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Thread: Seagrave's hometown buys a Marion.

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    Default Seagrave's hometown buys a Marion.

    Clintonville Fire Dept. recently ordered a new Marion pumper. Clintonville Fire Department's entire fleet is currently all Seagrave. From what I was told Seagrave never submitted a bid. Do you think it's time to fire Niner after all the destruction he's caused to Seagrave and the community?

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    Question

    Maybe Seagrave did not bid because they cound not meet the spec's, it's possible that the fire department wanted a Marion/Spartan apparatus and the spec's were geared in that manor,or maybe Seagrave cound not meet the fire departments budget for the new pumper?
    Seagrave builds a very good product , but there prices are higher than most other builders like, Pierce, E-one, Kme, Spartan, etc !
    Last edited by Woodbridge; 01-23-2014 at 11:06 PM.

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    Maybe Seagrave doesn't want to deal with Clintonville. But probably either spec or price.

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    Seagrave needs to pickup some new orders from large fire departments or they maybe joining ALF/LTI in the near future. There total sales are way down from past years !

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    It doesn't sound like price or spec is a factor in this final decision. It sounds like there is conflict between the city politicians and Niner. Seagrave's decision to outsource things, and it's large decline in business has effected the local economy. I heard Seagrave's production is full for 2014, but this could be as little as 30-40 trucks.

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    Unhappy Seagrave Sales

    About 5-7 years ago seagrave sold many trucks here in the north east, N.Y., N.J. & P.A. in the last two years I have not seen any deliveries of new Seagrave apparatus in my area of central jersey. seems like most department are going with Pierce, Kme, E-One, Ferrara, do to price & service after the sale !

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    This is no commentary on the actual brands, but in my experience Marion is NOT far off of Seagrave pricing. Both are fine rigs, but I can't imagine much was saved by going to Marion in place of Segrave.

    You could almost always predict where a builder would be at during bid openings when I sold apparatus. Things change of course, as E-One was often very high for many years in our region but a change in dealers made them much more competitive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodbridge View Post
    About 5-7 years ago seagrave sold many trucks here in the north east, N.Y., N.J. & P.A. in the last two years I have not seen any deliveries of new Seagrave apparatus in my area of central jersey. seems like most department are going with Pierce, Kme, E-One, Ferrara, do to price & service after the sale !
    Interestingly, Seagrave seemed to have very small presence in upper New England until they opened a dealer in MA a few years ago. Now there are many new deliveries in MA. Up our way, Portland ME FD signed some sort of multi-year deal that I believe they've taken delivery of two engines and an aerial on so far.

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    Red face

    As with any fire apparatus builder, if a fire department is not happy with the " service after the sale " they will buy from another company next time they need a new truck. Here in New Jersey, we can now purchase from the state contract for fire apparatus without going to bid, so if a department wants a Seagrave, they can do it without lower bids getting the award . Seagrave, Pierce , Kme, Spartan ERV, are avalible to pick from.

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    Default FDNY Bids

    On Oct 23, 2013 the city of New York posted bid award notices for the FDNY squad Support vehicles, only two companies bid on the apparatus, Ferrara, & Seagrave. The bid from Seagrave was in the range of $439k each and Ferrara in the area of $ 343k !

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    Marion is just down the road from Clintonville.

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    Seagrave's hometown isn't Clintonville. They started in Detroit, and after 10 years, they moved to Columbus. They were there for over 70 years.
    My POC dept. is less than 10 miles from Sutphen, and we bought Pierce. And I know many other local depts. that have done the same, and some that wish they could...

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    I believe that it just looks bad when you aren't supplying the hometown department with apparatus. There was an uproar in Appleton a few years back when a bid was going to be awarded to another manufacturer (Elite? - I don't remember). Seagrave sales do seem to be slipping. I would really hate to see them go under.

