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Thread: Spartan ???

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    Default Spartan ???

    I started doing a search, after several pages did not find what I was looking for.

    We are replacing a pumper. One of our goals is to spec a pumper that is reliable, long lasting and remains in service so it is there when we need it. We expect this pumper to have a 20 year life span. And run about 300 calls a year.

    A lot of mfr's who do not use their own cab and chassis use Spartan.

    My questions are about Spartan cabs and chassis.
    Do they last? Can we get 20 years out of one? How do they hold up? Do they meet the demands of the fire service? How does their design meet your needs?

    I would welcome pm's if you feel your comments would be to harsh.

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    Your PM feature is not on.

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    I personally think the days of the 20-25 year truck are gone. Too much electronics, more use of inferior quality materials and subsequent issues. You may get that many years out of it, but not without a major overhaul at some point. That said, we're pleased with our newest piece on the Spartan Gladiator chassis.

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    If your department is running under 200- 300 calls a year, the engine should last 20 years or more .It all depends on how the truck is used, and maintained. A custom fire chassis will last a few more years longer than a commercial chassis !

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    I personally think the days of the 20-25 year truck are gone. Too much electronics, more use of inferior quality materials and subsequent issues. You may get that many years out of it, but not without a major overhaul at some point. That said, we're pleased with our newest piece on the Spartan Gladiator chassis.
    I'm not concerned about the chassis being able to endure that long. What does concern me is that the field of electronics and computers is advancing at such breakneck speed that the computers will become obsolete and difficult to support with service for more than a few years. But that applies no matter what chassis you buy.

    We're seeing that already some of our older, mechanical engines that have been essentially unchanged for 30 or more years. Two stories: I went into the DDA dealer in Philadelphia for a really common part for our 6V92. They had to order it; they don't stock it any more.

    Another time I took that engine there to have something diagnosed. The service writer said he'd send a tech out to check it in the parking lot. The tech appeared in short order carrying his laptop, looked at the truck and asked where to connect it up. I told him to go back in and someone older out. TC, you there?

    Fortunately, today's on-board computers are pretty robust, so if they don't fail at an early age, they stand a decent chance of holding up.
    Last edited by chiefengineer11; 09-20-2012 at 09:29 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SFD_E73_RET View Post
    Your PM feature is not on.
    Sorry I just figured out how to turn it on.

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    Had our Spartan Gladiator since 2009. Overall I would say it has not been bad. We have had several issues with the air conditioner. Early on, water from condensation accumulation was leaking inside the cab onto the doghouse. There are several small paint chips on the cab that are not on the body. Initially there were occasional shorts that would affect the marker lights. We have replaced the passenger side rear door opener a couple times. We have two vmux displays in case one goes dead.

    Is it better or worse than any other cab/chassis? I do not know. I agree that trucks are becoming increasingly complex and a 20-25yr truck may not be realistic anymore.

    I think refurbs with pre 2007 engines will become increasingly popular.
    npfd801 likes this.

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    We've got 11 Spartan Gladiator engines over the last several years. The newest ones have had the previous issues taken care of. Each avg about 10 runs a day, so they hit your 300 call runs in a month or so.
    They've been dependable and reliable. Once in a while a Node needs replacing or rebooting. As the Chief E11 noted, the electronics may be the only issue 20 years from now. What you have for a pressure governor now, may be obsolete in 5 years. Not knowing where the technology is going on them, it is hard to say what mods need to be done to use the "future" electronics.

    Bottom line, I'd buy them again. They have been a great work horse for us.

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    We have had great luck with our one Spartan and I have a feeling that we will be leaning heavily towards a Spartan chassis on our next engine purchase in a year or so. Any problems that we have had have been extremely minor and did not even take the truck out of service. Our mechanic loves the Spartan, the only time it is out of service is for PM.

    We are decently busy, but there are plenty of places that put a whole lot more strain on their Spartan chassis than we do and they seem to hold up very well. A friend of mine has a 2002 Spartan chassis on one of their rigs and over the past 10 years it has made 20,000 + calls and has 100 some thousand miles on it. They claim it is a tank and when they spec'd out their newest rig, they wouldn't even consider anyone who wouldn't use a Spartan Chassis.
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    My pet project for 2 years. Other than this, I have had Spartans and think they are really good overall. Our service representative, Hi-Tech Fire Apparatus in Oakdale, CA has been excellent in keeping our stuff running great.


