1999 American LaFrance 4 Guys Stainless Steel Pumper
Four door enclosed American LaFrance cab with seating for 8. Powered by a Detroit Diesel 430HP and Allison automatic transmission. Hale 2250 GPM Pump with 500 gallon water tank. The front bumper is equipped with 3″ discharge and 5″ intake. Driver’s side pump panel has 6″ and 2.5″ intake and two 2.5″ discharge. Officers side pump panel has 6″ intake and two 2.5″ and 4″ discharges. The truck is equipped with a deck gun, crosslays, and Booster Reel. The truck is equipped with NFPA warning light and siren package. Contact Bob in our office today at 1-877-346-1373 for more details on this 1999 American LaFrance 4 Guys Pumper or to schedule an inspection. This unit is available for immediate delivery for $25,000.00
4 Guys Fire Trucks, which markes its 45th anniversary in 2019, regards itself as a regional builder, consistently producing between 50 and 60 pieces of apparatus annually and boasting yearly sales in excess of $23 million
In 1974 four local men with ties to the dairy industry started a business repairing stainless steel milk tankers. Shortly after 4 Guys was established, the company solicited new investors and shifted to building fire apparatus.
At first, the company built elliptical tankers based on their original milk tanker design. Soon, satisfied 4 Guys tanker owners started coming back, asking for pumpers and rescue trucks.
Today, 4 Guys produces nearly twice as many pumpers as tankers. The progression has been gradual, but as customer confidence has increased, 4 Guys has grown to meet the demand.
” We’re basically trying to put out one or two new units a week,” says Mark Albright, 4 Guys President and CEO. About 60 percent of current production is pumpers, another 30 percent tankers and 10 percent rescues. “We’ve been growing every year, not by leaps and bounds, but it’s been pretty steady,” Albright adds.
The original building has been enlarged five times. Additions include a new paint booth, a truck finishing area, office areas and inspection bays. The plant now covers more than 30,000 square feet.
Albright, who has held the top position in the company since 1990, started at 4 Guys in 1982. The staff has more than doubled in the years he’s worked for 4 Guys.
“Today, we have around 70 employees, which is a modest increase over 20 years ago,” Albright says. “Our employee turnover is extremely low. That’s one thing about this company – the owners treat the employees quite well and that means the people stay here.” That leads to people who really know their jobs.
Albright says profit sharing and good benefits keep the workers happy and productive, which translates into a good product.
“Product quality is why we’ve lasted and grown over the years. The repeat business has been amazing. Fire companies keep coming back for new trucks,” Albright says. “We’ve developed some great relationships with our customers over the years. Some of our customers have as many as five of our trucks.”
Warranty and Customer Service
The company’s philosophy is to keep the customers happy and “make it right” no matter what.
Nowhere is this more evident than in 4 Guys’ 30-year warranty, which covers the body, subframe, pump house, compartment doors and all the stainless steel components the company constructs.
“I don’t know of anybody else that offers such an extensive 30-year warranty,” says Fred Meyers, the company’s sales manager. “And there aren’t many builders offering entirely welded stainless steel bodies. We believe that stainless is a superior product and that means we can stand behind a 30-year warranty.”
The company’s ability to customize each unit by working with the customer is an additional strength of 4 Guys.
Meyers, who has been with the company 29 years, explains: “We build one truck at a time. We’re not a volume builder. Whatever a department wants, we try to provide. Each truck is engineered separately.”
It’s the job of the engineering department to figure out the best way to do what the customer wants done. They also make sure that it’s safe and NFPA compliant. The engineering department is headed by Bill Scherer, a mechanical engineer who has been with 4 Guys since 1993. Bill is assisted Adam Sube, who is also a mechanical engineer, and by two draftsmen who use a computer drafting program called KeyCreator to produce wire-frame drawings of all units.
Typically, each drawing goes through several revisions before the truck is built.
4 Guys has about 20 salespeople in the field who work with customers, making suggestions and finding out exactly what the customer needs.
The sales force works mostly in the eastern United States, particularly in the Mid-Atlantic States, according to Meyers. “We’re regarded as a regional body builder,” he explains.
While 4 Guys has made deliveries as far away as California, the primary market is Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Virginia and surrounding states.
When the salespeople are out in the field, they are typically matched up against the sales staffs from the giants in the industry. With all this competition, what tips the balance in the favor of 4 Guys?