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    Our last Seagrave was a 2004 pumper, we had always had seagrave prior to this one and what a surprise.
    No quality what so ever, fit finish, electrical problems, mechanical problems, etc... support from the dealer was 0. The 1988 Seagrave that this truck replaced was by far a better built piece of apparatus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Box2565 View Post
    I believe that it just looks bad when you aren't supplying the hometown department with apparatus. There was an uproar in Appleton a few years back when a bid was going to be awarded to another manufacturer (Elite? - I don't remember). Seagrave sales do seem to be slipping. I would really hate to see them go under.
    I believe it is ludicrous to believe that because something is built in your fire department coverage area that you HAVE to buy that item. I have even been told that MY #1 POC FD should have bought a fire engine made in Wisconsin because we are located in Wisconsin. NONSENSE! Write YOUR spec, contact manufacturers and see who gives you what you want at the best price, with the best warranty. That is exactly what we did, and the truth is neither Pierce, Seagrave, nor Custom Fire, could come close to the price we got, on the rig we specced. Some smaller builders offered good pricing but not necessarily all the things we wanted.

    If it is important to the local business to be represented in their home community they should probably consider giving you what you want at a great price. Maybe even at cost. Perhaps the trade off is agreeing that your rig would be available to show potential buyers. But the reality is no manufacturer owes the local fire department anything, including a great deal, anymore than any fire department owes any manufacturer a purchase of their product.
    Last edited by FyredUp; 02-01-2014 at 01:42 AM.
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    With Seagrave building only 30- 40 apparatus per year the numbers don't seem to great to me, it looks like there Aerialscope product is most of there sales !

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    If it is important to the local business to be represented in their home community they should probably consider giving you what you want at a great price. Maybe even at cost. Perhaps the trade off is agreeing that your rig would be available to show potential buyers. But the reality is no manufacturer owes the local fire department anything, including a great deal, anymore than any fire department owes any manufacturer a purchase of their product.
    While there may be nothing "owed",there is something about keeping your money local. I don't mean buy something that doesn't fit the bill, but when given the option to buy local vs. anywhere else, we buy local. The fact is that local businesses contribute to the local economy and quality of life.

    We have a larger manufacturer of yellow (was the brand color for decades) snowplows. Every plow on every city vehicle is one of theirs, purchased at retail price. The men and women who work in the plant know the city supports their jobs and values their employment. The fact that they are an overall significant taxpaying business is also a factor. There are plentyof towns and cities who are now paying the price for not doing enough to support local businesses and watching them leave only to cause greater unemployment and less tax dollars in their coffers.

    In fact we have a local ordinance that specifically allows the City to pay more (5,10 or15%?) for bidded items when the supplier is within the City. Similarly, the next choice is to buy within the state, as again it is better for the people we serve to have successful businesses in the state. So when I see a local town that will not buy an apparatus or product from a local supplier, I ask: can they build the product? If so, what did they do to upset the local government.

    I don't know how significant Seagrave is to their local economy or how many they employ, but issues like this don't bode well for the employees or the locals.
    BoxAlarm187 likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    While there may be nothing "owed",there is something about keeping your money local. I don't mean buy something that doesn't fit the bill, but when given the option to buy local vs. anywhere else, we buy local. The fact is that local businesses contribute to the local economy and quality of life.

    We have a larger manufacturer of yellow (was the brand color for decades) snowplows. Every plow on every city vehicle is one of theirs, purchased at retail price. The men and women who work in the plant know the city supports their jobs and values their employment. The fact that they are an overall significant taxpaying business is also a factor. There are plentyof towns and cities who are now paying the price for not doing enough to support local businesses and watching them leave only to cause greater unemployment and less tax dollars in their coffers.

    In fact we have a local ordinance that specifically allows the City to pay more (5,10 or15%?) for bidded items when the supplier is within the City. Similarly, the next choice is to buy within the state, as again it is better for the people we serve to have successful businesses in the state. So when I see a local town that will not buy an apparatus or product from a local supplier, I ask: can they build the product? If so, what did they do to upset the local government.

