Toyne Delivers Its Largest Order, 16 Apparatus For Gravois

Spartan Diamond cabs and chassis
Spartan Diamond cabs and chassis were selected for the custom pumpers delivered to Gravois Fire Protection District. Each of the seven pumpers has Cummins 400-hp engines. (Toyne Photo)
Toyne Fire Apparatus
Two of the seven pumpers built by Toyne Fire Apparatus for the Gravois (Mo.) Fire Protection District are four-wheel drive, built on International cabs and chassis.

The Gravois (Mo.) Fire Protection District recently accepted delivery of 16 new Toynes, representing by far the company’s largest order since Gilbert “Gib” Toyne, the owner of a successful blacksmith shop in Breda, Iowa, built his first fire truck on a used model A Ford chassis in 1942.

Gravois – with 60 members and a 150-square-mile coverage area in hill country surrounding the Lake of the Ozarks in south central Missouri – had an aging fleet and was struggling to keep it in operation.

“Over the years we started some lease-purchase arrangements for used equipment,” Chief Ed Hancock said. “We could see that within a few years we’d have soaring maintenance costs and a 20 to 30-year-old fleet that would be difficult to keep in service.”

Fire district representatives mounted a campaign to convince voters of the need for new apparatus, as well as new stations, and the cost benefits of buying all the fire trucks from a single manufacturer.

Overwhelming Approval

They got overwhelming approval for their plan with an August 2006 vote for $7 million in bonding to build two additional stations, renovate four others, pay off the apparatus lease-purchase contracts and buy 16 new units. In addition, a tax increase provided funding to add nine full-time staff.

“Some voters expressed concern the [fire district] planned on buying fancy trucks,” Chief Hancock recalled. “The [fire district] board assured them they wanted only serviceable trucks without extra features. Our strategy was to keep the trucks as similar as possible. That meant fewer parts and pieces to keep on hand. Also, having identical units in each station reduced the training curve a lot.”

 The plan, he said, was to replace each primary pumper, each escort tanker and two heavy rescues. “We wanted seven identical engines, seven identical tankers and two identical heavy rescues, all from one manufacturer,” the chief said. “We started meeting with builders and asked them what they could do, what’s available now, and how do we go about accomplishing this?”

The first set of bids was thrown out, according to Hancock, because of uncertainty over the 2007 emissions standards. “We couldn’t even get the builders to tell us what engines were going to be available under the new emissions standards,” he said. “Some said they could not bid because they didn’t know what engines they’d have.”

A $4.1 Million Contract

Once the emissions standards questions were resolved, the request went out again. What resulted was a new mix consisting of some original bidders and a few others that had not bid before.

“First time around we had 11 bids,” Hancock said, “and the second time we had nine, including Pierce, E-ONE, American LaFrance, Ferrara, Precision, Crimson, some smaller builders and Toyne, a company we’d never heard of.”

The bids closed in late 2006, and Toyne was awarded the contract for $4.1 million. A delivery schedule was established by April 2007, deliveries started in May and they were completed by late December.

“Trucks went in-service as they arrived and were loaded with equipment from trucks being replaced,” the chief said. “Only the two new rescue trucks are not yet in service because we can’t switch them out until the new station houses are ready to receive them. That will happen soon.”

The delivery went smoother than anyone dared to expect. “For a delivery of 16 units, this was unbelievable,” said Hancock. “There were no significant construction delays, no significant design problems. With a project of this size you expect to pull your hair out trying to get it done, but this went smoothly.”

Toyne’s Recommendations

Early in the process, he said Toyne’s representatives had suggested that the apparatus chassis could be lightened up.

“So we invited Toyne to visit us,” Hancock recalled, “and we drove Toyne’s president, Mike Schwabe, around so he could experience our roads and terrain. Then he said he understood what we were doing and why. Within two weeks, he’s sending us recommendations for changes we hadn’t even thought about.”

One of those suggestions, he said, was to change the generator on the rescue apparatus because the pto generator specified by the fire district had an offset gearbox, causing it to hang down. Schwabe recommended a direct-drive generator.