“For one thing, we’re bidding stainless steel, which is a far superior product, but we’re still very competitive on price,” says Albright.
Having well-trained salespeople in the field promoting benefits and features of the products makes a big difference.
4 Guys warranty and customer service, attract customers, too. “When new customers check out our references,” Meyers says, “they find that we back what we sell. Most often, people are going to buy trucks based on price and value.”
Custom Designed – Custom Built
4 Guys is a custom shop. When customers come in for prepaint inspection, they spend their day on the shop floor, talking with the men who are building the truck.
Customers can ask questions, and the fabricators and finishers can ask questions of them. Through that exchange of ideas, the truck can be further customized to make a perfect fit for each customer.
Mike Lane, 4 Guys Production Manager, started as an electrician. He explains, “When a fire company leaves here, they feel really good because they know the guys who are building the truck know what they’re doing. Often, when a customer calls with a question, one of the men on the floor will get right on the phone with them and help resolve it.”
Mark Albright, who also works directly with customers after the sale, says he hears more positive comments about the shop workers than almost any other aspect of the truck-building process.
American LaFrance History: With roots dating to 1832, the American LaFrance Fire Engine Company was one of the oldest fire apparatus manufacturers in the United States. Founded in 1873 by Truxton Slocum LaFrance (and partners, including Alexander S. Diven) as the LaFrance Manufacturing Company selling hand powered equipment. A predecessor company, the International Fire Engine Company, built some steam power fire engines between 1903 and 1907. Apparatus built by International included horse drawn steamers, hose wagons, and hook & ladders to chemical engines, water towers and combinations. The American LaFrance Fire Engine Company was formed in 1903. ALF delivered its first motorized fire engine in 1907.
ALF produced a small run of passenger cars from about 1910 to 1920, totaling around 22 (with several additional ‘speedsters‘). None are known to still exist, but because the design was based on a Crane-Simplex chassis, several early ALF fire trucks have been converted into speedsters.
In 1927, ALF acquired the Utica based O.J. Childs company. The company had created Foamite, a liquid chemical designed to extinguish fires in extreme temperatures ranging from -15ºF to 110ºF.
In 1947, ALF introduced the 700-series fire apparatus. The 700-series was a “cab-forward” design, placing the driver ahead of the engine and providing an expansive forward view. This would become industry standard and copied by many other manufacturers. In 1959, ALF introduced the 900-series cab-forward chassis. Although it was similar to the 700 (and closely related 800-series), the 900 was an all new design with a wider cab. In addition to the 700-800-900-Series trucks, ALF produced models under the names Century, Pioneer, and Eagle.
In 1995, Freightliner LLC, a subsidiary of Daimler AG purchased the remnants of the company, yet again res-securing LaFrance. Freightliner continued to utilize American LaFrance’s original nameplates and designations including the Eagle custom chassis. Many of their Liberty products were built on Freightliner LLC M2 or Sterling Acterra chassis. ALF operated additional manufacturing facilities in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, Sanford, Florida, and Hamburg, New York. In 2005 it was the fifth largest manufacturer of emergency vehicles in North America.
In December 2005, it was announced that Freightliner had transferred the ownership of American LaFrance to the New York-based investment firm, Patriarch Partners, LLC. The headquarters and main plant in Ladson, South Carolina were not included in the transaction. However, Patriarch Partners were allowed to use the plant until early 2007, when DaimlerChrysler began using the plant for assembly of the Dodge Sprinter. Under new ownership ALF relocated within the Charleston, South Carolina, area in summer 2007 to a brand new facility, including manufacturing and corporate HQ, with nearly 500,000 sq ft (50,000 m²) of total space.
On 28 January 2008, American LaFrance filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection blaming problems with implementation of a new IBM enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. On 25 July 2008, the company emerged from bankruptcy with a revised business plan to transfer the firetruck body building portion of the business to the remaining Hamburg, NY, (formerly RDMurray Inc.) and Ephrata, Penn., (formerly Ladder Towers Inc.) facilities. The Summerville, SC plant continued to manufacture fire truck cab and chassis, but focused on vocational vehicles and the Condor vehicle line. In 2009, the company closed Hamburg and Ephrata attempting to consolidate operations to Summerville. On 17 January 2014, the company announced it would cease operation. Remaining assets of the company which included parts and partially completed trucks, were auctioned to pay creditors. It is still unknown, but highly unlikely American LaFrance will be opening its doors ever again.