Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 43
  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    198

    Smile your opinion on custom cab builder

    What custom cab is better built hme or a spartan we are looking at replacing our pumper with one this year and are wanting some opinion' s from all on here. The truck will a 1250 pump and 1500 water with caf's. And our road's are 70% rural gravel road's. We want a custom cab because of the turning radius avaible we are also going to send spec's to e-one and the koolaid crew in appleton so any input is good . The truck will not see the run's as the rest of the fleet about 3 to 5 run's a month. thank you all.


  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    British Columbia
    Posts
    450

    Default Spartan, hands down

    Spartan is the superior custom chassis, but you will pay more for it. Having said that, you can pay now or you will be paying later.

  3. #3
    Forum Member FIREMECH1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    HUSKER LAND
    Posts
    2,425

    Default

    I'll be the first to throw HME under the bus. Their cabs suck, and that is from experience with 6 of them over a 4 year purchase period (late '90's). They have a problem with structural cracks on the cabs. Most are from the upper corners of the radiator opening to each windshield. A couple besides the above, had cracks that went from the same corners, to the front doors.

    As for the Spartans, I like them. Solid, quiet, and smooth. Only real problem we had with them was the window regulators. At the bend on the arm that attaches to the glass, a FF would try to get the window down an extra 1/2 inch, and it bent there. They were nice enough to send us enough modified ones for all the windows, and a few extra. I'd assume the newer trucks will have the updated window regulators.

    Choice hands down, goes to Spartan.

    FM1
    I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    238

    Default

    We have had quite a few Spartans over the years and have had very good success with all of them. We have a new aerial tower coming in that has the new/wider (96") Spartan Gladiator cab/chassis. Only real issue with some of the older ones was with window electric motors that can't be replaced (motor is not made anymore). Don't know much about the HME but some other companies in the area have had them but don't buy them anymore.

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    16

    Default

    According to the HME Rep that came through about 3 or 4 months ago, HME is now buying their Cab from Marion, same company that Spartan buys their cab from.

  6. #6
    Forum Member Fyrtrks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1999
    Location
    Binghamton,N.Y.
    Posts
    265

    Default

    FIREMECH1 if you weren't aware of this HME does have a repair program for the radiator area cracking problem. From my understanding it was an engineering/manufacturing slip up at TCM. You would have to call the facrtory and speak to warranty folks. They are repairing about 2 a month. Your only cost that I know of is the transportation to and from the factory.
    Fyrtrks

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    British Columbia
    Posts
    450

    Default

    Only real problem we had with them was the window regulators. At the bend on the arm that attaches to the glass, a FF would try to get the window down an extra 1/2 inch, and it bent there. They were nice enough to send us enough modified ones for all the windows, and a few extra. I'd assume the newer trucks will have the updated window regulators.
    We've had the same problem. I added a positive stop on the regulator gear so that you cannot force it further. It's worked so far.

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    198

    Smile

    thank's all this will be our first custom cab .We figured that it will have a better turning radius that a commerical cab four door on the road we have and drive way in the area. And this is off the subject but is ranger propane school still around anymore?

  9. #9
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Bridgton,Me USA
    Posts
    8,162

    Default

    Add another vote for Spartan. T.C.

  10. #10
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Rural Wisconsin, Retired from the burbs of Milwaukee
    Posts
    9,653

    Default

    I cast my vote for HME. We have an HME cab on our Ahrens Fox pumper and it has been great. It is 4 years old and we have not experienced a single problem with it.

    Having said that I don't think you would be poorly served by either HME or Spartan.
    “The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.” Leo F. Buscaglia

    This place gets weirder and weirder every day...

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    42

    Default

    The HME cab may be made from Marion but based on an HME spec. You can make your own conclusion over this. Personally, I think the interior of the HME cab is poorly layed out. I can't tell you how good HME's parts suppliers, engineering, and quality control is but I think the Spartan chassis is a better bang for the buck. Don't forget a decent body builder is just as important as a chassis builder. As we all know there are some hack builders out there.

  12. #12
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    238

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ZMastr28 View Post
    The HME cab may be made from Marion but based on an HME spec. You can make your own conclusion over this. Personally, I think the interior of the HME cab is poorly layed out. I can't tell you how good HME's parts suppliers, engineering, and quality control is but I think the Spartan chassis is a better bang for the buck. Don't forget a decent body builder is just as important as a chassis builder. As we all know there are some hack builders out there.
    I believe that Marion only builds the cab shell for Spartan and HME and they do the rest.

    http://www.marionbody.com/?page_id=69

  13. #13
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    238

    Default

    This is a little off topic for this thread but noticed something when checking out Marion's website. I hadn't visited their site in a while and was surprised to see a page on "Marion Aerials" (see link below). I didn't know that Marion even offered an aerial product. I doubt that Marion actually builds their own aerial ladders/platforms. Someone correct me if I'm wrong but it looks to me that Marion is using products from RK Aerials (Fremont, NE), now known as Rosenbauer Aerials.

    http://fireandrescue.marionbody.com/?page_id=27

  14. #14
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    198

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LeadOff View Post
    This is a little off topic for this thread but noticed something when checking out Marion's website. I hadn't visited their site in a while and was surprised to see a page on "Marion Aerials" (see link below). I didn't know that Marion even offered an aerial product. I doubt that Marion actually builds their own aerial ladders/platforms. Someone correct me if I'm wrong but it looks to me that Marion is using products from RK Aerials (Fremont, NE), now known as Rosenbauer Aerials.

    http://fireandrescue.marionbody.com/?page_id=27
    ya i think so

  15. #15
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    710

    Default

    We have our 1st Spartan (Gladiator) on a 2008 aerial. Overall, a good cab but their door latches are an inferior part.

