Help with HME info


Hi all. I am currently in the process of purchasing a new type 3 engine. One of the manufacturers who can meet price and delivery desires is HME. The engine is a Model 34, essentially a CalFire spec and build up.

I would like to hear from the boots on the ground, the people who are currently operating these engines, any comments, both positive and negative. also, when problems do arise, the promptness and ability of HME to respond to and correct any issues.

If you are uncomfortable publicly posting, message me and we can chat offline.

Thanks in advance for the help.

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We bought a type 1 from them about 12 years ago and nothing but trouble. I’d like to drive it off a pier and into the ocean.

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I haven’t had any major issues with HME, you get what you pay for but at the end of the day they have been making model 34 fire engines for a long time and know what they are doing. The number one biggest upgrade you can get is upgrade the engine, most of the problems people bring up with the 34 is because the engine is undersized and is always working at 100%, get the biggest you can afford.


Engine manufacturers give extra horsepower ratings for fire apparatus as if they were RVs. i.e. in an engine that would be 350 HP in a regular truck it will be 400 or more horsepower in a fire truck.

This is straining the little engine pretty hard. In my mind it should be opposite, fire apparatus engines should be speced conservatively, not hotrodded.

That being said, you can only cram so much engine block into the space they have allowed.

Also research your specific proposed engine’s track record. I don’t know if International gave up on their own engines completely but they could be problematic money wasters and Cummins engines are now available and are the same proven platform over the past 20 years. They also have a great Jake brake available that makes no extra noise, buy the highest level up front so it gets built right.


I’ve been working off of both type 1 and type 3 HME’s for over 15 years. I have had no issues with the engine overall, including engine, drivetrain, or pump.

I’m a Pierce guy to be honest, but unfortunately not everyone out there can afford a Pierce or, looking at the bigger picture, can afford the maintenance of a Pierce when it comes to non-warranty work (parts need to be Pierce parts to maintain the existing warranty)

Now, with that said, if your a combo or volunteer department, I would recommend the HME’s, (model 18 or 34) simply due to the fact that they seem to be very no-frills, firefighter friendly, get the job done kinda apparatus. As the former “ass” chief and grant writer with this department, I recommended the HME extreme rat to the department and wrote the AGF grant for it. We received federal funding for the engine and 6 months later, here it is. Understand though, this was a demo unit with 2K miles on it. We have been very happy with it.

If anyone has any questions regarding HME or if your looking to go after an AFG grant for an engine, please feel free to pm me.

Carry on.