Anybody that avidly
collects Code 3 models has probably noticed the
recent release of two Pierce rear mount ladder
trucks from the Midwest. The first release is
from Chicago, Illinois, and is lettered as the
truck assigned to the Chicago Fire Academy. The
second release was from Detroit, Michigan, and
is lettered as Ladder Company 1. Although both
models are replicas of Pierce 100's ladder
trucks, many tooling changes were made to the
mold to make it accurate to each city.
Both trucks have
Pierce Dash six man cabs. Although the Detroit
truck has a pre-piped waterway, both trucks have
one hundred foot, medium duty aerial ladders.
That is pretty much where the similarities end.
The Detroit truck
has a longer wheelbase than the Chicago truck.
This is because the Detroit truck is actually a
Quint, and also has slightly larger
compartments. Code 3 retooled the model to make
it accurate, and there is a noticeable wheelbase
difference between the two models. This means
that Code 3 used an all-new chassis mold. This
is not an easy tooling change.
The compartments on
the Detroit truck are laid out completely
different than the compartments on the Chicago
truck. The most noticeable difference is the
fact that the Chicago truck has a ground ladder
stack on the driver's side, and full size
compartments on the officer's side. The
Detroit truck has full size compartments on both
sides. Also, the most forward compartment on the
Detroit truck is larger than the compartment in
that location on the Chicago rig. On the real
Detroit truck, this is where the pump panel is
located. This is the main factor that makes the
wheelbase longer on the Detroit truck. In
addition, the SCBA bottle compartments are in
different spots on each rig. The SCBA
compartment doors are also different. The
Chicago truck has semi-triangular doors, while
the Detroit has square doors.
Click on Photo to Enlarge
Photo courtesy, Code 3
aerial ladders are different on the two rigs.
The Detroit truck has a pre-piped waterway,
while the Chicago truck simply has a ladder pipe
mounted on a bracket inside the equipment bed,
and no pre-pipe. The pre-pipe on the Detroit
truck causes the entire ladder to sit higher out
of the bed. This is how it is on the real
apparatus. To compensate for the higher overall
height, the turntable and cradle are also
different than the Chicago piece.
also many small differences between the two
trucks. The warning lights are different. This
includes the light bars, the rear warning
lights, and the intersection lights on the sides
of the trucks. The Detroit piece has grab
handles under the windows, and the Chicago truck
does not. Chicago has a chrome-plated bumper,
with rookie bar's and tow hooks. The
Detroit truck has an all red bumper with only
the siren and air-horn mounted on it. The
Detroit rig has a rear water intake, and if you
look closely you will notice that the intake cap
has the Pierce American flag and eagle logo
(Full size version pictured with models). There
are also many other small changes, but it would
take all day to type them.
both trucks are outstanding models, and have
very intricate details. I was very impressed
with both models, and they are among the
favorites in my collection. Code 3 deserves a
huge round of applause for the tooling changes
they made to make the Detroit model an accurate
replica. It shows how far they have come in the
past few years. Lets hope Code 3 continues to do
this in the future.
All photos by the author unless otherwise noted.