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View Poll Results: Who makes the overall best ambulance?

Voters
51. You may not vote on this poll
  • Braun

    22 43.14%
  • Wheeled Coach

    5 9.80%
  • PL Custom

    12 23.53%
  • Horton

    6 11.76%
  • Other....

    6 11.76%
Results 1 to 17 of 17
We're discussing
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Default Research for a new Ambulance

    Doing some research on new ambulances:

    What brand/make?

    Who has what? and why?

    Pros and cons?

    Stuff you wish your bus had/didn't have?

    Any custom features?
    ....etc.
    BLS before ALS.
    "You get respect from your actions."
    "Communication is the key to success."

  2. #2
    .
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    Default

    Go with Braun. Safest body ive seen in use. The EZ glide door is worth its weight in gold. Alot safer and easier to operate with.

  3. #3
    FDMEDIC84
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    My opinion is that the door isnt safe because what happens when u walk out and a car slams u, atleast with the door hangin out the driver could stay out further. It could happen, but braun's ambulance is a good one though.
    "Sometimes you just have to pull your pants down and slide on the ice"

  4. #4
    .
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    I just feel the sliding door is better. The swining door creates a blind spot, and honestly its not gonna help you out if you get creamed. Brauns body will.

  5. #5
    emsdude
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    Default

    true, however, if people see the open door, they may avoid it, with the sliding door they cant see its open until you walk out the door. then it may be too late. do they still make brauns with swinging doors?

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Default

    Personally, I am a strong advocate for Braun. I have previously worked or volleyed on Braun, PL, Wheeled Coach, Horton, and Medtec trucks and found Braun to be superior to the rest.

    PL is an OK truck; however, I am not a fan of theirs. I feel as though their trucks are not worth nearly what they cost. I have found their layouts to be odd in some respects. I have also found that although their boxes are well constructed, they cheap-out on some ancillary components unless higher quality items are spec'd, most notably the exterior door handles which all needed replacing numerous times. One benefit to PL would be their ducted HVAC system, which provides even heating and cooling throughout.

    Wheeled Coach is absolute junk. The truck we have now is a 1998 with 28,000 miles on it. Although it is eight years old (it was delivered 11/98), it has been always been well maintained and has low mileage. We are currently replacing it out of necessity as it is no longer reliable and is falling apart. This truck should not require replacement at this point. I would strongly advise against the purchase of a wheeled coach.

    Horton is a good strong truck as evidenced by the 1997 Hortons that FDNY still has in service. These trucks have been to hell and back in 10 years of 24-hour service and have held up quite well. Horton seems to be the most willing and capable when it comes to adding unique custom features to a truck.

    Medtec is a decent affordably priced truck. We used them where I work and they seem to hold up fairly well. The quality of our newest truck, a 2005 seems to be far better than that of the older trucks.

    Braun is my personal favorite. Where I volley, we have a 1999 Braun, which has been beat-on somewhat. This truck has held-up exceptionally well and still looks like new inside and out, with the exception of some minor wear and tear and the star of life graphics fading. The shape of the roof allows additional headroom and the unique layout of the cabinetry allows a tremendous amount of storage space. The cabinet layout also provides convenient access to everything. The lighting in the back of Brauns is brighter than any other manufacturer I have seen partially due to the mounting angle created by the sloped roof. Additionally, their rear bumper is of superior design and construction. The design permits easy loading and unloading and I have seen it take a substantial impact without damage to the bumper. Everyone who witnessed it was amazed that there was no damage whatsoever. (And no, I was not driving at the time.) The only issue I have heard of has been poor service from N&A. When we bought our truck in 1999, it was from a company in NJ who was the Braun dealer at the time, and has always taken good care of us. As we look to replace the 1998 Wheeled Coach mentioned above, the only two manufacturers we will consider are Braun and Horton.

    Some features I would like to see on a new truck are:

    Stand-up longboard storage at the back of the truck like North Shore Hosp. EMS has. This prevents having to open a door into traffic to get a longboard.

    I have found the external ac/heating units, which sit on the roof of the cab to be outstanding when, compared to the built-in systems. They really cool the cab quickly and effectively on hot days. They also free-up space for additional storage in the box.

    Although somewhat expensive, we have on our Braun, a Federal Signal Vision lightbar and smart siren similar to NYPD. This lightbar produces a massive amount of light and allows us to direct the takedown/alley lights to any angle we wish, making it great for illuminating MVA's and houses at night. It also provides the controls for all of the lights and siren in a small backlit box as opposed to a multitude of switched as most trucks have. One additional advantage to this system is that it constantly monitors the electrical load and can shut off secondary warning lights as necessary to save the battery. Provided it is not too expensive, we intend to spec-in the LED version of this lightbar on our new truck.

    One other thing we plan to spec-in is a touch-screen navigation system, which offers turn-by-turn guidance as a replacement for the OEM radio. Although most of us know our districts rather well, there is always that one oddball street which gets you. It is also helpful on mutual aid calls and going to hospitals where you do not regularly transport.


    If you guys are going to put in airhorns, I would suggest mounting them into the front bumper as opposed to on the roof of the cab where they are ungodly loud for the crew.



    Perhaps our biggest regret has nothing to do with the truck itself but with the stretcher. We have the stryker H-frame and it has proven to be a bigger pain in the @$$ than the old-fashioned two-mans. This stretcher requires the undercarriage to be fully extended for it to lock making it difficult to unload on uneven surfaces. If you need to unload a patient at an elevated ER bay or on a slope, you need to lift the back end almost above your head to get the wheels to lock. This is awkward for both the crew and the patient, especially if they are on a longboard. I strongly suggest an x-frame stretcher.


