In 1942, Gilbert “Gib” Toyne, the owner of a successful blacksmith shop in the thriving agricultural center of Breda, Iowa, was asked by the community of Schleswig, IA to put together a fire truck body. They
The Schleswig Fire Department still owns the first Toyne fire truck and proudly runs it in parades as well as musters and other civic events. And yes, it still pumps.
didn’t have a lot of money at the time, so it was mounted on used model A Ford chassis. For years, Gib and his crew had been repairing fire trucks built by others, but after delivering his first complete fire truck, other area departments came to him and had his company construct pumpers and tankers custom designed for their specific needs. In a few years, Toyne’s blacksmith business, operating out of a red brick garage building built in 1916 (and still standing today), did less and less blacksmithing and more and more fire truck building, concentrating on serving the exact needs of rural and city departments in America’s heartland.
During the remainder pf the 1940′s and 1950′s, Iowa’s fire service was growing by leaps and bounds, and so was Gib Toyne’s business. In those days, front mount pumps and 500-gallon tanks were the norm, and most of the deliveries were painted white. As word spread of Toyne’s quality and heavy-duty construction, ideally suited for rough-road rural operations, more and more trucks were sold to departments in surrounding states.
In the 1960s and 1970s, satisfied customers kept coming back to Toyne again and again, and now it is not unusual to see many departments in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Minnesota with nothing but Toyne trucks their stations. As business increased, the company outgrew the old blacksmith shop building and moved into a new building about four blocks away. Enlarged many times since, we now operate with close to 100,000 square feet under roof.
Family owned since Roger Schwabe, a long-time Toyne employee purchased the company from Gib in 1978; president Mike Schwabe and vice president Bill Schwabe, Roger’s sons, now head the firm. Our company’s philosophy is simple; design the units to serve the exact needs of the customer, and engineer and produce the trucks to the highest quality standards.
To meet the needs of demanding departments, Toyne produces a full line of pumpers, rescue pumpers, rescues, tankers, rapid attack, and aerials featuring bodies constructed of heavy duty extruded aluminum, formed 12 gauge stainless steel and Toyne’s exclusive bolted/brushed stainless steel design. While midship pumps remain the most popular, rear mounted and front mounted pumps are also offered to better tailor the pump and its location to each department’s operational needs.
The building in which the first Toyne fire truck (shown here) was built, located in downtown Breda, is still in use.
A Typical Toyne pumper of the early 1950s, mounted on a Studebaker chassis, poses for a delivery photo outside the new plant.
Pumpers & Rescue Pumpers
Tankers & Pumper Tankers
Rear Mount Rescue Pumper
Mini Pumper-Brush & Quick Attack Units