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  1. #1
    Forum Member REMSCHIEF's Avatar
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    Default Vehicle question...(Yes I DID search)

    I am looking to replace a "well-used" 1994 Ford Crown Vic as a command vehicle. In doing this, I would love to stay local. I have prices on both a Chevy Trailblazer and a GMC Envoy...I need to know your thoughts on these vehicles, as I am not very familiar with them and their reptations. Any help is appreciated.

    Thanks Andy


  2. #2
    Forum Member fftrainer's Avatar
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    This is for a dept vehicle, full warning system, etc??

    I would be careful on those two vehicles. Some of them have so many bells and whitles that electrically they are maxed out in fact I believe its the Envoy(the one with the moving roof so I don't think that matters) that has a separate battery just for the load of the motor that moves the roof and in some cases one for vehicle power and one to power all the accessories (audio system, dvd player, On-star, power seats and so on) Granted it is probably a pretty good draw, but how much room is left on the standard side of the electrical system.

    Now granted the fact that I have not seem them set up as such a vehicle does not mean they would be bad, but sometimes its for a reason. There are so many Explorers, Expeditions, Tahoe's, Suburbans and over the last few years Durangos that perhaps I would look into them. My view may also be regionalized since those vehicles are generally available through State Contract pricing so there are alot of them maybe your area is the opposite.

    I would consider consulting with your local radio/emergency lighting vendor and see what vehicles they have had successes with. Also with the popularity of some of the vehicles I mentioned, there are standard parts for them such as Radio mounting consoles, brackets etc, not to mention, at least in my area, the radio guys could probably wire up and expedition with their eyes closed (sometimes I think they do but that's another story) so there may be some cost savings on the labor side of the vehicle conversion.

  3. #3
    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
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    Remember gas too. The bigger you get, the more it sucks down the petrol, course, you could get a diesel to work like the apparatus and make things a bit better logistically.

    I'd say a Yukon, Suburban, or Expedition. Of course I'm partial to GM, but I don't know if any of 'em can be had in Diesel form.

    If you're looking for a command vehicle, I'd rather get a larger truck to be ready for the future and all of the toys that you might want to carry that come out in a few years. In addition, they are built stronger and (hypothetically) can take more hard usage too.

    You could probably get a utility/base version of the trucks that don't have all the useless toys that come with cars nowadays. Can't imagine you needing a DVD navigation system, 6 disc CD palyer, DVD player, etc. Just a work truck with comfortable seats.

    Of course a crew cab pick-up with a cap can serve a few handy purposes as a command vehicle too.

    Just a few thoughts from my ever rambling mind.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

    The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.

    "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker

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  4. #4
    Forum Member fftrainer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaSharkie
    Can't imagine you needing a DVD navigation system....
    You've obviously not met some of my chauffers!!!! I had a guy pass a road (the one the incident was on!!) as he was reading the street names off the signs. It was in a new subdivision and he went by say 1st street, 2nd street, 3rd street.... oh sh&t 3rd street.

  5. #5
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    I would be carefull about the Envoy/ Trailblazer. I have already had to do major repairs to too many of these rigs. They have us wondering just what the engineers were thinking. Too many stupid designs, and as mentioned, the electrical systems have already shown us some serious flaws. They haven't been out long, and if the premier is any indication, they will be redesigned. The other thing is that the straight 6 engine is tourqie, but gets worse milage than a full size Tahoe/Suburban, and with these gas prices, the full size SUV will be on sale soon.
    There goes the neighborhood.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    I would second the comments on the Envoys and other mid or compact SUV's. Not the right direction.

    The big V-8s suck fuel, but you can usually get dual battery options, dual or high output alternators, and they are generally tougher where they need to be. We have the option of using either our Tahoe or our F-350 quad cab in service as medical/command units, and they both work very well.

    The Tahoe is easier to negotiate around off-road, but the F-350 is more versatile.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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  7. #7
    Forum Member PattyV's Avatar
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    Can't imagine you needing a DVD navigation system, 6 disc CD palyer, DVD player, etc.
    Now why would you take all the fun out of it. It is a command vehicle.
    Think of the practical side, the DVD keeps them entertained whilst you go and get the job done properly.
    "There are only two things that i know are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. And im not so sure about the former."

    For all the life of me, i cant see a firefighter going to hell. At least not for very long. We would end up putting out all the fires and annoying the devil too much.

  8. #8
    Forum Member HFRH28's Avatar
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    Last time i rode shotgun in a trail blazer, i felt like i was riding in a barbie jeep... NO room! I would reccomend going with a 99+ Tahoe or Suburban with a 5.3. Excelent power when you need it, for towing and such, and still gets 18 mpg when driven right. (Record on mine is 19.996 MPG) The deputys with Exploders (explorers) don't have much good to say about them.

    Rossco, I thought I heard they were switching the trail blazer to the torqueless 5 cylinder inline used in the colorado. Any truth?

  9. #9
    Forum Member Res343cue's Avatar
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    I agree, go with a 'Burban or Tahoe.