    If you wish to come look at our current Braun, you are more than welcome. Just send me a PM and we can arrange something.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Long Beach
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    Default

    We have been using PL Custom now for 14 years, they have made us 5 ambulances and our heavy rescue and we have been very satisified with them. They fully stand behind their product with great warranties. They are great to deal with, it is a family business. When you go to the factory you are treated like part of the family.

    I have not found their products to be cheap or sub-standard, their product is well worth the money, they are no more expensive then a Braun or Horton.

    I have been doing specs for ambulances for over 20 years,now, I have found that their are very few differences in the product, each manufacturer has something a little different to make their product a little different.

    If anyone needs a PL reference or wants to see a finished product in use (3 in service at this time) send me a pm.

  8. #8
    Rant Moderator zeroone
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    If you have the $$ and the patience to track down and keep on top of the braun salesman, then Braun is the way to go. We have them at work and the have held up ten-fold to the Wheeled Coach's.

    The sliding door is great, it allows you to take a look before exiting thus preventing getting struck.

    My FD just purchased and placed into service a PL Custom. Made very well, rides is outstanding. Lots of room and the price was good. The factory is close by, NJ - 2 hr trip. when we went down for the final inspection, there were a few minor changes, which were taken care of and did not delay delivery. And as far as service, Specialty, the PL dealer has done very well thus far. They were very accomadating with a few of our requests.

    If anyone wants more info or would like to stop in to se it, PM me.
    "The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it". -T. Roosevelt

  9. #9
    big chesse, top dog....
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    Our Braun salesman was not worried about 1 ambulance sales right now..... Living large off the county contract.... We cancelled our order with Braun because of poor salesmanship, and went with P&L Custom.

    Braun makes a good bus.... and so does P&L.....
    Be part of the solution... not part of the problem

  10. #10
    OB
    OB is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by stepitxup
    Go with Braun. Safest body ive seen in use. The EZ glide door is worth its weight in gold. Alot safer and easier to operate with.
    theres a reason why the PD uses it.
    Show me the Tiller
    Support OUR TROOPS!
    9-11-01 NEVER FORGET
    "This plan is so perfect, it's retarded"-Peter Griffin

  11. #11
    Telling it how it is.. Goin2work
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    PL Custom has been used by many departments, including Valley Stream which has 2 ambulances currently in service now. They're electrical work is guaranteed for life,and I dont see many problems with our PL aspects of the units, ie.the patient compartment. Alot of the problems have come from either the Ford end or International end.

    At work in the city we have Marque Modular ambulances which are EXCELLENT ambulances. They hold up well, roomy and well laid out patient compartment,stand up long board and stair chair storage, exterior compartments also accessible from the inside, and they are built tough.. Like I said, we have an ambulance in South Jamaica running 24/7 that is in service since 2001 and is due to be replaced soon, the new replacement, a medtec, just got delivered to us last week. I havent really been a fan of medtec, because they dont appear to be built very "city like" and rugged.

    Braun is a decent ambulance also, again, a good ambulance is only as good as it's owner's and the maintenance it gets...

    Good luck in your researching and future purchasing.
    My opinions and postings are MINE and MINE alone, and unless otherwise noted or specified, they do not reflect my Department,Company,Employer or Battalion..

    "Remember: Politician's are like Diapers. They Should be Changed Often, and for the same reasons!"-Robin Williams


  12. #12
    Rant Moderator zeroone
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    Quote Originally Posted by OB
    Quote Originally Posted by stepitxup
    Go with Braun. Safest body ive seen in use. The EZ glide door is worth its weight in gold. Alot safer and easier to operate with.
    theres a reason why the PD uses it.
    Yes, they hold up very well. They also offer a very low center of gravity, which keeps the shiny side up.

    Cost and the sales were a factgor in our decision
    "The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it". -T. Roosevelt

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Default

    Everyone's helping out alot. thanks for the input
    BLS before ALS.
    "You get respect from your actions."
    "Communication is the key to success."

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    123

    Default

    We have both a braun and a PL. Both are relativley "new" I think the PL is a close second, but the Braun is the better choice.....the sales rep is sketchy from Braun, so buyer beware...PL service is much better. So if you have your own department mechanic(s) who do the PM, definately go for the Braun...if service is important to you, you might want to go PL.

  15. #15
    OB
    OB is offline
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    the best new bus is called....i think....a 14a
    Show me the Tiller
    Support OUR TROOPS!
    9-11-01 NEVER FORGET
    "This plan is so perfect, it's retarded"-Peter Griffin

  16. #16
    Rant Moderator zeroone
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    :p'n'l:
    "The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it". -T. Roosevelt

  17. #17
    jsroth17
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Research for a new Ambulance

    Quote Originally Posted by Goin2work View Post
    PL Custom has been used by many departments, including Valley Stream which has 2 ambulances currently in service now. They're electrical work is guaranteed for life,and I dont see many problems with our PL aspects of the units, ie.the patient compartment. Alot of the problems have come from either the Ford end or International end.

    At work in the city we have Marque Modular ambulances which are EXCELLENT ambulances. They hold up well, roomy and well laid out patient compartment,stand up long board and stair chair storage, exterior compartments also accessible from the inside, and they are built tough.. Like I said, we have an ambulance in South Jamaica running 24/7 that is in service since 2001 and is due to be replaced soon, the new replacement, a medtec, just got delivered to us last week. I havent really been a fan of medtec, because they dont appear to be built very "city like" and rugged.

    Braun is a decent ambulance also, again, a good ambulance is only as good as it's owner's and the maintenance it gets...

    Good luck in your researching and future purchasing.

    marque is ok, its a mccoy miller, its the same company just another name.
    the best is horton and braun. pl has good service because they're based out of jersey so they're right there.

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