The IFAW (MA) chose LDV to create their new mobile rescue vehicle, which will be used to rescue and rehabilitate dolphins in their area. The organization chose a Freightliner MT-55 forward control chassis with a Cummins 260HP engine and Allison 2200 EVS automatic transmission with park pawl and PTO provision. The front lab area features ample custom-fabricated aluminum cabinets, a closet with five adjustable aluminum box pan shelves, and fixed bench seating with two seat belts and removable cushions for additional storage space. This lab area also features a 2.8 cu. ft. refrigerator and a 3.5 cu. ft. freezer. All countertops are Wilsonart laminate for durability. Two FRP-covered pocket doors have been installed on heavy-duty tracks to help create separation between the lab area and rear work area.
The rear is a spacious area with two sets of custom overhead cabinets. While there is a flat floor, the rear features a 10" drop down in the "dolphin area," creating a lower space for loading in the organization's dolphin patients. Dual rear doors are opened when utilizing the ramp, making the loading of aquatic patients a breeze. Heavy-duty D-rings have been installed on the ceiling above the drop-down area of the floor as well as two on each side of the dolphin area as well. Two sets of heavy-duty knurled aluminum grab handles with rubber inserts have also been installed on the ceiling at the entry door of the rear area and by the rear swing doors.
The rear of the vehicle features a large custom-built full-width rear flip-down aluminum ramp with open grip-strut surface for drainage. An additional flip-down section decreases the ramp angle for easier ingress and egress. Spring-assist also assists with the opening and closing of the ramp while mechanical locking latches on each side assist with securing the ramp during transport. Heavy-duty body storage compartments have been integrated into the vehicle's body as well, assisting with storage and allowing wet or damp equipment to drain and dry properly.
An 18' awning has also been installed on the vehicle and can be deployed and retracted with one touch. This awning provides shade to those who may be working outside or shelter from the elements. To assist with parking duties, a Zone Defense backup camera system has been installed. HVAC is handled by two low-profile air conditioners and a 12,000-16,000 Btu/hr direct discharge diesel-fired furnace with its own thermostat. An 8-kW generator has been mounted in a custom fabricated Custom graphics set off the exterior of the vehicle, perfectly encapsulating what the vehicle is meant for.