Market-leading emergency service vehicle specialist, VCS, has revealed a range of ground-breaking concepts based on a new MAN Truck & Bus TGE Ultra Low Floor Architecture (ULFA) platform developed by sister company, Promech Technologies. The all-new ULFA platform’s construction offers a combination of strength, versatility, and accessibility never seen in the emergency services sector. enabling VCS to produce a new generation of front-line emergency service vehicles.
VCS’s use of the MAN TGE-based ULFA platform opens a new world of opportunity for it to produce a next generation of vehicles, with gross vehicle weights including 3.5, 4.0, 4.25, 4.5, and 5.0 tonnes. This gives VCS the ability to bring about a new generation of box body emergency service vehicles, including front-line ambulances and police support units, as well as fire, and search and rescue vehicles.
By using the ULFA platform, VCS has already been able to introduce Europe’s first 5.0T front-wheel drive, single rear wheel modular ambulance, which is designed specifically for St John Ambulance as a bariatric ambulance.
The new ULFA embraces technology to ensure future VCS vehicles continue to offer the lightweight, robust construction for which it is renowned while delivering even greater levels of versatility. Its low floor gives VCS the ability to develop a wider range of configurations of emergency service vehicles, as it can increase interior space of the box body without compromising the overall height of the vehicle and delivering a lower centre of gravity overall.
The durable construction of the ULFA platform, combined with the load-lugging ability of the MAN TGE means that VCS vehicles using this architecture will be able to carry exceptionally heavy loads. This opens up possibilities for VCS in specialist care ambulances and a wider range of armoured policing vehicles.
Mark Kerrigan, Managing Director of VCS, said: “Our new ULFA low floor platform opens up a world of possibilities to both ambulance and police services, offering a solution that offers greater versatility while retaining our core values of lightweight and quality engineering. The ULFA has a great deal of potential, and we look forward to unlocking this with several new low floor vehicles in the near future.”
Designed, developed and produced at VCS’s facilities in Bolton, Greater Manchester, and Bradford, West Yorkshire, the first vehicle to use the new ULFA low floor platform will be unveiled later this year, in partnership with a major ambulance service.
Rob Macintosh, National Fleet Manager at St John Ambulance said “The ambulance market has been looking for a five-tonne alternative to a custom-built box body with tail lift entry for a long time. I’m delighted that our partnership with VCS and MAN has found the solution. The new ambulance’s low floor entrance, single rear wheel and box body is truly market-leading in the five-tonne C1 vehicle category and opens up future potential on so many levels.”
Promech Technologies, which sits within Woodall Nicholson’s Technology Division, draws upon its expertise in driveline engineering, innovative low-floor chassis design and eMobility solutions.
Daniel George, TGE International & National Key Account Manager, MAN Truck & Bus UK Ltd, added: “Working on this complex and ground-breaking vehicle, with both VCS and St John Ambulance, has been an absolute joy. It was obvious at the initial planning stage that there was a collective meeting of minds and an open culture of partnering each other through the complex build process. The end result is a stunning bespoke design and a true made to measure vehicle.”