Hope all who read this article are staying safe, practicing distancing, and taking all precautions to remain healthy.

There are two (2) commonly heard concerns voiced by Fire Department Truck Committees when discussing the purchase of a new apparatus, especially Engines and their reluctance to make a manufacture/brand change even though they’re not satisfied with the apparatus they are currently using.

Concern 1 – We already have ???? brand X apparatus in our fleet and the cab dashes, switching and controls are all laid out the same, so we really don’t want to have a different dash layout by changing brands.

Concern 2 – We already have ???? brand X apparatus in our fleet and the pump panels are all laid out the same, so we really don’t want to have a different pump panel layout by changing brands.

Both concerns are VALID, but not necessarily true.  A truly “CUSTOM” apparatus builder such as KME, can design and layout a match to your existing apparatus almost perfectly for any apparatus brand in your fleet. 

In all reality, if the Fire Department were to take comparative pictures of all the cab dashes and pump panels in their fleet and examine them closely, no matter how many vehicles they have and who manufactured them, there WILL be differences, they just may have not been noticed.

How would KME accomplish making dash and pump panel matches??

At the very beginning of the quote process, numerous pictures would be taken of the dash, switching, device control, sirens, radio, etc, along with pictures of both the left and right side pump panels, and if the truck is a Top Control, pictures of this panel too.

When the quote is sent to KME for initial review and drawing generation, location notes are made for each item on the dash and pump panel areas that require special placement.  The location pictures are also sent to KME for reference to make sure that the initial designs are correct to match the Department’s existing apparatus and are made part of the quote file.

When the apparatus proposal is made to the Department, the proposal will include not only the full apparatus specification, certifications, and other important documents, but will also include specific pump panel and dash layout drawings for Department review and comment. The original pictures taken would also be included in the package so the layouts could be verified.

The final stage happens after the order is submitted at the Pre-Construction conference, where any Fire Department concerns, questions, and/or additional requests are discussed and any issues resolved before any production is started.  Once an agreement is made on the final layouts, new revised dash and pump panel drawings are generated for final Fire Department approvals and are made ready for manufacturing to build your new apparatus.

So, check out “Full Custom.” Isn’t it time to look at KME as your new Engine manufacturer and see why every day, more and more departments day are making the switch to KME.


Scott Zingaro is a Fire and Rescue Sales Manager with Goodman Specialized Vehicles. Contact Scott