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  • Butterfield Enterprises?

    I am collecting some bids for my company's (private) new rescue/squad rig.

    One of the more promising bids is from a company called Butterfield Enterprises. (www.butterfieldenterprises.com) Does anyone have any experience with them? Good or bad? They are promising me a wonderful rig for a VERY good price.

    I am looking at picking up a F450/550 crew 4x4 with a walk around, cab height, rescue body. It will have a small generator, some scene lighting, SCBA storage on a slide out tray etc.

    Thanks!
    Anthony

  • #2
    I really appreciate someone trying to start a new company from nothing, which is what these folks appear to be doing. I'd be a bit hesitant of buying a rig from someone that has no existing apparatus on the road, especially of the type you want...

    I couldn't even get photos to load of the midi-pumper they show as completed in November. Did anyone else get to see them?

    While I'm not saying that you shouldn't consider them, be very particular about every detail...
    "Share your knowledge - it's a way to achieve immortality." - Stolen from Chase Sargent's Buddy to Boss program

    Comment


    • #3
      Well i could get pictures off that site, but it doesn't look to me as if they are going anyplace FAST.

      Mike

      Comment


      • #4
        If you are not overly familiar with them ask for list of customers that have purchased similar rig and contact them to see how satisfied they are with the end product. If they cannot or will not provide one I'd be very careful. Not saying there is something wrong, but the buyer needs to be aware.

        Good luck.

        Comment


        • #5
          They have been willing to tell me who some of their customers have been. I have not contacted anyone as of yet.

          FireBuff, you mention that they are not going anywhre FAST. Why do you say that? I guess I do not see what you see, please tell me you see. I am very very new to this.

          Honestly, I have to say, I am impressed with their customer service. Their bid was very nice, and with some minor adjustments ... it will be what we are looking for.

          Thanks!
          Anthony

          Comment


          • #6
            To be honest....

            They look like a garage operation. One bay. With great plans, such as the building they say is their "future home".

            The questions you have to ask,

            Everyone has great service BEFORE the sale. Will they continue with that great service AFTER the sale?

            Do they have staying power? Will their company be around in 5 years when you have an issue? What is their warranty plan? Is there any LOCAL
            service? Beware of companies that say they will just pay for a local company to do their warranty service.

            (It is a concern I would have as they don't appear to be incorporated - kind of a strange decision for a company that has such a high liablity potential) Again, is this a major issue, I don't think so, but it does say something about the management of the company, and business decisions.

            Whose tank do they use? Industry standard has everyone using a lifetime warranty tank - do they?

            Whose pumps can they install? Some don't like Darley pumps, most manufacturers can do all the major pump manufacturers.

            How do they pump test? Again, industry standard has UL testing of the pumps after they are installed. It is not a short process. Liablity comes
            to mind here, for YOUR agency.

            How many trucks have they built? How many like YOURS? I just got back from the KME plant, and they have over 50 trucks in current production, in various stages, and I am sure Pierce, Rosenbaur, and all the other major players have similar status. That is in addition to the orders sitting there waiting to start production. From the Butterfield web page, I don't think they have EVER built 5 percent of what is in current production at KME.

            Is that neccesarily a bad thing? Not on its own, but it is something to consider.

            Speaking of the web page, it is less than a year old. I can't find information as to how long the business has been around, as I can find nothing on the PA Secretary of State business web page about the company. Or Michigan.

            Do they have a true engineering staff?

            All of the major manufacturers have learned through the years. They know the ins and outs - the knowledge that only comes after YEARS of doing what they do.

            Again, I am not trying to slam Butterfield, they may make a fine truck, with world class service. You just need to make SURE.

            Comment


            • #7
              LVFD. Thank you for your honest reply. I am truely enjoying the knowledge on this site.

              Some of the issues you raise are not relevant to me as I have no tank or pump is being installed on the truck. We don't fight fires. =)

              However, some of the issues you have raised, I am aware of. Such as, warranty work. Where/how does it happen if needed.

              Others, I had not considered. Forgive the neube question here, but why does it matter if they are incorporated or not?

              I know that they are not a big operation, but I had not even considered how long they had been in business or how many other rigs they have built. They have sent me some pics of other rigs they have built.

              You raise interesting questions, some of which will come up in our next conversation.

              Thanks again!
              Anthony

              Comment


              • #8
                Incorporation has NOTHING to do with a fire truck. What it does
                have something to do is the business smarts of the company and its
                owner.

                An incorporated company has a large measure of protection for the owners,
                and any company that has a product that is a lawsuit magnet, like a fire
                truck, is nuts not to be incorporated.

                Incorporating is not expensive, and has a tremendous benefit for the company as they grow, liablity, credit, etc.

