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Thread: U.S Tanker Sold

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    Exclamation U.S Tanker Sold

    Word on the street U.S tanker has been sold. Tm Bendle is gone.
    Last edited by Station25C1; 06-24-2009 at 11:18 PM. Reason: spelliing

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    Fyrtrks? Comment?
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    Thumbs up The street is correct.

    Now mind you I am not speaking in an official capacity but I have been told this is true.

    The new owners are one retired upper management for one of the big boys and another gentlemen who I believe is the money man.

    Currently the facility in Burlington is being leased for review of options.

    The current staff will stay with short term plans to increase production by most likely adding an evening shift. Our dealership has had requested this.

    The expansion of the current product line. This will not take effect until the business has been further evaluated by the new owners for other more pressing short term changes.

    Again because I am not a dealer principal I do not know all of the details.

    I am excited with this change as I feel US Tanker is one of the best companies for fit and finish. This will be a much better company to deal with because they will build what the customer wants and not just cookie cutter trucks with a limited number of options. This I think will provide a business who will work with thier dealers and thier customers.

    I could be wrong on anything posted above because my 8 ball reads response cloudy ask again later.

    I belive we will have a dealer meeting soon not sure if it will be just the principals of if the rest of will be going.
    Last edited by Fyrtrks; 06-25-2009 at 03:46 AM.
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    Thumbs up

    I had the opportunity to meet with the two new owners earlier this week, along with one of the original founders, whom I have known for many years. All three were excited for what this opportunity meant for them individually but most importantly what it meant for them as a group and a business. They did discuss expansion of the product line, and as they are a smaller quality builder I think our industry needs this. They believe in steady growth thru providing a quality product at a price that will keep them a strong company, able to provide for their employees and stand behind their product. Sorry if this sounds like a sales pitch but it was nice to talk about the fire apparatus business and hear things as a Fire Fighter / Fire Chief that were in line with the values our profession feels are important.

    SBLGFD

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    Has anyone heard anymore on this? Who were the new purchasers?

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    My department placed an order the last week of 2008, at our last monthly business meeting the chief reported that the body has not yet been started. The chassis was received several weeks ago. Makes sense now if I was to sell a business the first thing I would drop would be my inventory to lower the sale price. Now we just hope the new owners have the money to put back into inventory and produce our unit within the time requested.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 25yearman View Post
    My department placed an order the last week of 2008, at our last monthly business meeting the chief reported that the body has not yet been started. The chassis was received several weeks ago. Makes sense now if I was to sell a business the first thing I would drop would be my inventory to lower the sale price. Now we just hope the new owners have the money to put back into inventory and produce our unit within the time requested.
    is the unit now late? what was the delivery time supposed to be?

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    Default Backlog

    Well it will be worth the wait. I have delivered several US Tankers and they make a high quality product.

    They do have a backlog and it is longer than some but not as long as others. As a manufacturer you have to have a backlog. I think with the addition of additional personel and maybe a second shift will reduce that backlog.

    US Tanker doesn't usually have a chassis inventory because each unit is different. The shop inventory for any shop would be just a small amount more than they would use within a given time period between deliveries. Why tie up money when you can schedule the materials when you need them.
    Fyrtrks

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    My guess is that US Tanker, like many builders, has a huge backlog of orders from the rush to beat the NFPA changes for 2009.

    Has US Tanker actually failed to meet the deadline they stated on their purchase contract for a delivery date? I know I have a few sales from December of last year (not with US Tanker, but the brand that I sell), and depending on when in the month the contract was signed and how long it took each department to get all of their pre-con details worked out, the planned delivery dates spread out quite a bit.

    I have several that were signed in late 2008 that aren't even close to being late. Remember, commercial chassis lead time is considerably quicker than custom chassis for the most part, and many times builders won't ask for a custom chassis to be delivered until it will be needed.
    Last edited by npfd801; 07-08-2009 at 01:43 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 25yearman View Post
    My department placed an order the last week of 2008, at our last monthly business meeting the chief reported that the body has not yet been started. The chassis was received several weeks ago. Makes sense now if I was to sell a business the first thing I would drop would be my inventory to lower the sale price. Now we just hope the new owners have the money to put back into inventory and produce our unit within the time requested.
    I am just to the west of Burlington, home of US Tanker. I visited the facility to pick up parts for a couple of our tankers made by them. ( I had a 6 year old pump panel light that went bad on me and when I stopped in to pick up another they gave it to me for free. Now that's standing by your product! )

    Anyways, I was at the shop a few times before the sale. Inventory was not low. The workers I talked to said they were VERY busy. I asked because I had never seen that many truck cab & chassis lined up out back before.

    US Tanker does not stock chassis, because everyone wants something different. When they have a line of them out back in all shapes, sizes and colors it is because they have specific orders to fill.
    Last edited by DFDMAXX; 07-08-2009 at 09:31 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 25yearman View Post
    My department placed an order the last week of 2008, at our last monthly business meeting the chief reported that the body has not yet been started. The chassis was received several weeks ago. Makes sense now if I was to sell a business the first thing I would drop would be my inventory to lower the sale price. Now we just hope the new owners have the money to put back into inventory and produce our unit within the time requested.
    25yearman, can you send a email at tmr91@hotmail.com. I havea few questions to your order. My department has a unit on order and the chief is getting very concerned.