“The only problem was we specified a 12.5 kilowatt, and he recommended a 25 kilowatt upgrade that eliminated the problem,” the chief recalled. “So we asked what the cost would be for doubling the capacity of the generator. He said it would cost the same.”

Another suggestion from Schwabe dealt with the tankers.

“We specified Hale pumps on the tankers that required a custom-built manifold in order to fit,” Hancock said. “After seeing the roads, Mike told us he wanted to go with a different model because it came from the factory with a full cast factory manifold. Their concern was that the original specified manifold might start cracking over time due to our roads.”

No Additional Cost

He said fire district officials had looked at the pump suggested by Schwabe, but decided against it because of the additional cost: “We asked how much more for this next step up, and again Mike said, ‘It’s the same price.'”

Toyne also made changes to bracing and body components to deal with the fire district’s roads, Hancock said.

“Most of our roads are gravel with extreme hills over very rough terrain,” he said. “If the trucks are too long, you can’t get them up and down the hills. Also, there’s no water supply system. It’s all hauled water. So, they have to be built heavy because of the road conditions. As a result, we have heavier axles and suspension than you’d normally expect to have if you were running over blacktop roads.”

High Ground Clearance

The basic design concept was for high ground clearances. For the five two-wheel-drive pumpers, the fire district selected a Spartan Diamond chassis cab-over because it has six seating positions in the four-door cab. “Also,” Hancock said, “they have a shorter wheelbase because they are cab-over designs.”

The seven pumpers were designed with the same list of requirements except that two were four-wheel drive. All were ordered with 1,500-gpm pumps, 700 to 750-gallon water tanks, 1,000 feet of large diameter hose, 800 feet of three-inch supply lines, pre-connects, side-mount pump panels, and inside storage for ladders.

 “The things we use most commonly need to be accessed from the ground,” Hancock said. “We went with side-mount pump panels for overall length considerations.”

The new engines had to fit inside existing stations and a top cross-mount pump panel would have made them too long, he said.

The fire district did not specify an on-board foam system. “We use in-line foam inductors because onboard systems require someone to look after them regularly,” the chief said. “You’ll have problems with on-board foam systems if they aren’t used and cleaned on a regular basis. We wanted equipment that would be ready even if not used for extended periods of time.”

The seven tankers were designed with sufficient horsepower and gearing to navigate the district’s roads at 55 mph. “We identified the need for 400-plus horsepower engines, automatic transmissions, and gear ratios sufficient for the hills,” Hancock said.

The tankers were outfitted with 1,000-gpm pto pumps with side-mount pump panels, 1,800-gallon tanks, hydraulic portable tank racks, remote powered dumps on both sides and rear and 2,100-gallon portable tanks. In addition they were designed with room for structural attack gear and SCBA, attack lines, crosslayed supply lines, tools and equipment.

Pumper Tanker Vs Tanker

“Most people call them a pumper/tanker, but we classified them, for ISO purposes, as a tanker only because we want to get credit for them as tankers,” Hancock said. “By keeping two front-line engines in reserve, we satisfied ISO requirements. Three years ago we took the district from an ISO rating of 9 to 7. They’ll be back as soon as all the stations are built and the trucks are in their stations. I expect the ISO rating will easily move to a 6, or maybe even a 5.”

For the two heavy rescues, the fire district opted for a walk-in design with an inside squad area and a two-door conventional cab with heat, ventilation and air conditioning in both the cab and rescue area. Each is outfitted with a pto generator, mounted lighting and a 20-foot box to include all tools accessible from outside, including technical rope equipment.

Riding The Roads

During the sale process the fire district’s primary contact at Toyne was Mike Schwabe, the president. He is a son of Roger Schwabe, a long-time Toyne employee who purchased the company from Gib Toyne in 1978. Today the company is run by Mike and his brother Bill, the vice president. It produces a full line of pumpers, rescue pumpers, rescues, tankers, rapid attack vehicles and aerials.

Mike Schwabe said he and his brother were excited about the Gravois order because it was the largest Toyne had ever had, and it proved that the company could successfully handle a sale of that size. The previous largest order the company had filled was for five apparatus, he said.

“They came to visit us in Iowa to make sure we were for real and we weren’t building fire trucks in a barn, as they’d been led to believe, and I visited them,” he said. “For this particular situation, I would not have felt comfortable sending anyone but myself. That’s the personal touch you get from a smaller manufacturer.”