    I don't know how significant Seagrave is to their local economy or how many they employ, but issues like this don't bode well for the employees or the locals.
    So we should have paid, depending on who else we went with, between $50 and $100k more for our last rescue engine just to buy with in the State of Wisconsin? Sorry but, NO, in fact we would not have been able to buy the new engine that we wanted, and finally got, by doing that. I am not saying don't buy locally. In Fact I do that for most FD purchases whether buying supplies at the hardware store, or fire equipment from Wisconsin based dealers. Heck, I try to that in MOST of my purchases in my personal life. But I will not pay a third more to buy local, that makes no economic sense.

    I would put our rig up against any of the manufacturers in Wisconsin in a heads up comparison of features and quality. So why did one of the big names tell us they couldn't do it for the money we had and the other came in at $100K over and then if we downgraded chassis they could come in at $50K over?

    Personally I would have loved to have had a Seagrave back into our station, and if it met our needs, and price, I would have been okay with a Pierce. But not for more money when the pump, engine, transmission, valves, lights, sirens, and more are all the same from manufacturer to manufacturer.

    The thing that is not answered in all this is whether Clinton ever bid Seagrave. Maybe they didn't for some reason we don't know. Or Maybe Marion came in at a much better price that simply couldn't be ignored.

    There is nothing wrong with brand loyalty, or buying locally, IF you can justify it. But to do it blindly is simply foolish.
    Last edited by FyredUp; 02-02-2014 at 12:06 AM.
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    Through most of the 1970's and, I don't know how far into the 1980's, Appleton, Wisconsin bought Seagrave. Doug Oglvie, Pierce's president, was even part of the local government. Most of us dealer reps would always find ways around the firehouses to the local attractions and when taking customers to dinner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    So we should have paid, depending on who else we went with, between $50 and $100k more for our last rescue engine just to buy with in the State of Wisconsin? Sorry but, NO, in fact we would not have been able to buy the new engine that we wanted, and finally got, by doing that. I am not saying don't buy locally. In Fact I do that for most FD purchases whether buying supplies at the hardware store, or fire equipment from Wisconsin based dealers. Heck, I try to that in MOST of my purchases in my personal life. But I will not pay a third more to buy local, that makes no economic sense.
    I agree you cannot be foolhardy with the taxpayers money, and significant differences certainly preclude one from buying locally even when they wish to. The point was merely that there should be more thought about the dollars we spend and where they end up. I know I've talking with countless municipal employees (fire and other depts) that never have given this a thought. My boss has always made a concerted effort to buy as much as we can locally and it's paid off with our city council recognizing us as one (if not the only) dept who truly looks out for the taxpayers both in terms of service and their tax burden. That helps when time are tight.
    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    I would put our rig up against any of the manufacturers in Wisconsin in a heads up comparison of features and quality. So why did one of the big names tell us they couldn't do it for the money we had and the other came in at $100K over and then if we downgraded chassis they could come in at $50K over?
    Buying locally has a direct impact on the taxpayers, buying within the state is just smarter business when it's within reason, but likely has a very limited effect on the taxpayers seeing you as "helping".
    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Personally I would have loved to have had a Seagrave back into our station, and if it met our needs, and price, I would have been okay with a Pierce. But not for more money when the pump, engine, transmission, valves, lights, sirens, and more are all the same from manufacturer to manufacturer.
    Again, it only works when they offer a product that meets spec and is withing a reasonable price difference. I'd say in the same state? 5% might be the max, in the same municipality? 10-20% might be reasonable. The extra dollars spent may pay dividends later?
    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    The thing that is not answered in all this is whether Clinton ever bid Seagrave. Maybe they didn't for some reason we don't know. Or Maybe Marion came in at a much better price that simply couldn't be ignored.
    Exactly, we really don't know, but it raises an eyebrow, which speaks to my point if the town the truck is built in won't/can't buy one is there something we should know if we're looking to buy one?[/QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    There is nothing wrong with brand loyalty, or buying locally, IF you can justify it. But to do it blindly is simply foolish.
    Most don't even try to justify either. And while I certainly don't advocate not speccing exactly what you need, at any point in the day, I'm nearly certain that my crew could fight a fire with any properly working engine/aerial on the market and I'd certainly ignore who's badge was on the grill, to ensure I had a full crew or more crew than I do today.

