Rugged, practical, ergonomic and innovative
Here are some of the leading providers of advanced console systems, gun rack and mounting solutions. These are all designed to withstand the abusive conditions associated with a patrol car environment.
Big Sky Racks
Big Sky Racks, Inc. has been building rugged vehicular weapon mounting systems for nearly 30 years. What began as a great idea for improving weapon access and transportation security for the shooting sportsman led to the development of the Electronic Locking Systems (ELS), which was designed specifically for law enforcement. With steel frame one-piece construction that eliminates welds and provides for maximum durability and strength, the ELS models are designed to meet the security requirements of a wide variety of weapons.
The ELS models feature padded weapon brackets that are bolted into the frame in grooved slots for easy weapon alignment and adjustment. Electronically released locks with timer delay and push button allow access to the weapon for 10 seconds without holding the release button. Driver-side out is the standard orientation, with passenger-out available upon request on most models. The system allows for safe and convenient transfer of weapon mounts between patrol cars and fleet replacement vehicles.
The ELS Models were primarily designed to place weapons in the ceiling of vehicles, offering convenient, out-of-sight storage for weapons. However, the ELS Models can also mount vertically to partitions or flat surfaces, such as trunk lids and S.W.A.T. units. The ELS Ceiling Mount provides quick and easy weapon removal from cars, trucks, vans, planes, helicopters and boats. Body turning or twisting is not required for weapon removal, allowing the officer to maintain optimum field of vision and response awareness.
Blac-Rac is the result of founder Kevin Pintar’s effort to design a true tactical weapon mount for patrol vehicles. It was first displayed at the 2008 SWAT Round-Up Orlando, and the following year Blac-Rac was awarded its first U.S. Patent. The Blac-Rac is a versatile, robust, compact and multiple platform weapons retention system. Used by S.W.A.T, Coast Guard, Homeland Security, and police and military organizations, the Blac-Rac is a paradigm shift in gun mount technology. A single point mount centered on the M4 lower receiver, it can accommodate a host of tactical weapons, regardless of make, model, barrel length, stock or other attributes.
The Blac-Rac system is optics-friendly and does not interfere with scopes, lasers, lights or other accessories. Weapons that are configured by the operator to their custom specifications will fit in the Blac-Rac. Additionally, the system restricts access to the take-down pins, trigger group, and magazine release. By design, the system absorbs shock and vibration, and features high-end non-marring synthetic rubber pads for maximum weapons protection.
Featuring the smallest mounting footprint of any weapon mount, the Blac-Rac is installer friendly and offers a wide range of positioning in any type of vehicle. With the use of the T-Channel mounting brackets, the system can be easily adjusted without the need to drill additional holes. Other features include 360-degree swivel, 45-degree offset weapons positions, and receiver width adjustment to accommodate both slim and wide receiver arms. Setina Manufacturing is the distributor for Blac-Rac products.
Setina also offers other gun racks based on the T-Rail (T-Channel) mounting system. Setina Weapons Systems include Free-Standing (single or double) racks, Partition-Mounted (single or double) racks and the Blac-Rac.
In addition to traditional in-car mounting, Setina recently introduced their modular trunk tray weapons system. This combination trunk tray and weapons mount gives agencies both a place for upfit components and a place to mount long guns for easy access.
The modular trunk tray weapons system holds AR-15 pattern rifles, pump or auto shotguns, or the Blac-Rac mounts. The tray is made from aluminum, has a 300-pound capacity, and a universal mount design for all police sedans. No drilling is required. The tray adjusts to three heights. The low-profile slide tray adjusts up under the vehicle’s trunk deck for maximum trunk room and easy access to the weapon.
Criusers Corporation is a Michigan-based manufacturer and installer of emergency vehicle equipment. Cruisers was founded 15 years ago as a law enforcement industry niche manufacturer. Over the years Cruisers has grown into a center for complete vehicle solutions. Their equipment addresses current safety concerns, i.e., dual air bag compatibility. All of their vehicle components meet or exceed FMVSS and NHTSA regulations, enabling the equipment to stand up to the rough rigors of the road.
Cruisers offers consoles, mounts, racks and brackets for all police and special service vehicles. Their center consoles may be conventional, angled, vertical or overhead. They come with laptop options and two-piece computer dash mount options. Cruisers offers single, dual and triple microphone brackets and brackets for radar devices.
Cruisers’ gun racks include a partition-mounted, overhead shotgun lock and a partition-mounted, overhead universal gun mount, which accepts all AR-15 pattern rifles. They also offer a dual-vertical center partition weapon mount and a passenger-side mount, which places the long gun alongside the center console and transmission hump. For the laptop, Cruisers offers a wide variety of pedestal and in-dash mounts, and both standard and quick-release keyboard mounts and arm mounts.
