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Report Code: MRR-FIRE17 View all Publications
Fire Apparatus Manufacturing Industry in North America

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Aerial Ladders, Aerial Platforms, Pumpers, Tankers, Rescue Trucks, Wildland/Brush Trucks, ARFF Trucks

Market Size, Shares, Segmentation, Competitors, Growth, Channels & Trends Underlying the Manufacture and Markets for Fire Apparatus

This project provides a quantification and analysis of the business of fabricating fire apparatus in the United States and Canada—the largest market for firefighting equipment in the world. Despite significant differences in design, all types of fire apparatus are viewed together as an industry because of the commonality in application. This report provides 2016 unit and dollar production numbers for aerial ladder and aerial platform trucks, pumpers, tankers, rescue trucks, wildland/brush trucks, and aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) vehicles.

STN details not only production numbers and market shares for each category of equipment, but also includes hard-to-find breakouts of the fire apparatus market by chassis type (custom vs. commercial), by pump capacity and by tank size, as well as breakouts of other differentiating characteristics, as applicable. 

Seventy-five manufacturers have been identified in this industry. Leading manufacturers offer all types of fire apparatus, whereas some manufacturers (in the wildland/brush truck segment for example) offer only one type of firefighting truck. Others, such as tanker manufacturers, offer firefighting apparatus as part of their broader range of products.

The look and structure of this industry has changed in recent years. Traditionally, the fire equipment manufacturing segment has been fairly fragmented, with several private, multi-generation, family-owned companies. However recent years have seen consolidation, and the industry has now been transformed into one where private equity/holding group entities have a strong presence. Industry opinion expects to see continued consolidation in this segment, driven primarily by two main factors—funding challenges experienced by family-owned companies, and expanded market shares and territories for the acquirer companies.

The role of fire departments has also been changing over the years. Available data indicates that 64% of calls to fire departments are now for medical aid response; less than 5% are for fire incidents. Accordingly, as apparatus comes up for replacement, fire departments are reassessing their requirements, due to expectations that fire and EMS (emergency medical services) will continue to converge. As a result, combination, or multi-purpose, apparatus, are experiencing increasing demand.

This project is a “bottoms up” approach based on examining all industry participants and aggregating their sales and unit production into an industry-wide picture. Research methods include not only all available public domain resources, but also significant primary interview content with industry participants at conventions, and through telephone contact. This is an extensive project requiring expert analysis into this industry and its dynamics. STN’s long-time background in corporate business development and specific vertical industry experience in trucks/transportation provide the experience and expertise for this extensive project—which is not available elsewhere as a comprehensive market research project.

A companion report on ambulance manufacturing in North America will become available later in 2017 as part of's series of publications on emergency service vehicles.

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