Friday, June 3, 2016

Fire Apparatus - more deals - Part 1

The fire apparatus manufacturing industry has had many ups and downs, with established names disappearing or re-organizing, and many acquisitions of small fry by bigger fry.
Two recent deals are worth noting.

KME (Kovatch Mobile Equipment Corp) a highly regarded US manufacturer has just been acquired by the REV Group. Never heard of them? -until late last year they used to be called Allied Specialty Vehicles- they are huge, owning 8 ambulance brands (American, Horton, Leader, McCoy Miller, Road Rescue, Wheeled Coach and Frontline), 7 bus brands, 4 RV brands, Laymor road sweepers, Capacity terminal tractors - not to mention E-One.

REV is privately owned, as was Kovatch, so the details of the deal are unlikely to be known, but KME will remain a brand of its own, as is E-One. REVGroup hopes to go public in the next year or so, but in the meantime they have moved corporate offices from Orlando to Milwaukee, and are apparently on the hunt for more acquisitions in the specialty vehicle market. It is interesting that their biggest competitor on the fire apparatus line is Pierce, which is also based in Wisconsin. 

Pennsylvania based KME's largest customer is reported to be Chicago.

Most of the REVGroup's manufacturing is in Florida and Ohio, but with plants spread around the country.

On my recent road trip I saw a few KMEs and several  E-Ones.

Boston Engine Company 33 runs this 2011 1250/ 750 USgal  KME, Severe Service Predator cab, with Navistar Maxx Force engine (the subject of considerable controversy),

which is fully equipped with this handsome dalmatian.

They are Boston's busiest, located on Boylston Street in the Back Bay, and they occupy the oldest and handsomest fire house.

They share the station with Ladder Company 15

Ladder 15 runs a 2010 E-One Cyclone II

If you ever want to see some masterful driving, watch these guys back into the their mousehole like bays in one smooth move.

Some other E-Ones spotted on my trip:

La Pocatière, QC runs this 2008 Cyclone 1750/250/100' in a good looking Chicago-like black over red colour scheme.

Calais, Maine, Fire and EMS, Ladder 1 runs this vintage 1985 E-One 1250/300/75'.


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