D&R Electronics is an ISO 9001:2008 registered designer, manufacturer, and installer of emergency sound, lighting, and mounting solutions. Established in 1976, the company offers a broad range of products for the law enforcement and public safety markets, including consoles, computer mounts, docking stations, and custom equipment storage systems. D&R Electronics’ most recent innovative contour console design integrates an armrest that adjusts to multiple positions, and includes a platform for securing a laptop mount.
Manufactured using 14-gauge metal, the console is strong yet lightweight, and is available in various lengths and styles to hold equipment and accessories. Features include integrated power outlets for powering up accessory options, adjustable sliding armrest, and a top platform for securing a top-mounted laptop mount. The molded soft rubber armrest is mounted on a ball-bearing slide track to the sides of the console and can travel 9 inches forward and back.
The LT7600 Series Laptop Mount has two detent ball bearing swivels attached to a single arm. With a locking release pin, this arm can swivel and lock in multiple positions. The top plate has 21 positioning holes to allow for optimal in-vehicle comfort. Those in the passenger seat can be comfortably accommodated as there is no mount pole. The LT7600 accepts all D&R computer specific trays, universal trays, and popular keyboard trays.
First Mobile Technologies
With over 17 years of service, First Mobile Technologies (FMT) provides full turnkey hardware solutions for integrating mobile computers, mounting equipment, and communication systems into environments requiring rugged technology. Serving a broad range of markets, from public safety and government agencies to the manufacturing and industrial industries, FMT has the resources to ensure seamless integration from inception to completion. The company’s mounting equipment is pre-assembled so it ships out ready to go, ensuring quick and flawless installation.
New to FMT’s line of docking solution is the XT3 FirstDock, the only mobile docking station on the market manufactured for the Dell XT3 computer. This FMT dock is designed to allow the Dell XT3 to function in both tablet and PC mode, and is equipped with engineered front brackets to ensure proper alignment of the computer. The front bracket design allows the computer display to be completely closed in both the PC and tablet mode.
The XT3 FirstDock is available for use with external power supply or with built-in power supply, giving the user options for his / her specific tasks. First Mobile Technologies has designed and manufactured all of their FirstDocks to provide the best user functionality and are backed by a limited lifetime warranty. FMT’s website provides a downloaded product catalog and contact information for agencies.
Founded in 1954, Gamber-Johnson is an ISO 9001:2008 certified manufacturer of rugged docking stations and vehicle mounting solutions for both the private and public sectors. Earlier this year, the company introduced two new vehicle-specific console boxes designed for the 2012-2013 Ford Police Interceptor Sedan and Police Interceptor Utility.
Made of heavy gauge steel, both console boxes are fully welded for optimum durability. Easily installed with six mounting fasteners, the console boxes attach right to the vehicle, eliminating the need for a separate top plate or vehicle leg kit. The top mounting platform allows a computer to be center-mounted or offset toward the passenger side, and a passenger side vehicle base can also be used for extended offset capabilities. Easy radio installation and wiring routing is assured with a removable top plate and center brace.
A vertical, angled section accommodates 6 inches of mounting space and is designed to house full-size radios. A horizontal, low-profile section accommodates 7 inches of mounting space and is designed to house radio control heads and accessories. There are two versions of the Ford Sedan PI and Ford Utility PI Console Boxes, and both include standard faceplates and filler panels.
With a global network of customer service representatives providing product information and installation support, Havis, Inc. offers flexible mobile office solutions for both the public and private sectors. The company’s packaged, configured, and engineered solutions deliver the broadest portfolio of products at the greatest value, allowing customers to decide which approach works best for their needs. Havis recently introduced the industry’s first Fold-down Trunk Tray System that provides users with a mounting surface for equipment while maximizing the remaining trunk space.
The Havis Fold-down Trunk Tray system provides quick and easy access to necessary equipment, and minimizes clutter to help mobile workers keep track of their tools. Havis designed this new trunk tray to utilize the area along the back wall of the trunk, leaving the rest of it open for access to the spare tire or for storage of larger items, such as cones and barricades. The system features a hinged door with a sliding tray that pulls forward for easy access. Valuable equipment can be securely mounted to this tray, which is then folded up and locked in place with heavy-duty locking latches. Once closed, the items inside will be protected from damage and theft.
