Release Date : October 10, 2007
October 11, 2007, APPLETON, Wis., — Pierce Manufacturing Inc., North America’s largest manufacturer of fire and rescue apparatus, announced it will be conducting a NHTSA Safety Recall covering Pierce® custom chassis with independent front suspension for the model years 2001-2007. In particular, the pitman arms installed on the suspension system manufactured from December 20, 2001 through December 31, 2006 need to be replaced. Pierce will begin a field replacement beginning on October 8, 2007, and anticipates completing it by August 2008. Customers of affected units are being notified through Pierce and its dealer network.
Pierce has identified the condition (in the absence of an obstacle) to cause the damage in the pitman arm. The condition requires a full cramp in all instances, and at slow speeds:
1. At full cramp, drive one wheel INTO and OVER or AGAINST a curb.
2. At full cramp, drive in reverse AND brake hard in a PANIC stop.
3. Dry steer to full cramp while applying service brake.
Pierce has had only three breaks without any apparent previous hard strikes against an object (out of a total of more than 2,600 units with 5,200 total pitman arms). The breaks in the pitman arm have all occurred during slow speed maneuvering at full cramp.
“Our goal is to complete repairs in all identified units by August 2008. We see no valid reason to take an affected unit out of service,” said Wilson Jones, Pierce Manufacturing, president. “To ensure that apparatus drivers remain safe, Pierce is asking fire departments to instruct their drivers not to drive over curbs with the front wheels turned full left or right.” When the wheels are pointed straight or the unit is driving on roads, the stress level is low, which is the reason why it is safe to operate an apparatus at normal road speeds in normal manner.
Pierce will replace all the pitman arms on the vehicles subject to the recall with new arms made of thicker and stronger material. The new pitman arms are being installed in all independent suspensions on vehicles manufactured since January 1, 2007.
“Pierce recommends that Pierce dealers perform the replacement work,” added Jones. “We are providing dealers with the necessary tool and replacement kits and instructions. Otherwise, Pierce Customer Service will work with fire departments to determine who will do the work.” Any questions on affected apparatus should be directed to the local Pierce dealer or to Pierce customer service.
Pierce Manufacturing Inc., a subsidiary of Oshkosh Truck Corporation [NYSE: OSK], is the leading North American manufacturer of custom fire apparatus. Products include custom and commercial pumpers, aerials, rescue trucks, wildland trucks, minipumpers, elliptical tankers, and homeland security apparatus. In addition, Pierce designs its own foam systems and was the first company to introduce the Side Roll Protection™ System to fire apparatus. To learn more about Pierce, visit www.piercemfg.com.