The new Ford 5 tonne Transit has been converted as a Protected Personnel Carrier (PPC) with police forces across the country, after winning a national tender to supply 400 commercial vehicles over the next four years.
Whilst the term PPC appears quite technical they are seen all across the UK as ‘riot vans’, but have been converted to new UK specification by Ford’s Qualified Vehicle Modifying (QVM) partner, Safeguard SVP, and are capable of carrying up to 10 police officers, or nine if specified with the single-containment cell, which is either fixed or removable. Additional storage areas provide easy access to enforcement equipment, such as riot shields and personal protection equipment bags.
Founded in 2020 by the Home Office the tender is run by BlueLight Commercial Limited to work in collaboration with blue-light organisations and to support suppliers and includes Police Forces of British Overseas Territories, British Sovereign Base Areas and British Crown Dependencies.
The increased gross vehicle weight features uprated mechanicals including upgraded hub assemblies, wheels and wider 205mm rear tyres, as well as new uprated brakes on the rear axle, making light work of heavier loads. Panel vans also benefit from reinforced upper body structures and ancillaries to support greater cargo weights.
The vehicles also require additional weight-bearing protection on the roof, underbody and for parts including the fuel tank, radiator and exhaust and feature an under-bonnet fire suppression system and run-flat tyres.
A specialist protective windscreen and side windows helps to protect the occupants of the vehicle if attacked, and mesh guards across the rear light clusters prevents further damage to the vehicle.
All 5.0-tonne Transit variants are rear-wheel drive for optimum traction when fully laden, and fitted with Ford’s HDT powertrain for optimum durability, performance and fuel efficiency. Ford’s 170PS 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine produces up to 390Nm of torque to help moving heavy loads, and is coupled to a smooth-shifting six-speed manual gearbox or Ford’s class-leading 10-speed automatic transmission.
“Our business at Ford is to make our customers’ businesses thrive – in this case, the business is keeping our emergency services safe in the most hostile environments, and our new 5.0-tonne Transit is the perfect tool for the job” said Terry Adams, Ford blue light sales manager. “We’re absolutely delighted to win a four-year tender, placing Transit in a very important role for such an important organisation.”