    We are also still having issues issues regarding the direct drive cooling fan that has still not been resolved.

    Don't have any 1st hand experience with HME other than driving a demo a few months ago. It was quiet, had good visibility, and a tight turning radius.

    C6

  16. #16
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    42

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by LeadOff View Post
    I believe that Marion only builds the cab shell for Spartan and HME and they do the rest.

    http://www.marionbody.com/?page_id=69
    Sorry I should have made my comment more clear but I believe you're correct. HME and Spartan finish the cab with interior/trim, electrical, paint, etc.

  17. #17
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    119

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LeadOff View Post
    This is a little off topic for this thread but noticed something when checking out Marion's website. I hadn't visited their site in a while and was surprised to see a page on "Marion Aerials" (see link below). I didn't know that Marion even offered an aerial product. I doubt that Marion actually builds their own aerial ladders/platforms. Someone correct me if I'm wrong but it looks to me that Marion is using products from RK Aerials (Fremont, NE), now known as Rosenbauer Aerials.

    http://fireandrescue.marionbody.com/?page_id=27
    That is correct.

  18. #18
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Monroeville, PA USA
    Posts
    327

    Default

    One thing I could never understand is why someone would have a custom rig built with some one elses chassis. I think your asking for problems by going with a "outside" chassis. If you are buying a pierce, E-One, KME, or who ever, it only makes scenes to use their Chassis. This way the WHOLE thing is designed, layed out,engineered and so on by the same people. If Spartan, HME or who ever Builds the chassis, and somethings wrong when it gets to the body builder....your screwed and the rig gets delayed, not to mention the argument that is sure to happen as to who's at fault for there being a problem in the first place. It just doesnt make sense to me.. Would you buy a new ladder truck from one manufacturer but out source the ladder to another?
    Anyway thats my 2 cents, but what ever you decide, best of luck with it, but in response to your original question, from what i've seen....i'd go with a spartan
    It takes a little intelligence to enjoy humor,satire & wit, but none to be offended by it.

    It take more than a new Leather Helmet to make you a good officer

  19. #19
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Rural Wisconsin, Retired from the burbs of Milwaukee
    Posts
    9,653

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RoofTopTrucky View Post
    One thing I could never understand is why someone would have a custom rig built with some one elses chassis. I think your asking for problems by going with a "outside" chassis. If you are buying a pierce, E-One, KME, or who ever, it only makes scenes to use their Chassis. This way the WHOLE thing is designed, layed out,engineered and so on by the same people. If Spartan, HME or who ever Builds the chassis, and somethings wrong when it gets to the body builder....your screwed and the rig gets delayed, not to mention the argument that is sure to happen as to who's at fault for there being a problem in the first place. It just doesnt make sense to me.. Would you buy a new ladder truck from one manufacturer but out source the ladder to another?
    Anyway thats my 2 cents, but what ever you decide, best of luck with it, but in response to your original question, from what i've seen....i'd go with a spartan
    Warranty issues should be clearly spelled out in the bid request and then once again in the final spec. It is not out of the realm of possibility to make the end builder responsible for ALL warranty issues. If they aren't willing to accept that as part of the bid process then they don't build your piece of apparatus. Manufacturers have been using others cabs and chassis since the beginning of fire apparatus, to include both custom and commercial chassis.
    “The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.” Leo F. Buscaglia

    This place gets weirder and weirder every day...

  20. #20
    Forum Member FIREMECH1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    HUSKER LAND
    Posts
    2,425

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyrtrks
    FIREMECH1 if you weren't aware of this HME does have a repair program for the radiator area cracking problem. From my understanding it was an engineering/manufacturing slip up at TCM. You would have to call the facrtory and speak to warranty folks. They are repairing about 2 a month. Your only cost that I know of is the transportation to and from the factory.
    We did have them repaired from a year to two years ago for all 6. We had to fight tooth and nail to get it done for free. When we got 2 of them back, we had air loss issues. With the modified welded brackets for support, someone didn't think it was important to cover the air lines from the welding splatter. We'll see how long it holds up. But in the meantime, we will NOT be ordering another HME, EVER.

    As for the Spartan door latches, I've only encountered one problem with all of ours. But I do agree that they could have made or used better ones.

    I was at RK Aerials about 3 weeks ago, and noticed 2 Marion aerials being fitted with ladders. So that part is true.


    FM1
    I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Fire Apparatus Builder
    By jimmy1985 in forum Apparatus Innovation
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 08-19-2009, 09:21 AM
  2. truck builder opinions
    By port26 in forum Apparatus Innovation
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 05-29-2008, 01:43 PM
  3. Need your opinion
    By Ron3427 in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 03-24-2004, 08:35 PM
  4. I'm a new website "builder"- need constructive suggestions/advice
    By dabwilldo in forum New Web Site Announcements
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 10-20-2002, 02:28 AM
  5. Pick Your #1 Favorite Apparatus Builder!
    By Box2565 in forum Fire Buffs' Firehouse
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 09-19-2002, 02:32 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts