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A reservoir for police dogs, not hydraulic fluid

A reservoir for police dogs, not hydraulic fluid

Nero sems to like his comfy new quarters in the back of a Ford F-150 pickup, owned by the Rock Falls, Ill. Police Dept.

Most of the material on our website and, especially, Hydraulics & Pneumatics magazine, deals with fluid power and related technology. Well, if you use the term related very loosely, a news release we received recently is related to hydraulics technology.

Macrovision Marekting Communications is a PR agency in Doylestown, Pa., and Charles Birkhead sometimes sends me news releases about one of his clients, IFH Group, Rock Falls, Ill. IFH Group designs and manufactures reservoirs for hydraulic systems, fuel systems, and other applictions. So when I received Chuck's latest release about IFH, naturally, I assumed it would be about a reservoir for some type of demanding hydraulics application.

I was wrong.

The news release describes how IFH designed and built a custom kennel for police dogs in Rock Falls, Ill. Being a dog lover, I couldn't resist picking up this news story that has nothing to do with fluid power but illustrates the versatility of the people and their capabilities at IFH Group. Here's the scoop (pun intended):

When the Rock Falls, Ill., police department was looking for a new vehicle for its mobile K9 unit, it decided that something other than the usual kennel was needed to go with the new super crew cab pickup it had decided to use instead of an SUV.

Because there was no real need for the K9 officer to transport prisoners, the department wanted to have a special mobile kennel built that would occupy the entire rear seating area of its new Ford F-150 pickup. The dog has plenty of room, and he can also jump in and not have to immediately turn his body to the rear of the vehicle as he had to do in the one-third/two-third kennel design that was used previously. This will save wear and tear on the joints in the dog’s hips, shoulders, and legs over the numerous times he gets in and out of the vehicle throughout a typical shift.

After researching kennels from several manufacturers, the department decided a custom solution was needed and turned to The IFH Group, an area metal fabricator that is also a major supplier of hydraulic oil reservoirs and fuel tanks for off-rhighway vehicles.  With its extensive metal fabricating expertise and state-of-the-art equipment, The IFH Group designed and built a mobile kennel that not only met the requirements of the department, but improved upon them as well.

In addition to occupying the entire rear seating area of the crew cab, the new kennel provides plenty of ventilation between the front cab area and the interior of the kennel to more easily control the climate for the dog’s comfort and safety.  Fabricated from aluminum using laser cutting, bending, welding, and powder coating, it can be easily cleaned with a garden hose without water going all over the inside of the vehicle.  It has a sliding door so  the dog can get from the kennel area to the front of the vehicle in the event of an emergency or to deploy him from the front on a fleeing suspect.

In addition, The IFH Group provided custom window screens with “RFPD K9” laser cut and welded into them as well as the dog’s name, “Nero”, laser cut and riveted to the sliding door inside the cab -- all without any permanent modifications being made to the vehicle.

“We were glad to be able to help the RFPD,” said IFH Group President Keith Ellefsen. “And we’d be happy to assist any police department with a K9 kennel that better meets their needs.”

RFPD Officer Jeremy Vondra agreed. “The finished product far exceeded my expectations, as it has a custom look that officers like along with being functional, comfortable and safe for my K9 partner and me.  Other departments looking for a better solution for their mobile K9 units might want to look into it.”

For more information, visit, click here to e-mail Ryan McCarty at IFH Group, or call (800) 435-7003.

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