                When it comes to something like manufacturing a fire truck, it is
                not IF you get sued, it is WHEN you get sued. Without the protection
                of the corporation - the owners house, cars, etc is all on the line. (it
                appears in this instance it may just be an apartment, but everything they
                own is out there)

                To me, it shows bad business sense. Another consideration about how long the company will be around. In their defense, quite often craftsmen have no business sense.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by LVFD301 View Post
                  To be honest....

                  They look like a garage operation. One bay. With great plans, such as the building they say is their "future home".

                  How many trucks have they built? How many like YOURS? I just got back from the KME plant, and they have over 50 trucks in current production, in various stages, and I am sure Pierce, Rosenbaur, and all the other major players have similar status. That is in addition to the orders sitting there waiting to start production. From the Butterfield web page, I don't think they have EVER built 5 percent of what is in current production at KME.

                  Is that neccesarily a bad thing? Not on its own, but it is something to consider.

                  Speaking of the web page, it is less than a year old. I can't find information as to how long the business has been around, as I can find nothing on the PA Secretary of State business web page about the company. Or Michigan.

                  Again, I am not trying to slam Butterfield, they may make a fine truck, with world class service. You just need to make SURE.
                  I disagree to a point, as there are plenty of manufacturers out there that cannot compare to the giants. However, they still make just as a good of a truck (most of the time) as the big boys. Everyone has to start somewhere too, I am sure all of the big ones had humble beginings too.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LVFD301 View Post
                    When it comes to something like manufacturing a fire truck, it is
                    not IF you get sued, it is WHEN you get sued. Without the protection
                    of the corporation - the owners house, cars, etc is all on the line. (it
                    appears in this instance it may just be an apartment, but everything they
                    own is out there)
                    The part about the apartment made me laugh.

                    [/QUOTE]
                    To me, it shows bad business sense. Another consideration about how long the company will be around. In their defense, quite often craftsmen have no business sense.[/QUOTE]

                    Very true. I know a great private teacher, teaches for free, his students do well, but can not handle money at all. No business sense.

                    Thanks again!

                    I will let you know how it turns out.

                    Anthony

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Where is the manufacturing plant ? I don't see any mailing/physical addresses. PA or MI or what ?
                      Mark

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by skipatrol8 View Post
                        I disagree to a point, as there are plenty of manufacturers out there that cannot compare to the giants. However, they still make just as a good of a truck (most of the time) as the big boys. Everyone has to start somewhere too, I am sure all of the big ones had humble beginings too.
                        I may have not made myself clear. They may build a fine product, but
                        as a VERY small manufacturer, the purchaser should be aware that many of
                        the things they expect from one of the big boys may not be in place with
                        a small manufacturer, for many reasons, including experience.

                        Everyone had humble beginings, but if you are going to be truck #3
                        for a manufacturer, you need to consider that going in.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LVFD301 View Post
                          I may have not made myself clear. They may build a fine product, but
                          as a VERY small manufacturer, the purchaser should be aware that many of
                          the things they expect from one of the big boys may not be in place with
                          a small manufacturer, for many reasons, including experience.

                          Everyone had humble beginings, but if you are going to be truck #3
                          for a manufacturer, you need to consider that going in.
                          agreed look at the poor departments that got stuck without a truck and lost their money when new lexington went under.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Northeast Fire Apparatus Dealers Inc.

                            I just wanted to let everyone who is interested to know that I have been dealing with Butterfield enterprises for over two years now and could not ask for a better company to deal with. Butterfield Enterprises has done an excellent job in serving and meeting my company's needs. I would recommend Butterfield Enterprises to anyone who is looking for anything from simple parts, lights, and full apparatus used or new. They are very reputable and prompt in their dealings. I would like Butterfield Enterprises to know also I am very happy to have them and will continue to deal with them anytime I need anything.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rescue2400 View Post
                              I just wanted to let everyone who is interested to know that I have been dealing with Butterfield enterprises for over two years now and could not ask for a better company to deal with. Butterfield Enterprises has done an excellent job in serving and meeting my company's needs. I would recommend Butterfield Enterprises to anyone who is looking for anything from simple parts, lights, and full apparatus used or new. They are very reputable and prompt in their dealings. I would like Butterfield Enterprises to know also I am very happy to have them and will continue to deal with them anytime I need anything.
                              Rescue2400.
                              I am still working with them on a bid proposal. The person who makes the final decision wants to see some of their work before we committ to them. Would you be willing to show your equipment, preferably a rescue truck, to him?
                              So far, I have been very impressed with the customer service of Butterfield. Just need to see some of their work, to assess quality. Once that is done 6-8 weeks (okay I will expect longer) I get my new rig.

                              Anthony

                              Comment

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