EXTERIOR GRAPHICS DESIGN PROCESS
The exterior graphics design process is a fun and great way to advertise your mobile clinic services. Your mobile clinic is a large moving billboard so we highly recommend our customers take advantage of the exterior vehicle space and create an efficient design.
The first part of the design process is determining what type of graphics package you require. This decision is driven by a customer’s budget. Universal Specialty Vehicles, Inc. offers three graphics packages with a variety of interior and exterior graphic coverage, material and design options. As the customer, you will need to determine which graphics budget will work best for your organization. USV can work with the customer to determine if they prefer an all vinyl graphic design, a paint and vinyl combination design or simply spot vinyl decals. Every customer is different with respect to their requirements.
Next, you will need to brainstorm themes for the graphics design. Depending on the age group, some customers like to design animated kid-friendly graphics that will make children feel comfortable when walking into the vehicle. Other customers prefer to use a variety of colors with their services listed.
As the customer, you will need to determine if you require stock photography as part of your design. Some customers like to showcase stock photography with photos of either kids, family members or medical providers. Do you want to list your organization donors or sponsors? How about listing your contact information? Do you have a specific font name and size? What pantone color codes do you require? These are just a few of the questions that must be answered before you start the graphics design process.
There are organizations that allow their marketing team to create the graphic design file. Other organizations prefer an outside vendor create the design.
Universal Specialty Vehicles, Inc. works with a local graphic design team that is available to design custom graphic designs for their customers. USV has been working with most of their vendors for numerous years and provide high quality services to their customers.
USV favors their graphics team because they are familiar with the vehicles that we built. The design team can create, print and install the graphic design so it is a one stop shop for everything graphics related. There are various elements that come into play when designing the graphics. A designer/installer must take into account the door frames, windows, awning location, latches, handles, moldings and slide-out rooms.
After the graphic design is complete, USV works with their graphics vendor to provide a printed proof of the design. The proof is printed on the same vinyl material that will be installed in the vehicle.
USV works with a vendor that prints on 3 M materials which is the best material in the market right now (use 3M inks too). The proof is used so that a customer can get an idea of the final actual design and color scheme that will be installed on their vehicle. This assures the customer and the installer that the design and colors used are in fact what they had in mind. The installation process can take up to two weeks to complete due to the complexity of each vehicle and design being installed.
The most important advice we give customers is for them to start the design process right away. A lot of editing is done during the design phase which can take up months to complete. You want your design to be ready by the time the vehicle is complete. It would be difficult to have your vehicle sit around until the graphic design is done. USV works with their customers every step of the way to make sure that their graphic design vision is completed properly and on time.
BUILT FROM THE CHASSIS UP!
Universal Specialty Vehicles, Inc. (USV) is one of the few manufacturers that actually build their vehicles from the chassis up. What does that mean? Well, we start with a heavy-duty stripped chassis from either Ford or Freightliner. The Ford chassis uses gasoline fuel, and the Freightliner chassis uses diesel fuel. If we are building a trailer or 5th wheel we start with a heavy-duty trailer frame, using 10” I-Beam frame rails.
Building from the chassis up allows us greater flexibility in our designs. Other manufacturers use an existing shell, which limits design options.
This sets USV apart from the competition.
Our vehicles are built using welded steel framed walls, and vacuum bonded body Construction. In the specialty vehicle industry, this is referred to as “hard wall” construction.
Our commercial shell is solid and built to last!
Let me explain the vacuum bonded process we use. First, we start with an all welded steel frame. We use block foam insulation with interior panel and exterior fiberglass. Using a polyurethane glue, the wall is assembled and placed onto the vacuum table. The wall is kept in the vacuum table for approximately 2 hours to ensure proper adhesion and strength.
The advantage of having your vehicle built from the chassis up is the flexibility it allows with design options. For example, we were asked to build two Mobile Clinics for a large nationally recognized hospital. Sounds simple, right? Well, the customer wanted two exam rooms, a vitals room, a lab area, desk area, social workers room, and an exterior pull out desk for patient registration. Wow that’s quite a list, but we were able to include all of these in the vehicle.
