Current Vehicles at Launch Event for Tweed Bravo, 2011
TVMRT Land Rover 130’s
In 2009 after much discussion around the replacement of our oldest Landrover 110 which was requiring some serious spend to bring it up to date and to make it functional, it was decided to identify a worthy successor for the Landrover and a strict criteria was drawn up.
After a great amount of research it was decided that the Land Rover was still by far the best bet but we looked at making the new vehicle better than the existing vehicles. As a team of 40 we often find that our biggest problem was moving people about whilst on a callout, hence the Land Rover 130 station wagon was chosen. Unfortunately these had not been produced by Land Rover in the last ten years and so one could not be bought direct from a dealer. After many hours of research we discovered a company called Foleys Specialist Vehicles who would build the team a station wagon to our desired specification, based on the 130 double cab Land Rover chassis. They have built many of these but there was no other Land Rover 130 station wagons in the UK at this time.
This vehicle configuration would give the team the ability to transport 9 team members plus kit to any job or even loaded with a casualty in the stretcher we could still transport 5 people in the vehicle, enough to transfer the stretcher to an ambulance or hospital where required. The 130 comes a standard as a high capacity vehicle which meant that no upgrade to the suspension was needed as it can carry a max payload of 3.5 tonnes.
The vehicle was ordered in early 2010 and the anticipated delivery time was 16 weeks. The vehicle was delivered and it was scheduled to have the body conversion completed in two weeks. During the delivery period we had successfully secured a £10,000 grant from The Robertson Trust towards the cost of the vehicle so this meant that the funds we had ring fenced for the project were bolstered significantly.
After collection it was time for the real work to start; as no-one had ever converted a vehicle of this type to a Mountain Rescue Ambulance no plans existed for a the internal set up of the vehicle.
Many hours were spent designing a sliding stretcher bed that was similar to the one that was fitted to our 110 but the design brief was to make less moving parts and it must not rattle whilst the vehicle was moving. Local engineering company Morrison and Murray fabricated these beds and installed them within three weeks.
For the exterior of the vehicles, after a great deal of discussion within the Team, the colour scheme of orange & white Battenberg was agreed upon. This colour scheme is becoming more common on MRT vehicles across the UK. The livery also has an added advantage of protecting the lower half of the vehicle as well as marking it as an MRT vehicle.
Once the LED light bar & front and rear blues were fitted along with the noise box, winch and all the other guards that help to protect the most valuable parts of the vehicle it was ready to go.
Tweed Alpha officially came into service on the 1st August 2010.
Model: 130 station wagon, custom built
Entered Service: August 2010
Specifications: 5 door 2.4TDCI 130. carry capacity 9 persons. Cost new £41000
In early 2011 it was then decided to start a project to replace our second vehicle Tweed Bravo, an 11 year old 110 that was provided by St John Scotland. Bravo had been increasingly getting more costly to maintain and was spending more time in the garage as the months rolled on. This was one of the first of the vehicles to be given to Scottish MR Teams by St John Scotland and now at 12 years old it was time for it to be replaced.
Funding of some level was in the pipeline but at the point that the vehicle was ordered we were assured that the order would donate £20,000 towards the cost of a replacement vehicle! That left us with the task of finding the remaining £20,000 + to build another 130.
Within six months, the new Tweed Bravo was on the road, based on the design of Tweed Alpha, with a few modifications having learnt from previous ‘mistakes’
Tweed Bravo officially came into service on the 1st August 2010.
Model: 130 station wagon, custom built
Entered Service: 2 Sept 2011
Specifications: 5 door 2.4TDCI 130, carry capacity 9 persons. Cost new £42700