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    The unit is due the second week in October and carries a $200.00 a day fine for everyday it is late. Like most departments that order new apparatus you need the unit not the money. At the time we ordered due to money constrictions we purchased a Peterbuilt chassis even through US Tank had some Friegtliner and International's available.

    Now the quality question, it is our hope that with a backlog the unit is not hurried and short cuts taken to meet the deadline. This unit is being purchased with AFG money so we have thier deadline to contend with also.

    So I guess we wait and hope for the best

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    Quote Originally Posted by 25yearman View Post
    The unit is due the second week in October and carries a $200.00 a day fine for everyday it is late. Like most departments that order new apparatus you need the unit not the money. At the time we ordered due to money constrictions we purchased a Peterbuilt chassis even through US Tank had some Friegtliner and International's available.

    Now the quality question, it is our hope that with a backlog the unit is not hurried and short cuts taken to meet the deadline. This unit is being purchased with AFG money so we have thier deadline to contend with also.

    So I guess we wait and hope for the best
    Most builders only need a couple of months to build the body and mount everything on the chassis. If your delivery date was only a month from now, I'd be worried. They'll have plenty of time to do things right, and still meet your delivery date.
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    A few weeks after our signing our sales rep informed us of a trip to the plant to see our unit. Guess what!! apparatus not started trip canceled, This really gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling since the dealer and company must of had some sort of time schedule before making such and offer. We still by contract have a final inspection trip (when and if completed) or maybe they will do the same thing to departments with penalty clauses and just drop their contracts. What mfg would do that......look over the past year with companies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 25yearman View Post
    A few weeks after our signing our sales rep informed us of a trip to the plant to see our unit. Guess what!! apparatus not started trip canceled, This really gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling since the dealer and company must of had some sort of time schedule before making such and offer. We still by contract have a final inspection trip (when and if completed) or maybe they will do the same thing to departments with penalty clauses and just drop their contracts. What mfg would do that......look over the past year with companies.
    25yearman, any new update on your tanker and inspection trip?
    Last edited by taskforce16; 07-16-2009 at 01:00 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Default U.S. Tanker

    Quote Originally Posted by 25yearman View Post
    A few weeks after our signing our sales rep informed us of a trip to the plant to see our unit. Guess what!! apparatus not started trip canceled, This really gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling since the dealer and company must of had some sort of time schedule before making such and offer. We still by contract have a final inspection trip (when and if completed) or maybe they will do the same thing to departments with penalty clauses and just drop their contracts. What mfg would do that......look over the past year with companies.
    While I usually do not do this since we are a dealer principal, I would strongly suggest calling 1-800-279-4911 and ask for Mr. John Slawson, one of the new owners of U.S. Tanker. This should end any rumors or other salespersons throwing 10 gallons of gas on the fire.

    I find it real hard to believe if your new tanker apparatus contract was signed in late October 2008 and a factory visit was going to take place a few weeks later to see your new apparatus unless it is a new demonstrator unit.

    Tim Bendle has mentioned wanting to retire over the last couple of years so this is not an over night firesale. Joe Lee Sr. and Jr. are still there and are an important part of the future of U.S. Tanker Fire Apparatus.

    The inventory of trucks, unless it is a factory demo unit usually does not arrive at the factory until it is needed. If the department buys the chassis and has it dropped shipped that is their choosing. I have seen chassis show up one month after contract signing and sit for 8 months when a department could of left the funds in an interest bearing account for the 8 months.

    The " When & If Completed" is pushing it a little to far in my opinion. Like I mentioned above, call the factory and ask for the new boss. I have been a dealer principal since 2004 and like the other two apparatus lines Sutphen and SVI Trucks that my company represents in Illinois, I feel real confident about our future representing all three since they are all:

    1) All Family Owned
    2) Solid financial ground
    3) Stable and committed to the future
    4) U.S. Tanker's 20 year warranty

    If you want to contact me you can as well, I am real easy to find.

    Sincerely,

    Ed Orolin

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    Let's get the facts straight, I said that my departments order was placed at the end of 2008 not in October and in fact we have been sent pictures of our chassis from Us Tanker. Now your story about not getting chassis in ahead of a target production date due to interest costs is sending me a message that may be this in fact is NOT my chassis but one close in appearance. Now I really have a warm fuzzy feeling about my unit.

    In regards to making phone calls, as a dealer yourself and having outstanding orders wouldn't you be contacting the company and finding out what is going on with potential orders? Something called good business, customer satisfaction, service after the sale, after all the dealer has a financial stake in this purchase also (commission), we have heard nothing from anyone.

    We have seen too many companies big and small go under stating that they are just making changes for the better, so why would a change in ownership not be something to be concerned about. If not for this forum it would have been a total secret as US Tank has nothing about it on their own web site. Keeping customers in the dark is not a good thing in any type of business.

