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Ambulance Purchase Question

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  • Ambulance Purchase Question

    My department is in the purchase of specing out new ambulances/rescues. In south florida they are called rescues because we also carry firefighting gear, SCBA's, Irons, Extinguishers, and other various light rescue equipment. All of our units for the past 10-15 years have been Type 1 on International or Freightliner chassis. We are looking at Type 1 on a F450 chassis. What are the pros and cons of each chassis? Why have so many departments (in South Florida anyway) gone away from the lighter truck chassis such as the F450 and moved to the larger International of Freightliner chassis?

  • #2
    One reason some departments go the "AD" (additional duty - it's an ambulance industry term) chassis for the longevity of the chassis. You can generally expect to get 150k to 200k miles out of a F-series, E-series, Ram, or other equlivent chassis, whereas the AD chassis can give you 300k+ miles. The FL & IH chassis also offer you a larger motor and heavier transmission if that's in your fleet guy's interest list. Also, when you go over a 170" (length) module, the IH & FL's are a little more forgiving.

    The ride in the back is one of the drawbacks, as they don't typically ride as smooth as some of the smaller chassis. On the flip side, get an advanced suspension system like LiquidSpring and it provides the patient and providers are far better ride.
    Career Fire Captain
    Volunteer Chief Officer

    Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!


    • #3

      That makes since. Since we have hospitals on ever corner we only put 60-80k miles before they are up for replacement. A lot of the guys are not happy about getting away from the AD chassis but I'm hoping the nicer ride will put there minds at ease. We are getting the F450 chassis with liquid suspension. And they are still around $70,000 cheaper.


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