FWD was founded in 1909 by Otto Zachow and William Besserdich in Clintonville, Wisconsin, as the Four Wheel Drive Automobile Company. The company quickly became the premier manufacturer of severe duty chassis for both military and commercial applications, producing the first commercially-viable four-wheel drive vehicle chassis in the United States. FWD also has a rich history in producing fire apparatus under its own brand, and supplying heavy duty chassis to a number of apparatus builders throughout the US and Canada.
Seagrave was founded by Fredric Seagrave in Detroit, Michigan, in 1881. As such, Seagrave is the oldest manufacturer of fire apparatus in the United States. The company moved to Columbus, Ohio in 1891, and remained there until 1963, when the company was purchased by FWD. At the time of the purchase, Seagrave moved all operations to Clintonville, Wisconsin, where it remains today.
Today, FWD Seagrave produces a comprehensive range of custom apparatus, including pumpers, pumper-tankers, rescue pumpers, heavy rescue units, aerial ladders, aerial platforms, tractor-drawn aerials and aerial quints. Vehicles are built on Seagrave's own custom chassis or on commercial chassis, depending on customer needs and specifications.