1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Opinions on HME (P) & Spartan (Metro) Chassis


    I need some help. Our department is in the middle of specing a new Custom Engine. A few of our Officers are leaning towards an HME or Spartan Chassis because of cost rather than an E-One or Pierce.

    So I'm asking for the real facts from the folks that run them and break them. Are there any problems with the HME 1871 (P) or Spartan Metro. Tell me what your running for a Body and what type calls are they going to. Can they take the pounding and common problems you've had with them. Please include the good points that these units provide.

    Thanks for all the input.


  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    1998 Model Spartan/Ferrara 1250 GPM/1000 GWT.
    Its run 1st out on everything, EMS/Fire/Rescue calls, by the Day Crew and at night on fire and rescue calls. Very sparse appointments as far as interior luxury goes. Basic go to work and do your job chassis. Nothing fancy. This is a neighboring dept.'s rig and they are happy with it. As I understand it your engine choices are limited as is the HP available. It does its job and thats what counts. Spartan still has not figured out their A/C unit design however. Very underpowered, unreliable and prone to problems. Other than that it still runs up and down the road. No HME chassis in this part of the world for me to report on. The HME chassis I rode on in Chicago was very well built and could take a pounding. Squad Co. 1 has a 1871 model w/a large vista, or raised, roof. Good ride and sound insulation. That HME can take a hit as they found out. CFD replaced the chassis on Squad 1 after their original chassis got hit in an MVA. If they bought another one they have to be O.K. Be safe.


  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    We run a 1999 Spartan Metro/Ferarra. It has been a very nice truck. We have the 10' raised roof. We have had some minor problems with the truck, some are Spartan problems and some are Ferarra, but all have been corrected. Our interior is nice. We had in the specs for it to be black, i believe their interior usually comes gray. I think the other post was correct in stating that there is a limitation to engine size. I wasnt on the committee so im not sure. We have a cummins 330 HP motor and it is powered fine. You just need to have the correct gearing. This truck has seen a few fires and generally has had no problems with anything. Ferarra also uses HME chassis, a department close to here has a Ferarra on an HME chassis that is pretty close to ours. One of the guys i work with has driven both trucks and he says that he prefers the way that the Spartan handles over the HME. Good Luck

    Anything left in the forums is my opinion and does not reflect my department or any organization i belong to.

    [This message has been edited by NUMBY (edited March 27, 2000).]

    [This message has been edited by NUMBY (edited March 27, 2000).]

    [This message has been edited by NUMBY (edited March 27, 2000).]

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Hello,My Department owns a 1994 HME 6 man cab pumper.1250/1250,Its got a*8V92 Detroit / Allison trans.We cover a area that has alot of hills & mountains. The HME has never gave us any trouble that I'm aware of.It drives very nice,user friendly instrument panel above driver & the A/C works great.The only complaint that I've heard of but never had a problem with is The extended bumper along with the 6" soft sleeve & intake tend to block the headlights making it difficult to see if your out and about with no street lights at night. Other than that I'd say its been a very dependabe truck

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Fellow Firefighters,

    I need more help than this. There must be more than 3 guys running HME or Spartan accross this country. Give me a minute and write the good the bad and the ugly about these trucks. Thanks for the help and thanks for the help from the previous postings.


  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Four years ago my volunteer company, which responds to approx. 275 alarms a year, received a top mount 2000 gpm WS Darley with a 750 gallon tank built on a Series 60 Detroit/Allison GMC chassis with a Spartan 10 man tilt cab. No problems with the Detroit; and the Darley pump, even with some slipping valve handles, is outstanding. Here's what I have observed about the Spartan cab; our doghouse cover has cracked at the hinge, the dashboard is cracked, the back doors on the cab drop down a little when they are opened and rub when you try to close them, the grab handles need to be tightened at least once a month, the recalls for seat belts and battery switches and etc caused down time, the A/C and heat fails often, and the windows drop down when we hit potholes and railroad tracks. It was $345,000 when ordered in '95.

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We run 3 Spartans. 2 '94's and a 97. None of the problems EPFD noted, but we had problems with door handles, cracked crossmembers on the frame on all 3, Spartan had a design flaw and made good on the repairs (if you have em, check em) Overall very happy with them. We upgraded the batteries and alternator recently, but that was probably more of a spec error on our part than anything.

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    One more thing.. if you look at the latest E-1 Chassis, i can't remember what they call it, it's built by Spartan.. just to muddy the waters even more.. have fun

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    OK, I'll throw another bag into this one...

    We run a 1996 Simon-Duplex/Marion 1250gpm, 500gwt rescue pumper and love it. Departments in my area have combinations of both HME and Spartan. Complaints I've heard...
    HME- If you have a swivle-style front suction, it will block your headlights. Solution, put the headlights in the top of the 4-light clusters, or rearrange your front suction setup.
    If you don't have an air seat for the driver, or at least a very adjustable seat, the seating position can be somewhat awckward.
    You can get just about any motor you want in any HME. And HME's are fairly easy on your pocket. We would have one, but the Duplex keeps our department uniform, for now.

    Spartan- Lack of headroom is a common complaint.
    All of the wiring is white.
    A/C and heaters never work right.
    The metro has that side-facing jumpseat arrangment... trash. Everyone I know of who thought that was cool at first hates it now.
    Engine selection on the bottomline chassis is limited.

    As far as bodies go, Ferrara's around here have been so-so. Some love them, alot hate them. Luvern and Alexis have been tried and have had good results. Two Co's have 4-Guys, they hate them. Alot of companies have Marion's (our's is) and have never heard of any complaints except for spec errors.
    (Example of marion construction- We went out or Brick Building with a highside up, took the BRICK column right out of our building (and it's not delapidated) but that door stayed right on the truck and was almost closeable afterwards.)

    If you need anything else, just ask. I hope this helps some.

    Make sure you consider Pierce or E-One, eliminating the joint responsibility is well worth the cost, and they'll last you forever. (Well, almost)

  10. #10
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Contact both HME and Spartan. Get the number of their factory sale reps. and contact them. Have them both bring a demo chassis in for you to test drive and then decide for yourself. Most of the time this choice between these two is made by an existing apparatus chassis already owned or by wanting something that only one the two offers. (Kind of like compairing a Ford or Chevy pickup truck) An example being Spartan only offers certian diesel engines in certain models. HME offers more engine choices in some of their models. Cab configurations may also lead you to one or the other as will price and dealer. They both build a good product. I have found that they have less chassis problems than most of the custom chassis builders. Maybe it's because all they build is the chassis. WOW sounds almost like a commercial chassis huh. Hope this may help. Be safe! FGN

  11. #11
    Truck 132
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We took delivery of a Boise Mobile Equipment engine with an HME chassis in July 1999. The quality of workmanship is pretty good and to date we have not had any major problems with it. The comment on the front intake is correct, but it has not been that big of a concern with our drivers. The delivered price was around 265,000, but we put an easy $35,000 above that with new equipment that was not part of the bid. We have 2 E-one's and they both are junk. We have had major structural problems with the engine, i.e. cracking in the floor and the ladder has also had some problems. You can view pictures of our equipment at our web site www.webpak.net/~cfd.

  12. #12
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In regards to the last post, the correct URL is http:// www.webpak.net/~cfd (The period at the end of the sentence was accidentally included in the URL)

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