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|Retired Chase Vehicle Unit 2|
|Friday, 10 April 2009 23:10|
This was our secondary storm chase vehicle and was my former chase partner Graham Butler's vehicle. It's a 2000 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD. It was in service from 2004-2011. Graham used this to chase during times when it's not possible for us to leave at the same time or practical for use to leave from the same location. We used it extensively in 2004, but as you probably know, Tahoes aren't known for their great gas mileage and with the higher costs of fuel these days, it doesn't get as much use chasing as we would like. If not for the gas cost, it makes a great chase vehicle! Graham moved to the Ft. Worth, Texas area so distance and his work schedule prevented us from regularly chasing together. He sold the vehicle to another storm chaser in 2011 so it will still be seen out on the plains!
We actually converted this vehicle to a chase vehicle in May 2004 in between storm systems! It was a rush to say the least, but care was taken and everything came out great. Since these pictures were taken, additional flood lights have been added to the front of the roof rack as well as the brush guard. The brush guard itself has been upgraded as well. We are hoping to have updated pictures to put here soon. Black spotlights were also added to the A pillars as well. Also on the outside are the various antennas that are connected to various communications gear inside. Antennas include CB, Ham radio 2m/440cm dual band, cellular and TV. For safety amber alternating strobes were put inside the taillights and a Federal Signal amber arrowstick mounted on the rear of the roof rack. There is also a single Code 3 strobe light in the windshield near the rear view mirror. Some of this is going to be updated shortly as the windshield strobe will be removed and amber LEDs mounted on the roof rack below the current lights, and on the brush guard. The rear arrowstick was also replaced with an LED arrowstick for power conservation reasons.
All of the lights are controlled from the inside by a custom made switch panel which I built that is mounted to the custom console we designed to fit specifically in the Tahoe, replacing part of a stock center console. While this was covered with black carpet at the time, the success we had with the vinyl in the current storm chase van has given us the desire to go back and cover this one similarly with great results. Also seen in the console is the control head for the arrowstick, as well as a Cobra 29LTDWX CB radio. On the dash next to the A/C controls is the head for the ham radio (which has since been upgraded to an Icom 2720h) while the main part of the radio is hidden away.. Next to that is the holder/charger/hands free unit for his cell phone.
Directly under the dash on the driver's side is a power inverter that provides mainly power for the laptop computer that resides on that Jotto desk during times of chasing. On the center of the dash is a RAM mount for the video camera. An XM radio has also been added since these pictures. Because Graham uses this more as a daily driver, logos for the TV station in this case are magnetic. This was also the reason for toning down the prominence of the amber safety lighting.
As mentioned, there are a variety of upgrades on the to-do list and afterward we will be taking new pictures so I can update things here.
A Viper security system was also put in to help secure things up.
|Last Updated on Sunday, 18 March 2012 01:13|