Snyder, Nebraska, may have a population of only 300 people, but a deal between two fire truck and equipment manufacturers based there proves the town is big enough for the both of them.

Smeal Fire Apparatus Co. has entered into an agreement with Danko Emergency Equipment Co. in which it will sell and market Danko’s fire apparatus product lines through its own recently expanded dealer network.

“It’s giving us the opportunity of having more dealers,” said Dan Kreikemeier, president and CEO at Danko. “We really only had three or four and now we have an opportunity to have 30.”

Though separated by less than one mile of pavement on Highway 91 in Snyder, the two manufacturers both grew out of Smeal, which we wrote about in August.

Kreikemeier was the first full-time employee hired by company founder Donald Smeal. For 20 years, Danko has operated as a Smeal dealer while building “the things Smeal doesn’t build,” Kreikemeier said.

The company’s products include vehicles designed especially for airport fire departments as well as “quick-attack” vehicles that are more versatile than traditional firetrucks.

Smeal builds tankers, pumpers and aerial firetrucks, meanwhile. The company has grown significantly in recent months through a pair of acquisitions and a plan to overhaul its plant layout that will eventually double the annual production of trucks at its Snyder plant.

Market research shows Smeal is one of the ten-largest manufacturers of fire apparatus in the U.S.

In the Money Talks blog, The World-Herald shares the latest in Nebraska business and development, with behind-the-scenes notes from our Money team. Read more and join the conversation.

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