Used fire trucks are sold in the same way as used cars. There are many honest and hardworking dealers that deal with this type of sale, but some few unethical dealers damage the reputation of every dealer in the industry. Therefore it is up to the buyer to identify the honest dealers and do business with them.
When fire departments want to update a fleet of fire trucks, they are normally faced with the dilemma of choosing between buying from a dealer or a broker. This is because both sellers are capable of providing similar services at different levels. Therefore it is important for one to know the pros and cons of each seller so as to decide on which one to work with.
The first thing you should know is that these sellers share a common goal, which is to provide a unit for their buyer. So, sometimes brokers might advertise themselves as having hundreds of units in their inventory. However, this is not always the case. Most of the times they do not even have a single truck with them. They list apparatus that other truck dealers have and charge a commission for every sale they make.
Therefore, brokers are less concerned about what unit you buy, all they are interested in is the number of units they sell. So, it is advisable that you shop for your truck directly from a dealer and avoid working with brokers.
One advantage of working with dealers is that you are assured of getting quality for your money. This is because the dealers acquire their units straight from the fire department. They also sell their units at a fair price since there is no middleman involved. Dealers are also concerned with the condition of their units more than the number of units they have, thus stock on the latest and best models for their customers.
It is important to ask the dealer what they check and repair when they do a full inspection of your truck. Some of the common parts they should go over include the filters and fluids, lighting systems and warning devices, the pump, aerial certification, brakes, tires, steering and other vehicle safety systems.
You might notice that listing services have a wider variety of vehicles as compared to the dealers, but that is not true. All listing services do is pass your order to the dealer that has the specific brand you want. They then earn some money for making that sale. This fee is included in the cost of the trucks which makes it more expensive. So that is another reason why you should avoid working with them.
There are several ways of knowing if the person or company you are dealing with is a certified dealer. First thing you should do is check whether the company buys their own inventory. You should also see if they offer warranties on their apparatus and engine.
Next check where the lettering is done. If the lettering has to be done somewhere else, know that that is not a genuine dealer. Also it is good to note that certified dealers normally deliver the trucks to the customer personally and do not charge any extra fees for that service. Finally, it is important to check if the seller insures the used fire trucks until delivery. You can then go on to buy the units you want, after ascertaining that you are dealing with a certified dealer.