Thread: alf vs. spartan

  1. #1
    ladderman
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post alf vs. spartan

    my department is looking to buy a truck please tell me which is the nicer cab ALF or spartan. price is not a option.


    thanks

    [This message has been edited by ladderman (edited August 12, 2000).]

    [This message has been edited by ladderman (edited August 20, 2000).]

  2. #2
    Inferno
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    The Spartan is a very nice cab. It has a raised roof for the driver and officer, something that no other cabs do that I know of. They are extremly roomy and spacious. One thing that I don't like about the ALF is that the interior is all plastic. And from what I have heard, the American LaJunk name suites them well. I would say go with the Spartan Gladiator 100%.

    ------------------
    When In Doubt, Blitz It Out!

  3. #3
    ladderman
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    thank you i herd the same thing about alf. The alf is not truely a fire truck it is made by a commercial truck manufacture (freightliner) and sold as a fire truck the alf goes down an assembly line like a commercial truck the spartan is individually hand crafted and is custom made

    [This message has been edited by ladderman (edited August 11, 2000).]

    [This message has been edited by ladderman (edited August 12, 2000).]

  4. #4
    FINTLY
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    WORKING FOR A AFTERMARKET BODY BUILDER I HAVE HAD THE OPERTUNITY TO WORK ON SEVRAL SPARTANS FROM THE GROUND UP. WE HAVE VERY LITTLE TROUBLE WITH THEM. THE FEW MINOR PROBLEMS WE HAVE RUN INTO SPARTAN HAS MADE GOOD ON IN A TIMELY FASHION WITH NO FUSS. WHERAS ALF WE HAVE HAD NOTHING BUT PROBLEMS. FROM A BUILDERS STAND POINT THEY ARE A NIGHTMARE TO WORK ON. THE LAST PUMP WE BUILT ON A ALF WAS LITTLE OVER A YEAR AGO AND CAME IN WITH SO MANY FLAWS THE LIST WOULD BE WAY TO LONG TO LIST HERE. MOST OF THEY ASSURED US WERE ONE OFF PROBLEMS FAST FORWARD TO A MONTH AGO WHEN WE WERE AT ALF LAND FOR A FINAL CHASSIE INSPECTION WE FOUND ALMOST ALL THE SAME FLAWS AS THE ONE FROM LAST YEAR THAT WERE SUPPOSE TO BE ONE OFF PROBLEMS.SO ILL LET YOU DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS FROM THIS

  5. #5
    ladderman
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Thanks for the reply I herd the same thing that the Spartan customer service dept is one of the best in the industry I also have herd nightmares about the alf service dept
    A fire dept in my area bought an alf/Lti 2 years ago and it has been back to the factory 3 times and they still cannot fix the problem and are not very helpful. alf (freightliner) has to understand that the fire truck industry is not like the commercial truck industry if there is a problem then FIX IT.

  6. #6
    Truckie from Missouri
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    Absolutely, beyond the shadow of a doubt, Spartan wins. I've worked off of Spartans and the new ALF's... Spartan seems more user friendly. Maybe it is just the way I perceived it, but isn't perception a big factor in reality? One thing I didn't like at all in the ALF was the rear SCBA seats that faced forward, teh seat belts wouldn't fit when I had gear on.

  7. #7
    Halligan84
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Your only problem is going to be what aerial you put on that chassis. LTI will NOT build on anything other than an ALF as of this summer. Sutphen builds on their own, as does Pierce, E-1 one and nearly everyone else.. might only be Smeal left for a Spartan ladder tower

  8. #8
    fire-mech
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    just to pass along some "facts" not fiction on the replies listed above on the two chassis. first the ALF - The chassis is produced in the freightliner truck plant in Cleveland NC. which consist of the framerails, front and rear axles, engine and trans., then it is taken to the fire plant next door where the cab is fabricated, painted and trimmed out, then mounted to the chassis along with the ALF fire pump if equipped. From there it will be shipped to one of five ALF plants for the body (depending on what type of material it is) each plant specializes in different contruction of the body, the last one would be to the aerial plant (LTI). There is a big differrence on how the vehicle is built from the standard over the road freightliner truck. They may use some of the same technoligy and chassis compomnets but so do the rest of the fire truck manufactures.

    Spartan does some of the same things, however their cabs are fabricated by TCM (truck cab manufacturing)and shipped to them for painting and trim out then they are mounted on the chassis. Also the fire truck line is only 15% of Spartans business. the rest is motor homes and bus chassis.

    Serivce departments do play a big roll in the end products and it depends on who is performing the work and for what type. they all have there share of pro's and con's no matter what product it is.

    I just thought i pass this information on to who ever it may concern. Thanks

  9. #9
    ladderman
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    To fire-mech take a look at a Alf then take a look at a Spartan you can see that the Alf is like a Honda a good cheep car (truck) but when you look at the Spartan it is like a very nice expensive car (truck) like a Cadillac now you tell me which would you rather have

  10. #10
    fire-mech
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    we have both in our fire house, spartan did not want to know anything about our chassis problems until we were ready to buy another truck, then they changed their tune and we bought another spartan, this time around we went with the ALF it won hands down.

