At the end of November, snow began to fall on the Czech Republic, and we probably couldn’t have wished for more stylish weather for the handover of the emergency special. I am glad that I accepted the offer to drive a Toyota directly from the Dajby 4×4 showroom in Pilsen. A little beyond Sušicá, the road was really rutted snow, on which someone had just thrown a handful of gravel here and there. However, the mountain service ordered Nokian HKPL tires with studs, so the Land Cruiser does not have the slightest problem. We still don’t even have a reason to turn on the four-wheel drive and the car curves beautifully.
At Kvilda, a sister who is three years older is already waiting for us in front of the office, who regularly serves here. Toyotas are handed over to the Mountain Service every year. In her case, it is a model 76, i.e. a five-door station wagon. The latest addition is the Model 78, a three-door extended van. It is a three-seater, so access to the third rear seat is more difficult, but again, a stretcher with an injured patient can fit better in the larger cargo area. However, the new emergency vehicle will not warm up here for long, it will be assigned to Nová Peca near Lipno for permanent service. In total, the Mountain Service purchased three Toyota Land Cruisers this year. The other two are model 76 and will be used in Jeseníky.
This is not the first time you have encountered the Land Cruiser series 70 model in our magazine, so you know that its six-cylinder design is constantly praised for its robustness, reliability, cross-country ability and, at the same time, sufficient driving comfort on the road. The same reasons also convinced the Czech Mountain Service.
Of course, the special is a little different from a normal personal Toyota, although the Dajbych 4×4 dealer can also offer many of the requirements of the Mountain Service for your Land Cruiser for an additional fee. At first glance, the ARB strength bumper with ZEON 10S winch can be seen on the front and it has integrated fog lights with daytime running lights. If you look at the photos, the older version still had external LED parabolas on top of the strength bumper, but this solution is more suitable for off-road use.
A special car needs special equipment
The special has ARB differential locks, additional supercharger, Webasto independent hot water heater with remote control, dual battery system with external power source, strength running boards, suction snorkel and ARB reversing camera. The car has reinforced rear axle suspension and a large reinforced Rhino Rack roof rack with a roll for easier loading, which will carry a lot of useful equipment. It is also fitted with an extremely powerful Bushranger front LED light bar and ARB Mini side LED work lights. Of course, the car also has a towing device.
Inside, there are heated front seats and washable covers for all seats. A rescue bag, a Bushranger lifting bag and a ladder are also included in the equipment. The rest of the equipment is already a question of the supplier of the rescue installation. This is the company Fosan from Ivančice near Brno. She will install a built-in for holding a rescue device and equipment, a floor with a rail system, LED interior lighting, a fire extinguisher, a Motorola radio and a Ledlenser portable flashlight into the Toyota. Of course, the car also has warning blue beacons, both on the roof rack and in the front fascia.
The mountain service has been using Toyotas since around 2010. Until then, you could meet more Land Rover Defender off-road vehicles in our mountains, but their driving comfort, less reliability and also poorer access to the interior and the absence of a van version (which Toyota fulfills model 78) eventually meant their replacement by Toyotas. At first, diesel variants were used for those, but now they are six-cylinder gasoline engines.
But don’t think that rejuvenating the fleet is somehow frequent. The Mountain Service is so satisfied with Toyotas that they often last over ten years and only the necessary maintenance is done and the car’s equipment is rejuvenated. But why change a car with which rescue workers are satisfied and which, even over the long years, has only driven around 60,000 kilometers.
New vehicles usually compete in the spring and travel to their units in the fall. “Off-road center Dajbych 4×4 has been cooperating with the Mountain Service for eighteen years, and thanks to this experience and excellent communication, cars can be created that perfectly serve the needs of rescuers,” adds Petr Dajbych.
However, the restoration of equipment is not a problem, the Mountain Service is more concerned with a lack of personnel. There are only around 120 rescuers in the entire country, who are assisted by around 400 volunteers. Getting to them requires not only knowledge and skills, but also time. But if you are attracted to it and you should, at least you know what you will be driving at the Mountain Service.