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Meridian Specialty Vehicles, a 15-year-old specialty vehicle manufacturer formerly known as Bridger Fire Equipment, recently turned its focus towards an innovative undertaking: refurbishing mobile command centers for re-sale. Meridian is the first and only vehicle manufacturer to offer refurbished mobile command centers as stock vehicles.
The idea was hatched from a combination of recent economic downturn and longtime response-vehicle manufacturing experience. A former professional fireman, Meridian owner Dave Ronsen considers these high-performing units absolutely essential to life-dependent operations. But for cash-strapped agencies weathering the poor economy, buying a new mobile command center is often cost-prohibitive.
Ronsen challenged himself to find a viable solution those agencies could afford, without sacrificing quality. Relying on 15 years of experience building fire trucks, Meridian quickly realized that by rebuilding refurbished chassis into virtually new mobile command centers, they could slash costs without cutting corners.
Until now, all mobile command centers were built on brand new chassis', and often cost $750,000 or more, depending on the level of technology included. Meridian's refurbished mobile command centers feature the exact same technology, components, durability, and overall quality, but sell for up to 70% less.
"Most departments can't tell the difference between our refurbished vehicles and an all-new model," says Ronsen, "until they notice our price tag."
Achieving both quality and affordability takes a stringent refurbishing protocol, starting with chassis selection. Meridian carefully selects chassis, only considering low-mileage commercial chassis at 15% or less of their projected drivetrain life. Many more chassis are rejected then accepted. Once chosen, chassis are completely stripped, and then rebuilt with all new wiring, interiors, components; identical to the technology, equipment, and parts installed in brand-new models.
From this point, Meridian completely customizes every vehicle, with the client's specific needs driving their decisions. Adhering to Meridian's emphasis on affordability, the Meridian team coaches clients on what options are available and how to incorporate the most reliable and least expensive solutions. "Our experience enables us to install everything from telescoping masts with camera systems, satellite communications systems, PBX phone systems, to specialty law enforcement or function-specific options. The sky is the limit as to what we can incorporate…the key is finding the most affordable solution for the client's specific purpose," explains Ronsen. "Every vehicle should perform its duty flawlessly, but we’re careful not to recommend expensive extras the end user won't use."
Meridian can also refurbish and update customers' existing mobile command centers, giving departments with an older vehicle a much less expensive alternative to purchasing an all-new unit. Meridian can perform technological upgrades to a lightly used vehicle, or completely overhaul a long-parked one; re-issuing it as a nearly-new, ready-for-service mobile command center.
Ronsen is committed to keeping costs low in other areas, too. Meridian operates from a low-overhead shop in the heart of the Rocky Mountains to further cut prices, and offers solar, hybrid, and plug-in options to help customers slash and even eliminate generators and related costs.
"A mobile command center is profoundly beneficial -- no law enforcement or response agency shouldn’t have access to one, or skimp on quality to obtain one," says Ronsen, "Meridian's goal is to make sure every agency that needs a mobile command center can find an affordable yet outstanding solution, even with limited resources."
About Meridian Specialty Vehicles
Meridian Specialty Vehicles has recently turned 15 years of experience in manufacturing vehicles into a timely new focus: meticulously refurbishing high-quality mobile command centers and crafting new bookmobiles, while offering both at deeply competitive prices. Thanks to our low-overhead shop in Montana and masterful restoration skills, we're pleased to pass on considerable savings to our customers -- without sacrificing superior features, exceptional reliability, and exacting quality standards. www.meridiansv.com, 888-582-1406.