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BY REV Group
June 21st, 2017




Committed to building “Vehicles for life,” the REV Ambulance Group recently performed a dynamic rollover crash simulation at the 49,000-sq.-ft. CAPE testing facility in Westfield, Ind., to test the structural integrity of REV’s standard ambulance module construction. A new modular body on a Type 3 Ford E-350 chassis was put to the (sled) test at the Center for Advanced Product Evaluation. The ambulance was engineered and built using the exact same methods as units built for REV customers.

The ambulance experienced 1 ½ revolutions with a test dummy stationed on a cot and another on a standard squad bench, more than 20 different internal and external cameras documented the rollover test as the ambulance was pulled back with steel cables more than 100 yards to launch the unit toward the impact zone at 25 mph. During the test, the ambulance hit a pair of 30-degree ramps that initiated the rollover, which impacted the driver-side front corner, front tire and running board, as well as passenger-side extrusion and skirt rail.

The ambulance survived this rollover with flying colors thanks to REV’s focus on deliberate engineering and manufacturing techniques that disperse energy during an impact. REV can point to a number of factors that led to the unit’s structural integrity. For instance:

  • Every REV ambulance is built with 45-degree corner gussets and brand-specific double-hollow corner/roof extrusions to add strength to the module’s most vulnerable areas — the roof corners — while dispersing energy during a rollover. Thanks to this added support, the corners didn’t split upon test impact.
  • REV Ambulance Group’s single-piece side skin construction proved superior compared to industry-standard, multi-piece sidewalls. Multiple seams can easily be stressed, especially during an accident, unlike the integrity of REV’s sidewall construction, which wasn’t compromised during the rollover simulation. 
  • All REV bodies use VHB (Very High Bond) double-sided tape to adhere the skin to the substructure for consistent strength. This tape allows REV to minimize continuous welds that degrade material strength due to heat distortion. VHB tape also has an energy-absorbing elastic structure that expands and contracts to reduce stress.
    • Did you know VHB tape offers 90 lb/in 2 of tensile strength? With an average of 60-plus feet of 2” VHB tape used on each sidewall, REV adds more than 125,000 lbs. of tensile strength per side for an extra layer of safety.
  • Both the medic and patient dummies stayed belted during the rollover test thanks to added solid ½” aluminum plates welded into the substructure. The same extra reinforcement ensured cabinets, the cot mount and other interior components withstood the impact of the crash.
  • All REV door mechanisms (rods, handles, latches and linkages) are FMVSS 206 tested and approved. During the rollover, the doors remained closed. Meanwhile, every REV ambulance has safety release levers that allow egress after the accident, eliminating the need for damaging extrication. These levers functioned after the test.

Captured video footage shows the resiliency of REV’s ambulance design >