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  1. Palo Alto had, one time many years ago, two engines built by Hi-Tech that could transport. They were never used to transport for a variety of reasons and are long gone from their fleet. They currently run regular old Pierce engines with a fleet or regular old ambulances.
  2. It's true...if given a choice mechanics prefer a straight beam/leaf spring suspension. All you have to do is look underneath a rig with TAK-4 and a straight axle to see what they mean. TAK-4 greatly restricts access to the bottom of the engine and all it's pieces, parts, hoses, etc. My agency runs nothing but Quantums and they all have straight axles. Mothership Pierce was quite surprised to hear us not choose their torsion bar wonder and go with an old-school setup but a happy mechanic is a happy life.
  3. Good for Pierce after losing the engine business but continued bad news for Seagrave. They just are not able to compete and win bids. The only business they get are those customers that want Seagraves, and willing to pay their crazy asking prices.
  4. Not sure everyone has heard....it's making its way around the web, but American LaFrance closed operations last Friday. I haven't seen any press releases. Was there anybody else besides Ventura County still buying ALF?
  5. Seagrave is by far the most expensive apparatus on the road and they have priced them out of the market. The product is excellent but other manufacturers have improved (KME) as of late and it is too difficult to justify the price difference. They have their loyal customers, but it's hard for them to win any new bids.
  6. I don't think it's so much of an LAFD thing as it is a California thing. California's terrain, call nature, and ever-changing DMV requirements make it difficult to run some sort of tower ladder for 15 or 20 years. Look at the big metro areas San Fran, Oakland, LA City, LA County, San Diego and they all run tillers. They all have hills, most fires aerial require ladder access and often don't get to a defensive mode, plus high call volumes, and the vehicle weight (weight per axle) is more manageable for California. If you look at LA City's Flickr page you'll see them take their tillers everywhere. Even tight mountain roads.