    Make: SPARTAN
    Model Year: 1999
    Manufacturer: SPARTAN MOTORS, INC.
    NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 01V271000
    Component: SUSPENSION:FRONT:SPRINGS:LEAF SPRING ASSEMBLY
    Summary:
    VEHICLE DESCRIPTION: FIRE TRUCKS EQUIPPED WITH A DRIVE AXLE SUSPENSION CONTAINING A SPRING BEAM WITH A THICKNESS OF 1.75". THE SPRING BEAM IN THE SUSPENSION CAN FAIL CAUSING THE COLLAPSE OF THE DRIVE AXLE SUSPENSION AND ALLOWING ABRUPT CONTACT OF THE TIRES WITH THE BODYWORK OF THE REAR OF THE FIRE TRUCK.
    Consequence:
    ABRUPT IMPACT WITH THE REAR TIRES MAY CAUSE THE VEHICLE TO VEER ACROSS THE ROAD AND IMPACT ONCOMING TRAFFIC, OR CAUSE THE DRIVER TO LOSS CONTROL OF THE VEHICLE IN THEIR LANE, POSSIBLY RESULTING IN A VEHICLE CRASH.
    Remedy:
    SPARTAN WILL NOTIFY ITS CUSTOMERS AND REPLACE THE SPRING BEAM WITH A HEAVY DUTY VERSION WHICH IS 2" THICK AND REPLACE THE SHOCK ABSORBERS FREE OF CHARGE. OWNER NOTIFICATION BEGAN SEPTEMBER 24, 2001. OWNERS WHO TAKE THEIR VEHICLES TO AN AUTHORIZED DEALER ON AN AGREED UPON SERVICE DATE AND DO NOT RECEIVE THE FREE REMEDY WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME SHOULD CONTACT SPARTAN AT 1-800-722-3025.
    Notes:
    ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
    Model: FIRE TRUCK
    Mfr's Report Date: AUG 27, 2001
    NHTSA Action Number: N/A
    Last edited by bcjack; 09-27-2012 at 01:42 AM.
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    Spartan now has a two year bumper to bumper warranty standard and now comes with the Advanced Protection System that blows the competition's protection away, standard.

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    Also check the industry news, apparently they are now merged with a European manufacturer. HQ is moving to Deleware according to the press release

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    Quote Originally Posted by getasupply View Post
    Also check the industry news, apparently they are now merged with a European manufacturer. HQ is moving to Deleware according to the press release
    Is this Spartan Chassis or Spartan ERV (two different companies)? Can you provide a link to a press release?
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    Quote Originally Posted by getasupply View Post
    Also check the industry news, apparently they are now merged with
    a European manufacturer. HQ is moving to Deleware according to the press release
    Here is the press release:
    http://spartanmotors.com/Content.aspx?id=99

    It says that Spartan and Gimaex are starting a joint venture company headquartered in Delaware. There is no indication that either Spartan Motors or Spartan ERV actually merged with the French company.

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    Thanks, Pundit. I agree with your statement, the release clearly states that this is a 50/50 Joint Venture, not a merger of the two companies. I also see that the LLC was formed in DE, but for all we know that could be for tax purposes - I don't see an indication (yet, at least) that anyone is moving there.
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    This is a separate company that was formed mostly to sell trucks in South America, Asia and Europe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SFD_E73_RET View Post
    Spartan now has a two year bumper to bumper warranty standard and now comes with the Advanced Protection System that blows the competition's protection away, standard.
    Well gaaaawly! You mean:
    Longer Warranty = must be better product
    Advanced "whatever" = must be better than anyone elses version.
    Couldn't have done better if even if I went to Sales 101.
    Last edited by IR1man; 11-29-2012 at 01:28 PM.

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    Default "Good" Truck vs. "Bad" Truck???

    Spartan has been building fire chassis for relatively a long time with the first Gladiator models coming out in the late 80’s. With their old leadership of George Styzekiel and several other innovators they did a masterful job changing the fire service into engine forward designs as most all manufacturers build today. Some will tell you they are not the company they once were-so that’s someone’s opinion-what substantiates that opinion making it “fact”, not “feelings”? I have an opinion and have “likes” as many do here on the forums, which I have followed for many years. Although an opinion is just that, I also feel there are A LOT of “good” builders out there to consider. Now, are some “better” than others? Yes-maybe-but there’s A LOT of pieces to the puzzle.

    I personally think beauty is more than skin deep and more than the polished and mirrored stainless wizardry Pierce uses quite often (yes they build good trucks too). I might suggest you get the manufacturers to give you more to look at and review in your analysis. Such as: Interior, close up photos of raw cab shells, looking at materials of the sheet metal, sub-frames, wall and roof structural beam materials for close up evaluation. MANY people get away with “lightweight” building and merely cover it all up with pretty upholstery and trim. So, look beyond the outside. Such as Spartan, they DO NOT build their own cab-does that matter to YOU? Some do care about that-they want the ENTIRE truck to be owned by the builder, 100%. So be it-It’s for your group to evaluate, listen objectively to several builders and then decide.

