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  1. #1
    Forum Member mtg55's Avatar
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    Default Replacing B/C Vehicle, input needed

    Hey all. My department is looking to replace a chief's vehicle sometime in the near future. The vehicle being replaced is a Crown Vic, and we have been discussing options as to what we are going to replace it with. All of our previous Vic's have given way to SUV's, 1 explorer and 2 tahoes, due to our response area and what works for us. It will serve as a Battalion Chief's vehicle and will be lighted/stripped as per our departments standard. There has been talk about getting a pickup truck with a cap, a dodge magnum, or a normal SUV type vehicle, and lots of talk as to how to set it up. I would like to know what the thoughts are from experience, what you use, like, and dislike. Don't need lighting packages or decal design, just what type of vehicle you found works best and what you put in it. I would like to see us go with a functional/cost friendly unit that doesn't need upgraded suspension to handle all the equipment. Pics are welcome, and thanks in advance for your input.
    Matt G.
    Battalion Chief
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  2. #2
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    I strongly pushed back in my department on the whole pickup truck thought.

    There won't be enough weight in the bed to make it a stable response vehicle. SUV's can roll, but a p/u seems like it would just be fishtailing a lot (like the crown vic, btw).

    Then you have all your gear sliding around, I suppose you can put boards and what not in the rear to prevent that... but its not the same as the hatch area of an SUV.

    I also liked having the four doors and extra seating. I can tell you that I had to remove a family off the interstate one bad winter during one of those multi-car fender benders. The ambulance couldn't get onto the highway, so I put everyone in the SUV and met them at the bottom of the off-ramp. You could get a four door pu, but then you have this monster long truck.

    Lastly, you'll be tasked with hauling everything that the F/D needs... it will not be a b/c vehicle it will be a "hauling bingo supplies vehicle".

    I'd stick with the SUV.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  3. #3
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    The company I work for (will not post name per board rules) has built almost every vehicle you have mentioned, with the exception of the magnum. If you send me a private message I will give you the web site so you can look at our pictures of pervious deliveries. As far as which vehicle I would go with I would say that about 75 to 80% of the vehicles we do are SUV based and the other 20/25% are pickups and other random vehicles (ie. Brush trucks, sprinter vans, etc.)
    When we build a SUV or a pickup with a cap there is no worry about your equipment flying around because we build very durable cabinets sprayed with a poly urethane coating. Everything is secured in the back either to the cabinet or in the vehicle.

  4. #4
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    I strongly pushed back in my department on the whole pickup truck thought.

    There won't be enough weight in the bed to make it a stable response vehicle. SUV's can roll, but a p/u seems like it would just be fishtailing a lot (like the crown vic, btw).

    Then you have all your gear sliding around, I suppose you can put boards and what not in the rear to prevent that... but its not the same as the hatch area of an SUV.

    I also liked having the four doors and extra seating. I can tell you that I had to remove a family off the interstate one bad winter during one of those multi-car fender benders. The ambulance couldn't get onto the highway, so I put everyone in the SUV and met them at the bottom of the off-ramp. You could get a four door pu, but then you have this monster long truck.

    Lastly, you'll be tasked with hauling everything that the F/D needs... it will not be a b/c vehicle it will be a "hauling bingo supplies vehicle".

    I'd stick with the SUV.
    Nope,Sorry,Incorrect. My buggy is a 02 F350. We operate in conditions GENERALLY harsher(weather) than NJ. ABSOLUTELY NO "rear end sliding around". If you put a slide out with your stuff under the cap they make a very suitable rig. Even with four doors you can EASILY do a three point in a two lane road. Since I tow the Airboat a lot,the P/U is much more practical than say a Tahoe. For COMMAND only, a Suv would probably be a better choice. T.C.

  5. #5
    Forum Member CGITCH's Avatar
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    Depending on your area and weather, I would go with a 3/4 ton SUV brand choice is up to you.

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    We have a 2010 Dodge Mega Cab with a Slideout in the Rear. It replaced a 1995 Suburban and anytime we needed something out of the back of the Suburban, we had to crawl in and get it. The pickup with the Slide Out is a 100 times better! The Dodge Mega Cab provides the extra room in the back which is really nice.

  7. #7
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    As a Chief or Assistant Chief, I wasn't carrying that much stuff around??? Certainly nothing that I needed anything bigger then the hatch area of my Explorer then Expedition. We had cabinets installed, so there was no crawling around.

    Not sure why you would want a pick up?

    If you have nothing else to tow any of your trailers, that's another story. I guess I wonder what happens if that Chief doesn't respond?
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  8. #8
    Forum Member FIREMECH1's Avatar
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    All our Chiefs buggies are Tahoe's. If I get a chance today, I'll try and get some pics of the back as for equipment and set up. Since it's a Chief vehicle, you really don't need alot of the storage space for SCBA's and other stuff. Our Chiefs buggie has a map/accountability/operations board in it, as well as a few notebooks.

    FM1
    I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

  9. #9
    Forum Member mtg55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FIREMECH1 View Post
    All our Chiefs buggies are Tahoe's. If I get a chance today, I'll try and get some pics of the back as for equipment and set up. Since it's a Chief vehicle, you really don't need alot of the storage space for SCBA's and other stuff. Our Chiefs buggie has a map/accountability/operations board in it, as well as a few notebooks.