After riding the roads around the Lake of the Ozarks, he said, “I had a better feel for what their needs and concerns were. I was comfortable we could provide them with the product they needed without having to make too many modifications to our existing product line.”

Regarding the pump and generator upgrades he suggested at no additional cost, Schwabe said, “That’s not our normal practice. We did it because it worked better for them, and it limited our exposure for liability in the future. We both were better off in the long run.”

For more information call 712-673-2328 or go to“>

Five Custom Pumpers


  • 335.75 inches overall length
  • 170-inch wheelbase
  • 100.25 inches wide
  • 113 inches high


  • Spartan Diamond
  • Front axle rating, 15,150 pounds
  • Rear axle rating, 16,820 pounds
  • Gross vehicle weight rating, 31,970 pounds
  • Cummins ISL 400-hp engine
  • Allison 3000EVS transmission

Pumping Features

  • Hale Qmax 1,500 gpm
  • PowerTech 7,800-watt diesel generator
  • 750-gallon UPF tank
  • Akron Apollo Monitor with Akron Hi-Riser

Two 4×4 Commercial Pumpers Dimensions

  • 307 inches overall length
  • 192 inch wheelbase
  • 100.25 inches wide
  • 113 inches high


  • International 7400 SFA 4×4
  • Front axle rating, 10,950 pounds
  • Rear axle rating, 18,260 pounds
  • Gross vehicle weight rating, 29,210 pounds
  • International MaxxForce 9, 310-hp engine
  • Allison 3000EVS transmission

Pumping Features

  • Hale Qmax 1,500 gpm
  • PowerTech 7,800-watt diesel generator
  • 750-gallon UPF tank
  • Akron Apollo Monitor with Akron Hi-Riser

Seven Commercial Tankers Dimensions

  • 335 inches overall length
  • 205 inch wheelbase
  • 100.25 inches wide
  • 113 inches high<


  • International 7600 SBA
  • Front axle rating, 12,160 pounds
  • Rear axle rating, 26,300 pounds
  • Gross vehicle weight rating, 38,460 pounds
  • Cummins ISM 400-hp engine
  • Allison 4000EVS transmission

Pumping Features

  • Hale Qpak 1,000 gpm
  • 1,800-gallon UPF tank
  • 2.5-inch large hose discharges: 2 left & 2 right


  • Zico hydraulic portable tank rack
  • 2,100-gallon Syntex portable tank

Two Commercial Walk-in Rescue Units Dimensions

  • 361 inches overall length
  • 222-inch wheelbase
  • 100.25 inches wide
  • 124 inches high


  • International 7600
  • Front axle rating, 12,160 pounds
  • Rear axle rating, 26,300 pounds
  • Gross vehicle weight rating, 38,460 pounds
  • Cummins ISL 400-hp engine
  • Allison 3000EVS transmission


  • Winco 25,000-watt pto generator
  • Fire Research telescoping lights
  • Bauer two-cylinder fill station with cascade booster pump
  • Two Hannay EFL 1520-17-18 breathing air hose reels
  • Two Hannay ECR 1615 air reels

Gravois Fire Protection District


Strength: 48 paid on-call, three full-time administrative and nine career members operating out of seven stations.

Coverage: 150 square miles of Ozark hill country by Lake of the Ozarks with 9,000 year-round residents and 140,000 seasonal residents. Additional coverage under automatic mutual aid.

Other apparatus: 2007 Chevrolet 4×4 with Knapheide body quick attack/light rescue/wildland vehicle; 2007 Chevrolet 4×4 brush truck; 1966 Mack 50-foot Telesqurt; 1987 Spartan, LTI 100-foot platform; 1993 Dodge one-ton brush truck; 1989 Ford tanker; 1985 Ford General tanker; 1985 International-Reading rescue; 1984 Chevrolet-Knapheide service company.

Marine: 16-foot motorized johnboat for water rescue; 28-foot Grafton diesel pumper; 20-foot Wellcraft pumper.

More Fire Apparatus Current Issue Articles
More Fire Apparatus Archives Issue Articles

No posts to display