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    25 - You need to read what the man said. He is meaning the fire department that ordered the chassis got it to the factory ahead of time and paid for it to sit there for 8 months instead of getting there the month before it was needed. The intrest he is talking about is money the fire department could have made instead of having a major purchase sit for awhile.

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    "Me Thinks" theres a fire dept member somewhere whos dept has a tanker on order, and this member wanted a different brand than what was chosen for whatever reason.

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    rm-I think you should be the one to read the article again. The statements in the block from Ed is from me and what is in the article should be pertaining to his reply to me. No company would purchase a chassis three to four months ahead of a scheduled build date, that is money setting, money wasted, and eventually will be paid in the form of a price increase to the next department ordering.

    If this is the way US Tanker wishes to run their business that is their business, it becomes my business when a company changes ownership and my unit is not scheduled to be built or will be rushed through allowing potential issues. This is my warm fuzzy feeling.

    My department has scheduled a meeting with our dealer so they can give us the plan and build start date after all that is what they are paid for. Once again we were told up front that once construction begins the department would receive a log in number so we could follow along we have received nothing.

    rm-if you think this is a proper way of doing business that is up to you but I don't and since this is my unit in danger I will continue to post as information or non-information comes to be.

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    They sure would order a chassis for delivery before the build. If they ordered it for just in time delivery and the chassis builder gets late, and they frequently do, the body builder is stuck because of your penalty clause. A commercial chassis builder doesn't give a crap about a fire depts penalty clause. Sorry, but as Walter Cronkite said: "Thats the way it is".

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    25Yearman:

    In response to your comment about a company keeping its customers in the dark by not telling them about a change of ownership, it is more common than you may think.

    A company has a reputation built by the people who operate it and customers don't always like to see those people go. I have seen many a company sold that kept the family name of the company the same as it has been for generations, named 4 owners ago. Continuity is important for the business, and the status quo keeps customers happy so long as the customers are being served well.

    I do understand you point though. When something is kept secret, questions do arise.
    We do not rise to the occasion. We fall back to our level of training.

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    25 - I understand what you are saying. We have went with the stock truck that the body builder had on hand or order and we have ordered commerical chassis because the body builder would not order it the way we wanted it.

    When you go with the stock truck the body builder has, who knows how long it has been sitting on their lot waiting for someone to buy it or the flip side of that is that they didn't have one sitting and is waiting on the chassis manufacter to get them some. We have also ordered trucks and had the bodybuilder say they are waiting on the chassis to start and then find out that they had the truck for almost a month before they started on it. We also had 4 chassis sitting on a lot of IH for 3 months because the bodybuilder wasn't ready yet.

    I wasn't trying to be an ***** with my earlier post. The one thing I have learned about bodybuilders is they operate in a world of their own. I personally think the pre-paint inspection in the most important trip to the plant. Cause once they paint it your screwed if there are changes to be made and yes i have went to pick one up and the jack legs that went to pre-paint didn't catch it and we had some issues.

    Keep us informed of what goes on. TC

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    Quote Originally Posted by 25yearman View Post
    Let's get the facts straight, I said that my departments order was placed at the end of 2008 not in October and in fact we have been sent pictures of our chassis from Us Tanker. Now your story about not getting chassis in ahead of a target production date due to interest costs is sending me a message that may be this in fact is NOT my chassis but one close in appearance. Now I really have a warm fuzzy feeling about my unit.

    In regards to making phone calls, as a dealer yourself and having outstanding orders wouldn't you be contacting the company and finding out what is going on with potential orders? Something called good business, customer satisfaction, service after the sale, after all the dealer has a financial stake in this purchase also (commission), we have heard nothing from anyone.

    We have seen too many companies big and small go under stating that they are just making changes for the better, so why would a change in ownership not be something to be concerned about. If not for this forum it would have been a total secret as US Tank has nothing about it on their own web site. Keeping customers in the dark is not a good thing in any type of business.
    First, I would like to apoligize, I read it wrong. I thought someone promised you a start date right after you signed a contract. Bottom line, I suggest for you to call the new boss. We have always recieved a log in for our customers one the chassis shows up. That will be the first photos you would log into.

    Good Luck,

    Ed

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    Default Update:

    Okay here is an update.

    I was at the factory yesterday for a final inspection and pick-up of a customer's truck.

    US Tanker is very much alive and very well. There were at least 8 trucks in production in the building. There were several chassis on the ground. Our dealership had 2 in production and 2 chassis on the ground. There was another unit behind ours that was in for final detail and cleaning.

    I had a chance to speak to the new owners they said the changes are phasing in as of right now. I also spoke with some of the employees and they are positive about the changes and also explained a few things that I had not known.

    I will not steal the thunder of the factory but you will see some of the changes in April and hopefully the big one that will make a difference. Some of the changes are simple and basic around the factory and some will be more visable in the comming months. There will be at least 3 to 4 demos next year.

    25yearman if you tell us what department you are with I can tell if I saw your unit at all.
    Last edited by Fyrtrks; 08-27-2009 at 08:20 PM.
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