Bankruptcy's, shut downs, recalls, and rumorsWith all the news about fire apparatus manufacturers these days, who do you trust?
Why is this important?You already know that buying a fire apparatus is a long term decision. And things get tougher when the party on the other end of the relationship is no longer around. Things like getting parts, having warranty work completed, correcting systematic errors.
How can you confirm the financial health of your manufacturer?If you can understand financial statements or D&B reports, get them from the company you are considering and read them thoroughly. Ask tough questions. And don't settle for less than full answers.
But there is a simple to compare health among manufacturers you are considering if you don't know much about corporate financial reporting.
Simply ask for their performance bond cost. Their rating is a measure of their financial health completed by a financial expert.
A lower score is better, just like golf. So, a manufacturer with a bond cost of $5 per thousand is more financially healthy than one with a $9 per thousand.
Now, the difference between a $5 and a $6 is probably not much but the financial health between a $5 and a $10 company is substantial. The bonding company is saying the $10 is twice as likely to fail than the $5.
SummaryBuying a fire truck is a huge investment in money and time. And the rewards of a new fire truck are expected for years to come but are based on continued support from the manufacturer. It's important to know your partner will be around.
John R. Hill