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    Originally Posted by FyredUp
    So we should have paid, depending on who else we went with, between $50 and $100k more for our last rescue engine just to buy with in the State of Wisconsin? Sorry but, NO, in fact we would not have been able to buy the new engine that we wanted, and finally got, by doing that. I am not saying don't buy locally. In Fact I do that for most FD purchases whether buying supplies at the hardware store, or fire equipment from Wisconsin based dealers. Heck, I try to that in MOST of my purchases in my personal life. But I will not pay a third more to buy local, that makes no economic sense.
    I agree you cannot be foolhardy with the taxpayers money, and significant differences certainly preclude one from buying locally even when they wish to. The point was merely that there should be more thought about the dollars we spend and where they end up. I know I've talking with countless municipal employees (fire and other depts) that never have given this a thought. My boss has always made a concerted effort to buy as much as we can locally and it's paid off with our city council recognizing us as one (if not the only) dept who truly looks out for the taxpayers both in terms of service and their tax burden. That helps when time are tight.

    We contacted Seagrave, Pierce, Custom Fire, WS Darley, and CFB, all manufactured in Wisconsin. As well as Toyne, manufactured in Iowa, and HME, manufactured in Michigan. I received a call from Seagrave and we had a nice long chat about their products and how much we had to spend. I gave him a rough outline of what we wanted and he said quite apologetically we can't build you want you want for the money you have to spend. They were out. I talked to the Pierce dealer in our area and they came in at $100K over what we had to spend, then went with a lower cost cab and still came in at $50K over. They were out. Not because they don't build a quality product, simply because of price. Custom Fire came in, and the first thing the salesman did was argue with us about the amount of our grant. That set the night off on the right track. They sent 2 proposals both well above what we had to spend and they were out. WS Darley came in and proceeded to spend a good chunk of the salesman's time there insulting us and what we wanted to buy. He was pushing a poly body which we did not want, and CAFs that without giving up too much else we wanted, we could not afford. He told us that if we didn't go with a poly body we were behind the times and using 2 inch handlines with only class A foam was an obsolete, water damage creating way to fight fire. Um, they were out. CFB was within our price range and was very close to what we wanted and they stayed in the process at this point. Toyne brought a nice demo rig in they stayed in the process at this point. HME came in with a nice demo rig and they were very wlling to work with us on what we wanted within our price range.

    In the end HME would build what we wanted for the money we had and they got the contract.


    Originally Posted by FyredUp
    I would put our rig up against any of the manufacturers in Wisconsin in a heads up comparison of features and quality. So why did one of the big names tell us they couldn't do it for the money we had and the other came in at $100K over and then if we downgraded chassis they could come in at $50K over?
    Buying locally has a direct impact on the taxpayers, buying within the state is just smarter business when it's within reason, but likely has a very limited effect on the taxpayers seeing you as "helping".

    I don't disagree that if prices, quality, and service after the sale is there, that buying locally or within the state benefits that economy. But again, over paying simply to buy local is not economically sound.

    Originally Posted by FyredUp
    Personally I would have loved to have had a Seagrave back into our station, and if it met our needs, and price, I would have been okay with a Pierce. But not for more money when the pump, engine, transmission, valves, lights, sirens, and more are all the same from manufacturer to manufacturer.
    Again, it only works when they offer a product that meets spec and is withing a reasonable price difference. I'd say in the same state? 5% might be the max, in the same municipality? 10-20% might be reasonable. The extra dollars spent may pay dividends later?

    What dividends?

    Originally Posted by FyredUp
    The thing that is not answered in all this is whether Clinton ever bid Seagrave. Maybe they didn't for some reason we don't know. Or Maybe Marion came in at a much better price that simply couldn't be ignored.
    Exactly, we really don't know, but it raises an eyebrow, which speaks to my point if the town the truck is built in won't/can't buy one is there something we should know if we're looking to buy one?