We came up with a design using opposing slide-out rooms, which allowed enough space for two exam rooms in the back of the vehicle. We would never have been able to have accomplished this using an existing shell.
Another example of our flexibility was used for a large private university. The University wanted us to build a Mobile Vision Clinic with three vision lanes and an exam room.
This was quite a challenge with only 40’ of length. We were able to accomplish this design request by using multiple slide-out rooms, with one large slide-out that expanded both the exam room area and rear two vision lane room.
We used another slide-out room for the front vision lane area. It was quite a task, but it all worked out and the customer was overjoyed with the result. Since this customer was receiving a large grant, and the grantor wanted the three vision lanes and exam room, they were very happy we were able to assist them.
Some commercial shell manufacturers will only provide you with a slide-out in a specific location, and they will not place them anywhere else. This limits your design options and forces you to work within those parameters. I don’t think the three vision lanes and exam room request could have been achieved using an existing commercial shell.
So, if you’re in the market for a truly custom-made specialty vehicle, look no further. We work hand in hand with our customers to build rugged long-lasting specialty vehicles.
INTERIOR COLOR SELECTIONS PROCESS
Once you place your mobile clinic order, you will need to start the color selections process. We allow our customers to select each individual color for their mobile clinic. The color selections process can take some time to finalize so you will need to start right away. Some customers have a marketing theme in mind that they must adhere to but others do not. The steps below are useful tools to assure that your color selections process is done smoothly. The flooring that you select varies depending on the vehicle-type you purchase.
Let’s take a look at the mobile clinic flooring options. If you purchase a mobile medical clinic, you will need a flooring that meets certain healthcare standards. Universal Specialty Vehicles, Inc. uses sustainable flooring materials that are Certified Asthma and Allergy Friendly and Greenguard Certified. These are the best products on the market and are beneficial for both staff and patients that have allergen sensitivities.
If you purchase a command post vehicle, you will need a rugged vinyl or rubber flooring that is durable, stain and slip resistant. Most command post vehicles are used at crime scenes or used for emergency response so it’s no surprise that officers wearing heavy duty boots will come in and out of the vehicle. Doing so, will require a vehicle flooring that is rugged and can sustain wear and tear over time. Universal Specialty Vehicles, Inc. offers sound-dampening flooring options that provide cushioned comfort features, is microbial resistant, eco-friendly and has minimal maintenance requirements.
Once you have selected your flooring, you will need to look at your wall options. Universal Specialty Vehicles, Inc. offers various wall panel patterns, accent walls and fiberglass walls. Right now, lighter and brighter colors are trending which gives the illusion that the vehicle’s interior is bigger and more spacious.
Next, you will need to review the countertop color options. Universal Specialty Vehicles, Inc. uses Greenguard Certified Solid
Surface Anti-bacterial countertops that are non-porous and are hygienic for healthcare interiors. Among the countertop options that we offer, the solid surface option is seamless which provides a nice finish in the vehicle setting. USV installs all solid surface countertops with a back splash to provide an appealing space and protect the walls from spatter.
Countertop color selections are chosen in conjunction with the interior cabinetry. We offer hundreds of laminate cabinet colors to choose from.The cabinetry laminate options are environmentally friendly. USV offers a standard line of colors and various upgraded premium laminates for budget flexibility.
Lastly, you will need to select the various interior fabrics. Depending on your floorplan design, you will need to select front driver and passenger cab seats, bench seating vinyl, exam chair vinyl and exam stool vinyl. Most customers use the various fabric options to draw in color to the space.
When designing a medical or dental clinic, customers like to use bright colors to make patients feel comfortable. When designing a law enforcement vehicle, darker colors are used more often to hide stains and dirt more.
Another note to keep in mind is the vinyl versus fabric textures. In the healthcare industry, vinyl textures are preferred over fabric because they are non-porous and easier to wipe clean.
