Delavan's US Tanker bought by Smeal

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Staff | June 19, 2014

DELAVAN--U.S. Tanker Fire Apparatus LLC, a longtime local manufacturer of stainless steel tankers, pumpers and other fire-fighting apparatus, has been purchased by Nebraska-based Smeal Fire Apparatus Co.

The sale is effective July 1, according to a press release.

U.S. Tanker is a family-owned company operating in 50,000-square-foot facility located at 1827 Hobbs Drive in Delavan.  The company was founded in 1989.

U.S. Tanker designs and manufactures a variety of fire-fighting apparatus, including stainless steel custom and commercial tankers, rescue vehicles, mini-pumpers and brush trucks,

According to the release, production of UST apparatus will continue in the Delavan facility.  The company will also become a certified Smeal Service Center, said Mark Meaders, former CEO and owner of U.S. Tanker.

U.S. Tanker currently has 23 employees. Meaders said the company had increased its workforce by 10 percent so far this year, and expects to grow to about 20 percent by the end of 2014.

The company also recently added a new assembly line to handle increased volume, he said.

Meaders said the company will leverage the Smeal Fire Apparatus distribution base to double its volume by the end of 2015.

"In addition we our facility will become the distributor of the Smeal Aerial products and Aeriel Platform products for Minnesota and Wisconsin," Meaders said. "Aerials are those fire trucks that have the extendable heavy ladders up to 105 feet in length."

The acquisition expands Smeal's product offering to include stainless steel custom and commercial tankers, tenders, and other apparatus. Smeal already offers a full line of custom and commercial pumpers and the largest selection of aerial apparatus models in the fire apparatus industry. 

“Considered by many to build the premier stainless steel apparatus line in the industry, we are excited to add UST's expertise and technical knowledge in stainless to Smeal. Stainless steel is the material of choice for many fire departments that face corrosive operating environments, particularly those in the Snow Belt and the salt-water environment of coastal areas,” said Mark Huber, Smeal's president, in the release.  “UST gives us the edge we need to serve current and new customers with an outstanding selection of apparatus, regardless of their needs.  The common thread throughout our newly expanded product line is rock-solid construction, an outstanding value, a willingness to customize and dedication to life-long support through our North American dealer network. ”

"The acquisition of our company by Smeal continues and expands the philosophy that has driven our growth and success from the beginning: to build premium, customized tankers and other apparatus which are an outstanding value for our customers," Meaders said. "Smeal shares that same approach and is uniquely positioned to ensure our long-time, loyal customers are well served in the coming years, and to take UST to the next level. This acquisition ensures continuity for UST employees and customers alike. Its exiting news for our company and we are fortunate to become part of the
Smeal Fire Apparatus family of companies."

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