, back to the Contender. I have not had the chance to use or drive one (probably won’t). I do remember using several trucks built on the Ford C series (the only dud was an Atlas model), and pre-90s Seagraves (awesome trucks), Pierces (they were the up-and-comer of the time), Ward LaFrances (has to be something said in running a truck with a Waukesha gasoline engine), Emergency Ones (before they got the idea to change to E-One- they were pretty good trucks), and the venerable Mack CFs and a Mack C (really awesome trucks). And of course, everyone should have to use an EEI custom at least once. It’s the difference between a Ferrari and a Yugo. I guess you could say they just don’t make them like they used to.
DJ - 05/05/08 - 09:10

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