Mobile Dental Systems Van Structural Considerations
k. How does terrain influence our choices?

A vehicle operating in relatively flat areas does not need to have higher performance drive trains. Most commercially built vehicles come with engines rated at 230-240 horsepower (HP). These are adequate for most normal topography. A vehicle operating in mountainous areas needs an engine horsepower rating of 275HP plus.

A vehicle that is 20 MPH slower going up hills and mountains is a danger to itself and others on the road.

Another consideration is front engine (puller) vs. rear engine (pusher). Some feel that rear engine is better in mountainous terrain, while others feel it doesn't matter. Front engine is noisier in the front cabin, so if the vehicle is used on long trips, rear engine might be a better option. When the engine is in the rear, it eliminates the need for a long drive train and allows more storage space under the floor. A disadvantage to a rear engine is the need for a raised floor in the back, which decreases floor space flexibility.

Rear engine (pusher)

Front engine (puller)