The Fold-down Trunk Tray is available for the Ford Police Interceptor Sedan and Chevrolet Caprice, and will be offered for Dodge Charger. It joins a full line of Havis heavy-duty trunk solutions, including full-width slide-out trays, trunk side mounts and trunk mount accessories. Havis also works closely with Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge to ensure that vehicle-specific products provide a superior quality fit and finish inside each model.
Since 1987, HiNT Peripherals Corporation has specialized in the design and manufacturing of high-performance mounting systems and electronic accessories for mobile equipment. During that time, the company has supplied thousands of products to police, fire and EMS agencies nationwide. HiNT Peripherals builds rugged mounts, cradles, and trays for laptops, tablets, and radios, as well as locking brackets, quick connect slides, and data cables. Their metal products provide ergonomic adjustability.
The company’s latest product is the PT-385A Locking Cradle for handheld tablets. The cradle is built with 1/8-inch thick aluminum finished with flat black powder coat. The unit can be ordered to fit any handheld tablet and can host different makes of handheld tablets from 7 inches to 11 inches. Different sizes are available, depending on the brand and model of the tablet that needs to be locked. Internal contact surfaces are covered with Velcro® to protect the tablet mounted in it.
A cylindrical cam lock keeps the tablet secure and deters theft. Unless otherwise requested, all locking cradles are supplied keyed alike. It is designed to allow access to key controls, such as the volume and power switches, while permitting free access to the power and communication port as well as the camera. Its weight ranges from 0.6 pound to 0.9 pound, depending on the size of the tablet to be held by it. It can host hand-held computers from the smallest to the largest with its adjustable feature.
As a Total Solutions Provider for public safety equipment, Jotto Desk offers a full line of high-quality bumper-to-bumper solutions for police vehicles. Their computer mounts and consoles are designed to work together or separately, ensuring a seamless process from installation to application. Continuing to refine the mobile workplace, the company recently introduced two new products in the console and docking station categories.
The Jotto Desk Contour Console, designed to fit the 2012 Chevy Tahoe, is an ideal solution for law enforcement and public safety agencies. These new wide-bodied consoles feature 20 inches of equipment mounting space, a 28-inch Tahoe floor plate, and driver’s side knockout for mounting a speaker. With pre-drilled faceplate screw holes and fuse panel for easy wiring, the Contour Console can be installed in 30 minutes. These Tahoe console solutions are designed to accommodate Jotto Desk’s computer side mount and armrest, and the OEM traction / anti-skid button can easily be relocated into the top of the consoles.
Jotto Desk has taken their Kodiak Mobile docking solution that was first introduced in 2011 to the next level and released it as a docking station that is fully compatible with the Panasonic CF31/30/29/28 and the Getac B300. The new docking station includes a 120-watt power supply and an Intelligent Power Management Circuitry (both located inside the dock) at no extra cost. The CF31/B300 iDock’s auto dock feature automatically latches the docking station without the use of a key and has a footprint smaller than the laptop itself.
For over 30 years, Lund Industries has been a nationwide leader in the design, manufacturing, installation, and distribution of public safety vehicular equipment to Federal, State, and Local agencies. Their product line extends from consoles and computer mounting systems to trunk storage solutions and gun racks. Lund manufactures a number of consoles for the new Ford Police Interceptors, including traditional horizontal box designs, angled vertical box designs, and the newest Tactical designs, which offer a combination of vertical and horizontal surface.
The Tactical or “VH” console designs keep the equipment positioned low in the vehicle, allowing easier emergency egress out of the vehicle while keeping the equipment readily accessible to the officer. The current Lund consoles will mount directly to the Ford factory base plate or, in some cases, will mount to the Ford base plate with the use of a bale bracket. The company offers vehicle specific consoles to accommodate the different angles of the lower portion of the Police Interceptor instrument panels in both the PI Sedan and PI Utility.
The newest and most popular design is the VH-2410 configuration. This Tactical console provides approximately 7.75 inches for equipment in the upper / vertical section of the console, and approximately 10 inches in the lower horizontal section of the console. The lower section is 4 inches deep and is best suited for two-piece equipment (such as remote head radios and sirens) and accessories such as cup holders, pen boxes, power plug panels and lock boxes.
For over 20 years, Mobile Desk has been a leading manufacturer of innovative laptop mounting solutions for the utility and medical industries, as well as public safety professionals. This privately owned business provides laptop vehicle mounts and organizers that allow mobile workers to increase productivity by transforming their vehicles into high-performance work spaces. The company’s newest products are the Tough Desk Ultra and the Console-X.