The cab passenger and driver seats we offer are made of ultra-leather fabrics which are PVC free polyurethane and Greenguard Certified. The cab seats provide four layers of comfort with ease of care and are tailored with rayon fibers to provide the highest comfortable performance seating in the industry. A neat new feature that our vendor offers is the option of adding a power base to the seats. This way, the person sitting on the cab seat can move the seat with ease of comfort.
The color selections can be a lengthy process and sometimes a little confusing to the customer. We offer our customers the opportunity of reviewing their color options in person at our facility. This way, we can provide input on what color options work together to design a functional comfortable space for both the customer and their patients. We also work with our vendors to update all color options so that we stay afloat of the everchanging trends. The best advice we can give when it comes to the interior colors selection process is don’t put off selecting your colors and finalizing your color scheme. Doing so can lead to selecting colors that clash with one another which will then make your clinic look uncoordinated.
WATCH YOUR STEP!
Most people don’t think about the steps they use to get in and out of their specialty vehicle, but it’s important! There are many different types of step systems available on the market today, so let’s review some of the options.
AUTOMATIC ELECTRIC STEP:
The most common step is an automatic electric step. These steps open and close when you open your entry door. These steps are convenient and don’t require any set-up. The most popular brand for this style step is built by Kwikee.
We use the Kwikee step system as our standard step, but as you will see, we offer many other options. The Kwikee step comes with an interior switch that can be turned on and the step will stay out even when you open and close the door. Be careful, and don’t forget to turn the switch off before you drive away. (This applies to all step system options) If you forget, this will probably result in damage to the step and a costly repair.
Also, you should be careful you don’t park to close to a curb, because the step can hit it and cause damage to the motor, or bend the step frame. Again, this will lead to a costly repair. As with any step system, you must be aware of your surroundings. The automatic electric step is the most convenient and affordable step option, which is why it is used most often.
HYDRAULIC HEAVY-DUTY STEPS:
There are a few different types of hydraulic steps available that can be used in place of the automatic electric step. Some of these steps are designed specifically for specialty vehicle applications.
CASCADING EXTERIOR ENTRY STEPS:
These steps come in either a 2 or 3 step option. These steps cascade from under the coach door. This step has a clean appearance and the mechanism is hidden from view. The nice part about this step is that one hydraulic power unit can control all components. (steps, slide-out, and jacks)
EXTERIOR ENTRY STEPS:
This step comes in either a 4 or 5 step option. These steps fold-out from under the coach door. This step also has a clean appearance, and the hydraulic power provides strength and durability. The step comes with heavy-duty handrails, which provides stability. This step is one of the most expensive steps we offer, but if you can afford it, I recommend it for high traffic use.
EXTERIOR STAIRWAY WITH PLATFORM:
This is a 5-step design that slides out from under the coach door. The platform slides out away from the side of the vehicle, and the stairs extend parallel to the side of the coach. Heavy-duty hand rails provide support going up the steps and then into the coach. This step is ideal for heavy traffic use and was designed for specialty vehicle use. Again, this step is more expensive, but I recommend it for very high traffic use.
MANUAL STEP OPTIONS:
Manual steps are usually used on a trailer or 5th wheel, but they can be used on a motorized vehicle as well. The cost of these steps is much less than an electric or hydraulic step. There are several types of manual step options on the market today.
Standard manual steps fold up underneath the coach door and require the user to manually deploy the steps. They usually come in 3 or 4 step versions. There are other manual steps that fold up and stow inside the door frame. This step also requires the user to manually deploy the step. You open the door, reach in and pull the steps down.
There are removable entry steps that attach to the outside of your coach. These steps come with an optional handrail.
CUSTOM MADE STEPS:
After many years of building all types of specialty vehicles, USV (Universal Specialty Vehicles, Inc.) has engineered and designed some custom step options.