    FM1
    Would be greatly apreciated
    Matt G.
    Battalion Chief
    IACOJ-Member
    FTM-PTB

  10. #10
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Just gave up my Durango.

    Cabinetry in the back was holding preplans, command board, extra gloves, softball mitt and 2 softballs, co meter, dozen department patches. On top of the cabinet was local radio and a county radio. On the front wall, behind rear seats was water can, irons, SCBA. Had 4 doors.

    We just got a new F250 pickup for the company. We just had ~30" of snow. Guess what handled like crap in the snow? We fixed that problem by throwing 500' of 5" hose in the bed. Not real useful, but it carried guys around.

    If you want something to carry around tools and equipment and hose...use a pickup. If you want something to carry around a couple guys and command a scene from...use a SUV.

    At least, that is my opinion.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  11. #11
    Forum Member mtg55's Avatar
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    Thanks all! Keep it coming! Also, along with FM1, if anyone has any pics of their command set ups/cabinets/what have you, they would be appriciated as well.
    Matt G.
    Battalion Chief
    IACOJ-Member
    FTM-PTB

  12. #12
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    FYI, we used to use Explorers then they moved the shifter to the floor which made mounting stuff to the transmission hump difficult.

    So, this last A/C vehicle was a Durango. Also, we have the tailgate chevron'ed... it looks ugly, but it is functional (I guess).
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    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  13. #13
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    Depends on what it will be used for in addition to Chiefs buggy. You guys get snow, so a car would be a waste in the winter. If you have trailers to tow or anticipate the need to haul extra stuff, try a pickup, but if you are just using it as a command unit, I say stick with SUV.

    See what FDNY did: http://www.odysseyauto.com/vehicles/...y-pickups.html

    Some other vehicles (I dont sell them, I just know about the company!) http://www.odysseyauto.com/vehicles/vehicle_index.html

    Also check out PL custom and Fast Lane emergency vehicles for additional examples

    http://www.flev.com/fl/default.aspx

    http://plcustom.com/recentdeliveries...px?template=pl

  14. #14
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    We have a Ford F350 4wd crew cab for our Bat. Chief. The truck has a shell and a pull out storage unit which slides far enough to access the front of the pull out. I do not remember the maker of the pull out but it is very heavy and eliminated the sliding around in bad weather as well as provides a good way to store alot of stuff. We fitted a retractable cord reel which supplies power to the slide out for battery chargers and a MDT. It provides more room for storage than our previous Excursion.

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    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    As a Chief or Assistant Chief, I wasn't carrying that much stuff around??? Certainly nothing that I needed anything bigger then the hatch area of my Explorer then Expedition. We had cabinets installed, so there was no crawling around.

    Not sure why you would want a pick up?

    If you have nothing else to tow any of your trailers, that's another story. I guess I wonder what happens if that Chief doesn't respond?
    Several of the Rigs are set up for the trailer.HOWEVER, none have the WB or the Chassis as well suited to the job as the F350. I very seldom leave town, my business is a little over a mile from the station. If I'm out of town for a convention or other reason one of the covering Chiefs will have my buggy. Not saying a P/u is for everybody but THIS one will go when the Explorers and Tahoes are all done. Referring primarily to heavy snow which is USUALLY one of our greatest obstacles. Or high water. The ground clearance on a 350 is higher than most Suv's. EVERYTHING I need to do my job in or out of town is in that rig.No slide out but plenty of Traffic control stuff. T.C.

  16. #16
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    My FD just ordered a 2011 Ford Expedition 4x4 to replace the present Deputy Chief's car, Car 2.

    The present Car 2 is a 1998 Expedition with 100,550 miles on it as of tonight's shift....
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  17. #17
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Like many others have stated, it should be dependent on what duties it will have in the department in addition to being the Chief and what does the Chief "normally" expected to carry around.

    I drive a Ford truck for my personal vehicle, but I would honestly go with the Tahoe if you take the SUV route. The GM products have much nicer standard features IMO. They also are the only ones offering a "police package" SUV as far as I know.
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    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

  18. #18
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    My FD just ordered a 2011 Ford Expedition 4x4 to replace the present Deputy Chief's car, Car 2.

    The present Car 2 is a 1998 Expedition with 100,550 miles on it as of tonight's shift....
    Yer Gonna get Ruinated. That's a NICE ride! Did you get the Sun and Sync package? T.C.

  19. #19
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    Like many others have stated, it should be dependent on what duties it will have in the department in addition to being the Chief and what does the Chief "normally" expected to carry around.

    I drive a Ford truck for my personal vehicle, but I would honestly go with the Tahoe if you take the SUV route. The GM products have much nicer standard features IMO. They also are the only ones offering a "police package" SUV as far as I know.
    That USED to be the case, Others have picked up on it and offer or will offer similar packages. Depends on one's definition (or Fed definition)of "Police package". T.c.

  20. #20
    Forum Member ENG103's Avatar
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    My department uses Ford Excursions with diesel engines and 4 wheel drive. We switched to diesel engines since they do better with sitting at idle. We also have high idles installed. In the back, We have slide out command boxes.

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