Jeep’s unrivalled off-roading capability has been enabling its customers to explore and traverse rough and challenging terrain for over 80 years, and its use within the search and rescue sector continues to put safe exploring at the forefront of its brand mission.
While many people don’t head out with the aim of calling a local search and rescue team to help them, for those unlucky few that have no other resort, it’s a lifesaver to have a team kitted out with the right equipment for the job, including vehicles that can safely and confidently get to remote locations where others might struggle.
In 2021, Jeep worked with Storm Jeeps, a company dedicated to creating custom and modified builds to suit any brief, to convert one of its four-door Wrangler Overland models to serve as an emergency response vehicle that services the length and breadth of the UK.
Serving as a 4×4 benchmark of excellence since 1986, the Jeep Wrangler remains the ultimate off-roader. The Wrangler Overland excels in manoeuvrability, ground clearance, articulation, traction and water fording and can tackle any terrain.
The legendary Rock-Trac 4×4 system comes as standard giving the driver more control and more torque. This, paired with Tru-lok electronic locking differentials gives the vehicle ultimate traction. The front and rear Dana axles are reinforced with thicker tubes and forgings, giving this car superior off-roading credentials.
Each Jeep Wrangler Overland vehicle is fitted with a rugged ladder-frame chassis, solid axles and two-speed transfer case, with 2.72:1 low-range transfer gearing intended for rock crawling.
Key features that make it perfect for a role within the emergency services include Electronic Stability Control, which corrects for over/under steering of the vehicle by applying the brake of the appropriate wheel to assist in counteracting the over/under steer condition, and Trailer Sway Control, which enables the driver to more easily keep the car and whatever it’s towing under control, even on challenging surfaces. The mid-mounted fuel tank is protected by no less than four 2.5mm skid plates on the underside of the chassis, which allows for more secure off-roading.
The Overland’s standard suspension comprises coil springs and passive dampers and the electro-hydraulically assisted recirculating-ball steering is geared to a high and suitably forgiving ratio of 16.2:1. A 2in mopar suspension lift kit was also installed to raise the standard clearance of the car, enabling it to transport passengers over even more difficult and dangerous terrain safely.
While the standard Wrangler Overland dons 18in wheels and wears a hybrid off-road tyre, this specially modified vehicle has been fitted with 17×9 wheels and 35×12.50R17 BF Goodrich Mud Tyres, providing an additional increase in clearance.
A specialised front recovery bumper has been installed with a heavy-duty WARN EVO recovery winch, as well as LED light pillars and a reinforced rear tow bar and drop plate.
Recovery tracks, and a high-lift jack and spade complement the full-length roof racking system with additional spotlights, jerry cans and roof boxes that have been custom designed and fitted, providing additional flexibility for search and rescue teams to secure kit and other necessary items needed to fulfil their jobs. Door hinge footsteps make access to the roof easily accessible.
Internal modifications to the vehicle include a fire extinguisher mounted on to the rear interior cage, with room available for a bell stretcher, a life-saving bit of kit when retrieving people from inhospitable regions.
With over 1000 taskings performed by search and rescue in the UK every year, often over perilous and difficult terrain, it is essential that emergency services have the correct vehicles to manage any eventuality. The role of search and rescue is to ensure the safety of the thousands of people who head out to explore the countryside, beaches and mountains of the UK, and be there as back up just in case. To do this, the kit they use needs to be reliable, responsive and fit for any situation.
Since its modification in 2021, the Wrangler Overland has already been loaned to multiple emergency services and utility companies who require something very different within their fleet, and are able to use the additional specification the vehicle offers to further support their teams.
To get in contact with a Jeep representative about converting a vehicle to suit your requirements please contact 08081 685 419.