Our heavy-duty aluminum manual steps with handrails is an excellent choice for high traffic use. This step system does require set-up and take down. The steps can be stored in an exterior compartment, or inside the vehicle. These steps are custom made, so they are more expensive than an electric step, but less than the hydraulic model.
USV also offers a heavy-duty pull-out step system that attaches to the door threshold and stores inside the door jamb. These steps are easy to deploy and don’t require a step well at the entry door. These steps are also custom made and cost about the same as the USV heavy-duty aluminum manual steps.
As you can see there are many step options available out there, so do your homework. For example, a Mobile Clinic or Mobile Dental Clinic will have patients coming on an off the vehicle all day, so you may want to invest in a heavy-duty step option. A Mobile Command vehicle will have personnel coming in an out during an emergency incident, so you may choose to spend the money on a heavy-duty step option. Whatever you choose, make sure you get the step that will meet your specific requirements.
DRIVER TRAINING: IT’S WORTH TAKING THE COURSE!
Well, you just took delivery of your new Mobile Health Clinic and wonder how you’re going to drive it. If you take the Mobile Clinic Driver Training course offered by Universal Specialty Vehicles, Inc., you’ll learn the “tricks” Professional Drivers use to keep safe.
What you will learn:
You will receive one-on-one instruction in your Mobile Clinic, with a Professional Driver/Trainer. The Driver/Trainer comes to you, so no need to travel. The instruction begins with classroom instruction and progresses thru to driving your Mobile Clinic in your city or town.
Here’s a list of what the curriculum includes:
1. Understanding the Mobile Clinic driving experience.
2. The Pre-Trip Inspection.
3. Adjusting the Mirrors.
4. Four Basic Driving Skills.
5. Using Reference Points.
6. Understanding Rear Swing Out.
7. What is off track?
8. Stopping/Following Distance.
9. Three driving challenges.
10. Defensive Driving Techniques.
Plus, you’ll learn how to maneuver your Mobile Clinic into a fueling station and how to avoid hitting anything when doing so.
If you have some difficult locations to get in and out of, let the Diver/Trainer know and they can help you come up with the best route and approach to those locations.
The Mobile Clinic driver training course takes 1-2 days to complete. If you’re a quick learner it will take 1 day, but if you need a little more time, then it will take 2 days. No rush, the Driver/Trainer knows when you’re ready to complete the course.
After you complete the course, you will receive a free copy of the Motor Home Driving Tips manual and a Certificate of Completion.
Universal Specialty Vehicles, Inc. (USV) is one of the few Mobile Clinic Manufacturers that offer Mobile Clinic Driver Training to its customers. We believe the course is a valuable component to the purchase of the vehicle. Spending a little bit of money up front can help reduce or eliminate costly repairs bills later.
After you complete the Mobile Clinic Driver Training course, you will have the knowledge and confidence needed to ensure a safe driving experience.
I always recommend an annual refresher course, just to keep your driving skills sharp. If for some reason your driver leaves or changes positions, the new driver can be trained using the same course.
I receive a lot if feedback from my customers regarding the driver training and it is always positive. The Driver/Trainers are very professional and have many years of experience behind the wheel. All of the Driver/Trainers have Commercial Driver training experience, so they know what they are doing. I hear words like, WONDERFUL, FUN, PROFESSIONAL, INVALUABLE, AND CONFIDENT.
So, if you’re getting ready to purchase a new Mobile Clinic, you should seriously consider adding the Mobile Clinic Driver training course to your list of requirements. You won’t be disappointed with the results. You can get more details by contacting us.
With a little preparation, and the knowledge the driver training course provides, you’ll be prepared to drive your Mobile Clinic anywhere.
BUYING A NEW MOBILE MEDICAL OR DENTAL CLINIC VS. BUYING
A USED MOBILE MEDICAL OR DENTAL CLINIC
I get this question often, and my response is usually, go new! However, there are times when buying used is a better option. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of buying new versus used.
