Our Story

SAFETY IS OUR BUSINESS AND OUR LEGACY

While Safe Fleet itself was formed in 2013 with the merger of two fleet safety equipment providers: ROM and SMI, our commitment to safety can be traced back over 100 years to the roots of Elkhart Brass and Bustin. These two members of the Safe Fleet family of brands were founded in 1902 and 1928 respectively.

Long before “disruptive” became part of the language of business, many of our brands’ founding entrepreneurs shaped their industry by creating truly disruptive technologies that developed into market-leading products.

More than 100 years after Elkhart Brass sold its first fire hose nozzle, innovation remains a core driver of everything we do.

Over 100 years of safety innovation

1902

Elkhart Brass founded by Albert E. Hansen

1920

1920’s

  • Elkhart Brass offers first ball-type shut-off nozzle in the U.S.
  • Bustin Industrial Products founded by Leo Bustin

1930

1930’s

  • America’s first peripheral jet fog nozzle is launched by Elkhart Brass

1940

1940’s

  • Bustin develops deck plates, fuel tank inserts, work platforms and walk ramps still manufactured today, generating over 20 patents.
  • ROM is founded in 1947 launching tire chains for semi-trucks.

1960

1960’s

  • Bustin markets the Slide Away, the first ergonomic sliding stair system for semi-drivers
  • FRC founded in 1968 and in 1969 launches the firefighting industry’s first electronic pressure governor allowing the firefighter to control the pump’s engine to supply consistent water pressure.

1970

1970’s: 

  • FRC markets a completely electronic pump panel, controlled by remote control.
  • Launch of first stop arm for school buses by Specialty Manufacturing.
  • Transpec launches innovative emergency escape hatch for buses.

1980

1980’s: 

  • FRC cooperatively markets the fire service industry’s first thermal imaging camera to North America.
  • FoamPro is founded in 1988, bringing the first flow-based, single-point, direct injection technology to market.
  • Specialty develops the  first school bus industry crossing arms.
  • ROM launchs trucking industry’s first open-faced, slip-resistant walkramp – the RoadWarrior and roll up doors to North American fire service.
  • Roll-Rite enters the tarp market in 1989.

1990

1990’s: 

  • Pulltarps is founded in 1992.
  • Pretoria, an interior Transit lighting and overhead rack provider is founded in 1994.
  • FleetMind is founded in 1996 as a result of breakthrough university research in telematics for heavy trucks.
  • Seon is founded in 1999, to address the school bus surveillance market.

2000

2000’s: 

  • Starting September 11th, FRC company employees work ground zero for five straight nights dispersing over 4M+ gallons of water.
  • Elkhart Brass changes the face of firefighting with W.E.T. (wireless electronic technology) to remotely control monitor operation from up to ¼ mile
  • Seon introduces the school bus market’s first digital video recorder in 2004.
  • Pretoria becomes first to launch LED interior aisle lighting and Specialty launches first electronic door mechanism for school buses.
  • Joe Schechter founds Rear View Safety in Brooklyn, NY in 2007 and signs first backup camera contract with Fortune 500.

2011

FleetMind named to the World’s Hottest Companies for Network Products Guide’s 2011 Awards in the Green IT category

2012

Seon introduces the mobile surveillance markets’ first IP-67 rated outdoor HD surveillance camera.

2013

  • Safe Fleet formed with the merger of ROM and SMI
  • Safe Fleet adds Fire Research and FoamPro to the portfolio
  • Safe fleet adds ergonomic rack innovator, Prime Design, to increase product offering to the Commercial Van & Truck market

2014

Safe Fleet acquires its first mobile video surveillance brand – Seon

2015

  • Safe Fleet enhances its fire protection portfolio with the fire equipment industry’s most experienced manufacturer, Elkhart Brass (founded in 1902).
  • Safe Fleet adds to school transportation offering with the purchase of US-based school bus routing provider, US Computing Inc.
  • Safe Fleet acquires Hadley’s mirror product line and re-brands as Safe Fleet Mirrors.

2016

  • Safe Fleet adds leading back-up camera provider, Rear View Safety to its mobile surveillance portfolio.
  • Safe Fleet enters Waste & Recycling technology market with the acquisition of Montreal-based Smart Truck technology brand, FleetMind.
  • Safe Fleet enhances Commercial Vehicle market offering with acquisition of Temperature Control & Access provider, Randall Manufacturing.

2017

  • Safe Fleet enters law enforcement evidence capture & management market with acquisition of Coban technologies.
  • Safe Fleet expands public transportation video market share with acquisition of leading transit video surveillance provider, MobileView.

2018

  • Safe Fleet adds Van & Truck Equipment e-commerce brand, American Van to enhance work truck safety product suite.
  • Safe Fleet adds Roll Rite and Pulltarps automated tarping system brands to portfolio.
  • Safe Fleet is named the global leader in mobile video surveillance equipment for buses by IHS group.

2019

Safe Fleet acquires sixth mobile video surveillance brand, Mobile-Vision from L3, adding to its suite of video solutions for law enforcement.

2020

Safe Fleet acquires commercial van and truck upfitter, American MidWest Fleet Solutions (AMFS).

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