The Tough Desk Ultra is a heavy-duty, high-security vehicle laptop mount built to withstand rugged work environments. Its ergonomic design alleviates neck and shoulder strain, resulting in reduced cumulative injuries. Computer hardware is protected by the Tough Desk Ultra’s anti-shock design and built-in ventilation. Features include a universal drill base mount, expandable locking laptop tray, and fully adjustable double articulating arm with an optional no-drill base mount, docking stations, screen holder, and printer stand. The Tough Desk Ultra has a height adjustment of 16 inches to 36 inches, an arm reach of 9 inches to 17 inches, and weighs 14.5 pounds.
The Console-X is a complete Control, Communication, and Convenience system designed exclusively for utility fleet vehicles as well as truck and SUV vehicles used by public safety officials. The integrated computer mounts and arm feature a double articulating design with a positive-locking lever arm attached to a positive locking clevis that is universal to most mount manufacturer’s docking stations and laptop trays. Other integrations include dual-design cup holders, rocker-switch control housing, radio housing, and slotted speaker panels.
Precision Mounting Technologies
Precision Mounting Technologies is a leading global provider of in-vehicle mounts for laptop computers and docking stations. Most of PMT’s products are designed and manufactured in Calgary, Alberta. Because PMT’s top priority is to design products that minimize the possibility of injury, many of their products undergo vigorous safety testing.
The company recently introduced several new products for the Ford Police Interceptor Sedan and Police Interceptor Utility. The Panasonic CF-3x Computer Dock is a lightweight aircraft-grade aluminum computer dock, and has the smallest volume available to accommodate the smaller interiors of today’s vehicles. Three new consoles for the Ford Interceptors are now available: two for the sedan (Type 1 and Type 2) and one for the SUV. The Type 2 was designed for two full body radio / sirens to be mounted forward and below the dock, while the Type 1 specializes in mounting of control head systems.
PMT’s new Mousetrap slide mount has a minimum height of less than 1.5 inches, provides enhanced ergonomic features, and reduces the mounting height to protect the driver’s sightline. It allows the computer to be rotated from the driver to the passenger side, to slide fore and aft, and to swivel on a fixed or adjustable tilt. Designed for Ford’s exclusive dash utility tray, PMT’s Dash Mount for radio and siren fits between the air ducts and folds up to allow access to dash controls, providing minimum distraction to the driver and almost no loss of visibility.
Founded in 1968, Pro-gard Products is a leading manufacturer and supplier of innovative and dependable law enforcement vehicle equipment. Their product line includes prisoner transport partitions and containment systems, ballistic door panels, push bumpers, organizers, storage trays, and custom gun racks. The company recently announced the release of its latest product in their Storage and Organization Products line, designed specifically for the Ford Police Interceptor Utility.
Mike Navarro, General Manager for Pro-gard, has seen an increase in fleets switching from traditional police cruisers to sport utility vehicles for patrolling. While crossovers provide increased cabin space, securing loose weapons that are normally stored in the trunk of a car can prove challenging. With Pro-gard’s new Weapon Storage Drawer, specifically designed for the Police Interceptor Utility, weapons can be discreetly locked in the cargo area of the crossover. It accommodates up to 40 inches of weapons, and features an MDO Plywood shell that is enclosed with resin to resist moisture, plus a durable ABS overlay that resists fading.
The top shelf is lined with Lonseal®, providing an easy-to-clean, yet tacky surface for placing loose items. The interior compartments are covered with marine-grade quality carpet that resists moisture and mildew, and a customizable foam liner allows secure storage of weapons in the drawer. The Weapon Storage Drawer can be mounted with a Pro-gard Cargo Barrier, which is available as a polycarbonate window or screen window, or as a self-supporting option. Other features include a programmable combination code lock, HDP composite, impact-resistant doors, and PVC bumpers on the edges and corners to protect from splitting.
For nearly two decades RAM Mount has been a global leader in the design and manufacturing of rugged, innovative mounting systems for the industrial, military, emergency and law enforcement industries. RAM offers a diverse product line, which is protected by over 92 issued patents, with more than 60 patents pending. Using durable composites, steel, stainless steel, rubber, and aluminum, their cost-effective mounting bases and complete kits are manufactured in the USA. Custom solutions are available for the newest LE vehicle platforms, including Caprice, Charger, PI Utility, PI Sedan, Impala and Tahoe.
RAM Tough-Box™ Console Mounts feature a unique molded design for optimum ergonomic comfort and safety. The modular design allows for almost unlimited installation options, with 9-inch, 13-inch, 17-inch and 21-inch models available. Unique molded faceplates incorporate tongue and groove details to prevent contamination of electronics from dust and dirt falling through the cracks. Integrated hole patterns, such as AMPS, VESA, as well as RAM-specific ensure endless mounting possibilities and enhanced versatility.
