When the time comes to purchase a new fire truck, Midwest Fire is here to help. This blog is part four in a four-part series that will detail how to make the right choice when purchasing a new fire apparatus for your crew. We have already examined the need for new equipment, assembled a 4-7 person committee to act on the decision, conducted preliminary research, gathered specific information on applicable trucks, secured financing, and determined the purchasing process. This blog will cover the final steps to acquiring your new fire apparatus: how to evaluate proposals from manufacturers as well as make your selection.
As bids start coming in from various manufacturers, your committee will need to meet to discuss your options. It is best to have a list of criteria to judge each bid when comparing them. Each committee member should judge each truck so that everyone has a say. We suggest a rubric scoring the apparatus in these categories:
- The features of the apparatus
- The quality of the apparatus
- The customer service experienced by the manufacturer
- The warranty or terms
- The value of the price point.
Making the Final Selection
Through the research the financing process your team has already conducted, there will likely be a clear choice. Be sure the committee reviews everything before making the final selection. If your committee is still at a loss as to which company to choose, you may need to revisit your budget or apparatus needs. If there are two companies neck and neck, you might need to do additional background research on the short list of manufacturers. Plant visits (if you have not been there yet), peer department visits, or peer department phone calls are helpful in making the final decision.. In the end, what is important is that everyone on the committee is confident they made the best decision possible with the information they had at the time.
Remember that Midwest Fire makes the highest quality fire fighting equipment and is ready to help! Now that we have guided you through the process of purchasing a new fire apparatus, send us your specifications and let us set you up with the fire truck you need. Our equipment will certainly exceed expectations!