|Posted on October 28, 2020 at 12:55 AM|
Since you sent me back to Flagstaff with my first safe in 2008, Champion and Superior Safes have been our best-selling lines. We’ve been through a lot together including, product design, name changes, the development of your vault doors and more. Over the years, it’s been easy to promote and sell Champion and Superior products. Unfortunately, things seem to be changing. Consider the old Master, our best seller since the beginning.
It was heavier than similar sized competitor safes, it had a reinforced door perimeter that was 1/4” plate with a tubular steel reinforcement holding it all together. (This was a great selling point compared to the raw gauge steel formed edge of the competition and current Master), and a 1/4” solid plate steel door panel along with a 10-gauge body, the 1/4" door was the big seller but when you combined all of the above, it really shined.
Now, the new Master finds itself down in the average category with little difference from the big box store safes.
As for our relationship Ray, I find it disheartening that when problems or concerns are brought to your attention that you dig in and defend rather than find a solution. An example would be your handles. Every other manufacturer that we carry has handles that thread in to the hub just fine. Your defense is that yours are somehow better and it that takes a bit of grease to avoid the galling between these different metals. Really? When was this greasing suggestion relayed to your dealers? The first time I heard of it was after that video that I posted. Furthermore, quality control as it relates to workmanship, paint problems, door gaps, led lighting problems, bolt hole accuracy in the bottom panel of drywall all need to be addressed but haven’t been. For years these issues have remained a concern.
The new textured paint is terrible and it rusts under the paint in all but the driest environments.
Presently, your new Master is a cheaper version of its predecessor. So much so in fact that I routinely talk customers out of purchasing them. Where do they go? We’re on our 5th truckload of Amsec safes since June and there is absolutely no comparison between the BF model and the new Master. Amsec’s fire ratings, door gaps, attention to detail, customer service, dealer service, door organizers, shelving, bolt works, and the 1/2 plate door sells. Amsecs have real fire ratings as well. When Randall told me that the fire ratings for Champion and Superior safe were made up and that all that Phoenix fire rating narrative was also made up, to say that I was disappointed would be putting it mildly. Then when you told me the fire rating report was too technical for me to understand, well...
Here's the thing,
If you’re going to reduce the size of a model, reduce the weight and the amount of steel in it, but increase the cost, you should rename it and discontinue the old model as doing otherwise is misleading.
Ray, I am a forgiving guy. I still have a few Superior products on order but basically have already moved on to other lines. If you’d like to work through some of these issues, I’m more than happy to do that. If not, that’s fine too. You said that I’m the only dealer with these concerns. That may be true but it doesn’t mean they’re out of line. I’d say it just means that the other dealers haven’t taken a hard look at what they’re selling. I’m not one those other dealers. I have run Parker’s Safes and Vaults with honesty and integrity since its inception and I won’t knowingly sell my customers a product that I don’t believe in. I've had a very successful run in this business because I realize that It’s not all about saving money or making a profit. There’s more to it than that. I'm successful because of the trust that my customers have towards me. Part of that trust comes from being familiar with my products and those of my competition. When I get a new product in, I disassemble it as much as is practicable and get familiar with it. That way when a customer asks me questions, I can answer with confidence. Here’s an example, after our problems relating to steel thickness in the Flagstaff Untouchable a year or two back, I now take a bolt out of the bottom and measure the steel thickness there and I also remove the dial and check the steel thickness in the door. The electrical receptacle can also be removed to have a look at the back of the safe. I’m happy to report that all these inspections seem to show that the Untouchable is now being made as advertised. Well done! Also, it looks like the locking bolts are once again being bolted and double nutted onto the bolt works rail instead of being riveted as they were for a while. (Yep, I caught that too.)
What I’m trying to say is that like it or not, I’m a dealer who cares about what they sell. I’m going to look and I’m going to call out anything not up to par. As I've mentioned in previous letters, you have everything in place to secure a place at the top in the safe industry by making a better product and by making sure that safes don't leave Provo until they pass a serious final inspection. I just wish you would.
As for the videos, they’re not disparaging at all, just truthful. I believe people should know what they’re really purchasing. I also realize that this letter will most probably fall on deaf ears but as we part ways, at least you'll have an explanation as to why Champion and Superior no longer make it to my showroom.
As for replacing Mr. Jenkins safe, thank you. I appreciate that you were able to source and old model for him.
