Seagrave celebrates 125 years

Seagrave CEO Scott Mintier and President and CFO Dan Alexander joined Seagrave at the dawn of a landmark year in Seagrave’s history. Founded in 1881 by Frederic Seagrave, it is the oldest continuous manufacturer of fire apparatus in North America and celebrates its 125th anniversary this year.

President & CFO Dan Alexander (left) and CEO Scott Mintier (right).

Throughout the 20th Century, the Seagrave product line evolved to include a rear-mounted ladder allowing the longest ladder on the shortest possible overall length, a new low profile wide cab, a 6-10 man cab, and Patriot 75-foot and 100-foot ladders with 500 lb. tip load capacities. At the end of the century, a third generation of 75-foot quints was also developed to provide more storage space on a shorter wheelbase, and aluminum bodies were added to the pumper line. In 1996 Seagrave put its traditional craftsmanship and name on its first commercial chassis pumper – a Freightliner FL-80 2-DR chassis, and soon after introduced its Flame model featuring a spacious cab and 59” of standing height, more floor to roof height than any other model in its class.

Stepping into the 21st Century, the unfortunate events of September 11, 2001 left FDNY in need of 54 replacement fire trucks. With the commitment of its workforce and the support of its suppliers, Seagrave began delivery within 120 days, about one-third the time it normally takes. Employees worked to fill the emergency order and held fundraisers to enable them, with the support of Seagrave suppliers and the community, to build and donate a pumper.

The 21st Century is also a time of growth in product offerings by Seagrave. In 2004 the Seagrave Attacker and Concorde chassis were introduced. In 2005 the first TowerMax Mid-mount platforms became available in 75-foot and 100-foot lengths. The TowerMax Mid-mount is complemented by the 85-foot and 104-foot rear mount TowerMax platforms. Also in 2005, Seagrave redesigned its mainstay Marauder chassis to address the 2007 EPA requirements. The new Marauder features independent front suspension and offers engines from Caterpillar, Cummins, and Detroit Diesel. It is designed with more interior space, has stainless steel construction, and is built with modern manufacturing and fabrication techniques.

In 2006, Seagrave is offering a new product line and a no-nonsense solution to body corrosion and road fatigue. The Intellus is an emergency response body configured as a pumper, tanker, rescue, or even an aerial mounted to a conventional commercial truck chassis.

Seagrave is not just about producing a product, it is about utilizing the expertise of decades of experience and craftsmanship provided by its greatest asset, our employees who design and build the trucks with safety and quality in mind. It is about passing along this expertise to our customer for their peace of mind that they have made the right choice in fire apparatus. It is

about looking to the future and planning for innovative ways to continue to serve the ever-changing demands of the fire industry.

Seagrave Fire Apparatus, LLC, envelops the former innovative Badger Four Wheel Drive Auto Company (FWD Corporation) where in 1909 four-wheel drive technology was invented. After an 18 year hiatus, 2006 also marks the return of the FWD nameplate that is known worldwide. Recently, an FWD SnoDozer was shipped to Schmidt Engineering, a Seagrave affiliate, to be fitted with a brush attachment. This is just one of six airport snow removal units sold. Again, the company called upon its experienced employees to help build this new and innovative chassis.

On April 6, 2006, Seagrave broke ground on a plant expansion. A new 137,000 square foot facility will be completed by fall, providing a modern, flexible production facility that more than doubles Seagrave’s current production capacity. The building will include the chassis assembly line for all fire apparatus and two final assembly lines for Custom Pumper and Aerial trucks. It also includes over 16,000 square feet of Engineering and Research & Development facilities.

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