ADVANTAGES OF BUYING NEW
1. Custom made-
Buying a new vehicle allows you to custom make the vehicle to meet your specific requirements. You can design the vehicle around how you plan to use it. In addition, you can determine the different options you want. Such as, a wheelchair lift, restroom, wi-fi, generator size, gas or diesel chassis.
2. It’s brand new!-
That’s right, it’s never been used by anyone else. It’s clean and smells new. You get to decide how you want to stock the cabinets and drawers. No accidents, misuse, doesn’t smell funny. No wear and tear from a previous owner. No hidden problems the previous owner didn’t tell you about.
Most important, you’re not buying someone else’s problem! Sometimes the used mobile clinic is not exactly what you want, and you have to spend some money to get it remodeled and updated. The cost to remodel can vary depending upon how much needs to be done. If you fully gut the interior and remodel with all new cabinets, appliances, and equipment it can cost well over $100,000. You may have to buy a new generator, or buy all new tires to make sure the vehicle is road worthy. You will more than likely need to re-brand the exterior with a graphic wrap, which can cost between $10,000-$15,000.
3. Full Warranty-
The best warranty you can get is from the manufacturer. Chassis warranties range from 3-5 years. Manufacturer warranties range from 1-2 years, with extended warranties available. Typically, used mobile clinics are sold as is, and no warranty is provided. This can lead to future expenses, so you may want to establish a repair budget.
4. Latest features & options-
New mobile clinics have all the latest tech! Multi-media and navigation interfaces are constantly evolving with many improvements from year to year. Medical grade refrigerators and freezers have all the latest tracking devices. Updated wi-fi systems use the latest technology to stay ahead and keep you connected. Interior and exterior LED lighting is more cost efficient.You can design the interior with the latest flooring and cabinet colors. Your vehicle will not look like it was built in the 80’s.
5. Safety-Fuel Efficiency-
Lower EmissionsVehicle safety laws are getting more and more stringent, which makes newer vehicles safer. Government mandates have increased fuel efficiency, and fuel costs are a major component of a vehicles total cost of ownership. Strict EPA mandates over the past 10 years have lowered emissions. The newest diesel chassis are cleaner burning and emit less particulate into the air.
ADVANTAGES TO BUYING USED
This is the biggest advantage! A used mobile clinic is going to be less expensive. Used mobile clinics range in size, make model and price. Look for a newer model with low mileage and limited hours on the generator. You may need to factor in the cost to replace the exterior graphics, the generator, tires, so take this into consideration before making an offer.
2. Insurance rates-
Insurance rates are based on the age of the vehicle, so a used vehicle tends to be less expensive. It’s always wise to check with your insurance agent before you purchase a used mobile clinic.
The used mobile clinic is ready to use and operate. Unless you have to remodel, or make upgrades to the vehicle, the used unit is ready to hit the road. If you purchase a new mobile clinic it can take 4-7 months for the manufacturer to build.There are many factors that go into the decision to buy a new or used mobile clinic, so it really depends upon your situation. If you have the budget and the time, I would recommend buying new. Either way, the need to access care for your patients can be achieved by using a new or used mobile clinic.
SMART TIPS TO PURCHASING A MOBILE CLINIC
DO YOUR HOMEWORK:
Mobile Clinics come in all shapes and sizes, so you must first decide what type of Mobile Clinic to build. There are many different choices, which include:
Class A Bus Style or Motor Coach
The most popular style is the Class A (Motor Coach) Bus Style, but Universal Specialty Vehicles, Inc. (USV) has the ability to build all types of Mobile Clinics.
DETERMINE YOUR BUDGET:
Your budget will determine the size, features, and equipment for your new Mobile Clinic. The least expensive option would be the Sprinter van, or a pull trailer. The most expensive would be a Semi-Trailer, with the Motor Coach style somewhere in the middle. If you are considering a trailer type product, you will need to factor in the cost of the tow vehicle.
