Historically, water and foam tanks for fire apparatus were manufactured from steel, aluminum or fiberglass. These tanks were heavy and prone to cracking. In 1982 the first polypropylene water tank was conceived, designed and built through the efforts of a Lynnfield, Massachusetts fire technician to replace a failed steel tank in his department. Word of this successful concept for a tank soon spread and other local Fire Departments sought a replacement tank for their problem tanks.
By December of 1986, the new type of tank material started to catch on to the point that the Lynnfield technician and a fellow fire fighter decided to be co-founders of the world’s first polypropylene fire tank business. The new company, United Plastic Fabricating, Inc. (UPF) opened their doors in North Andover, Massachusetts in a 6,400 square foot facility. Sales grew quickly and within a year’s period of time, UPF moved to a 10,000 square foot facility. UPF expanded operations to Florida in 1989 and to Wisconsin in 1991. With continued growth, in 1992, UPF moved into a new 38,000 square foot corporate headquarters which includes a complete design and engineering center. Today, UPF has over 140,000 square feet of facilities and employs over 240 members on its team.
UPF’s product line for the fire service has also expanded significantly since 1986. Over the twenty years, UPF continues to lead the way with the best selling water and foam tank in the industry, the Poly-Tank®. UPF also offers the Defender slip-on tanks, tanks for ellipticals, wetsided tanks, ARFF tanks, and a variety of fire accessories and equipment. With over 50,000 tanks in service worldwide in more than 85 countries, UPF continues to be the market leader.
UPF is also well known in the fire industry for it innovative line of foam trailers, which are also available via the GSA schedule for government customers. Used in airports and industrial locations worldwide, the UPF Protector foam trailer is the best selling unit in the world. Additionally, UPF manufactures industrial products, bodies for utility trucks and underbed truck toolboxes all made out of non-corrosive, high impact polypropylene.
With the latest in capital equipment and sophisticated software, UPF is fulfilling its vision with its innovative design and practical solutions by providing an alternative to metal applications. UPF’s successful use of polypropylene as a cost effective, longer lasting material has enabled UPF to expand its product and services around the world.