    Perhaps. There are always undercurrents that the rest of the world may or may not know.
    Originally Posted by FyredUp
    There is nothing wrong with brand loyalty, or buying locally, IF you can justify it. But to do it blindly is simply foolish.
    Most don't even try to justify either. And while I certainly don't advocate not speccing exactly what you need, at any point in the day, I'm nearly certain that my crew could fight a fire with any properly working engine/aerial on the market and I'd certainly ignore who's badge was on the grill, to ensure I had a full crew or more crew than I do today.

    To me a spec has less to do with any specific brand than it has to do with the completion of a study on what the FDs needs are for that rig and making whoever wins the bid build that rig. If what they build, and what they deliver, isn't what you want don't accept the rig.
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    Since we're not really far apart if at all on this issue, I'll only make two more comments on your post:

    1. My post was not about your purchase, merely noting that when a community has a manufacturer within it's boundaries and doesn't find a way to make it work, it raises my eyebrow and it appears others agree. Given Seagrave's line, I doubt seriously that they couldn't produce an apparatus that met a performance spec, maybe they couldn't meet lock out specs, but cost aside they have produced a very wide array of apparatus. Now the bid price? Maybe that was just to high? I don't know, but at the end of the day, the situation did result in people discussing it, thus it does lead to questions about the builder and the city, while the facts elude us.

    2. What dividends? Spending a modest amount more to keep the money local means that the dollars spent by your taxpayers, supports the rest of your taxpayers. The people who work in the plant are not left with any sour taste and those in the general public who know little about the business see their tax dollars staying in town, helping employ their neighbors, helping pay taxes that help keep their taxes lower. When it comes time for taxpayers to make hard decisions about budgets, I know which scenario I'd rather have.
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 02-02-2014 at 06:12 PM. Reason: keyboard caused misspelled words

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    Since we're not really far apart if at all on this issue, I'll only make two more comments on your post:

    1. My post was not about your purchase, merely noting that when a community has a manufacturer within it's boundaries and doesn't find a way to make it work, it raises my eyebrow and it appears others agree. Given Seagrave's line, I doubt seriously that they couldn't produce an apparatus that met a performance spec, maybe they couldn't meet lock out specs, but cost aside they have produced a very wide array of apparatus. Now the bid price? Maybe that was just to high? I don't know, but at the end of the day, the situation did result in people discussing it, thus it does lead to questions about the builder and the city, while the facts elude us.

    I agree it leads to questions. We can all travel down a sinister road to what those questions and answers may be, or we can sit scratch our chins and go hmmm...

    2. What dividends? Spending a modest amount more to keep the money local means that the dollars spent by your taxpayers, supports the rest of your taxpayers. The people who work in the plant are not left with any sour taste and those in the general public who know little about the business see their tax dollars staying in town, helping employ their neighbors, helping pay taxes that help keep their taxes lower. When it comes time for taxpayers to make hard decisions about budgets, I know which scenario I'd rather have.

    It has been stated here on FH.com that many people have no idea who offers them fire protection. So it seems kind of illogical to me that we can't expect people to even know who offers them fire protection, but they are informed enough to know who built the new fire engine that just rolled into the firehouse.
    I agree we are not very far apart on this at all.
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    Lots of good discussion here, but do we have any real information on why Clintonville went with a Marion?
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    Clintonville has not necessarily been a die-hard Seagrave customer, even though they are right down the street. The current Seagrave units they do have in the fleet are relatively standard units. Their aerial was even purchased used from Denver, Colorado. They have Welch and Marion units already in their fleet as well. Welch and Marion are both close in proximity to Clintonville. Many people in that area work for a fire apparatus manufacturer - Welch, Marion, EJ Metals, Seagrave, or Pierce (and 3-D in Shawano, before ALF ruined them). I visited the Clintonville FD once and remember that several of their members worked for Marion, so it will still be a familiar product.

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