SELECT THE MOBILE CLINIC THAT WILL MEET YOUR REQUIREMENTS:
Now that you have determined your budget you will need to determine which Mobile Clinic product meets your requirements. Say for example you have determined you have a $250,000.00 budget, and you like the Motor Coach style vehicle. You will need to make a list of what you want included such as; how many exam rooms, waiting/intake area, lab/galley, restroom, wheelchair lift (some States require this feature), slide-out rooms, Wi-Fi system. These are just of few of the features you will need to decide on for your new Mobile Clinic.
Think about where you will be taking the Mobile Clinic, and look at how much space is available to park the Mobile Clinic. Some locations may have plenty of space to set up and operate for the day, but other locations may not. This may be a factor to consider when selecting the appropriate Mobile Clinic.
Now you will need to get price quotations from a vendor or vendors. This will let you know if your budget will allow you to purchase this style Mobile Clinic.
SELECT A VENDOR:
There a several Mobile Clinic manufacturers to choose from, so do your homework and get references. Ask the vendor to provide you with a list of references, and call those people. However, make sure you ask other independent health centers that have a Mobile Clinic about their experience with the vendor they chose. You can also, check with the Mobile Health Clinic Association (MHCA) www.mobilehca.org
Most of our customers are referred to us by our customer’s, which I feel says a lot about the quality of our product and our customer service. Many of our customer’s come back to us and buy again and again.
The bigger the company is not always the best choice. The cheapest price is not always the best choice, so you really need to feel comfortable with the vendor you choose. If possible, make arrangements to visit their manufacturing facility and meet with them to take a plant tour. This will give you an idea of their quality, and give you an opportunity to discuss your design ideas.
CREATE A DESIGN:
So, you’ve chosen your preferred vendor and you’re ready to start working on the design, but don’t really know where to start. Ask your vendor for some sample designs, so you can get some ideas. Decide what you like and don’t and let the vendor know which direction you’re leaning. The vendor will let you know what parameters they must design around, and you can work together to design a Mobile clinic to meet your specific requirements.
If the vendor you chose tries to make you fit into an already existing design, and won’t work with you, then it’s time to find another vendor. You want someone that will spend the time with you to develop the design. This is a big purchase, and a vehicle that will operate for a long time, so make sure you get the customer service you deserve.
CHECK YOUR STATE AND LOCAL LICENSING REQUIREMENTS:
Before you purchase your new Mobile Clinic make sure it meets with your State and local government approval. Mobile Health Clinic regulations vary from State to State. Some States don’t have regulations, but other States can have very strict requirements. Some States require licensing and certification before you can operate your vehicle, so make sure your vendor is aware of any specific requirements your State may have. Most qualified Mobile Clinic manufacturers already know the requirements for the various States, but don’t take that for granted. Again, do your homework!
Now it’s time to place your order and wait for the finished product. Typical lead time from start to finish can be anywhere between 120-210 days. Purchasing a new Mobile Clinic can be fun and exciting, so follow these smart tips and enjoy the experience!
5 TIPS TO START YOUR SPECIALTY VEHICLE GRAPHIC DESIGN
Now that you have your Specialty Vehicle ordered; it’s time to start thinking about your exterior graphic design. Don’t put this off until the vehicle is almost complete. The exterior graphic design process can take months to complete, so start now!
The size of the Specialty Vehicle makes for a great marketing or advertising space that will be seen by many people. It’s a big moving billboard, so take advantage of all the space this vehicle has to offer.
1. Gather Information:
If you have a logo, you will want to display it prominently. Because the vehicle is so large, the logo will need to be in high resolution. Do you want to include your website, phone number, services, or any other information that applies to your company? If so, decide where you want it and how many times you want it repeated in the design. Do you want to carry on your program’s marketing theme? Some customers prefer to keep a consistent look to that of their fixed sites.
If you have donors, or grant providers that funded the vehicle, do you want to acknowledge them? If so, you will need to determine where in the design they will be positioned. Keep in mind that your donors may want their input on the overall graphic design for the vehicle. Having multiple agencies decide on one graphic layout can be time consuming so make sure you start early. It is highly recommended that the various agencies meet to review all requirements. Other items to gather include: color theme (pantone codes) requirements, pictures, art, a message, slogan and/or tag line.
