Manufacturer's Corner: 7 Factors to Buying the Perfect Pumper

March 3, 2018
The purchase of a pumper is an essential investment and fire departments can use these tips to streamline the process.

Manufacturers’ Corner content is sponsored by manufacturers and suppliers serving the fire service industry.

Purchasing a new pumper is an essential investment for your fire department and your  community. Budget constraints, delivery time,  and proper configuration can seem at odds with  one other, making the process full of frustration  and delays.

At Spartan Motors, we understand your  challenges. This list of seven factors to consider  before you buy will help you streamline your next pumper purchase. 

1. Plan ahead for budget approval

Budgeting for your department’s next fiscal year can take  months. When you need accurate estimates to replace  a vehicle, Spartan delivers. Our preconfigured S-180  pumpers let you choose from a menu of custom options  and still receive a competitive price estimate quickly. Quick  access to customized pricing gives you the time you need  to receive the necessary approvals and even apply for  grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency  (FEMA), your state government, or other external resources  to help pay for the vehicle. Determining the specs for a  Spartan S-180 takes less time than for other manufacturers,  allowing your department to spend the time saved on other  important priorities.   

2. Give your fleet a checkup

With a typical pumper lifespan of 15 to 20 years, it can be easy to lose sight of when vehicles need to be replaced. However, red flags like major engine or transmission  trouble can be stark—and unwelcome—reminders.  To avoid such situations, which can leave your fleet short  of the vehicles it needs to keep your community safe, take  an “age inventory” of your current fleet. This can help you  develop a vehicle replacement schedule that provides  plenty of lead time to determine the type of vehicle your team needs and order replacements. Also, be sure to test  your pumps and ladders annually for signs of wear and  tear that may indicate the need to replace them sooner. 

3. Select only the options you need

Spartan’s line of S-180 pumpers differs by model, offering a unique set of configurations for wheelbase,  compartment storage, pump location, and horsepower.  Spartan’s S-180 pumper models can be easily customized  with a range of options to ensure the vehicle is well-suited  to your department’s unique needs. Whether you need a longer wheel base and roomier cab, a side-mount pumper with a foam system and rescue tools,  or a top-mount pumper with extra compartment space,  generators and light towers, Spartan’s customizable  vehicles can accommodate those needs. Choose from  body lengths ranging from 156 inches to 168 inches. Our standard set of options saves time and money when it’s  time to order your next pumper. 

4. Choose your preferred pump configuration

Some departments need top-mount pumps to give operators a better view of the scene. Other vehicles may  need to navigate narrow streets, which requires a shorter wheel base with better maneuverability and a side mount  pump. Spartan gives you the ability to choose the pump  configuration that’s right for you.  Once you get to the scene, our reliable 1500-gallon per minute pumps and 1,000-gallon tank capacity give your  firefighters the tools they need to be most effective. Each engine’s plumbing easily accommodates the addition of  an optional foam system. 

5. Put your team’s safety first 

Spartan’s S-180 pumper features the Advanced Protection System (APS), the number one safety system in the  industry. It includes four new airbag positions that aren’t offered by any OEM, such as side impact and full side  curtain airbags, which offer anti-ejection protection, as well as driver and officer knee-impact and steering wheelmounted air bags. Spartan also features industry-first  intelligent seat belts that pull the driver into the seat in  case of impact or rollover. 

6. Consider the role of the environment

Whether your vehicle is traversing flat city streets or mountainous highways and byways, Spartan’s S-180  models are equipped with tough, reliable ISL9 Cummins  engines and Allison 3000 EVS transmissions. Choose  from our 380 or 450 horsepower engines to give you the  right torque for your terrain, with just the right amount of power to get you where you’re needed most.  And, whatever the weather, we’ve got you covered: Our  heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) system keeps  your team warm or cool regardless of extreme outdoor  temperatures. Our Advanced Climate Control System can warm the cabin from 0°F to 85°F within 30 minutes, and  can cool the cabin from 120°F to less than 80°F when under  1,000 watts of solar loading. Vents extend towards the back  of the cabin to enable the even distribution of air flow. 

7. Timing is everything

When you need to get a new pumper on the road, timing is everything. Our new S-180 line gives you the fast  turnaround of preconfigured vehicles combined with  the ability to customize. With delivery in 180 days, we  are much faster than any competitor—and Spartan’s  exceptional attention to detail ensures that you won’t  sacrifice strength, durability, safety, or storage.  With Spartan, you get the best of both worlds: the fast  delivery you need to keep your department as effective as  possible, along with the innovative safety, comfort, and  features your team values most. Be road-ready in half the  time with a Spartan S-180 pumper. 

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