The Waiting Game
Welcome to the age of waiting for everything, including the delivery of your brand new fire truck or other emergency vehicle. As a dealer for E-ONE, Summit Fire Apparatus and Weis Fire & Safety we to get to experience the long delivery times for completed new apparatus. The new truck manufacturers (all of them) are experiencing delayed delivery of critical components needed to manufacture the trucks in their backlog of sales. With quoted new fire apparatus delivery times pushing out past two years, It is very hard to say when the madness will end.
Backlogs are huge at the manufacturers and inbound new orders don’t seem to be slowing down. We ourselves have had a banner year in new truck sales. Central Pennsylvania E-ONE orders for new pumpers, new tankers and new aerial ladders are setting all time records.
In addition to selling new E-ONE Fire Apparatus, Fire Line Equipment is heavily into fire truck repair and refurbishment. Our experience has taught us that not every fire department works from an endless budget. We have also learned that most fire departments do not even come close to putting the wear and tear on a truck to warrant full replacement. The chassis itself may be getting some age on it but the fire pump and body are nine times out of ten in good shape. It stills goes to the fire or MVA call safely, carries the tools, pumps the water and returns to the house where it sits for the majority of its life.
As a used fire truck dealer, we often buy and sell used fire trucks to fire departments that do not have the funds available to buy a new fire truck or other emergency vehicle. Some of those buyers just understand that a fifteen year old truck with 18,000 miles and 250 pump hours has a whole lot of life left in it. Some could care a less that is yellow or green or a custom or commercial cab. Without a doubt there are some problem trucks available and by all means do your due diligence before buying anything. Overall though, you will find that many well maintained used fire apparatus and emergency vehicles are available.
Re-sell It, Scrap It Or Re-Mount It
Our used fire truck division purchased this 2001 Pierce Rescue Pumper through an auction. The truck came out of Ohio, had very low pump hours and mileage and generally looked decent. Who could resist a low mileage 4-door International, Pierce rescue pumper body, 1500 GPM Waterous fire pump and a 1000 gallon Poly water tank. While it looked great on the outside and pumped like a champ, the frame of the chassis had more rust on it than a battleship in the Atlantic Ocean. Our focus quickly shifted from re-selling the truck to what in the world are we going to do with this thing now.
Refurbishment and re-chassis work is certainly nothing new to us having completed small to large refurbishment projects for fire departments from all over the country. We considered replacing the frame rails but soon realized that this truck may be a very good candidate to re-mount the existing body and fire pump on a new chassis. Our in-house engineer began drafting up the plan, parts to be replaced were identified, a new chassis was ordered and soon all of the new parts would be in house to start the build. Let the dis-assembly begin…….
We selected the Spartan FC-94 Custom Cab chassis for a number of reasons. First being that it is the only custom cab chassis that is comparably priced to a commercial cab Freightliner or International chassis. Delivery time was also a contributing factor as the FC-94 was delivered to us in roughly eight months from the time of order. This is a purpose built chassis for the emergency services industry that delivers safety and maneuverability.
The FC-94 is an NFPA compliant all-aluminum 94″ wide cab built to keep crews comfortable and safe with high roof lines, flat floors, multiple seat and storage options, and a cramp angle that will deliver superior maneuverability in tight and congested areas.
We chose to paint the truck white over red with a paint break line just below the cab windows. Why white over red you ask? Re-sale, re-sale, re-sale!!
The Replacement Parts
Here is where the fun starts. Do we go mild or straight to wild? Of course we wanted wild but also wanted to keep the project affordable to potential buyers. After stripping the body and pump down to a bare shell, a comprehensive list of parts to be replaced was created and the body and pump compartment were sent off to paint.
We chose to stay with the industry leaders such as: Whelen, Code3, HiViz, Fire Research, ROM, Waterous, Elkhart Brass, Akron Brass, Tecniq, Arrow, Amdor, Southco, Zico, Innovative Controls, Vision Mark and Duo-Safety.
Prior to sending the body out for paint, we took the opportunity to pre-drill for all of the lighting and new tread plate. With the body mounting complete it was off to the races to install the new tread plate package, wiring, emergency lights, scene lights, DOT lights, ROM rollup doors, rub rails, grab rails and spare SCBA bottle storage doors.
