Ford vs GMC/CHEVY Rigs

C.T.E.M.R.

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In the last year my company went from a 1 bay station with our second rig posted at a local FD to a Brand new 3 bay building with full kitchen, offices, training facility etc. And we currently have 2 2009 Ford e-series ambulances from PL Custom. They are junk. since we have the the third bay now. our overseeing committee has made plans to replace the two fords and add the third ambulance. We are planning on going the GMC/Chevy route. My question is have any of you ran in the newer ones yet, and what type of issues seem to be common in them. We are getting rid of the fords because of multiple breakdowns. and one has had a new motor a transmission installed. maintenance is always kept up on etc. one broke down 2 miles from the hospital with a code in the back. and many other companies have had problems too. as i said they plan on going with A GM product but possibly a freightliner or international, highly unlikely but could happen. what have been your experiences in the gms or international or freight liners?

thought i would add the fact that we might just have the 2 existing ones remounted because the boxes are good.
 
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emtpche

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Good question I was looking for a simar thread about GM. Rural/Metro is coming in for a new ALS contract in Santa Clara county. They are required to purchase GM G4500 type III. Wondering if anyone uses that particular model and the pros/cons of it?
 

TransportJockey

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We currently have a Chevy C4500, an IH box, and a Chevy 3500 Type II. The Type II has been giving us problems with the fuel rail clogging up, the IH has given us problems with the steering and suspension, but our C4500 has done great.
http://www.lonestarev.com/deliveries.html Search 'Pecos' on that page to see our Type II and C4500.

My old service in NM used primarily Ford Type II and III ambulances and we had very little problems, but the newest one we had at the time was an 07 or maybe an 08, so it was before they swapped out to the new engines
 

Adz

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We use the Chevys and don't have many problems with our rigs. My company also has a few Fords for spare trucks, and they are constantly breaking down or not starting at all. Most of our Chevys run fine with just general maintenance well into the 200k mile range.

Of course there is the general wear and tear breakdowns because many of our units run 24/7.

My rig actually just got replaced with a brand new one about 6 months ago and its great :)
Already have 70k miles on it though:rolleyes:
 

lightsandsirens5

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Well, the medium duty Chevy and GMCs seem to be ok, but keeping bakes and alternators and in some cases, rear axels in the Chevy one tons is a nightmare. :wacko:

We are having tremendous luck with the newer Ford one tons. (and even some that are getting older) We have a 2003, a 2006, a 2009 and a 2010. They are wonderful! No major problems yet except a few transmission problems with the 2003 (It was at 140K before it needed any transmission work.) and a blown turbo seal just a few months ago. Other than that, nothing wrong at all. The 2009 did get a brand new rear end about six months ago, but the dealer declared that it was a Ford Factory defect that destroyed it and gave us a new rear end and labor no charge. (That sounds funny) :p

I am in favor of Fords all the way unless it is a medium duty rig.
 

C.T.E.M.R.

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Thanks guys for the replies so far. And the reason i hate the fords is because most of the problems were before 50-60 thousand miles.

BTW my company will only use TYPE 3s so info on 3s would be most helpful but jt nice rigs, i love the american flag!!
 
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lightsandsirens5

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Thanks guys for the replies so far. And the reason i hate the fords is because most of the problems were before 50-60 thousand miles.

BTW my company will only use TYPE 3s so info on 3s would be most helpful but jt nice rigs, i love the american flag!!
Ahhhhhh.......ok. I am talking about type ones with a one ton truck chassis. F-350s. Maybe they are better than the vans. Whatever you get though, make sure it's a diesel. =)

So, do you have any experience with Chevy ambulances though? I know lots of companies won't mount boxes on Chevy chassises. Especially full size boxes. I will say though do not go with Dodges. I work with a guy who is a regional manager for a cable/Internet company. The got all new Dodge work trucks, 10 of them. Cummins diesels. Within 25,000 miles, they had already replaced 6 transmissions, 4 rear ends, a front end and within 50,000 an entire drive train. They have a great motor wrapped in a heap of junk.

