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Pierce Saber Pumper purchased by Lafayette County Fire Department in Mississippi

Published on 20 November 2017
Pierce Saber custom pumper equipped with a Ford 6.7L V-8 turbo diesel power train
The Pierce Saber serves as the benchmark in its class, and is among the industry’s most popular custom chassis

Pierce Manufacturing Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation company, has sold a Pierce® Saber® custom pumper equipped with a Ford 6.7L V-8 turbo diesel power train to the Lafayette County Fire Department located in Oxford, Mississippi, home of the University of Mississippi.

The availability of the Ford power train on the Pierce Saber chassis was announced less than 30 days ago. The vehicle will be delivered in mid-2018.

Budgets for fire departments

“With the recently announced availability of Ford’s proven V-8 turbo diesel, we are opening up Pierce Saber custom apparatus to a new segment of budget conscious fire departments,” said Jim Johnson, president of Pierce Manufacturing. “Now, there’s a new option for departments on a tight budget to move up to the quality of a Pierce custom chassis. We’re very encouraged by the interest expressed from many parts of the country in such a short period of time.”

Fleet transition

“We are transitioning our fleet to custom apparatus as a way to enhance our emergency response capabilities, and many members of our department are already familiar with the quality and reliability of Pierce Saber vehicles,” said Wes Anderson, fire coordinator for Lafayette County Fire Department. “The availability of the Ford power train brought the Pierce Saber into our price range – and that was a big selling point for us. It also helped that a couple of our volunteer firefighters own heavy-duty Ford commercial vehicles with a similar engine and they think highly of it.

“We had the opportunity to spend a day with the Saber demo vehicle. Our firefighters drove it through the community and conducted informal time trials to compare it to our other custom pumper,” added Anderson. “We tested it without any equipment or water, and then with a full 1,000 gallons on board. The firefighters who drove it and rode in it were impressed.”

Roush leads testing

The integration, testing, and validation of the Ford power train into a Pierce custom chassis was led by Roush – a leader in motorsports and high-performance passenger vehicles. The Ford V-8 turbo diesel power train generates nearly the equivalent amount of horsepower to the rear wheels as larger and heavier engines commonly offered in this class.

In addition, the Ford service network backs the power train, which is covered by a 5-year/100,000-mile warranty. “The comprehensive warranty – and the availability of local mechanics – was a big factor for us,” Anderson explained. “To service some other engine brands, we’d have to travel more than an hour for support.”

"The availability of the Ford power train brought the Pierce Saber into our price range – and that was a big selling point for us"

Pierce Saber features

The Pierce Saber purchased by Lafayette County FD features a 1,250-gpm single stage pump, a 1,000-gallon water tank, a Control Zone™ pump panel, and seating for six firefighters. Other features include lowered crosslays, a full complement of ground ladders, and full-height compartments with 500 lb. capacity slide out trays to carry extrication equipment.

The Pierce Saber custom chassis serves as the benchmark in its class, and is among the industry’s most popular custom chassis. The cab is renowned for its excellent visibility, safety features, interior room, and storage space. A flat floor in the crew cab area provides surer footing, and the steps are low and offset for easier entry and exit. A one-piece wraparound windshield delivers excellent outward visibility.

Lafayette County Fire Department

The Lafayette County Fire Department serves over 40,000 citizens and covers 630 square miles. The department has over 150 members and is building its 15th fire station.

Emergency Equipment Professionals is the Pierce dealer for Mississippi and Alabama. The company, headquartered in Horn Lake, Mississippi, features three additional sales and service centres – in Richland, as well as Pelham and Mobile, Alabama. Each offers comprehensive support capabilities and is staffed with factory trained technicians and mobile service vehicles. 

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