Parker's Safes and Vaults
164 Cessna Lane
Shelbyville, TN 37160
|Posted on July 4, 2014 at 12:40 AM|
If you decide to purchase a gun safe or other safe online, here are a few things to consider. First, FREE-SHIPPING is seldom really free. There is a significant spectrum of freight charges/prices from one freight company to another, but they all have to pay drivers, pay dock and office workers, maintain vehicles, etc. It might seem like you're saving money as you add a safe to your online shopping cart, but do you think there's really a freight company in business who doesn't charge for their services? Someone has to pay for shipping at some point. It's usually the customer, not the business. Shop prices between the sites offering free shipping and those that charge based on a quote from their freight company. You'll generally find that the final tally is about the same. Companies offering free shipping generally add an averaged amount to their online price to cover shipping to anywhere they ship. Sometimes the actual charge from the carrier is more than it would really cost, sometimes it's less. With that practice however, a nearby customer pays the same amount as a distant customer regardless of actual cost. Is that fair? You be the judge. I feel it's more reasonable to have the customer pay the exact shipping amount. At Parker's Safes and Vaults, we use a freight brokerage company. With a broker, we get pricing from a number of differnt carriers and can pick through the list and make our decision based on their track record and price.Their quoted price will be added directly to the invoice so you only pay the amount it takes to get your safe to you. No more, no less.
Secondly, if your safe is coming direct from the manufacturer, it may pay to ask if anyone has inspected the safe to ensure proper lock operation, door adjustment, bolt operation, etc. At Parker's, I personally inspect each safe before shipping so you won't have any suprises waiting under the box.
Thirdly, when you receive your safe, take the time to visually inspect the packaging and pallet for damage. I suggest lifting the box up atleast a foot to expose the safe if not completely unboxing it. Don't sign for the safe if there is any visible damage. If you suspect damage, go ahead and unbox the safe and check it out completely. If there is damage from shipping, call the company where you purchased the safe to see how they want you to proceed. Sometimes it's best to refuse the shipment rather than deal with any significant damage. If you decide to accept the safe, note the damage on the shipping form the driver will ask you to sign and be as descriptive as possible.
Next, Always check your lock operation with the door OPEN! If the door's is open and there is a problem, the problem can be easily solved. If it's closed and locked and you have a problem, well now, you might have a big problem that requires a safecracker!
For a quote on a quality safe shipped directly to you, give Parker's Safes and Vaults a holler!
|Posted on February 17, 2014 at 10:35 PM|
Here's a brief history of how I got involved with safes. I have an Uncle, Larry Parker in Ohio, who's been selling safes for about 25 years. Some of you may be familiar with his work as a Master hammer and chisel engraver and riflebuilder. He's developed quite a reputation in that arena.
Anyway, about 6 years ago, I asked him what it would take to get involved in the safe business. I was working as a finish carpenter in Flagstaff, AZ. at the time. He said, "Well, I'll get back with you." I wasn't sure if that meant that he'd get back with me in a few hours, days or what, so the wait was on. About 3 days later, he called and told me to expect a call from Ray Crosby, the owner of Champion and Superior Safes. Mr. Crosby is also the the guy that started Fort Knox and Liberty Safe companies. So, Ray called and we talked about various things like demographics, sales, delivering safes, etc. He then invited me up to Provo, Utah to learn about safes. A few weeks later, I was in Provo working final assembly and taking copious notes from Ray and his staff. Ray sent me home with a safe to get the ball rolling and I was off. I sold that one and ordered some more. I was loving it! I had worked as a Park Ranger in Grand Teton National Park, A snowmobile guide in Yellowstone National Park and the Bridger-Teton National Forest, A timber-framer in Aspen, Colorado and yet, I felt that I'd finally found my calling. After about a year of selling safes out of my garage, I quit my carpentry job and started selling safes full time in a retail store In downtown Flagstaff. Praise the Lord for the timing because the bottom soon dropped out of construction. Things were going well, I was meeting gun owners by setting up as a vendor at gun shows, placing ads on the radio and newspaper, and networking with other busines owners. Most of my business though was through referrals which I soon learned was the anchor of sales success. I did all I could do to take care of my customers and provide a quality product and flawless delivery. The payoff was dramatic. I'd sell one safe and then sell 3 or 4 more thanks to their referrals.
In 2011, my wife and I decided to move east to be closer to family. It was a hard decision but seemed like the right one. We sold our house. I sold my business to my old boss. We packed up, headed east and now here we are in Tennessee. It's good to be here. I like a place where God and common sense are still revered. A year ago (March 2012) I started Parker's Safes and Vaults. Thanks to new friends who helped me get launched and to my customers who have taken the time to provide testimonials for my website and refer me to their friends and family, my business is again doing well. THANK YOU.
It would seem that creating a blog gives me a license to ramble. I will however try to make it worth your while by sprinkling in some good information from time to time. I'm new at the blog scene though so any advice is appreciated. Here's a little something... Bolt down your safe. Don't assume that just because it's heavy, it's secure. The bad guys know how to take the whole safe. If it's not bolted down, it's just a convenient box for them to carry your stuff out in. If you need some pointers on how to do it, I'm at your service.
Thanks for having a look!
|Posted on October 18, 2013 at 9:10 PM|
STORING AMMUNITION IN YOUR SAFE
Hollywood has done a great job making us believe that when burned, ammunition will explode and fire as if it were in a firearm. Old westerns and even more modern shows depict bullets sbjected to fire shooting and whizzing by with the same velocities and characteristic damage as those fired from a gun.
