Nashville (TN) Fire Department Changes from Commercial to Custom Chassis for Fire Apparatus

Shown above is a recently delivered Toyne pumper to the Chartiers Township Volunteer Fire Department, Company #1, Houston, Pennsylvania. It is built on a Spartan Metro Star cab and chassis and features a Cummins ISL 450-hp engine, Hale Qmax 1,500-gpm pump, and UPF Poly 1,000-gallon tank.

BREDA, IA—The Nashville (TN) Fire Department recently began a search for a manufacturer to build the department 13 new pumper fire apparatus. The department serves Davidson County, Tennessee, staffing 39 fire stations through the Fire Suppression Bureau and Emergency Medical Services. To service this area, the department uses more than 80 vehicles, including 23 advanced life support units. With specific needs in mind, the Nashville Fire Department began carefully shopping for the equipment and the team that could meet its division’s.

The department reached out to Gulf States Apparatus Sales, LLC, a Toyne, Inc. dealer, for a list of five reference departments. But Gulf States representative John Lovell did something a little unorthodox. He opened up an entire contact list of Toyne, Inc. customers. Nashville Fire Department personnel got right to work on that list and found themselves making more than just five calls.

“Nearly all of our Toyne customers offer to answer questions for departments shopping for new apparatus, so this is a pretty comprehensive list,” Lovell explains. “The Nashville department called a lot of people for testimonials, and it gathered great information. But, what impressed them most was that they could not find one person who was unhappy with a Toyne Tailored Apparatus purchase.”

After hearing what other departments had to say, Nashville began to research Toyne in-depth to learn more about its products, people, processes. “One of the things the Nashville Fire Department wanted was to make a move from commercial chassis to custom chassis,” Lovell says. “Many apparatus manufacturers use commercial chassis, but at Toyne there are more options. The Toyne team can work with the department to engineer and build bodies that deliver exactly what they need.”

Nashville also indicated that it was looking for a more personalized relationship with its equipment manufacturer as well. “Dealing with a large corporation has its challenges,” says Lovell. “Toyne is a quality, family-owned business with hands-on owners who know about great service. They are accessible; you can talk directly to the owner without having to wait days for a call-back.

“It is even the norm for the customer to be given the owner’s cell phone number. This service model begins at the top and is carried through to each department and it is clearly evident that every employee takes ownership and great pride in what they do. And, they do it well.”

The research conducted and the testimonials received by this department resulted in a fleet order for the Breda, Iowa, emergency apparatus manufacturer. The Nashville  Fire Department placed an order for the purchase of those 13 customized pumper trucks, and has taken it one step further.

“In addition to this fleet order, the Nashville Fire Department has signed a five-year commitment for any new pumpers needed in that time frame.” explains Michael Schwabe, president and CEO of Toyne, Inc. “For the entire Toyne team, there is no greater satisfaction than knowing that these brave men and women place that level of trust in us. This is what drives us to go above and beyond in the apparatus we build and the commitment we make to our customers.”

Lovell adds that he is confident that the Nashville Fire Department will be another satisfied Toyne customer as he has seen this level of quality and consistency in every Toyne Tailored Apparatus sale. “Each time we order a truck, we do a final inspection prior to delivery,” he says. “With the majority of other manufacturers, there will be a list of 20 or so items that need to be addressed before the vehicle can be delivered. With Toyne, the most I have ever seen is two. To me, that is what exemplifies their dedication, their drive, and their commitment to building relationships. What truly sets them apart in this industry is that the dealers, the firefighters, and the emergency service personnel all become members of the Toyne family.”

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