Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Six Trucks for International Customer
From left to right: Kyle C., Bruce Y., Mike T., Dan L.
Build Crew Tackles Covert Vehicles for International Customer
Teamwork is the driving force behind every LDV custom vehicle, from the simplest equipment truck to the most sophisticated mobile command center. No matter the project, every department works together towards the goal of creating the best custom vehicles in the world. For the build crew tasked with converting a fleet of six showroom-fresh SUVs into LDV custom vehicles, this guiding value was no exception.
First Things First
LDV’s Special Service Vehicles (SSV) build crew was excited to get to work on transforming six brand new GMC Yukon Denali’s into covert bomb disposal vehicles, even though parts of the project were uncharted territory for some. The vehicles each get outfitted with a huge slide-out gear storage tray that must be integrated into the vehicles’ interiors. In past builds for this customer, the tracks and slides would have been handled by LDV’s onsite fabrication shop but with the department experiencing an influx of projects, the crew took on the challenge of handling every aspect. Their first order of business? Figuring out the best approach to tackle this unique puzzle.
“The first week on the Yukon Denali’s was definitely the hardest, and not just because it was my first time working on this project. We had to figure out the best way to get the parts where they needed to go while making sure there would be room for everything,” said Dan L, Builder.
The electrical upgrades and additions are extensive. For Dan, this meant figuring out how to get enough wire throughout the vehicle while navigating some tight spaces. In some spots, this could mean fitting four or five wires through the same space to ensure the rest of the crew had what they needed to complete their respective tasks.
While the customer chose to use the same GMC Yukon Denali from past iterations of this project, they were using a new model year. This meant new components and parts compared to previous years. Even for a project veteran like Kyle C., Lead Builder, who had worked on this project previously, this meant some detective work had to be done at the beginning.
“We didn’t have a blueprint to build these trucks, so it was really up to us to figure out the best way to fit everything properly and safely. We used the first truck as our template to build the others. It’s cool to see these civilian trucks become special service vehicles that will be used internationally,” explained Kyle.
One example Kyle was quick to mention were the changes made to the radiator. Because of new components that were added, this meant figuring out what bracket to use, the best way to mount it, and how to ensure the additions would not interfere with the grill of the vehicle.
LDV has built several vehicles for this customer ranging from small vehicles like these to large scale commercial chassis mobile command centers. Bruce Y., Builder, has been a fixture on these vehicles for years, remembering how the customer used Sprinters over SUVs in the beginning.
His main focus for this series of vehicles was upfitting the rear interior area with the slides and the large equipment tray that glides out of the vehicle’s cargo area. Watching how the process evolves as the vehicles change from model year to model year is one of the things that intrigues Bruce the most.
“Every time I work on vehicles for this customer, I push myself to do even better and work even faster. Next year, General Motors is changing the body style. It will be interesting to see what we need to modify and rework with the design,” explained Bruce.
Mike T. also echoed this sentiment, finding the overall project challenging working within a confined space like an SUV, but also refreshing. Mike’s willingness to help not only supported his fellow crew members but gave him a chance to get a hand in different aspects of the project. Mike has previously worked with Kyle on numerous other LDV custom vehicles and assisted him when he needed help under the hood on these trucks. When his tasks were finished, Mike was also quick to help the other members of the build crew as well.
“These trucks really challenge us as a team. But they are a nice change of pace from what I normally do. It was a new way to approach a vehicle build and it was really satisfying to see the end results,” said Mike, Builder.
This fleet of vehicles is a shining example of the teamwork that happens every single day in the LDV build shop. You can view these awesome Small Search EOD vehicles on our website and learn more about the numerous other vehicles we have and continue to build.
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