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F-series vs. E-series Ford ambulances

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  • F-series vs. E-series Ford ambulances

    Does anyone have any data that would support the notion that the F-series trucks are better (i.e. safer) than the E-series? I'm looking for some objective data to present to the chief, who is considering changing our order from the F's to the E's.


  • #2

    To the best of my knowledge, you can get a factory built F-series as a 4x4, something that must be done by someone else for an E-series.


    • #3
      I would say for any serious maintenance issues the "F" would be easier to serivce, I only drove one along time ago and the box sat up higher than the chassis, which caused me great difficulties in trying to give the person a good ride in the back ..........seemed like it wasmaybe top heavier ? I have mostly been in the "E" series.
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      • #4
        O.K. - first let's make sure we are all using the same vocabulary.
        Type I - Pick-up Style chassis with modular box
        Type II - Van style
        Type III - Cut-away Van Chassis with modular box.

        Now - if you're talking about going from a Type I to a Type III (which I hope you are) about the only things I can offer other than the afore mentioned easier engine maintenance and the availability of "factory" 4 Wheel Drive **, if the fact that a Type I will put more vehicle in front of your driver / crew in the event of a frontal impact / collision than a Type III (or a Type II for that matter) and less clutter in the cab due to the lack of a "dog house" for the engine.

        Also - if it's an issue the Type I's are slightly easier to remount than Type III's

        Now if you're talking about going from Type I's to Type II's (lord I hope not) - there is loss of storage compartment space, Pt compartment space, Crew/Cab area space (depending on interior design) and so forth.

        ** as skipatrol8 pointed out the E-Series must be "converted" to 4WD by an outside company such as Quigley http://www.quigley4x4.com - the neat part is they use Ford F-Series parts and are an approved Ford SVE modifier - which means the conversion WILL NOT void your Ford factory warranty.

        Sorry I don't have more but I hope this little bit helps.
        Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless


        • #5
          I hope so too

          I assume your chief wants to go from type I to III. Some class IIIs are built using the same chassis as a II, so I am a little confused. It also seems to be that an F series might be more durable than a E, because it's designed as a work truck instead of a van. trucks's frames are usually stronger than a comparble van's, I would think.


          • #6
            F Chassis vs E Chassis

            I've been riding on Ambulances for 30 years. Most of this has been on the Ford Type 1, F-350 Chassis.
            With that being said. Our company is a combination volunteer/career (career weekday daylight) Equipment paid and maintained by volunteers. 3 Ambos respond to around 900 calls a year. This past May we placed our 12th F-350, Type 1 in service. This is the nicest (smoothest) riding unit we ever had and the most powerful (speed on hills). The county has purchased several E-450 Type III units from the same manufacture, for the career companys. These are performing just as well in both ride and power.
            Ford has been making "Ambulance Package" chassis in both the E and F series for a long time. So for my 2 cents its just personnel preference, what you feel comfortable in and what those, that have to use the units, want.


            • #7
              I believe there is a turning radius difference as well, as the wheelbase (assuming a standard body size) will be longer on an F-series.

              Not sure on that though... might want to check the specs.
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              • #8
                We looked at a van chassis last year when we replaced our ambulance. The van gave a little more room in the box with the same overall length, but some of the larger guys had trouble fitting behind the wheel. Apparantly there was not as much adjustment to the drivers seat.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Eng34FF View Post
                  Apparently there was not as much adjustment to the drivers seat.
                  In a "standard" cut-away - there's isn't. The roof of the module is cut roughly where the bottom of the seat stops in full rearward travel. The problem is that no one sits in the seat with the seat back up at a 90 deg. angle. There is always some recline in the seat - therefore if you build the module wall flush with the roof line - the head of the seat back hits the module wall before the seat reaches full rearward travel. You need to spec an extension in the cab or have the Mfg. build a recess into the module for the seats to go back into (which cuts into the compartment space a little).
                  Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless


                  • #10
                    safety info

                    The only info that I could locate for the F-series being safer is a article with the opinion that their is more metal up front to protect the driver and passenger on a frontal collision. For my two cents worth I think the E-series is safer because it has a lower center of gravity so it easier to control if you have to try and avoid a collision. As for other people saying the f-series easy to do maintenance on I strongly disagree. Last week when I was at the plant looking under the hood of a new F-series I had a hard time finding the dip stick because of all the crap under the hood for the new emissions. I don't think you could even get a wrench under the hood to work on something with out having to disassemble half the engine to work on whatever you wanted. First let me say I am a Ford man but if it were my money I would buy a Chevy 4500 with the Monroe lowering package. This gives you the same load height as a Ford E-450, 1000lbs. More usable payload and you get a better site line than the E or F and a better turning radius by a country mile. Also you can flip open the hood and have everything right in front of you with nothing in the way. So you get more payload, frontal protection, better site lines, easy maintance, and best of all the C4500 is cheaper than the F-series and no air ride.