    I've helped set up at Tahoe for a Chief, and the vehicle was very easy to work with. If you need to carry backboards, or any other long items, look at getting the two-thirds / one thirds split seat. You can extend a console / storage space into the back seat area, and still have enough for two "husky" firefighters in the rear, with their gear.

    There is enough room in the front for a pretty large floor mounted console, which houses two MCS 2000 heads, the siren control, and a seperate lightbar control box. Also mounted in the front is a Panasonic Toughbook. It's still very comfortable to ride in the passengers seat of the vehicle, lots of leg room, and very rarely will you hit your leg or your knee of anything.

    PS: Get the doors that swing out to the sides, instead of "up". You don't want to block your emergency lighting to the rear.
    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleMan
    Why? Because we are firemen. We are decent human beings. We would be compelled by the overwhelming impulse to save an innocent child from a tragic, painful death because in the end, we are MEN.

    I A C O J
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    Honorary Disclaimer: While I am a manufacturer representative, I am not here to sell my product. Any advice or knowledge shared is for informational purposes only. I do not use Firehouse.Com for promotional purposes.

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber mtnfireguy's Avatar
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    We are currently using Tahoe's and have had good results. The only complaint that I have is head room for those over 6' tall.
    Buckle Up, Slow Down, Arrive Alive
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  11. #11
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    There is an emergency vehicle package availabe on the Tahoe. I would highly recommend that vs some plush yuppie wagon.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  12. #12
    Forum Member Res343cue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnfireguy
    We are currently using Tahoe's and have had good results. The only complaint that I have is head room for those over 6' tall.
    The Tahoe we setup is for a Chief that is 6' 4" tall, he hasn't complained about the head room in it. In fact, he says it's much more comfortable then the Crown Vic he was in. Even my knees were bouncing off the dash in that POS.
    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleMan
    Why? Because we are firemen. We are decent human beings. We would be compelled by the overwhelming impulse to save an innocent child from a tragic, painful death because in the end, we are MEN.

    I A C O J
    FTM-PTB


    Honorary Disclaimer: While I am a manufacturer representative, I am not here to sell my product. Any advice or knowledge shared is for informational purposes only. I do not use Firehouse.Com for promotional purposes.

  13. #13
    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnfireguy
    We are currently using Tahoe's and have had good results. The only complaint that I have is head room for those over 6' tall.
    Friggin' tall freaks. I am 5'6" and don't have that issue.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

    The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.

    "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker

    "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." - Dave Barry

    www.daveramsey.com www.clarkhoward.com www.heritage.org

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HFRH28
    Rossco, I thought I heard they were switching the trail blazer to the torqueless 5 cylinder inline used in the colorado. Any truth?
    I heard the same, but it is just hear say. No official word as far as I know.
    There goes the neighborhood.

  15. #15
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Thumbs up And...........................

    2 Years ago, we needed something also. After some study, we have a Ford 4x4 F150 4 door Pickup, with a 6ft. bed and a Matching cap. We built our own Command Center in the Back, on a Commercial roll out tray. It works real well.
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  16. #16
    Forum Member Res343cue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods
    2 Years ago, we needed something also. After some study, we have a Ford 4x4 F150 4 door Pickup, with a 6ft. bed and a Matching cap. We built our own Command Center in the Back, on a Commercial roll out tray. It works real well.
    The State of Vermont started issuing F350s with a slide out try to certain departments around the state. Full LED lighting package, arrow stick, radio setup, everything. The trucks are used as a "Utility" truck, to transport manpower to incidents, odd tools, to run errands in, but most importantly they are for towing the statewide HazMat decon trailers that you have if you have one of the pickup trucks.

    The trailers are starting to become more popular around here, too. Departments are starting to design and build tech / specialized rescue trailers, command posts, and a few other things. I guess when you can't afford to purchase apparatus for each area, and you need more equipment then will fit on just one, trailers are the way to go.
    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleMan
    Why? Because we are firemen. We are decent human beings. We would be compelled by the overwhelming impulse to save an innocent child from a tragic, painful death because in the end, we are MEN.

    I A C O J
    FTM-PTB


    Honorary Disclaimer: While I am a manufacturer representative, I am not here to sell my product. Any advice or knowledge shared is for informational purposes only. I do not use Firehouse.Com for promotional purposes.

  17. #17
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    That is our long term plan for our F-350.

    We realize that we are too small a dept to have different trucks for heavy/technical rescue, mass casualty, hazmat, SAR, etc, but we can equip small trailers with the extra gear that you don't need every day. Military surplus 1/2 ton trailers are sold off cheap, so we can score those or something similar, and customize them to our needs.

    I do love our F-350 crew cab, but it is just a little to big and unruly in congested urban areas, not to mention tight logging roads. That is where the Tahoe shines.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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  18. #18
    Forum Member RyanEMVFD's Avatar
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    I have to say I don't recommend this for what you are wanting.
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  19. #19
    Cpt. Common Sents nbfcfireman's Avatar
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    I wouldnt recommend this either!!
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  20. #20
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    I would definitely go with something Diesel if possible. Especially if the vehicle may be left running for long periods of time......
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
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