2. Get Inspired:
This is a great opportunity to showcase your company! Look around at other Specialty Vehicles, or search the web to get inspired. What look do you prefer? Some customers prefer to design a kid friendly graphic layout that is animated and includes characters. Other customers prefer a more professional look with stock photography. The age group you will service has a huge determining factor in the type of design you will implement.
3. Select the graphic package that meets your budget and requirements:
Universal Specialty Vehicles, Inc. offers a few different design packages. Our basic “Silver” package includes large area coverage, basic design, and high performance 3M cut vinyl.
Our “Gold” package includes a large format design, high performance 3M cut vinyl with an option of combining full color 3M UV laminate vinyl graphics.
Our “Platinum” package includes a large format custom design. This can be done by using a full color wrap, or a wrap and paint combination.
Specialty 3M vinyl is used to give a unique look or quality to the finished product.
4. Decide if you need a graphic designer:
Universal Specialty Vehicles, Inc. can assist you with some initial designs, but if you need more graphic design assistance and have a marketing theme, then I suggest hiring a graphic designer. I recommend you find someone with experience with large vehicle design. The graphic designer will develop a concept for you, and work closely with USV and our graphic vendor to install the final design.
5. Finalize the design:
Now that you finally have the design you love; the designer will need to provide USV with the graphic files. There are numerous ways to submit your files. Typically, we prefer to receive files via Dropbox or a similar form of third party file sharing system. Our graphic vendor prefers to work with large high resolution files to make the installed design look sharp and clean. Low resolution files tend to show up blurry and pixelated when blown up for print/installation.
After we receive the graphic files, our graphic vendor will apply the design to actual pictures of your vehicle. (both sides, and front and rear views) The design template will be emailed to you for your approval. In addition, an actual full color print will be sent to you to make sure all the colors meet with your satisfaction. If you are not sure about your pantone color requirements, our graphics vendor can match colors both on vinyl print and paint. We work hand in hand with our customers to make sure the correct color scheme and design is installed on their new Specialty Vehicle. After you give us final approval, the vehicle will be sent to our graphic company for the installation. Depending on the type of design being installed, the installation can take up to two weeks.
Wow, that was a process! A vehicle graphic design project can be challenging, but the outcome is extremely rewarding. Just imagine your design on a big, moving, high profile Specialty Vehicle.
Gas vs. Diesel: What are the pros and cons?
Are you getting ready to purchase a Mobile Clinic, and can’t decide which chassis platform to use? Here is a brief comparison.
On average the diesel chassis will cost $30K—to $40K more than the gasoline chassis platform. This cost difference is due to a heavier engine block and a transmission that is designed to handle higher torque output. Also, the emission control equipment required on the diesel chassis adds to the overall cost. The diesel chassis makes sense if you plan to put a lot of miles on it, and plan to keep it for many years to come. Many times, this decision is based upon budget. If you have a budget that will cover the cost of the diesel chassis, then I would recommend the diesel chassis platform.
Fuel Economy:It is estimated that diesel engines deliver 40% better fuel economy. However, this gap is narrowing. One advantage to gas is the availability at every fuel station.
Long Term maintenance advantage goes to diesel engines, which require up to 5 times fewer oil changes and have 50% fewer parts to maintain and replace. Short Term maintenance advantage goes to gasoline engines, which have an advantage due to extended service intervals on spark plugs, engine oil and antifreeze.
Government regulations are strict for both gas and diesel engines. Both EPA and CARB have issued strict emission control requirements on diesel engines. These engines have particulate filters and urea injection systems. The urea injection system requires Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF). The DEF is stored in a separate tank and refilled as needed. The emission control systems do add to the overall cost of the diesel chassis.
