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Thread: Squad Car Milage

  1. #1
    Verified LEO bmatzke's Avatar
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    Squad Car Milage

    I am trying to figure out where everyone is at for squad milage. My department used to replace our squads every two years. Since some cutbacks the city has pushed it up a bit. We now have two 2008 Crown Vics with 185,000 miles on it and a 2007 Crown Vic with 165,000 miles. We have a total of five cars and only two of them have less than 100k on them. Post your milage numbers and lets see where we are at.

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    Verified LEO eljefe241's Avatar
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    Putting on my old, faded, worn-out chief's hat for a moment ... It's often less about mileage than service, use and abuse. Modern vehicles can often run for well over 100K but "mileage" is becoming passe as the 'only' criteria. If you divide your 185K by 4 years, we get 46,250/year; divide that by 340 (365-25 for days where vehicle is down for service) and we have approx 136 miles per shift. Thus, to evaluate opertional use (and abuse), one needs to look larger than just 'mileage' ...

    For example, what's the mean/mode, variables to operating mileage, how many officers drive the vehicles, what's the terrain, weather, beat sizes, how many officers share the units, what are the repairs most frequently encountered, what's the service records, is service in-house (by city.county facility) or contracted, how are vehicles budgeted for, and myriad other factors.

    What I'm trying to say is comparing your mileage to others - especially considering all the factors - is an exercise in futility. Trust me, city managers don't "hear" you if you play the Officer Safety or "the City of Wannahokaloogie, WA, gets new cars every XXX miles or X years, whichever comes first" cards.I suspect in City manager School, they learn this is a strawman argument and turn a deaf ear. The also don't react well to challenges or embarassment.

    Do your homework by comparing your city PD to similar ones. Learn how the budget works, where funding comes from, gather data about use and service histores and, if wise - seek some support from the chief, city manager, and council membersbefore firing your 'comparison' volley. One angle is some departments seek grants or donors to sponsor new cars.

  3. #3
    Verified LEO bmatzke's Avatar
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    eljefe241, Thank you for your expert opinion. I understand your view points coming from a management standpoint. However, I did not start this thread with the intention of bringing it to the city council members to make an arguement for newer squad cars. I understand the inner workings of a budget and how they work. I have turned a wrench or two in my life and know a thing or two about motors. Engines can and do last for more than 100,000 miles, if they are maintained correctly. Actually we have never had an engine issue to date. These motors are great, I can't say a single bad thing about them. We have had issues with the transmission, rear ends, and suspension parts. But now we are getting off track. I see you have a lot of posts and you bring a lot of good information to the forum, so I mean no disrespect, but you kind of bashed your point in a little hard.

    My intention of this thread was simply to see what other departments consider the usable lifespan of a squad car.

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    Verified LEO rangersgt's Avatar
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    In the "good old days" ... my department used to replace our cars at about 70,000 miles. The department usually got a good price for them at that point at auction, and most of them were snapped up by independent taxi cab companies.

    We now keep them in use until they have 125,000 to 140,000 miles due to budget reasons like most agencies. Many of them at that point still do not go to auction, however, and if they have a good maintenance record, are stripped out and used by other in house divisions (staff cars, operations, etc.)
    " If you would know a man, observe how he treats a cat." - Robert A. Heinlein

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    Verified LEO co809's Avatar
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    120000 is ususally the cutoff here. I will agree with El Jefe on most points, but when have we been known to 'baby' our cars? I do not speak for everyone on that point, I know plenty of folks take care of their car, but most of them get driven like a rented Ferrari.

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    Verified LEO eljefe241's Avatar
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    I'm happy that you have mechanical skills and that you understand budgets; not everyone who reads these posts have those attributes. While I wasn't trying to "bash it hard", I was also writing for other readers/posters who commonly have similar issues.

