Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Beeville, TX
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Unfortunately all the new van chassis for ambulances only come in V10. I had a chance to try them out a few weeks ago. Brand new Osage van ambulance with a V10. It was *nearly* as good performance wise as my diesels. The 0-40mph was easily as good, but after that, the diesel has an edge. Also, driving into the wind, I couldn't maintain 90mph in high gear (with a 5R110 transmission).
The 2010 E350 V10 that I was driving was rated at 390hp, and 400ish ft-lbs torque, and it was *nearly* as good as a 2010 E-350 6.0l diesel rated at 235hp, 450 ft-lbs. Ford van 6.0l's are rated at 235hp, in case people didn't know..
In the fuel economy category, the 6.0l will give me 14mpg (hand calculated) all day long, pretty much no matter how you drive it. The V10 (based on the lie-o-meter) was getting 13 before I started my "test", and afterward, I ruined the average to the point that it was reading 9.1 .. That was about 15 miles of driving pretty hard. Not much different than I normally drive my 6.0l trucks, except for the top speed run near 90mph, that doesn't really happen very often in the real world in an ambulance.
So in fuel economy, highway driving (when the sales rep was driving it )was probably 11ish mpg, and when I was driving it, it was probably averaging 7 or less, which is why the Lie-o-Meter dropped like a stone..
So, for lack of any thing better, us ambulance companies are either stuck with V10's with their so-so performance and thirst for fuel, or go with a much more expensive truck (f-series) chassis, with a much more expensive box to go on it..
Decent (diesel) van ambulance : $63,000
Decent V-10 van ambulance : $54,000
Decent F-series ambulance : $120,000
Sucks to be us..
Eli Benson - EMT, Ambulance Mechanic
'08 F350 Dually KR - Spartan'd
'07 F250 CC SB 4x4 XLT - SCT /w Innovative Tunes
4 '09 & '10 E350 6.0l ambulances
1 '08 Duramax 6.6 (LMM) van ambulance