My department is spec'ing out a heavy rescue and one of the proposals we received included a Spartan Gladiator Cab/Chassis as opposed to the Pierce Saber we spec'd. They suggested this as a $$$ saving option. We're willing to consider this but we would like to hear from people with ACTUAL EXPERIENCE with that Spartan cabs, particularly the Gladiator. Anything from praises to jeers will be gladly accepted. Thanks for your help.
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04-06-2001, 12:33 AM #1Eng522ineFirehouse.com Guest
Spartan Gladiator Cab/Chassis....
04-06-2001, 01:15 PM #2FyrtrksFirehouse.com Guest
I delivered Spartan's in the early 90's. I personally like them. I have heard of some problems and repaired some. I would not be bashful about buying a Gladiator. If you have your heart set on the Pierce you can buy just the chassis yourself and then send it to your body builder. This elminates one source but your loyal to your local Pierce dealer he should back the chassis just like a complete unit. If i was selling I would prefer a piece of the pie if I couldn't sell the whole thing.
04-06-2001, 04:28 PM #3pwc606Firehouse.com Guest
The Gladiator is a good chassis however it was my experience in purchasing a HDR that the Gladiator was more expensive than the Saber. The other chassis by Pierce to look at would be the Enforcer. The Gladiator is a very nice chassis but Spartan makes other chassis' that are a little less expensive like the Metrostar. The Gladiator just has all the bells and whistles on it.
04-06-2001, 11:19 PM #4FFDIVERChad165Firehouse.com Guest
We run a Gladiator as our 1st out on fires since 1994. The only problem we ever had was caused by the radio guy drilling into a wire harness. We did buy a cheaper Advantage in 97 to roll as a second out engine. As pwc606 did refer to a Metro Star. It is very similar to a Gladiator.
We are building a new heavy rescue on an MR1. I come from a pro Spartan department though. We bought one of the first chassis they ever built back in 1976
04-07-2001, 03:48 AM #5pokeyfd12Firehouse.com Guest
Engine 522, we have had a Spartan Gladiator/Saulsbury Rescue since 1991 with a 22-foot walk through body to cab. It has a ten man cab design and we have not had a days problem with either the cab or chassis.
The only problem we had in the early service months was electrical, mostly the alternator was not large enough for the 12-volt demand. That problem was solved with a larger alternator and a booster. We also had the onboard PTO generator take over most of the 12-volt load when it was engaged so the alternator didn't have to work so hard at scenes.
The cab has held up quite well, a little chipped paint here and there, but what the heck, it's a fire truck. No rust, cracks or stress damage that we have noticed. The only complaint that we basically had was the noise in the cab from the engine and the slightly poor placement of the air conditioning vents and controls. Again, I don't know if that's our fault or a design flaw.
Rescue Lt. Kevin C. (aka Pokey)
04-08-2001, 09:42 AM #6jpchevFirehouse.com Guest
My department recently recieved a heavy rescue (Nov. 2000) It is a 18 ft Hackney walk around on a 6-man Spartan Metrostar. Absolutely an excellant chassis (and truck). Spartan has one of the best cabs for firefighter access in and out, plenty of grab handles and steps. Visibility is excellant. our truck GVWR is 38,600, actual weight is 32,000 loaded with equipment & crew. We have a 350 HP Cummins with 6 speed automatic, the truck is a joy to drive, handles well, stops great, great turning radius. we are in a hilly area, one end of town to other is 500 ft elevation difference and truck climbs hills with not a problem. we bought our 1st Spartan in 1987, and I would by another one tommorrow. Feel free to e-mail me for more info. John C. Captain, Hope Jackson Fire Co Jpchev@aol.com
04-09-2001, 10:29 AM #7Eng522ineFirehouse.com Guest
Everyone....thanks for the great responses. They have helped us considerably. Also, as per your suggestions we are looking into the pricing of the other chassis by Spartan. As I said, my department has had no experiences with Spartan (we're basically a Pierce/LaFrance department), so we're basically going by the info given to us by the dealers. Any other info / opinions are greatly appreciated. Be safe.
04-09-2001, 09:26 PM #8NUMBYFirehouse.com Guest
We currently have a 2000 Ferarra Engine on a Spartan Metrostar chassis. I was not on the truck comittee, so im not sure how it compares to other Spartan cabs. I have seen some Gladiatiors at other departments and i like the Metrostar more. Our interior is more spacious and is finished in black vinyl. The Gladiator's I have seen all had the metal finish in the cab. Overall it has been a great truck. We have had some minor problems, mostly electrical, but all were corrected. I think a lot of the truck depends on how you spec it out. Just look around at other trucks to see what you like. If you want to see our truck, goto www.elsmerefd.com
Anything I post in the forums is my opinion and does not reflect my department or any organization I belong to.
04-20-2001, 04:02 PM #9CarpandeanFirehouse.com Guest
Here's the basic Spartan line-up:
Gladiator: Top of the line, 3/16 Aluminum Skins, Full Trim Package, Cummins ISC or ISM or Detroit Diesel S60.
Metro-Star: Same as Gladiator without all the frills. Can't get a DDS60 Engine and trim is not as nice (subject to taste). Still a really nice chassis.
Advantage: 1/8" Aluminum Skins, MFD (54" from axle to rear of cab) only, flat or 10" raised roof, ISC only. At sub $100,000 this is a great money saver if you don't need a big motor.
All Spartans that I've used are great. We have paid firemen that drive the rigs and the biggest complain that I've heard them say is that the grab handles are rounded, so that you can't hang your coat on them. They also have a new flat floor design that gives more room in the cab too.
I would definitely buy a Spartan.
04-20-2001, 05:07 PM #10Engine 224Firehouse.com Guest
You are talking top of the line from each of the manufacturers so you can't go wrong with either. We have an '87 Pierce Lance pumper and a '99 Gladiator/Saulsbury heavy rescue. The Pierce has been very reliable over the years and the Gladiator has been good so far. Hard to really compare because today's apparatus has a lot more NFPA required accessories (ABS, load manager, pump interlocks, etc.) that increase the opportunities for problems simply because there is more to go wrong. Both handle very well, the Pierce even after 14 years.
Write your specs to what you want and bid then against each other - a competitive bid will get you the best apparatus for the price. Just make sure you write the spec so you can compare apples to apples.
05-06-2001, 03:21 PM #11Firefighter194Firehouse.com Guest
I have found the Spartan Gladiator cab to be the roomiest on the market, with only exception being a Pierce Quantum. If you want a Spartan, your department will have to pay the price. My department is taking delivery on a 2001 Spartan/Saulsbury, 21' Walk-In Heavy Rescue on May 15th and the Spartan chassis cost about $140,000.
05-10-2001, 11:01 PM #12grc063Firehouse.com Guest
I truly believe that the Saber chassis would be cheaper. Remember to compare apples to apples. I believe that Pierce will NOT sell their chassis for usu by another body builder. Also, keep in mind that the Gladiator cab is actually manufactured by Marion Body Works in Marion, WI. They make about 90% - 95% of all Spartan cabs.
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