    You see, you never really explained why you had a need or desire to know other agencies' mileages, so that left some gaps in terms of what and how to respond. With most queries, there's a point and those seem to be based on justification to get newer/better gear. If this is a "I'm curious", it kinda falls with many other posts we see but those rarely, if ever, come from mossback street cops but mostly the civilians. As I was alluding, I just can't otherwise see what useful purpose the query has, except to justify either your own opinion or to rationalize the need for cars with lower mileage.

    From my perspective, there's simply no relevance between one agency's experience with mileage and anothers, absent there being other comparison data.

    I hope you get the information you desire, and your purpose is fulfilled.

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    Verified LEO Spike126's Avatar
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    After 100,000 they become a spare car or a car that can only be used for private duty jobs. We switched from mileage to 'hours on engine' a short while back to determine whether a car should be kept on front line status.

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    Verified LEO chapwolfe's Avatar
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    My 2008 CV has just short of 136,000 on it. I was looking forward to hitting 200,000, but the Chief Deputy seems to have other ideas. We have a fleet of over 30 vehicles and the County Commissioners are replacing three - count 'em - three vehicles/year.

    There seems to be an idea that after 130,000 the cars fall apart and that it's "cheaper" to buy a $30,000 Exped than to fix an a/c or water pump. Doesn't make sense to me, tho.

    Of course some of the deputies operate their vehicles like... well.... and at 75,000 the suspension's shot. And Ford's white paint flakes off pretty badly. Mine's starting to flake even after the Ford dealership repainted it under warranty.

    I generally keep my speed at or below 40 except when necessary and keep the oil changed every 4k. We change the fuel filter every third oil change.
    Last edited by chapwolfe; 09-05-2012 at 12:16 AM.
    Officer Jay McGuire, Minneapolis Park Police EOW 5/14/2009 age 11
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  9. #9
    Verified LEO co809's Avatar
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    Easy there bmatzke. We don't do this in these forums. If you have a problem with someone, take it up on the PM's not on our board brother.

    EDIT: since the post was removed, this comment is moot. Having said that, the statement above applies. Have a safe shift all!
    Last edited by co809; 09-05-2012 at 06:12 PM.

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    Lead P1 Forums Moderator Prefect's Avatar
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    Let's everybody take a deep breath...
    Last edited by Prefect; 09-05-2012 at 04:58 PM.
    Si vis vivere, para zombium.

    The mind is a terrible thing to taste.

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    Verified LEO Deputyfarva252's Avatar
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    my charger has 74,000 , I average about 250-300 miles a night or so , 36,000+ a year. My department likes to get new vehicles between 100,000 - 140,000 miles or so. We have 385 square miles to cover with two maybe three deputies on at a time so our cars can get run pretty hard sometimes.
    Fred H likes this.

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    2009 133k
    2010 51k, 61k, 97k, 87k, 99k
    2011 40k, 48k
    2012 10k, 13k

    We try to replace three cars each year, but some years only manage two. Old patrol units are traded in.
    School vehicles & narc arks are seized vehicles. We use commercial sedans for admin & CID vehicles.

    Our big issue lately has been units lost to traffic accidents, which knocks a big hole in our rotation planning.

  13. #13
    Verified LEO eljefe241's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prefect View Post
    Let's everybody take a deep breath...
    Tough to do at my age. I could pass out ...

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    Verified LEO Loganx88x's Avatar
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    Just got the word from the top brass our department is removing 10 vics (all having over 130000) and infusing our fleet with Ford Interceptors SHO AWD model! now if only I could shrink my body from being tall to normal so i could fit in them! The budget crisis/overall economy has put hold on new patrol vehicles for the last 5 years.

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    We have 15 road patrol vehicles and they replaced 5 at a time so every three years you get a new patrol vehicle. The admin, investigators drug guys get cars as they need them. We have assigned take home cars so they typically get taken care of a lot better than cars that are not take home cars. Most cars have bout 100,000 when they are traded in or auctioned.

 

 
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