Fortunately, this is not true. Bullet cartridges exposed to heat will indeed burst open, but usually not with any great velocity. The powder has to be strongly confined in order to generate those velocities and propel the bullet. Generally what happens is that the cases will burst open and bits of the brass case will fly around a few feet, but not with much force. The cartridges explode one at a time rather than simultaneously. The idea of one huge instantaneous explosion resulting from stored ammunition in a fire is very unlikely if not impossible. A serious accident could occur Hollywood-Style if a loaded firearm was subjected to a fire. In this case, the strongly confined powder would ignite sending the bullet out of the guns muzzle with the same energy as if it were fired by squeezing the trigger.
Smokeless powder used in small arms cartridges, unlike black powder, unless strongly confined, doesn't explode when heated. It burns much the same way plastics burn. Rather than an explosion, it burns with a quick hot flame. Smokeless powder in its original container will ignite and add heat to a fire but doesn't explode.
Black powder, on the other hand, is very explosive and will explode even if it's not confined! It should be stored in small quantities in its original container and great care must be taken to keep it away from any spark including static electricity.
So, in general, I would feel comfortable storing small arms ammo in a quality safe-especially a fire-rated safe as this would reduce the chance of any burning at all. I would, however, keep ammunition and firearms separated in different safes. This would prevent any damage to your firearms in the unlikely event that the cartridges did burst open and pieces of the case flew around.
Storing small quantities of black powder in a quality fire-rated safe seems to be a safer option than not doing so, but just keep in mind that if it does explode, it will be like a bomb going off inside your safe.
Thanks for your time,
|Posted on October 18, 2013 at 9:00 PM|
Greetings from PARKER'S SAFES AND VAULTS of Tennessee.
I get a lot of questions from folks who are in the market for a gun safe. I thought I'd take a few minutes and address a couple of those. (I'll be the first to admit that I'm a little biased, but my opinions are based on my personal experience. I have delivered, installed and serviced a lot of safes)
Okay, so here goes...
1. There is so much information on the web and so many companies claiming that their safes are the best, how can I choose the best safe for my money?
-Great question. No one wants to buy something and then wish later that they hadn't. quality, function and price are the main considerations.
QUALITY- A heavy safe made in the U.S.A., with 4-way active bolts, a reinforced or plate steel door perimeter, a solid plate steel door, a dial lock and at least a double step door would be what I would look for.
FUNCTION- Look for all 3 numbers on your fire rating, the temperature at which the safe was tested, the duration of the test, and most importantly, the inside temperature of the safe during the test. For example, 1500, 90 min, 349 deg. Again, a dial lock instead of an electronic one. (I know, not too trendy, but they work when you need them to.)
At least one internal re-locker. A relcking device should lock your safe internally if someone tries to force the door open or drill into your safe and manipulate the lock box.
PRICE- A quality safe is an investment. Safes that are cheap are cheap safes. Safes like most at the big box stores can be breached in a matter of minutes and offer little real security. Buy one quality safe a little bigger than you think you'll need and be done with it.
2. I'd like to get a safe, but will the floor framing in my house support it?
Generally speaking. yes. Unless you already have a lot of weight on the floor or are considering a really heavy safe.(2000 lbs.)It largely depends on where you put the safe. Placing it near an exterior or load bearing wall or directly above a support pier are the best options as the load point is closer. The sheer strength of a standard 2x10 is around 2500 pounds. With most safes, we'll span at least 2 of these so we should be fine. Another option is to reinforce your floor if you can access the crawl space or basement. I have delivered a lot of heavy safes into many different styles of homes and have never had a single floor load issue.
As always, it's my pleasure to personally entertain any safe questions you might have. If you have any questions or would like to see some quality safes in person or both, please give me a call.
Thanks for your time,
|Posted on October 18, 2013 at 8:55 PM|
QUESTION- When is the best time to buy a quality safe?
ANSWER- BEFORE something not-so-good happens to your stuff.
A safe isn't the most enjoyable thing to spend your money on. It might not even register on the fun scale. Having a safe though is a good feeling. I bought my first safe, a Liberty, about 15 years ago when Ray Crosby still owned the company. Picking out the safe was kind of fun, getting it into our house, umm- not so much fun. Loading it with my firearms and other cool stuff was kind of fun, watching my wife cram everything of hers in too, umm -again, not so much. (just kidding honey xo) The end result though, was very comforting.
When your valuables are protected in a quality, fire-rated safe, it really does bring a sense of peace your way. We lived in a decent area but there were still break-ins, vandalism, house fires, and wild fires happening occasionally. The safe brought genuine peace of mind. Before the safe, my firearms and other items were hidden (yeah, right) under the bed, in closets, even behind the curtains. When we left for work, dinner, vacation or whatever, it was just a gamble as to whether they would still be there when we returned. Then we had a baby, then another. Our safe brought us peace of mind again- but to higher degree. A safe is just part of our lives now.
If you don't own a safe, but have been thinking that you should get one, the best time is now-before what you're hoping never happens, happens.
Thanks for your time,