Victoria Police has renewed its divisional fleet by confirming the first of an annual delivery of Ford Ranger vans.
Plans to have 200 vehicles supplied each year as part of its divisional van fleet renewal program will see Victoria Police continue its six decade association with Ford Australia for the supply of emergency vehicles.
Ford Australia’s growing Special Vehicle Engineering (SVE) team were enlisted to design and develop the new fleet of divisional vans having worked with several large fleet businesses to tailor Ford vehicles to suit operational needs from telecommunications to forestry and other emergency services around Australia.
“Our 2,500-strong team of designers, engineers and auto specialists have the expertise to not only lead the development of global vehicles like Ranger, but also tailor them to meet the unique requirements of organisations like Victoria Police,” said Andrew Birkic, President and CEO of Ford Australia and New Zealand.
The initial order of 200 vehicles in 2021 consists of general duties divisional vans, with the majority of units based on the Ford Ranger XLT Super Cab.
Ford Ranger XLT Super Cab combines impressive ride height (237 mm of ground clearance) for improved visibility, as well as key safety features, including Pre-Collision Assist – AEB with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Keeping Aid, and six airbags.
This combination provides Victoria Police with a stable and safe vehicle with which to patrol Victorian streets.
The Ford Ranger XLT Dual Cab will also be utilised as a Divisional Van with a modified prisoner transfer capsule for some areas of the state.
The rear prisoner transfer capsule is a pre-existing self-contained and secure two-person transport module which features both air-conditioning and a video camera, allowing Victoria Police officers to record and monitor persons in custody, as well as transport them safely and comfortably.
Designed and manufactured by Centaur, with a shelf-life of more than ten years, Ford SVE collaborated with Centaur to redesign the capsule to match the lines of the Ford Ranger, showcasing the design capability and expertise of Ford Australia.
The Ford SVE team also conducted climate testing to verify the effectiveness of the capsule’s auxiliary air-conditioning system. Extensive electrical work, what’s more, was carried out by Ford SVE, to provide optimal connectivity for Victoria Police’s operational equipment mounted where the rear seats of the Ford XLT would typically be.
Once the design work was complete, Ford SVE subjected the new divisional vans to physical testing at its You Yangs Proving Ground near Geelong to ensure it was fit for purpose, including both brake and handling tests.
“Ford has a long history of working with emergency services and fleet customers,” said Simone Crankshaw, SVE Ranger and Everest Program Management Supervisor.
“Our relationship with Victoria Police stretches all the way back to the 1959 Ford Mainline divisional van, and Ford Australia is honoured to have been selected by Victoria Police to supply its new fleet of divisional vans,” he said.
“Design and development of the Ford Ranger is led in Australia, and this Ford Ranger-based divisional van offers Victoria Police high levels of active and passive safety and the peace of mind that it can handle whatever is thrown at it. We’re positive Victoria Police officers will enjoy driving it.”
In addition to these general duties Ford Ranger-based divisional vans, Ford SVE is working with Victoria Police on the design and development of Ford Ranger 4x4s for off-road operational use, as well as other Ford Ranger-based vehicles for specific operational duties.