  11. #11
    S. Cook
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    We've got 2 Spartans - an engine on a MetroStar that seats 6 and a quint on a Gladiator that can seat 10 (we had 7 seats put in for more elbow room).

    Overall, no complaints about the Spartans from me. Comfortable, for me it is driver freindly (I have easy access to all controls and view of the guages)

    The quint has a 105' AI stick on it.

    I have no ALF experince to give you a comparison.

  12. #12
    cra539
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    "Spartan does some of the same things, however their cabs are fabricated by TCM (truck cab manufacturing)and shipped to them for painting and trim out then they are mounted on the chassis."

    Most of their cabs are from Marion now.

  13. #13
    East Haddam#1firefighter
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking

    In East Haddam we purchased a 1998 4-GUYS Custom Pumper. It has a Spartan cab. It is the smallest cab that Spartan manufactures.It is a 6 man cab; four seats w/scotts packs facing backwards and a drivers seat and a officers seat. The officers seat has a scott pack also. The interior of the cab is constructed very well, with very high quality. I have seen the ALF cabs and they are alright, but they cant compare to Spartan. The only disadvantage is that Spartan might be more expensive but the price that you pay for it will be worth it when you experience the quality Spartan Cabs.

    ------------------
    Shawn Daigle
    East Haddam F.D.
    East Haddam Connecticut

    [This message has been edited by East Haddam#1firefighter (edited September 20, 2000).]

    [This message has been edited by East Haddam#1firefighter (edited September 21, 2000).]

  14. #14
    capt311
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Go with the spartan chassis we have an engine and a 75'quint in my town in two other stations on spartan chassis i've driven the quint its a good truck and the guys that run it love it oh a new heavy rescue truck will be delivered in a couple of weeks on a spartan chassis

    [This message has been edited by capt311 (edited October 09, 2000).]

  15. #15
    Engine 224
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    So far the story is that the frames (assuming you spec it right), axles (Meritor), transmissions (Allison)and suspensions (spring or air ride) are the same whether you buy from Spartan or ALF. The naked Marion cab and the ALF cab are low tech and pretty much the same (aluminum skin over a structural frame). ALF would say theirs is certified crash worthy but Marion's could probably pass the same test.

    So where's the difference? The only thing left is outfitting the cab and here is where the difference shows. Spartan builds theirs the old fashion way, just as their spartan name implies - rugged. ALF is into all of the latest in automotive technology - lightweight materials, engineered and fitted interiors, etc.

    It's like the difference between a Peterbuilt and a Kenworth - walk into any truck stop and ask which is "best", you will get lots of different opinions. Yet the engines, transmissions and axles are all by the same manufacturers. Only the cabs are significantly different.

    Bottom line - it is the buyer's personal choice. Reliability and dealer support will have as much or more to do with customer satisfaction than which was the "best" when the piece rolled off the factory floor.

    By the way, at the start of this thread the ladderman said "price is not an option". The advantage of quantity buying and huge production runs says ALF should blow the competition out of the water on price. If that IS important to you, make sure ALF offers it or you are overpaying.

  16. #16
    mikek821
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    First of all let me say...Our dept has just purchased a 75 ft Aerial on a Spartan Gladiator chassis with an Aerial Innovations ladder...What a sweet truck..We have reseached every manufacture for the past 3 yrs before come to this dissision. ALF cabs are a hunk of plastic..(period) they are very vulnerable to heat..The plastic dries out and cracks with in a short period of time. I agree with the person earlier who said it's like compairing a caddilac to a honda. We have 1 1989 Spartan Chassis in servicethat has been the most dependalbe engine in the fleet. 189,000 miles. Ihave enclose a pic of our new truck.
    <A HREF="http://www.firehouse.com/interactive/boards/uploads/Mvc-553s.jpg">" TARGET=_blank>http://www.firehouse.com/interactive/boards/uploads/Mvc-553s.jpg"></A>

  17. #17
    rescuejim
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Exclamation

    Wow!!! I must admit, the old hens club, full of misconceptions, is well at work here...

    My old department had a Spartan rescue. Good truck for the most part. Infact I cant complain about it.
    But just recently I was in Charlotte for the race. So thought I might go take a look at whats under "the plastic".

    If you think that its cheep and flimsy. I might advise you not to fly in a plane! They are using quit a bit of technology that is used in aircraft. One thing you want to stay away from is welding aluminnum. ALF has done a nice job of doing so.

    The only way to be able to judge the build practices of any builder is to get with there dealer and tour there plants. Wether its E-One Pierce KME or ALF. None of them from my exspieriance "builds it same way".

    In fact if you had made it to a show this year, you just might have found more companies useing plastic. As I did.

    I know this much. It will take a while befor I buy anything but an ALF in the comming years.

    Just my two cents.

  18. #18
    LHS*
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Dare I say that depending upon the La France you buy, you could end up with one made by Spartan??? It is true.

    //The advantage of quantity buying and huge production runs says ALF should blow the competition out of the water on price. //

    Actually E-One, Pierce, and KME in that order build a lot more fire truck custom cabs than ALF.

    [This message has been edited by LHS* (edited November 02, 2000).]

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