Spartan Chassis Unveils New Advanced Protection System

Spartan Chassis, Inc.

Spartan Chassis, Inc., a subsidiary of Spartan Motors, Inc., has always been on the cutting edge of fire truck design, innovation, and safety. Today, Spartan takes the lead in fire truck safety with the introduction of their Advanced Protection System (APS).

The APS is a safety system that contains anumber of industry first breakthroughs and significant improvements to existing safety standards.  Some of these breakthroughs include:

  1. Up to eight (8) airbags in the cab with 4 industry–first airbag positions.
  2. Outboard sensors that control airbag deployments from multi-angle impacts.  This protects firefighters from front and side-impact collisions, and rollovers, features the competition cannot offer.
  3. Side curtain airbags up to 700% larger than the competition to reduce risk of occupant ejection.
  4. An intelligent seatbelt system that controls the strain of the seat belt on each occupant.

Spartan is the first, and only, company in the industry whose airbags protect cab occupants from side impacts, unlike their competitors, whose side airbags only deploy in the case of a rollover.  This is achieved by Spartan’s new state-of-the-art outboard sensors that can detect impact and rollover events while reducing the risk of occupant ejection.  Each sensor communicates back to the restraint control module that monitors which airbag(s) should deploy and under what conditions.

Each of Spartan’s rear side airbags are custom sized for each cab design, with their largest rear side airbag covering 7 times the area of their competitors’.  Spartan’s front-side airbags are 3 times larger than their competitors’.  The new driver knee airbags lock the lower body in place so upper body movement can be slowed by the seat belts and cushioned by the steering wheel airbag.   This reduced the likelihood that the driver will sustain contact injuries caused by the instrument panel, steering column, or other points of contact.

The final new element in the Advanced Protection System is the new, industry-first, intelligent seat belt system which keeps the occupant into the seat in the event of an impact, or rollover.  These intelligent seat belts have pyrotechnic pretensioners in the retractors instead of just a buckle. After the occupant is pulled back into the seat, load limiters release some of the webbing to control the occupant’s deceleration into the airbag system.  These new seatbelts help control the strain on each occupant while reducing pressure on the chest and torso, reducing seatbelt related injuries.

Spartan’s Commitment to Safety:

“Our customers rank safety features as one of the most important features they consider before placing an order,” said Dennis Schneider, President of Spartan Emergency Response. “We took the most advanced airbag and seatbelt systems available on the market and engineered them for use in our fire trucks. The Spartan Advance Protection System is now unequaled in its occupant safeguards.”

Full Advance Protection System Features:

  • Full side curtain airbags *Industry First
  • Side impact airbag protection *Industry First
  • Driver knee airbags *Industry First
  • Advanced seat belts *Industry First
  • Outboard sensors *Industry First
  • Steering wheel mounted driver airbag
  • Officer knee airbags
  • Restraint control module
  • Reinforced cab structure
  • Electronic stability control
  • Safety lighting
  • Tire pressure monitoring system


About Spartan Motors

Spartan Motors, Inc. designs, engineers and manufactures specialty chassis, specialty vehicles, truck bodies and aftermarket parts for the recreational vehicle (RV), emergency response, government services, defense, and delivery and service markets. The Company’s brand names – Spartan™, Spartan Chassis™, Spartan ER™, Spartan ERV™ and Utilimaster® – are known for quality, performance, service and first-to-market innovation. The Company employs approximately 1,600 associates at facilities in Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Indiana, Florida and Texas. Spartan reported sales of $426 million in 2011 and is focused on becoming a global leader in the design, engineering and manufacture of specialty vehicles and chassis. Visit Spartan Motors at

This release contains several forward-looking statements that are not historical facts, including statements concerning our business, strategic position, financial strength, future plans, objectives, and the performance of our products. These statements can be identified by words such as “believe,” “expect,” “intend,” “potential,” “future,” “may,” “will,” “should,” and similar expressions regarding future expectations.  These forward-looking statements involve various known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and assumptions that are difficult to predict with regard to timing, extent, and likelihood.  Therefore, actual performance and results may materially differ from what may be expressed or forecasted in such forward-looking statements.  Factors that could contribute to these differences include operational and other complications that may arise affecting the implementation of our plans and business objectives; continued pressures caused by economic conditions and the pace and extent of the economic recovery; challenges that may arise in connection with the integration of new businesses or assets we acquire or the disposition of assets; issues unique to government contracting, such as competitive bidding processes, qualification requirements, and delays or changes in funding; disruptions within our dealer network; changes in our relationships with major customers, suppliers, or other business partners, including Isuzu; changes in the demand or supply of products within our markets or raw materials needed to manufacture those products; and changes in laws and regulations affecting our business.   Other factors that could affect outcomes are set forth in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and other filings we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which are available at or our website.  All forward-looking statements in this release are qualified by this paragraph.  Investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results.  We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements in this release, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

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