Ambulance Finds Second Life as a Work Truck

One of the main attractions of a used ambulance is the large amount of accessible storage on the exterior of the module (the box behind the cab). All of the compartments are lockable and have built-in lights and double weatherstripped doors.

This broom closet-size compartment just behind the cab contains a folding miter saw stand. Note the 15-amp 110-volt AC receptacle to the right of the opening. It is powered by a 1500-watt inverter and is one of three receptacles on or in the module.

The center compartment on the left side of the module contains a shelf that has been adjusted so there is space for miter saws above and tool cases below.

This compartment at the rear left side of the ambulance is one of the author's favorites because it's large enough to hold a tablesaw on its stand - at a height that makes it easy to load and unload the tool.

The right side of the module contains two tall compartments plus a door to the interior. Note the two clear lenses just down from the roof--those are scene lights, which can be used to illuminate the area surrounding the ambulance.

Same view as in the previous slide--only here the doors are open. The rear compartment has a vertical divider and you can see through the door to the module that there's a step up to the floor of the interior.

The forward compartment contains several adjustable shelves. This shot is from close enough for you to see the quality of construction: the thick door add heavy latch, the stop at the top of the door, and the weatherstripping on both door and jamb. The module is aluminum with stainless steel hardware so it won't rot out the way many service bodies will.

If it were not for the name of the author's company on the back of the vehicle it would be easy to mistake it for the ambulance it used to be.

With the rear doors open it's easy to tell this is a contractor's truck. The bumper is low so it's a short step up to the floor, and the ceiling is 6' high. Note the window at the front of the module; it can be opened to allow long material to extend into the cab. This allows the author to haul 18' trim with the back doors closed.

Even with the exterior compartments there is still plenty of room inside the module. The open floor area is 50" wide by 12' long.

As originally configured, there was a padded bench along the right side of the module. The cushion is now being used as a platform for a series of soft tool bags. This area can no longer be used as seating because the author installed a shelf above it - shown here with multiple Husky tool boxes strapped in from the side.

The bench on the right side of the module is built like a window seat--with a hinged top that can be opened to access storage below. The author keeps hoses, cords, and long items such as levels and crow bars in this space.

On the left side of the module is a built-in seat, a couple of countertops, and several storage cabinets with sliding glass doors. If you look closely you can see the eye-bolts the author installed so he can strap items in place, and the metal cleat he screwed to the floor to keep the bins on the right from sliding around.

When the van came from the factory "ambulance" would have been printed in reverse on the hood (so it could be read in a rear-view mirror). Those markings are usually decals so they are easily removed when the vehicle is converted to non-emergency use.

When the ambulance was converted to non-emergency use the sirens had to be disabled. The strobes can be used but only if the lenses are changed to amber. Using the original blue (fire or EMS), red/white/blue (ambulance), or red/white (fire) could result in arrest for "impersonating a first response vehicle".

This photo is dark because it was taken at night. It's of the front left exterior compartment. Note the lights inside the compartment. The light coming down from above is from one of two scene lights on that side of the module.

This was shot in the dark, using only the ceiling lights inside the module. The light coming down from above the door is from the two scene lights on the back of the vehicle. There are scene lights on all four sides of the truck so you can provide 360 degrees of illumination.

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