                    • #11
                      we have both an F series and and E series and they are both virtually the same height.

                      The f series, with it's pickup front end may be tuned for more hp than the E seriess with it's "van" front end. This is due to radiator area. I think they limit the E series to 235 hp due to cooling issues. (if that is an issue)

                      Both f series and e series have been available in the past as cutaways.

                      The E series will have a shorter wheelbase and tighter turning radius if the cramp angle is the same.

                      We are considering remounting the box on our F series onto a 4x4 chassis.


                      • #12

                        E vs F you will give up the ride quality in an F series ford you will also add a high maintenance item (Air ride) this is required to meet KKK loan height a lot of people I talked with that were in F series ambulance have went to E series because of the air ride problems


                        • #13
                          Either or..

                          It depends on your application.

                          Recently I followed the new F-series ambulance to the local hospital. I was in a 93 Ford E-150. Granted it wasn't a ambulance package..it was a camper conversion that brought the weight to almost 6000lbs.
                          Up here in Alaska,you get varied terrain because rural call outs can mean long,windy,rutted up roads.

                          The E-150 has a gas V-8..specifically the 302ci/5.0Liter. I didn't have any trouble keeping up with the ambulance and the ride quality was very good.
                          Ice and snow can be a real problem,so having 4wheel drive (I never got around to asking if the F-series ambulance has a posi/limited slip diff) is great if you are stuck and cant wait around for someone to pull you out of the ditch.

                          What's really nice about the E-series is the turning radius.Not quite cutting a corner on a dime,but better than any other vehicle it's size and some smaller vehicles..such as the Ford Explorer and Expedition.

                          I'm 5'9" and have never had trouble getting in or out of either the F-series or E-series..

                          If your driver(or you) can handle the snow and ice..and you want to be able to cut in corners tighter..then go for the E-series ambulance package..
                          If you have the need(better to have and not use..etc) for 4WD,then go for the F-series.
                          Working on either one can be a chore,especially replacing spark plugs on a 302ci in a E-series..

                          from wikipedia:
                          The chassis and suspension improvements have also resulted in an increase in the maximum gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) from 14,050 pounds to a class-leading 14,500 pounds.

                          If you need more weight carrying capability than that..then upgrade to a bigger platform such as a Freightliner M2


                          • #14
                            My Chief and I spoke to the Ford engineers present at FDIC this past April about the F vs. E series debate. Although the wheel base is obviously shorter on the E-series cut aways, the cramp angle of the F-series is tighter. With the right specs of the box, you could make tighter turns in an F-series.

                            The big change, if it matters to you, will be in the avaiable motors. With the 2010 diesel standards that are coming up, the current motor Ford uses (built by Navistar) will not fit in the E-series of vehicles. Ford is developing a smaller diesel of their own for the E-series, however the current diesel motor will still fit in the F-series trucks, and will be more powerfull all around. Ford is also going to start trying to market gasoline engines for ambulances in the E-series cutaway chassis.

                            Maintenance costs with the F-series will be comparable to that of the E-series in may respects due to the fact that you will only be able to drop the engine from the bottom of an F-series chassis on the newer models, something that is obviously the case for E-series trucks. This has to do with the redesigning of the engine compartment to account for increased cooling and the urea injection systems.

                            For any trucks you purchase in the near future, it's going to be nearly impossible to use prior experience to decided on F vs. E series trucks since in 2010 they will both be completely new animals.
                            Last edited by 911brad; 08-14-2009, 06:01 PM.
                            Brad A. Ingersoll
                            Assistant Chief
                            Maple Bluff Fire Department
                            Blooming Grove, Burke, Maple Bluff EMS

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