Purple Heart Truck F-150 Coming to Utah, July 14
F-150 features a wheelchair hoist, a driver’s seat lift, and hand controls.
Each year, the Purple Heart Truck Run travels around the United States, introducing wounded veterans and their families to the technology available to make their lives easier. For 2018, the Purple Heart Truck is a new Ford F-150 XLT and on July 14, this uniquely-outfitted pickup will be on display at the George E. Wahlen Ogden Veterans Home in Utah.
According to the Standard-Examiner, the Purple Heart Truck F-150 will be on display at 1102 North 1200 West Street in Ogden, Utah, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and in addition to checking out this unique Ford truck, visitors are invited to sign the body as a show of support for American veterans.
2018 Purple Heart Truck
The modified Ford F-150 making the 7,800-mile trip from Washington D.C. to Spokane, Washington is being piloted by wounded Army veteran and double-amputee Sergeant Justin Burdette, as well as other drivers. Burdette will be driving the truck, showing it off, and educating people on the vehicle assist options available to wounded soldiers and disabled persons.
This particular truck is upfitted with three key features – hand controls, a driver’s seat lift and a wheelchair hoist in the bed. The hand controls allow someone like Burdette, who is without his legs, to operate the throttle and brake of the F-150 and the driver’s seat lift makes it easier for someone who cannot climb into the cab to get to the driver’s seat. Burdette doesn’t appear to have any issue climbing into the F-150, but imagine someone in a wheelchair approaching the truck. By using the control in the driver’s door, the driver’s seat swivels outward and extends down to the ground, where someone in a wheelchair get into the seat at a safe spot.
Then, using the hoist in the bed, the wheelchair can be lifted up into the bed, so a wounded soldier in a wheelchair could get in and drive away without anyone to help him or her into the truck or without having to wrestle the wheelchair into the truck.
Sergeant Burdette will get to keep this truck once the Purple Heart Truck has reached the end of the tour in Washington state on the weekend of July 30 through August 3.