How to Choose the Right SWAT Truck for Your Emergency Response Fleet

swat vehicle interior

Within the U.S., there are more than 17,000 Special Weapons and Tactics Teams (SWAT) in operation. These tactical and emergency response teams play an integral role in ensuring safety within their communities.

For those in charge of managing these teams, having the right SWAT trucks available for use is crucial. If you are ready to add another SWAT truck to your emergency response fleet and need a specialized SWAT vehicle, choosing the right truck should be a focused effort that involves careful consideration of key requirements.

The following guide will help as you navigate the SWAT vehicle options available, ensuring that your tactical team has the truck they need to uphold community safety.

Start by Creating a List of Requirements

From hostage negotiations to responding to natural disasters, SWAT teams are composed of specialized law enforcement members.

With the long list of tasks a SWAT team might perform, the vehicles driven by these teams need to be highly specialized.

When shopping for a new SWAT truck to add to your emergency fleet, start by outlining all the requirements for your team’s vehicle. This will vary based on the use of the emergency response vehicle and the scope of your department’s work.

In addition to thinking through some of these specialized solutions, it is also important to consider the following based on the needs of your team:

  • Vehicle size: SWAT trucks can be fitted on a variety of chassis options. Make sure to consider what size will meet your team’s needs.
  • Seating options: Different SWAT teams will have different personnel seating options. Think through what seating choices you might need available.
  • On-board technology: From onboard WIFI to state-of-the-art communication technology, be sure to think through what technology your team will require for operation.
  • Maneuverability: No matter what size your emergency response vehicle is, it needs to be easy to deploy. Take into consideration how easily a vehicle can be maneuvered across a variety of terrains.

Starting with a detailed list will help as you navigate available emergency response vehicles.

Take into Consideration Additional Equipment

SWAT trucks are often rigged with an array of additional equipment. When purchasing a new vehicle for your fleet, you will want to think through what equipment your team will require. This will help as you explore size options and storage space.

For example, all of the following different SWAT team roles might need to bring a variety of equipment with them to the job:

  • Tactical: Most tactical teams will require storage and easy-access options for a variety of weapons and protective gear.
  • Negotiations: A negotiator will need protective gear and communication technology.
  • Intelligence: Intelligence forces will have specific on-board technology requirements, as well as signal jamming and protective gear.
  • Paramedics: Tactical paramedics will need to bring a variety of medical equipment on-board, as well as protective gear.

Pay Attention to Reliability

Beyond just the custom options available for emergency response vehicles, it is important to consider the vehicle’s reliability. SWAT trucks are often used to respond to high-risk and potentially violent events. For this reason, the vehicle needs to be durable and provide long-lasting use.

Be sure to research the reliability of the vehicle chassis the SWAT truck is built on.

Compare Options

With numerous options on the market, take time to compare different SWAT vehicles against one another.

Look at factors such as the following:

  • Mileage
  • Maintenance records
  • On-board technology
  • Price
  • Vehicle reviews

Consider Customization

While there are pre-built SWAT trucks available on the market, in many cases, it is necessary to opt for a custom build. Customization is a good fit when your team has specialized requirements that won’t be met by a standard emergency response vehicle.
In these cases, working with a custom builder can ensure that every single need is met and gives you the flexibility of choosing your preferred chassis.


mobile emergency vehicle

Speak to an Expert

Lastly, when shopping for a SWAT truck for your emergency response fleet, it is helpful to speak to an expert who can guide you through available options. Armed with your list of requirements, you can learn more about the best vehicles in your price range.

At Summit Bodyworks, our team believes in creating custom SWAT vehicle builds that meet the needs of these law enforcement teams.
With over 30 years of experience building specialty vehicles, each vehicle we build is unsurpassed in quality and design. From custom bench seating to the latest in on-board technology, we can help your team create the ideal emergency response vehicle for your needs.

Check out some of our featured SWAT truck builds to see our work in action, and talk to our team today about your fleet needs.