July '18

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66 • RV PRO • July 2018 rv-pro.com O R I G I N A L E Q U I P M E N T T he folks at Spartan Motors know the chassis assembly of any vehicle is hardly glamorous – even if it's providing the foundation of a Class A motorhome. Experts in manufacturing, their task these days is to develop a package durable enough to carry a high-end RV while giving it the operating characteristics of the family vehicle. However, the Charlotte, Mich.-based company holds a winning card for many RV buyers: Its chassis are entirely American-made. Built Truck-Tough Spartan Motors was founded in the mid-1970s by a group of experienced engineers left unemployed by the bankruptcy of truck manufacturer Diamond Reo. "The beginning of the business was firetrucks," says Steve Guillaume, President of Spartan Specialty Vehicles. "There's a lot to building a firetruck, but one of the core components is the chassis." Even today, firetrucks are an important part of the publicly traded company's product mix. "Firetruck chassis are built here in Charlotte," Guillaume says. "We build the chassis, as well as the cab, paint and trim the cab, and then those chassis are sent to our plants in Penn- sylvania, Nebraska, and South Dakota, where the body of the firetruck is completed." Another division of the company, Spartan Fleet Vehicles and Services, is focused on delivery-type vehicles and special- ized upfits. That includes parcel delivery trucks, food delivery U.S.A.-based Spartan Motors takes pride in building chassis for some of the industry's premier coach builders at its facility in Michigan. By K. Schipper Building on a Strong Foundation PHOTOS BY STEVE TOEPP/ MIDWEST PHOTOGRAPHICS Steve Guillaume, president of Spartan Specialty Vehicles, is pictured next to one of the company's chassis at its production facility in Charlotte, Mich.

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