Lol. Can you tell I dot like Dodges? :p
 

reaper

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I will say the opposite!

Every make is going to have problems. Ambulances are abused. they haul a lot of weight and the drivers treat them like crap.

Now, Ford is still the leader in the field. 85% of the ambulances you see are Fords for a reason. They have proven to withstand the abuse the best of them all. They have had engine issues, but that is minor compared to major issues.

Chevy's have shown to not handle the work and abuse. Not just engine problems, but major chassis problems, that should not exist.

Dodges have already proved to handle and hold up very well in ambulances. They just started making their chassis's again, about 5 years ago. Since that time, they have held up nicely in the field. The cumming engine is the best small market diesel there is. It is the most reliable engine on the market. So, I do not agree with L&S. They are very good units.

Medium duty units, the chevy/GMC 4500 are decent trucks. Freightliners are nice and IH are very prone to problems.

So to summarize, for a Type II setup I would go with Ford,Dodge and Chevy. In that order. For a type III setup I would go Ford, then Chevy. For medium duty, Chevy 4500, freightliner, then IH.

Throw one more in the mix. For a nice TypeII setup, Sterling trucks makes an awesome chassis for them and Sterling is known for build quality trucks.
 

spike91

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My agency runs a ford wheeled coach type III and a chevy medix type III. Ford is always in and out of service for service, haven't had issues with the chevy yet, runs beautifully.
 

C.T.E.M.R.

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thanks for the replies. im hoping they get the chevys now. I dont know of any really close companies that run tp 3 chevys yet. mostly fords or sprinter vans which i cant stand.
 

HotelCo

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My company only runs fords, and they're all well into the 100ks, and plenty are in the 200k and 300k. Very few issues with them.

.
 
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medic417

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No matter which brand be aware that in 2011 and newer you now have to watch the exhaust fluid level, if it runs low you go slow, if it runs out you stop. Plus Ford has a new better diesel now so hopefully any issues, besides the occasional lemon that all makes have, will be taken care of.
 

lightsandsirens5

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But a Ford can be fixed! Chevys just fall apart and die.
Amen Reaper!

What it actually is:

FORD: First On Race Day

CHEVROLET: Clanks Hard, Every Valve Rattles, Oil Leaks Every Time.

DODGE: Drips Oil, Drips Grease Everywhere. Or: Dead On Driveways and Garages Everywhere.

Lol. Anyhow, I love Chevys. Chevys ambulance package is just sorely lacking in some important areas. I would take a Chevy as a personal rig any day. (Depending on the year and model and all of course, same as I would with a Ford) Used to own a Chevy and didn't have any problems with it. (Other than ones I caused. Like the time a 1x1/2x4 inch piece of wood went through the radiator, dead center. Yea, don't ask. Just know it was expensive.)
 

b2dragun

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The biggest thing I don't like with the Chevy Van conversion rigs is that you can't curb hop. The front frame is infront on the wheels so you hit the frame...Ford is behind the wheel so that isn't a problem. My company is starting to buy unleaded fords to replace our older diesel fords. I am a fan, much quiter and better exceleration. Other then the curb hopping issue the Chevys are nice. More room up front and at least on ours the rear deck is higher...so that might be an issue. Keeping in mind everything will break when you are putting hard code 3 miles on it. Just my 2¢
 

emtpche

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Started out with a hodge podge of Fords and Chevy's. Now it is 55% Fords the other 45% Dodge Sprinter. My only concern is that when I have to spend 12+ hours that they have leg room in the front. For that Ford sucks. Even midgets have a hard time sitting up front. The Sprinter is great for leg room in front and I can stand upright in the back instead of looking like Quasi Moto.

No company has yet made a rig that can keep up with the amount of wear and tear that we put on them. That is aimed at those type of rigs that are converted. Maybe the Freightliners or those like that, that are built from the frame up can. Never had any in services
 
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