We are currently in the process of collecting bids on a new staff vehicle to replace the 1997 Expedition I am currently driving.  The vehicle I currently drive is in decent shape for being 14+years old.  It has 150k miles on it AND it is the previous chiefs "old" response vehicle.  It is an Eddie Bauer and I hate it.  But, it is provided by the citizens that I am sworn to protect and will drive it until my replacement arrives.


The question is,"what do we replace it with?"  Should we replace it with another SUV, large or small?  OR Do we replace it with a truck?


Right now, I am evaluating a crew cab F-250 with camper shell and slide out AND another Expedition.


Both vehicles are on gov't concession but the truck is more than $3k less.


The truck will provide a variety of services after its end of service life as a staff vehicle.  It can pull the safety trailer, mower trailer, haul materials for the Class A burn props, begin service as a brush truck OR become the new Battalion Chief command rig or snow plow.  The truck also requires the turnouts be stored in the bed, which is probably where contaminated gear belongs anyway.


The Expedition is more efficient with gasoline but the truck has a diesel option (7k upgrade).  The Expedition is more recognizable as an emergency vehicle and likewise, has more available emergency vehicle accessories available.  The Expedition is also more comfortable to drive, however, if that were the only factor, we would all drive Limited Edition leather wrapped sports cars. 


Therefore, I am seeking the opinion of others to assist in the selection between the two OR if you have an idea, post it.  What do your chiefs/staff members drive?  It has to be 4WD for our terrain, call load and unpredictable weather.  Post your pics if you got any.


I also wonder why we are so hesitant to change from the norm of sedans and SUV's, which only provide a limited scope of service.  Or am I just crazy?




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Hopefully I interperited your question correctly...

In my humble opinion, the Expedition is the way to go, especially as a command vehicle. You just pop the rear deck and all your command gear is right there.There are also companies who offer sliding compartments, so the whole back set of shelves roll out beyond the bumper. You can store turnout gear on one side, packs/bottles on the other, and on the back you still have a place for your radios/comm equipment.

The pickup truck you'd have to pull all your gear out and go climbing around in the rear compartmentfor things instead of opening one door. Plus, if you have the camper on the back all the contaminated gear will just offgas in that confined space anyway...

An alternative idea is one that I think should really be explored. The MINIVAN! Seriously, take out the seats and you have so much space and the sliding doors on the side make storing things in the middle of the vehicle much easier to access, PLUS you still have the rear hatch.
Pickup wise you could get a cap with the rollout shelve and have compartments built into the cap or get a compartment body that looks like a pickup body.
Onw dept in our area bought a 4x4 crew cab chevy with a short bed and a cap.
Van wise you could get Halfback van that has one bench seat behind the driver and the rest of the back end is open with divider behind the bench seat to separtate the passenger area from the back area.
If you are using it as a command vehicle, hands down the Expedition, if you need it as a support vehicle to haul stuff, go with a pick up, and diesel, lots more torque. If your station has a flat bed trailer, stick with the expedition and get the tow package. SUV's are better recognized as emergency response vehicles, and are more comfortable to drive. Just my opinion. We have both here...
We use Chevy Yukons, and a Suburban as our command vehicles, they work great for command purposes on the fire ground and and still have ample seating for ferrying people around if need be. FOr hauling our utitliy trailers we have a a chevy pick-up that has no lights or FD markings on it, and it is only used in a support role. If we have to tow something emergent we use our F-550 brush/squad truck to tow our Hazmat or special rescue trailer. If you are leaning towards a truck I would recommend the bed slider, they come in a variety of set ups and allow for organization of equipment.

Yep, a mower trailer. Our stations are situated on extremly large lots. Our headquarters and Station #1 has 10 acres to mow. Our other stations are not quite as large but are still around 3 acres of grass each. That necessitates a large mower trailer with tandem axles and ramp to haul the large zero turn mower and tractor with finish mower. It takes roughly 6 hours to mow our headquarters, and then there's the weed trimming. Since we are a Fire District, and subsequently a stand-alone government agency, we mow. Good job for the probies. The zero turn also has a snow blower attachment to ensure the sidewalks are clear. Currently our brush truck pulls the mower trailer and it can be equipped with a snow plow blade and salt thrower.
With fuel prices on the rise it may be more prudent to go with a smaller suv. We are beginning to look at the new Ford Explorer. With Ford doing away with the Crown Vic for police they have developed a new and improved Explorer. Not that we in the fire world need all the high speed chase power but the electronics and interior are set up for us. The price has been kept low and fuel economy looks promising. Gees I sound like a salesman. Just a vehicle to check on.
We have a new Ford Expedition for a Command Car. If we would have had our way instead of what the City garage got us we would have had a F250 or F350 Pick up with a crew cab and a topper and a slide out tray. It seems more and more we just keep getting more stuff to go into the Command car and we just don't have the room for it. Our Expedition is crammed full of stuff as it has less cargo area than a Pick up truck.
GO with the Pick up truck!!!!!

I currently drive a 08 Ford expedition. I am primarily EMS but carry my fire gear with me as well. I wish I had a truck with more room and your comment about hauling the dirty gear? I hauled mine back after a fire training exercise and probably got CO poisoning on the way back to town. I had to roll the windows down, even with it snowing and 10 degrees out. Our local fire department drives the pick-up with slide out tray and they carry a ton of things in it and haul the air trailer with it. I am transitioning to a fire rehab trailer and am worried about pulling it with my Exp.
i would go with the truck because when your done with it you can use it for the things you had listed also i would go with a diesel because its better on fuel
All of our command vehicles are now crew cab pickups,4x4s. some with camper shell, with just a sliding cover.
By the time you put a light bar on and decals all over, just by the size alone they are easier to see then a sedan.
Not to mention you have more meat between you and whoever if you stack one in.
If your worried about gas prices I guess you could always get a smart car.

Isn't there some kind of new NFPA standard or something that says gear must not be carried inside the passanger compartment of a vehicle? A chief of a near be department said he read that somewhere and now that department is looking to buy two Dodge 1500 pickup trucks. Does anyone know if this NFPA standard is out there and if so where I can find it? I have been searching for it everywhere with no luck.

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