Victoria Police has selected the Ford Ranger to renew its divisional van fleet, with plans for 200 vehicles to be supplied each year. With design and development of the Ranger led in Australia, the deal continues Ford Australia’s long association with Victoria Police and the supply of emergency services vehicles.
Ford said Victoria Police has recognised the expertise of the company’s Special Vehicle Engineering (SVE) team to design and develop its fleet of new divisional vans. Ford SVE works with a number of large fleet businesses to tailor Ford vehicles to suit their 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. The vehicle features 237mm of ground clearance for improved visibility, and key safety features, including Pre-Collision Assist – AEB with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Keeping Aid, and six airbags. Ford said this combination provides the police with a stable and safe vehicle to patrol Victorian streets. The Ranger XLT Dual Cab will also be used 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 air-conditioning and a video camera, allowing police officers to record and monitor people in custody, as well as transport them safely and comfortably. The capsules were designed by long-time supplier, Centaur. Ford SVE collaborated with Centaur to redesign the capsule to match Ranger’s lines.
The Ford SVE team also conducted climate testing to verify the effectiveness of the capsule’s auxiliary air-conditioning system. In addition, extensive electrical work was performed 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 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.
“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,” added Crankshaw.
Ford SVE is also working with Victoria Police on the design and development of Ford Ranger 4x4s for off-road operational use, as well as other Ranger-based vehicles for specific operational duties.