Spartan Specialty Vehicles and Chassis (SSVC), a business unit of Spartan Motors Inc., debuted its newest 2019 K3 605 Chassis at the May 14-17 Entegra Coach Homecoming event at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds in Goshen, Indiana.
Spartan also unveiled and demonstrated its new E-Z Steer technology designed to reduce driver fatigue and improve steering. According to Stephen Guillaume, SSVC president, the new system has an “on-the-go” adjustable steering wheel tension and positioning adjustment.
“The customers are really excited about the new E-Z Steer,” he told RVBUSINESS.com Wednesday after a chassis training session. “It’s something we’ve been talking about potentially doing here for a couple years. We’ve been demonstrating how to operate it, and the ones that have actually done demos in the coaches, as well as the new owners, have been extremely happy with the new system.”
He said that the Entegra Coach owners at the homecoming were mostly retired couples and that the new E-Z Steer allows better control, ease of maneuverability at low speeds and easier steering when parking or moving slowly around parking lots.
“Spartan has four more events today, six tomorrow,” said Guillaume. “Entegra owners have the opportunity to participate in a total of 10 courses of electrical, mechanical, maintenance and operation about their Spartan chassis.”
Spartan’s newest K3 605 chassis was also on display powered by the Cummins X15 605 horsepower diesel engine with an Allison 4000 MH, six-speed electronic transmission.
“We continue to build on our foundation and add innovations and technology every year, so the base line chassis is always consistent, yet upgraded from the prior year,” noted Guillaume. “This year we’ve added a tire pressure monitoring system that is standard on the Entegra Cornerstone, giving customers the ability to monitor tire pressure on all tires. This integrates with our Safe-Haul pulling system, so you can effectively monitor the tire pressure of your towed vehicle as well.”
He also emphasized the 20,000-pound towing capacity of the new K3 605 chassis. “Owners really like the large towing capacity of the K3,” said Guillaume. “You can haul almost any type of trailer you’re interested in. If our customers want to haul it, they’re able to.”
In addition, Spartan showcased its new dashboard display upgraded for 2019 along with several other new technology features.
“It allows the driver to toggle between normal driving mode with speedometer and gauges front and center on the dash, or the navigation controls,” Guillaume said. “We also have a new feature where when you turn your signal on you see a side view of the coach to check if there are any vehicles or obstructions on either the left or right side. We have a new 360-degree camera so the driver can get full view of the coach all the way around. There’s also a new intelligent rear drivers’ assist in reverse similar to the high-end automotive systems. So we now have grid-lines on the rear camera of the vehicle when in reverse to assist in parking.”
According to the company’s financial reports released on May 5, Spartan Motors Inc., parent to Spartan Chassis Inc., reported a 35.2% increase in first-quarter revenue compared with sales from the same period a year-ago.
“We have a very solid first quarter, year-over-year,” confirmed Guillaume. “I think we continue to make inroads from a market share perspective with the higher-end coaches with over 400 horsepower. And then we’ve had a few new entrances with Entegra on the under 400 horsepower, along with the Embark and Reatta which just launched last year. So we continue to grow.”
Sponsors for the event included: Registered Owners: 4541l Furthest location EC Owner traveled: AlaskaVendor List: Airxcel; Aqua-Hot; An Rvers Friend; Coach-Net; Diamond Shield; DMJ Supplies; Entegra Coach Owners Association; Elkhart Satellite Systems; Equalizer Systems; Equity Lifestyle Properties; Evans TempCon; Firefly; Flexsteel Industries Inc.; Future Sales RV; G&L RV Specialities; Girard Systems; KleenTank; Magna Shade; MORryde International Inc.; On The Go Portable Water Softener; Ramco; Riverpark; Southwire Company; Spartan; Summit Products; Thetford Corp.; Trikaroo; Truck System Technologies Inc.; Bob Gunn Associates; Winegard Co.