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uglyEMT

New Rig Purchase Commision

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I'm going to get back to you with information on a trade show at the Nassau Coliseum, in Uniondale, Nassau County Long Island, in late February, with vendors showing off Engine, Ladder, Rescue, Airport Crash Rescue, and ambulance vehicles, and just about everything to equip them, or dress the crews with. I've always been provided with free event tickets, so I have no idea the cost, plus, parking is NEVER free. It's a 2 day event, over a weekend. I was not able to locate the information on the Nassau Coliseum's website, but you might be able to get dates from the New Jersey First Aid Squad's association (probably messed up their name).

NJ FAC

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Thanks for the heads up guys and gals. Yes we are in contact with NJFAC, we have their requierments for what the state will certify. We have contacted PL and they will be demo-ing a rig for us shortly.

Again we are in the preliminary stages and are brain storming. We have alot of good ideas and I have fielded several good requests from squad members. We do seem to have a central theme going on as far as where we want to head with the new rig, which is a good thing. Just have to find the right company to get the job done.

Thanks for everyehing so far everyone. Keep it coming

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First of all, do an internal poll. Find out what is liked/disliked by your crews. Then talk to other providers in your area about the ambulances they use and what problems they have encountered. Visit the plants and watch one being built if you have one nearby. Put a focus on safety where you can (no sharp edges, 3 point restraints in box for medics, a shelving lay-out that works for the type of calls you do (if 911, put the long back board compartment on the passenger's side, and the exhaust on the driver's side). Have all the dealers bring you a demo unit, ride around in it for a day or two. Compare warranties from each company, and get them to battle against each other for price and warranty (I usually asked that they give me atleast 5 year electrical warranty, if not lifetime).

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I already pointed him to the builder with the best warrantee in the business , bar none.

They also happen to be located in his state and build a top quality vehicle at a competitive price.

Ugly let us know what you think of the Demo & talk the salesman into taking you on a tour of their manufacturing facility.

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sounds like islandemt is getting a commission.

No connection to them at all other than after 40+ years in the business they make the best built and safest truck I've ever worked in the back of.

When we were looking for a new truck in 2009 , I did a LOT of research and got information from the top 5 builders in this country. Comparing the quality of construction, total ambulance conversion warrantee package and best use of space., they were the winners.

They offer a lifetime warrantee on the structural body, 10 year paint finish, 10 year/100 k mile electrical systems , and will renew the warrantee with a remount on new chassis.

If I find a quality product that the manufacturer will stand behind, then I will gladly spread the word.

By the same token if I find a product that is junk , I will tell anyone that wants to know about it.

"Remember a satisfied customer is the best salesman you can have. An unhappy customer can kill your business!"

Dale Carnegie

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I know a great salesman for PL.. Took us to a steakhouse in Sea Girt, NJ; out of this world steak sandwich. Forget the name.. Hook up w/ Wheeled Coach too, ask about their Winter Park, FL factory...... In like February. We're purchasing a new ambulance, and they flew us down in September for a two day factory tour. HOWEVER. I've been in a dozen demo units, and I like the PL quality much better than WC. Allow me to quote myself, the salesperson brought up a NJ Spec ambulance, all aluminum inside, steel body.. So, it was a heavy mother, built like a tank, rode like a tank. He asked how the ride was. I bluntly stated "Have you ever been inside a derailing boxcar? Neither have I, but I think I may know how that would feel." It had an LED Night / Shock light. I haven't seen an ambulance with a shock light since we had a 70's rental back in '99. The guy switched it from blue to red, and I about lost my dinner, it made me horribly motion sick. Anyhoo...

No, new ambulance, will ever be as perfect as any you've had in the past. All I've ever worked in, were Horton Ambulances, and these things are built like, and ride as good as a Cadillac. When we switched from Horton to Marque, I was seriously pissed off. The older unit, we were running a medical, and I yanked down on the nasal cannula hose at the ER, and the WHOLE oxygen wall thing pulled out. It was almost like dry wall. The compartments were so small, and non adjustable, that we could no longer have organized containers, stuff had to be shoved in loose.. which sucks b/c I like my ambulance organized. The newer one, we call the Love Boat. It's an air ride, and it floats down the road, swaying like a train car.. or a boat on rough sea. First call it was on, I was in the back, thankfully the patient was unresponsive, b/c I spent a lot of time with a vomit bag cuffed to my face. If I could go back to my F250 Horton, I would in a heartbeat, it was such a great, smooth ride. Comfort is big, if the ride makes the patient worse, or the crew ill, it was a waste of money.