Pre-drilling the mounting holes for the new components ensured good paint coverage in those areas as well as kept the assembly time to a minimum. Within a short amount of time the FC-94 / Pierce remount project was beginning to take shape. As the small parts were installed, the 1000 gallon Poly tank was being prepped for installation.
Water Tank Install
1000 gallons – That’s a respectable amount of H2O on this rescue pumper! Need Foam? Well this Spartan / Pierce refurbishment has that to. The Elkhart foam system is complimented by a 50 gallon foam cell, new Elkhart metering valve and mixing valve label plate.
With all the tank connections made using new Gruvlok clamps, it was time to move onto installing the rest of the pump compartment and pump components. Our in house engineer expertly laid out the new 12ga stainless steel panels for the new Innovative Controls water level indicator and foam tank level indicators, FRC Pump Boss, Class 1 gauges and bezels, Elkhart foam metering valve, Class 1 drain valves and push/pull rods.
Pump Compartment Install
The freshly re-painted pump compartment was installed with new isolators and mounting hardware. Pump compartments are time consuming things to complete due all of the electrical and plumbing connections. We did a considerable amount of pre-assembly prior to mounting the actual compartment to the truck. Tread plate, scene lighting, steps and whatever else we could install was done prior to mounting it on the truck.
Not a super exciting part of the build but we are now ready to start on the pump panels, gauges, controls, etc.
Pump Panel Assembly
Now things are starting look like a very capable fire truck! We couldn’t be more pleased with the layout and assembly of the new pump panels. Clearly marked controls with space to work. Have you ever seen one of those crowded small pump panels that requires an engineering degree to decipher what you are looking at? Yeah, we have to and that’s not what we wanted on this project. Simple and very capable is what we were shooting for and that is what we accomplished.
A large portion of the labor hours on the truck went into completing the pump house. Its probably safe to say that at least 1/3 of the re-assembly hours went into the pump, pump compartment and pump panel controls.
With the pump compartment together it was time to schedule a pump test. We do all of our pump testing on our pump test pad at our facility in New Holland, Pennsylvania. In this case, a third party testing company had to be hired to perform a full NFPA pump test because of the fire pump being remounted on a new chassis. The pump is essentially tested has if it were a new fire pump.
The Pump Test
The sun was shining and the temp hovered around 68 for our pump test. With the truck set up on our in house pump testing pad, the third party NFPA pump test began. The brand new Cummins L9-450HP diesel and Waterous 1500 GPM fire pump ran flawlessly. We could not be more pleased with how this refurbishment turned out.
Did you know an annual pump test is a documented procedure to prove your apparatus can perform at its rated capacity from draft? The chassis drivetrain, pump, pump transmission and associated plumbing are run through a progressive series of tests that are designed to prove the system is in sound working order.
The Completed Truck
Updated and very capable sums up how this re-chassis / refurbishment turned out. If we didn’t tell you that it had a 2001 refurbished Pierce body on it you would never know. The “fire truck paint quality” is second to none with brand new ROM roll up doors, brand new Whelen LED warning lights, brand new 1/8″ & 3/16″ aluminum treadplate and brand new Class1 gauges. The very long list of brand new parts goes on and on.
It’s available immediately – Contact us for more information @ 877-346-1373!
But Wait, There is More
This one isn’t going to last long and may be sold very soon. Maybe you have your own pumper, tanker or rescue that your thinking of refurbishing. We can take your existing pump ,tank and body and re-mount them after refurbishment on a new Spartan FC-94 chassis. You can go from mild to wild with your refurbishment, it’s completely customizable to your budget.
No truck – no problem! We have two trucks available with complete bodies and fire pumps.
Available #1 (Pumper Style Body High/Low)
- Manufactured in 2000
- Pierce stainless steel rescue pumper body with locker style doors
- Hale 1500 GPM Water Pump
- 1000 Gallon Water Tank
Available #2 (Pumper Style Body High/Low)
- Manufactured in 2002
- American LaFrance Aluminum Body
- Hale 1250 GPM Fire Pump
- 750 Gallon Poly Water Tank
- Rear Discharges
Contact our Sales Department @ 877-346-1373 to discuss the refurbishment / re-mounting options that are available.