Holdens are slowly disappearing from our nation’s police fleets, with the Colorado utes in Victoria the latest to be phased out.
Instead, Victorian police will soon be driving around in Ford Ranger XLT Super Cab and XLT Dual Cab models.
Ford Australia is supplying Victoria Police with purpose-built, Ranger-based divisional vans – also known as divvy vans, or paddy wagons to those of us up north – developed by Ford’s local Special Vehicle Engineering team.
It’s part of a renewal of Victoria Police’s fleet that’ll take place over the next two years.
Ford will supply 200 vehicles each year. The first 200 will consist predominantly of XLT Super Cab models.
XLT Dual Cab models will use a modified prisoner transfer capsule manufactured by Centaur, which can carry two people and features air-conditioning and a video camera, and is said to last for more than 10 years.
Ford worked with Centaur to adapt the capsule for the current Ranger, so it’s unclear if it’ll fit the next-generation Ranger, expected here late in 2022.
Climate testing was conducted to test the effectiveness of the capsule’s air-conditioning system, while physical testing was conducted at the You Yangs Proving Ground.
In addition to the general duties divisional vans, there are plans to deploy more 4×4 Rangers for off-road use, as well as other Ranger-based vehicles “for specific operational duties”.
There’s more active safety technology on board the Ranger than its Colorado predecessor, with autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection plus lane-keeping assist.
“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,” said SVE Ranger and Everest program management supervisor Simone Crankshaw.
“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.”
Ford Australia’s Special Vehicle Engineering team works with emergency services and large corporations to tailor businesses for fleets around Australia, including in industries like telecommunications and forestry.