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Most builders purchase electrical components built by various vendors and installed on the line in the hope that they will all work together in harmony

PL makes their own wiring harnesses and build the circuit control boards in house. each one is made for a specific truck on the build line. their electrical compartment is a thing of beauty to the eye of an engineer.

With some builders it works and others are renown for electrical gremlins, bad grounds & things that stop working when you hit a bump and electrical drains that keep killing the batteries.

We had one truck from a southern builder that every bump in the road would turn things on or off in a random pattern.

Another the snow & rain came in through the door seals in the pt compartment. Never a problem venting smells in that truck.

Another from a major midwest builder the cab to box seal leaked from day 1 and after several trips back to get it fixed ,it came back with a big rubber molding slobberred in silicone to fill the gap where the boy and chassis moved as it flexed

Others are known for cracks in the welding of the body compartments and doors that need a 100 pound shove to get them to latch.

How a truck rides is directly related to the heavier chassis we are now using. If you want a decent ride then don't spec a 14,000 gvw truck chassis.

However with all the required equipment we have now, anything lighter is pushing the limits of safety and overload

Balance of the weight on the chassis is important in obtaining a smooth suspension preloading. springs need to be loaded by static load to make them operate effectively , in conjunction with heavy duty gas shocks and tires rated for the load.

There is a lot more to buying a new truck than looking at the shiny lights and stripes on the outside!

PS Be Very leery of the new fangled touchscreen electrical controllers used in some builders trucks , nothing worse than waiting for the correct screen to come up so you can turn the emergency lights on.

Edited by island emt

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Thanks for the heads up guys. Yes both our rigs are Hortons and I love them, the 4 wheel drive one rids a little harsh but I think its because of the shocks being worn.

As far as the wiring, OH HELL YEA, thats priority one! Our current rig is a disco on wheels. Hit a bump and things get wacky, I just tell patients its haunted LOL j/k :innocent:

Like I have said I have PL coming up for a demo and being they are local I plan to visit their shop soon, need an excuse to go to the shore anyways.

The suspention will be number 2 on my list as well. I am an avid offroader and have designed my own suspention setups so the math and engineering of suspenbtion comes easy to me. I will have the rig weighed before they set the spring and shock rates. I feel patient and crew comfort should be paramount, especially with us traveling a minimum of 25 miles to the ED and as far as 50. Plus with us having unpaved roads in our dispatch area bumps are common. I couldn't have myself see a patient suffer getting to the ED because we rode like crap (be it too soft or too hard).

The interior design is important, staying away from touchscreens and gadgets, following KISS here. Our current setup works really well, just some ergonomic issues here and there but simple solves (like the MC radio being slightly behind the shoulder in the captains chair, I want it more foward so I dont have to turn around to get at it or in the driver compartment the switches are on a flat panel and not facing twords the driver, having the angled more would help alot) like I said simple changes.

As far as the pretty blinking lights, going LED this time. Halogen was nice for a while but cant beat the lumins of LED. Not going crazy either with them, I have been in a few rigs that were lit up like a night club and in foggy or snowy weather couldn't see crap because of the light glare. Again KISS will be the norm.

We have been polling our members and have a suggestion box as well. We have had some great feedback on both positives and negatives. Very few negatives but a few non-the-less. Everything will be taken under advisement and incorporated where possible. Sorry the patient ejector button and seat will NOT be included :devilish:

We are looking at the seat restraints as well. I feel saftey in the back should be adressed so We are looking at either 3 or 5 point systems. I have been in a demo rig with both systems and they seem really good, just have to see how they would impede patient care. Going to keep our current seating setup though, just have to see how the restraints would be incorporated. Our current setup is a bench seat on the passenger side, captain chair rear facing behind the driver, and a seat on the driverside midway down. This setup affords us great space when ALS jumps on board. We just rotate around, I go from the bench to either the capt or the mid seat, my partner takes the other unoccupied seat, and ALS takes the bench so they have room for their med bag and LP12 plus themselves.

For the poster who suggested the exaust out the driver and spine board on the passenger, that is our current setup and will stay that way. We are basically going to keep our compartments the same on the outside, inside will be changed a little though, some of our current layout works some doesn't. The no sharp edges will definatly be incorporated, right now we have foam padding and it doesn't do a hill of beans. I hit my head enough on cabnits to know from experience LOL

We are going to look at at least 3 different companies PL being one, haven't decided on the other 2 yet. I do believe someone else on the commission has a second company but for the life of me can't remember the name. We need the multiple for the bidding process to make things ligit according to the by-laws and such.

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