The average gasoline engine has a duty cycle of around 200,000 miles; the average diesel engine has a duty cycle of around 300,000 miles. Gas engine exhaust is more corrosive than diesel engine exhaust, which means the diesel engine exhaust system will outlast the gas engine exhaust system. Vehicles with diesel engines often command higher resale value.
Other factors to consider when deciding between a gasoline chassis platform or a diesel chassis platform for your new Mobile Clinic include:
Generator: The 12 KW Onan Quiet diesel generator is sound dampened and much quieter than the gas generator option. To review the generator options, please visit http://power.cummins.com/cummins-onan-quiet-diesel-generators
Wheelbase: The gasoline chassis has limited wheelbases, and restricts us from building over 37’.
Payload: The gasoline chassis is lighter weight, which allows more payload capacity. There are many factors to consider when deciding between a gas or diesel chassis, but the bottom line is usually the cost. These comparisons can apply to any Mobile Specialty Vehicle purchase decision.
Links to see the various chassis platforms we use:
F-53 Model: http://www.ford.com/commercial-trucks/stripped-chassis/2017/models/f53-motorhome/
Diesel Chassis Mobile Clinic Gas Chassis Mobile Clinic
Blog Author: Mary Hall - Universal Specialty Vehicles Inc.
THE SPRINTER VAN: THE NEW FRONTIER IN MOBILE VEHICLES
Universal Specialty Vehicles, Inc. has long been at the forefront of emerging technologies and advancements in the realm of custom built mobile units. Our recent embrace of the Meganite anti-bacterial countertop system and bio-diesel chassis have shown that the company fully plans on adapting to the ever changing environmental, technological, and ergonomic landscape of the “mobile” world.
As such, Universal Specialty Vehicles, Inc. has recently added the Sprinter Van, Dodge’s customizable van-style vehicle, to its ever-increasing list of customer vehicle options. In addition to the more traditional motorized platform that Universal has long offered to its customers, the “Sprinter” allows our customers to opt for a more intimate, accessible, and urban vehicle that can easily be deployed in a hustle and bustle urban environment or a rural setting composed of long distances from destination to destination. The “Sprinter” represents the evolution of the custom mobile unit world not only for Universal Specialty Vehicles, Inc., but for our customers as well.
Currently, Universal Specialty Vehicles, Inc. has had the pleasure of adapting a number of Sprinter Vans for our valued customers. The City of Azusa, California approached Universal Specialty Vehicles, Inc. with the challenge of completely customizing their already purchased Sprinter Van into a functional bookmobile which could be easily dispatched throughout their urban area. Until that point Universal had not had an incredible breadth of experience in adapting and customizing such an intimate vehicle.
However, we were undaunted by the challenge. Universal’s “Sales” and “Engineering” teams quickly worked to create a workable solution to customizing the vehicle that would provide the City of Azusa with the utmost in comfort, utility, and ergonomic design. The end-result was a vehicle that was more intimate than Universal’s traditional “Class-A” style vehicles, but retained our hallmark levels of beauty and functionality.
Our experience with the City of Azusa, though, was far from our last encounter with the Sprinter Van. Since that time, Universal has started and/or completed construction and customization of Sprinters with the County of Orange’s Resources and Development Management Department and the San Ysidro Health Center. Each specific customer brought to Universal a unique set of goals, challenges, requests, and desires in relation to their customization of their individual vehicles; and as with all of our customers, we have striven to achieve those goals, follow through on those requests, and meet those challenges and desires to the greatest extent possible. An outdoor awning? Done. An exterior flat screen television portal? Not a problem. Universal will strive to meet any request that our customers may have.
And, as with almost everything in today’s society, that’s not all. Universal is currently working tirelessly to expand our Sprinter Van customization options, so that we can easily adapt the vehicles for bloodmobile work, mobile veterinary work, and a litany of other mobile vehicle options. The options are only bounded by what our customers desire. And as such, Universal will continue to provide our customers with the most technologically advanced, functional, and affordable options that are at our disposal.