BUILT FROM THE CHASSIS UP!
Universal Specialty Vehicles, Inc. (USV) is one of the few manufacturers that actually build their vehicles from the chassis up. What does that mean? Well, we start with a heavy-duty stripped chassis from either Ford or Freightliner. The Ford chassis uses gasoline fuel, and the Freightliner chassis uses diesel fuel. If we are building a trailer or 5th wheel we start with a heavy-duty trailer frame, using 10” I-Beam frame rails.
Building from the chassis up allows us greater flexibility in our designs. Other manufacturers use an existing shell, which limits design options.
This sets USV apart from the competition.
Our vehicles are built using welded steel framed walls, and vacuum bonded body Construction. In the specialty vehicle industry, this is referred to as “hard wall” construction.
Our commercial shell is solid and built to last!
Let me explain the vacuum bonded process we use. First, we start with an all welded steel frame. We use block foam insulation with interior panel and exterior fiberglass. Using a polyurethane glue, the wall is assembled and placed onto the vacuum table. The wall is kept in the vacuum table for approximately 2 hours to ensure proper adhesion and strength.
The advantage of having your vehicle built from the chassis up is the flexibility it allows with design options. For example, we were asked to build two Mobile Clinics for a large nationally recognized hospital. Sounds simple, right? Well, the customer wanted two exam rooms, a vitals room, a lab area, desk area, social workers room, and an exterior pull out desk for patient registration. Wow that’s quite a list, but we were able to include all of these in the vehicle.
We came up with a design using opposing slide-out rooms, which allowed enough space for two exam rooms in the back of the vehicle. We would never have been able to have accomplished this using an existing shell.
Another example of our flexibility was used for a large private university. The University wanted us to build a Mobile Vision Clinic with three vision lanes and an exam room.
This was quite a challenge with only 40’ of length. We were able to accomplish this design request by using multiple slide-out rooms, with one large slide-out that expanded both the exam room area and rear two vision lane room.
We used another slide-out room for the front vision lane area. It was quite a task, but it all worked out and the customer was overjoyed with the result. Since this customer was receiving a large grant, and the grantor wanted the three vision lanes and exam room, they were very happy we were able to assist them.
Some commercial shell manufacturers will only provide you with a slide-out in a specific location, and they will not place them anywhere else. This limits your design options and forces you to work within those parameters. I don’t think the three vision lanes and exam room request could have been achieved using an existing commercial shell.
So, if you’re in the market for a truly custom-made specialty vehicle, look no further. We work hand in hand with our customers to build rugged long-lasting specialty vehicles.