A microphone hole and slot pattern is available on both the passenger and driver side of the console, and mounting holes in the bottom of the console work with all other manufacturers’ top plates. Molded and stamped mounting holes allow for extreme ease of assembly and installation. Toughbox™ consoles are compatible with RAM 1-inch and .5-inch pedestal systems, and the RAM Twist-Lock™ feature provides quick access to radios or switches, for easy installation, change-outs, or repairs.
Troy Sheet Metal Work, Inc. was established in 1930 as a full-service production sheet metal facility, located in Montebello, Calif. In 1990, after working with a local police department to design a metal console for housing their electronic equipment, the company formed a subsidiary to focus exclusively on products for law enforcement vehicles. The following year, Troy Products was founded and now offers the largest assortment of durable, high-quality products from a single source.
Troy Products recently introduced a cargo mount built specifically for the new Ford Police Interceptor Utility. Ford’s police crossover design has the spare tire stored below the cargo floor. The OEM spare tire cover is replaced by Troy’s new PI Utility mount for easy access to the spare tire compartment. With no drilling or cutting required, the mount can be installed in less than 10 minutes.
The hinged mount features a hand hole for ease of lifting, and two gas springs keep the mount lifted up in hands-free mode to allow spare tire access. The mount is designed to add enhanced gas-spring support capacity for extra heavy loads. When closed, the mount is level with OEM plastic trim so items bolted to it will clear, eliminating the need to add risers. Design features of the mount keep it securely in place when the vehicle is mobile. The mount can be used as a surface to bolt weapon boxes, storage cabinets, sliding equipment trays, and mobile command post units.
Since 1995, TruckVault, Inc. has been a leading provider of in-vehicle secure storage solutions for the sports, law enforcement, and public safety markets. Partnering with countless public safety organizations, the company delivers intelligent standard and custom designs for every vehicle type, from basic security to fully customizable command centers and office centers. Due to its extensive selection of superior quality, value-priced secure storage solutions, TruckVault has been a licensed manufacturer for GM vehicles as recently as 2010 for their Hummer SUT line.
The TruckVault Technology Platform of products (TTP) consists of next-level 110- and 12-volt battery power and motion-activated lighting, providing power and lighting anywhere, anytime, under all conditions. TTP provides 120-volt power inside drawers, cubbies, and to table extensions for laptops and other portable gear, and a multi-socket 12-volt receptacle delivers power for charging and operating mobile devices.
Heavy-duty wiring and a state-of-the-art cable management system ensure years of dependable service. A deep-cycle 12v backup battery is available with an isolated charging circuit, and 12v/USB outlets can be placed anywhere inside or outside of the TruckVault. A flip lid cover for horizontal mounting is standard to protect the inverter (inverter placement varies by vehicle). Lighting can be sold entirely separate from the TTP package of products since it does not depend on in-vehicle wiring.
For over 55 years Tufloc has been a leading designer and manufacturer of high-security products for law enforcement and military personnel. The company’s products include vehicle weapons racks, vehicle partitions, and window guards for police vehicles. The Tufloc line of weapons storage solutions consists of eight different rack configurations: Universal Overhead, Overhead Roll Bar, Overhead Screen, Single Gun Vertical, Two-Gun Vertical, Muzzle Down, Floor, and Universal Trunk.
The overhead racks are mounted either to the roll bar, to the partition screen, or to the ceiling (for vehicles with no partition). Weapons are stowed well out of the way of the vehicle’s occupants and the deployment path of the air bag. Both the single and two-gun vertical racks mount between the vehicle’s two front seats, while the muzzle down rack mounts the gun between the driver and the front-seat passenger with the barrel pointing in a safe downward direction. The floor mounted rack safely positions a shotgun or rifle horizontally under the officer’s legs, and the traditional trunk rack mounts inside the vehicle’s trunk for additional secure weapons stowage.
In addition to securing Remington 870 shotguns and AR-15 rifles, Tufloc can accommodate most other makes/models as well. Constructed of high-strength powder-coated steel for optimum durability, all Tufloc racks feature trigger guards and are padded for rattle-free and secure stowage. The rack-locking mechanisms can be opened with either a key or a concealed momentary switch, which allows the officer to quickly retrieve the weapon while preventing others from gaining access. Key locks can be supplied with either a handcuff or tubular key, and can be keyed differently or the same as other racks.
Susan Geoghegan is a freelance writer living in Naples, Fla. She can be reached at email@example.com.