I'd have to agree with Erin. MFG's have their problems. All of them need to work on their Quality Control. Pierce was all I ever knew until I went to another department. I still like Pierce, hate American LaChances, our Seagrave hasn't been too bad. Does anyone have an "Alexis"? It is one ugly POS, but has been very dependable as a reserve piece.
Speaking of KME, remember the news stories about them falling apart on the departments. One had one that vibrated violently if you went over 18 mph. Should be more like KMA (kiss my ass for being a sucker and buying the piece of crap) not kme. The major problem I see with pierce is back when they had descent quality control, but now with so many departments requesting their trucks, they are in a crunch to build build build, and speed in MFG tends to make quality a little more lax.
We have had 30+ Pierce trucks for the past 15 years, a few years ago we switched to Smeal. Smeal is a very very cheap company with no quality at all. Yes we did have a few problems with our Pierces, but I am happy with them, and I am happy when our Smeal breaks down and we get our Pierce reserve!!!! Stay away from Seagrave and ALF's