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A new customer came onto our Greater Vancouver lot after an extended trip up and down the Southern California coast. They noted how every single lifeguard headquarters they came upon had a Toyota parked on the pier or beachfront garage. That was all they need to affirm that when it comes to a new truck, Toyota was it. If it's being used as the primary vehicle for the lifesaving heroes of the coastline, it's certainly good enough to manage their own tough day to day.
It is true, Toyota is now a mainstay for lifeguards across the continent as states, counties, municipalities, parks and recreation precincts, and a wave of other governing bodies with waterway safety concerns adopt the brand. In 2015 LA County Lifeguards dumped Ford for Toyota and haven't looked back since:
"We are so excited to be going into another summer with Toyota vehicles as our sponsor. "With 71 miles of coastline and 32 miles of beach, it's a very large area to cover. The fleet of 65 Toyota trucks makes sure that we get to every emergency quickly, safely and with all the equipment we need to render a positive outcome." (LA County Lifeguard Chief Steve Moseley)
In 2014 the manufacturer outfitted San Diego Lifeguards with a lineup of Tacomas, Tundras, 4Runners, Sequoias and a RAV4. Even famed Surf City USA Huntington Beach (pictured) depends upon Toyota to keep the millions of year round beachgoers and risk-taking surfers safe. And then of course there is the iconic bright yellow Baywatch 1989 Toyota Truck XtraCab, in case you needed further validation.
So what's the deal? And why does this apply to you, someone who is not a lifeguard? Let's dive in to find out.
3 Toyota Truck Lifeguard Picks That You Can Trust as Your Own Day to Day Lifesaver
The Toyota Tacoma
The powerful 3.5-liter V6, 278 hp and 265 lb ft of torque with available Bilstein shocks allows the 2017 Tacoma to rip through the bumpy sand at a moment's notice when duty calls. No terrain is an obstacle when you are behind the wheel of a Tacoma, be it your work site or your off-road adventure zone. Lifeguards also depend upon the Tacoma's standard projector-beam headlights to safely and effectively clear the beach at night at curfew, so imagine what it can do for you when navigating the nighttime roads and highways to and from your destination.
In addition, lifeguards need to be able to store yet access lifesaving gear within seconds, which is why they appreciate an easy lower tailgate that opens smoothly and can be effortlessly removed as needed. The available hard tri-fold tonneau cover can be locked to help conceal and secure valuable equipment. All of this speaks to your own personal needs regarding tools, materials and/or recreational gear.
Tech is also very important to the job, and the Tacoma delivers here too. Bluetooth connectivity allows voice activated contact with HQ and emergency contacts while features such as the standard GoPro windshield mount allow the vehicle to be outfitted to capture events on video in real time. The integrated backup camera also plays a key role in the tech suite, allowing lifeguards to navigate in and out of tight spots when there is little time to waste. You can see how these same features can be applied to both your day to day and weekend warrior adventures alike. View our current Tacoma inventory here.
The Toyota Tundra
The available i-FORCE 5.7-liter V8 has got the brawn to navigate the most extreme coastal conditions however it's ability to manage heavy cargo common to the needs of lifeguard crews is second to none. The available deck rail system accommodates four adjustable tie-down cleats, each with a 220 lb (100 kg) rating. The tie-down cleats are manufactured from high-quality die-cast aluminum and are anchored to help ensure that everything from 12 ft+ paddle boards to small jet skis stay secured in the full size truck bed. Squads can also depend upon the Tundra to tow larger loads, including Sea-Doo SAR (Search and Rescue) watercraft and powerboats, thanks to an impressive 10,500 lb towing capacity.
For all of the speed, power, and hauling/towing ability, the 2017 Tundra is still able to stop safely on a dime, no matter the terrain, thanks to its largest-in-class front brakes that are equipped with 4-piston brake calipers. The Tundra's Toyota Star Safety System includes a suite that instills further confidence that all are in good hands when in proximity of the truck, with features that include Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Anti-lock Brake System, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, and Smart Stop Technology.
Simply put, if the Tundra can deliver the power, hauling/towing capability, and safety that lifeguards in high-risk zones need, you can envision what it can do for you when at work or play. View our complete Tundra inventory here.
The Toyota 4Runner
OK, so the 4Runner is technically a sport-utility-vehicle but its persona is more akin to a hardcore truck than an SUV. Coastal guardians love the 2017 4Runner for its powerful V6, independent double-wishbone front/4-link and coil-spring rear suspension, and durable body-on-frame construction with integrated skid plates that protect the engine, front suspension, fuel tank, and 4x4 transfer case from the elements, sand included. You too can take your 4Runner wherever you need it to go.
Beach safety crews on steep-sloped shores dig the 9.6 inch ground clearance, 33 degree approach angle, and 26 degree departure angle featured on the TRD Off-Road. So if you need to navigate tricky elevations the TRD Off-Road is the perfect choice.
Lifeguard squads further along the coast into more rocky and treacherous terrain look to features such as the available locking rear differential, Multi-terrain Select, Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, and Crawl Control to help save the day.
Even without a truck bed, everyone embraces the 4Runner for its cargo capabilities, including an available sliding rear cargo deck (440 lb capacity), power rear glass, and 40/20/40 fold-flat second-row seats that allow up 88 cubic feet of cargo. Getting gear in and out of the 4Runner is a breeze. View our complete 4Runner inventory here.
Ready to channel your inner Mitchell "Mitch" Buchannon with a Toyota that will have you save the day whether at work or play? Schedule a test drive at Westminster Toyota in Greater Vancouver at your earliest convenience.