Towering above the ground and filled with sophisticated technology and survival gear, the Survivor Truck is a vehicle unlike any other.
Built to serve as the ultimate mobile command center, the Survivor Truck is equipped for use in everything from natural disasters, to combat in distant war zones, to humanitarian missions and surveillance operations, said its creator, Jim DeLozier. Based on the prototype in operation today, DeLozier plans to work with government and commercial organizations to develop similar custom vehicles that could one day change the way first responders manage natural disaster rescue and recovery operations; or the way wars are fought.
DeLozier said the truck takes aspects of vehicles currently used in the military, law enforcement, fire and rescue, and disaster response, and combines them into a one 13-ton beast. Unlike other commercial and government vehicles available today, it’s purpose-built to serve as a versatile platform for long-term deployment in a remote or hostile environment. Atop its 53-inch tires sits what once was a standard Chevy C70, outfitted with every conceivable piece of equipment needed to survive whenever, wherever the truck is needed. Features include:
- A Chevy 366 ci tall block engine that runs on gasoline or propane, with five total gasoline and propane fuel tanks
- An armored command center with workstations for 3 to 5 people
- 6V /12V / propane, CNG & gasoline engine and generators, solar panels and a deployable solar generator. The truck also includes a custom food storage system and water storage for up to 120 gallons, plus purification and desalination capabilities
- Other unique features include thermoregulated camouflage netting to encompass the entire truck and maintain an ambient heat signature, a welder, an air compressor, front and rear winches, and a sniper platform with a 360-degree protective cage
Integrated Technology that Gets the Job Done
From end to end, the Survivor Truck is powered by some of the most advanced technology available. This includes surveillance cameras with thermal imaging, night vision and Infrared; as well as an NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical environment) air handling and filtration system. A secure tactical mesh wireless network provides connectivity for all the technology components in and around the truck.
At the heart of it all are a Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 tablet and Toughbook 31 laptop. Both models are MIL-STD-810G and IP65 certified to withstand drops, shock, vibration, rain, dust, sand, freeze/thaw, high/low temperatures, temperature shock, humidity and explosive atmospheres. With other unique features such as daylight-viewable screens, full-shift battery life, drive heaters for quicker startup in cold climates, and configurable concealed modes that lower screen brightness for covert operations, the Panasonic mobile computers are the ideal fit for the go-anywhere Survivor Truck.
“There’s no limit to the types of engagements this vehicle could be caught up in, and it was really important to have a computing system that’s going to be able to do what I need it to do, every time I need it to do it,” DeLozier said. “It doesn’t do me any good if I show up and it doesn’t work. So I need to make sure that when I get there, not only is the technology there but it’s robust and rugged enough to handle the situation, whatever it is.”
With the computers integrated with the other technology components via the tactical mesh, DeLozier said they will be used by professionals working in the truck to monitor live surveillance camera footage, maintain communications and perform other tasks to improve situational awareness, efficiency and productivity. They’ll also be used as a component of a mobile command kit designed for situations such as surveillance operations or natural disaster response efforts. The kit includes multiple IP surveillance cameras that can be dropped in remote areas and monitored via the laptop or tablet.
Both equipped with Intel Core i5 processors and running Windows 8, the Toughbook and Toughpad provide computing power to match their rugged durability. DeLozier said that for both encryption and standardization purposes, it was important to utilize Windows-powered products.
“If you’re going to have interoperability of different systems, you just can’t go off into one direction then go in another direction,” he said. “You have to stick with the standard. And the standard in this application is Windows.”
DeLozier said that Panasonic’s Toughbook and Toughpad mobile computers are a “perfect marriage” for the Survivor Truck.
“In an environment like this – austere environments, complex environments where there’s a lot of moving and shaking and running and dropping and all the stuff that’s going on – any consumer device is definitely not going to survive,” he said. “There’s no consumer device that has the computing power and the rugged durability and the battery life that this has. You just can’t accomplish it without something like this.”