Mass-produced standardized ENG vans offer welcomed savings

Wolf Coach has tapped into a growing demand for low-cost ENG vehicles from stations looking to economize as they devote capital resources to their DTV conversion
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The Coyote delivers many popular ENG van features but limits customization options.

Faced with the expense of their DTV conversion and HD roll out, many station managers have identified ENG trucks as a place to economize, stretch and make-do, according to Thomas Jennings of Wolf Coach in Auburn, MA.

Where 150,000 miles was about the limit for the typical Ford E-350 Super Duty ENG van, many station managers looking to redirect capital expenditures towards their digital conversion, have opted to refurbish and re-paint in-service trucks.

That’s why Wolf Coach went to last year’s NAB convention with a new idea: a standardized, mass produced ENG vehicle that could take advantage of economies of scale.

The result was the Wolf Coach Coyote, an ENG van built for the “low-cost, down-and-dirty” ENG market, he said. What the Coyote offers is a turnkey ENG van solution for roughly $100,000, about $50,000 to $80,000 less than custom built alternatives.

According to Jennings, the cookie-cutter approach has been popular. Since discussing the concept at last year’s show, Wolf Coach has built a new production facility devoted exclusively to the Coyote in West Jordan, UT, and delivered 35 Coyotes.

Building a pre-engineered, one-size-fits all product offers significant costs savings when compared to highly customized news vehicles, said Jennings.

The Coyote delivers many popular ENG van features but limits customization options. It has a flat roof with no platform attached. It also uses non-ducted air conditioning instead of a ducted system to reduce costs.

Hearst Argyle is among the users of the new van. The station group has acquired the Coyote for several of its “secondary market” stations, according to Jennings.

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