    The other big point you will need to consider is the PRELIMNARY wish list of components, which will evolve as you progress. Is it big block or medium block HP engine, 3000 or 4000 series transmission, 4/6/8/10 personnel seating, raised roof or flat roof, spring or air or independent suspensions, front airbags/side rollover protection, etc. This will drive you into each manufacturer’s models, which some companies have so many it’s almost mind boggling and surely confusing. Once you set your overall design, you can then see what manufacturer’s models you would fall within. This is then where you could start your evaluation, drilling into the “best truck”.

    Also, DO NOT go into this with a set brand name in mind. Get them ALL in your station to make a presentation and have a wish list prepared well ahead of time to share with them BEFORE they come in, allowing the builder to come prepared to show you what meets YOUR needs. The more you give the builder, the better job they can do for you. Also, DO NOT decide on brand “XYZ” until you can also have a handle on what each one costs. With them all being “good” trucks today, you need to maintain fiscal responsibility to your taxpayers in seeking multiple companies, multiple models and multiple bids. It’s just responsible buying today. Too many times it comes to the tattoo of a brand on someone’s backside that does not allow for common sense to look at other brands and paying too much for no added performance or paying for things you REALLY do not need. The day and age of “junk” trucks has really narrowed and I do not feel there are real “JUNK” trucks out there. You either build it right, or you will be gone, it’s been proven again and again. Also, if you charge ridiculous prices for a ho-hum product, the same can also happen. Do your homework and you will end up with a “GREAT “ truck, regardless what logo is in the grill.

    PS- IR1 made me hoot with that comment and he’s dead on!!! Watch out for comments like “Spartan now has a two year bumper to bumper warranty standard and now comes with the Advanced Protection System that blows the competition’s protection away, standard” – Big damn deal, so what, everyone else can do it also!!! – AND YOU PAY FOR IT (including the two year warranty!! It’s like saying “Pierce comes standard with Independent front suspension” – Again, SO what – MANY others do IFS also - THINKKKK about it – you DO pay for it, NOTHING is FREE, they are trying to manipulate you into a gimmick or feature to write their proprietary spec and control the bid document!! Good luck with your research!!
    RFDACM02 and Woodbridge like this.

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    Since you are in the inital stage of specing a new pumper, I would strongly suggest that you take a hard look at the Rosenbauer/Minnesota Division pumpers. A "Lifetime Warranty" on all of their products is standard for as long as you own the pumper. The are many other innovations to chose from that will make your task a lot easier when fighting fire. The manufacturer also provides a chassis that is built at the Minnesota plant an in turn provides the customer with "Single Source Product".

    As for Spartan, there chassis does not take a back seat to any other manufacturer in the industry. They also provide "Single Source Products" when you purchase a Crimson. Spartan will also provide chassis to other "OEM" Original Equipment Manufacturers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by retiredchiefone View Post
    Since you are in the inital stage of specing a new pumper, I would strongly suggest that you take a hard look at the Rosenbauer/Minnesota Division pumpers. A "Lifetime Warranty" on all of their products is standard for as long as you own the pumper. The are many other innovations to chose from that will make your task a lot easier when fighting fire. The manufacturer also provides a chassis that is built at the Minnesota plant an in turn provides the customer with "Single Source Product".

    As for Spartan, there chassis does not take a back seat to any other manufacturer in the industry. They also provide "Single Source Products" when you purchase a Crimson. Spartan will also provide chassis to other "OEM" Original Equipment Manufacturers.
    Let's be honest here...There is NO manufacturer that is true single source. They do not manufacture their own engines, transmissions, pumps, foam systems, generators, etc., and some don't even manufacture their own chassis. Now, if you can get the manufacturer to be the point of warranty for ALL components of the rig that is one thing. Single Source for warranty contact is an entirely different thing.
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    Default Parts Sourcing

    Yup. Every manufacturer is buying the same truck components and assembling them. Most of what I see between different models is the quality of assembly. I don't see much quality of workmanship in how Spartan and some others do their electrical work. It looks like stuff they sourced at the local radioshack. Cheap plastic split loom, wrapped in electrical tape and not sealed from the elements. The Spartan engine we recently test drove with a Cummins motor was really noisy in the cab. The sales guys said maybe they could add sound proofing. It reminded me or our Detroit where it is hard to talk to one another in the cab.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captain7 View Post
    Yup. Every manufacturer is buying the same truck components and assembling them. Most of what I see between different models is the quality of assembly. I don't see much quality of workmanship in how Spartan and some others do their electrical work. It looks like stuff they sourced at the local radioshack. Cheap plastic split loom, wrapped in electrical tape and not sealed from the elements. The Spartan engine we recently test drove with a Cummins motor was really noisy in the cab. The sales guys said maybe they could add sound proofing. It reminded me or our Detroit where it is hard to talk to one another in the cab.
    Sorry Cap.....I'm calling BS on that.

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