EMS companies often find themselves wondering how often ambulances should be replaced. While it seems pretty straightforward, no one can seem to agree on an answer. But here’s an undeniable fact: Fleet replacement is expensive. You don’t want to buy a new chassis unless you really need it. And while a replacement is necessary at times, can agencies sometimes put off buying new vehicles a bit longer?
Ask yourself these questions the next time you get an itch to go shopping for a new ambulance:
Does It Need Preventative Maintenance?
EMS organizations should schedule regular preventative maintenance for all their vehicles. During these inspections, a skilled mechanic will look for performance issues or worn parts. In many instances, they can repair them on the spot for much less than buying a new one.
Since preventative maintenance often catches problems before they get out of hand, they don’t cost as much to fix. This can buy you a few more months or years before replacement is the only option. And you’ll feel confident the next time you take the ambulance out on an emergency call.
Is There a Critical Failure?
“Critical failure” are the last two words you want to hear come out of a technician’s mouth. These issues cost significantly more to repair, and you must take care of them right away. Otherwise, you risk the vehicle breaking down while transporting a patient—the worst-case scenario!
Another problem with critical failures is bringing them back up to code. Compliance penalties aren’t cheap, and you could face a possible lawsuit. Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t fix a critical failure. But as a rule, they to keep your entire fleet under two per 100,000 system miles. Anything beyond that means it’s time to replace.
Has It Lived a Long Life?
Although ambulances save lives every day, they eventually reach their own end of life. Sure, these vehicles are robust and constructed to withstand lots of abuse, but they don’t last forever. Once an ambulance passes its prime, you jeopardize your patient’s safety.
How long is too long? Many experts agree that you should buy a replacement once the vehicle reaches the five-year, 250,000-mile mark. But here’s a tip: Don’t wait until the last moment to go shopping. Depending on supply, finding one you like could take a few weeks or a month.
Find Your Replacement Ambulance at Trinity Apparatus
An EMS fleet is a significant investment. That’s why keeping your ambulances running smoothly for as long as possible is crucial. Trinity Apparatus specializes in new and used ambulance sales, repairs, and remounts. We are a one-stop shop for all your emergency vehicle needs. Our extended warranty sets us apart from our competitors. It covers your purchase for up to five years or 200,000 miles! Come and discover what other emergency responders already know.
Exactly when should ambulances be replaced? Connect with Trinity Apparatus to find out if we recommend repair or replacement for your fleet.