Small Vehicles, BIG Features
Fully Loaded Vehicles on a Small Platform
When we talk about mobile command centers, SWAT trucks, bomb/EOD trucks and more, we tend to picture large scale vehicles ready to take on any challenge. While these big guys are both impressive and fun to look at, it can be easy to forget that good things come in small packages as well. Custom law enforcement vehicles can be built on a smaller platform while still providing the features and tools your department needs to be successful on scene. Below are some recent examples that show a smaller platform can pack a punch as powerful as the big guys!
The Romeoville Police Department went with a Ford Transit for their mobile crime lab that ensures they are fully equipped at a scene. This custom crime lab is packed with interior features such as two workstations, an aluminum cabinet with adjustable shelving, and an electronics rack which sits above the multi-function printer on a slide-out tray. The exterior features a weatherproof exterior workstation and access to tools and equipment via the Transit’s sliding door. Utilizing this platform does not require a CDL license, so anyone on staff can drive the vehicle if needed. Its compact size allows it to navigate congested urban environments to arrive on scene quickly and is a great example of how to maximize the available space to create a very capable vehicle.
For the Oak Creek Police Department, they chose a Sprinter that is small but mighty! This SWAT vehicle is perfect for transporting staff to a scene and includes features like an interior aluminum roll-up door, adjustable shelving for gear storage, and fixed bench seating with removable cushions for additional storage inside the vehicle. Think you can’t have privacy in a small vehicle? Think again! Blackout curtain dividers can be used between the cab and load space of the vehicle to create separation and privacy when needed.
Departments can pack a punch on smaller platforms like a Ford E-450 as well. The Milwaukee Police Department chose this platform for their bomb/EOD vehicle which contains everything a department could need. This includes features like an Armag® ATF Day Box, adjustable aluminum box pan shelving, and a bi-fold aluminum ramp with a 1,000lb. capacity to deploy the Department’s bomb robot. The exterior is decked out with an awning, robust emergency and scene lighting package, and a 7kW generator supplying electric power to the vehicle. This platform can also be outfitted with four-wheel drive capabilities by an aftermarket specialist, meaning your vehicle can go off-road or handle inclement weather such as heavy snowfall or slipper road conditions.
The layout of a small platform can be configured as if it were one of the big guys! The Hartford Police Department remembered this when designing their crime response truck on a Ford F-Series 4×2. An exterior aluminum roll-up door stores SCUBA bottles while another interior SCUBA storage rack sits above the fixed bench seating. The vehicle is packed with storage features including custom bench seating, mesh cargo nets, and an Esmet ModuBox pistol locker which was wall-mounted for safe gun storage. Hartford also worked stainless steel countertops into this rolling crime scene lab for heavy durability. This mobile dive vehicle shows off how a well-designed layout can create plenty of storage space on a small platform.
Clayton County Police Department’s Ford F-550 XL Super Duty 4×4 fit an entire bomb unit into this small package! The inside features plenty of room for adjustable box pan shelves, two Day Boxes, and a folding robot ramp along with two workstations and galley area. Lockable cable pass-throughs have also been added, meaning the department can hook up to anything or pass cables through to those working outside the vehicle. That’s not it for the compact vehicle either! This bomb vehicle also features a color back-up camera system, a 7.5kW generator, manual exterior awning, and even more features that make this a highly effective vehicle on a small platform. We can build a similar vehicle on other chassis including other platforms such as Ram and GM products such as Chevrolet or GMC.
The Illinois State Police recently picked up their three identical SWAT/tactical command units built on Ford Transit High Roof 350s. Selected for their versatility, fuel economy, and ease of use on scene, these trucks can be used for a number of applications. The inside features a workstation with a pull-out work surface, a 32” display monitor, and custom-fabricated aluminum cabinets. Illinois State was cognizant to include plenty of storage space within the vehicle for the gear they require with additional storage space found next to the workstation and underneath the hinged bench seating. The exterior of the vehicles includes a weatherproof exterior workstation, custom-fabricated pull-out aluminum steps, and emergency lighting. The Transits that the Illinois State Police created for their department are great examples of creating functional uses for every inch of the vehicle space.
The Abu Dhabi Police chose a Mercedes UNIMOG U500 for their command center, which is capable of handling heavy-duty off-roading and extreme temperatures and conditions found in GCCs. While this vehicle may be short, the interior features two workstations, a generous electronics rack, and LDV’s Intel-I-Touch™ vehicle automation system which controls vehicle systems such as HVAC, emergency lights and sirens, and the heavy-duty non-locking telescoping pneumatic mast among others. A Weather Station with WeatherMaster software and display console has also been installed inside the vehicle as well. The exterior features telescoping light poles for night operations, a winch on the vehicle’s front bumper, a weatherproof pass-through hatch for cables, and an exterior awning.
When deciding on your new custom specialty vehicle, remember bigger isn’t always better. Small platforms provide numerous ways to configure the layout of your custom specialty vehicle while maintaining room to incorporate popular features. With a variety of platforms that come in all different sizes, LDV has the custom vehicle solution for your needs.