Plans for new Vehicle fleet for Bolton Mountain Rescue Team announced.

With three of our Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulance vehicles approaching eleven years old this August, and our fourth Land Rover MR Ambulance approaching seven years old, the team has been anticipating and investigating their replacement for a couple of years now.

This has included looking at what our future team transport needs actually are, much informed crystal ball gazing!, how our current vehicle fleet has met the teams needs over the last decade, and the very important issue of how much such plans might cost.

Linked directly to this has been the teams long term aim to operate a Control Vehicle rather than the Control Trailer we currently operate. The second such dedicated purpose built control trailer we have operated.

Various team vehicle fleet options were investigated and discussed, alongside their likely costs to the team. before finally consolidating our thoughts this spring.

Due to a large number of donations and bequests, the team by spring this year found itself in the enviable position where our plans now seemed feasible, and with the consolidation of our thoughts we moved on to the next stage, including firming up priced options and looking at vehicle types and specifications. Thanks must be registered here to the considerable help in this matter that we have received from our colleagues at Oldham MRT who are involved in a similar exercise, and have very kindly openly shared their findings with us.

A small number of team members also visited Langdale Ambleside MRT to look at the general type of vehicle and specification we are considering, their team having recently purchased four new vehicles. We have also spent some considerable time web browsing at other MRT websites looking at their vehicle purchases, talking to other teams and mulling over much information.

With approval to our plans gained at Team Council level, under our constitution the whole team was invited to attend a General Meeting on Wednesday 9th June 2010, to give its approval or otherwise to the future vehicle fleet proposals proposed by our Team Council.

Such approval was forthcoming with all present at the meeting being in favour of our plans.

Our vehicle replacement plan can now be made public, which entails the following;

  • To move to the future operation of a five vehicle fleet,

    • consisting of three, brand new purchase, coach built Land Rover Defender ’Mountain Rescue Ambulance’ specification vehicles, all to be operated within the team to the same standard and same team equipment fit. (Each vehicle is costed in the region of £44,000.00)
    • We will also purchase a Control Vehicle, based upon a standard commercial van, costed in the region of £40,000.00, with our colleagues at Bowland Pennine MRT who have just put into operation a similar vehicle kindly offering to share their specification details.
    • To continue operating our 2nd hand donated, ex GMP, minibus, but to look to its replacement with a similar vehicle at an as yet unspecified point in the future.

The three new Land Rovers and Control Vehicle would together replace our existing four Land Rovers and our Control Trailer.

With thanks to a major benefactor (Keep watching our website for news soon of this major donation) linked to current funds and anticipated (Immediate) future fund raising, the purchase of the four new vehicles involved is now going ahead.

We are currently in consultation with Crake International of Cumbria, regards the placing of an order very shortly for the three Land Rover Defender MR Ambulance specification vehicles, including specialist coach building works.
The timescale we have been given is that from our order placement within this month, Crake should have the vehicles from the factory production line by October this year. All three will then have comprehensive external and internal works carried out on them by Crake International, with their hand over into our team operational service due sometime in February 2011.

Regards the Control Vehicle, we currently anticipate placing an order in late summer, to try and achieve an in service date for all four new vehicles together in February 2011.

Late this year we will place our current Land Rover four vehicle fleet for sale, available (Obviously) when we get our new vehicles early next year.

Our current Land Rovers are all in excellent condition, have been regularly serviced and very well looked after, with very low mileage considering their age. Two of the Land Rovers have just been fitted, this very week, with a complete set of brand new tyres.

For their entire life, all four vehicles have been cleaned externally almost weekly, with a full vehicle external and internal valet having taken place the last Sunday in every month.

Aside from a very short time in their early history, all four vehicles have been internally garaged, so have not been exposed to external storage / parking.

Three of our current Land Rovers are to the County Station Wagon Specification, with the rear four seats having been taken out at our purchase and kept in our store ever since, the fourth Land Rover is a Van specification, all are Td5 110 models, and all have had full seat protection covers fitted their entire life with the team, and full interior heavy duty rubber matting, front and rear.

It is our wish that all four vehicles remain in the Search and Rescue community although we have already had some expressions of interest from private purchases. As such we intend selling them complete with all fixtures and fittings, including vehicle winches, full length roof racks, roof rack covers, vehicle mounted radio masts, and full emergency vehicle lighting and audible warning equipment. Plumbing will be there for radios, although we will keep the existing radio sets.

We will also be selling our Control Trailer, which is a relatively new purchase within the team, and was totally modified for our purposes, which includes a full height rear equipment storage locker and a front mounted metal large storage cabinet. It has a full interior electrical fit including lighting and standby 12v battery internal lighting.

This is probably the most ambitious project the team has ever undertaken, and is certainly the most expensive project we have ever taken on, none of this would have been possible without the support we have been receiving off our many friends and team supporters over recent years.

We still have some funding shortfalls to meet , which will be challenging, but the main thing is the team is now proceeding with this vehicle fleet replacement plan, which will give us the most up to date and comprehensive vehicle fleet within UK Civilian Mountain Rescue. (We will be retaining in service our still almost brand new Catering Trailer, our general purpose cargo trailer – used to hold our ’airshelter’ tents, and our yet to be purchased team boat trailer)

And if you haven’t done the sums yet, this plan will cost the team in the region of £172,000.00, absolutely amazing for a totally voluntary organisation which receives no governmental funding, and relies on public donations, grants and bequests, all directly linked to the kindness and generosity of our many friends and supporters.

Search and Rescue Organisations with a positive interest in purchasing any of our current Land Rovers or our Control Trailer are invited to email or write to our Team Leader expressing such an interest, viewing visits including test drives can also be arranged in the same manner, please note at this stage the sale cost of these vehicles has not been determined;

    Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE. 38 Heathfield Drive, Tyldesley, Manchester, M29 8PW or email TL@boltonmrt.org.uk.

Keep watching the website for updates on our vehicle replacement plans.