An armored vehicle, when modified correctly and efficiently, is desirable in a zombie apocalypse. Not only will it protect those who are sheltered inside from the undead, but they will also greatly increase their chances of surviving through even some of the most dangerous situations.
With the right tools and adequate knowledge, almost any vehicle can become a zombie-killing machine. Although, some vehicles are easier to modify than others. Here are some things one should consider when choosing a vehicle to modify.
See also: Armoring Buses
A bus at best would be a temporary safe-haven when it comes to putting extra protection on them. At worst, it would be a tin can, packed with scared survivors waiting to be devoured. There are advantages, as well as more obvious disadvantages, which will be discussed.
Not every bus is as well-equipped for modification. For example, a prison transfer bus is a better choice than an ordinary school bus, as it already has defense measures that come with it. If the only functional vehicle available is a transit bus, those that are commonly seen carrying people to their inner-city jobs, then it is probably best to save supplies, scrap that bus, and look for something better.
If one insists on modifying a bus, there are essential measures that need to be taken:
- Bulletproof glass, though rare, would make an excellent addition to an armored bus
- Shutters or metal bars welded to the windows would stop any zombie from climbing his way inside if the glass is broken
- A breach bumper or plow would scatter a crowd of the undead with ease, allowing for easy passage. Be sure to add crudely spray painted teeth to give it that cliché, yet badass effect
- Strong headlights for the driver to see at night and in other necessary situations
- Some sort of stabilization mechanism to keep the undead from tipping over the bus, trapping survivors inside
- A place to defend the bus from the inside, like cut out holes to shoot out of
Although a bus would probably be okay without a couple of these, it is highly advised to add as many as possible to the bus.
Already, most of these are pretty well-equipped with the defenses that they need to withstand the apocalypse. Many of them are capable of going off-road, as well as staying on, which is not something that many civilian vehicles can do. There are many different kinds of armored military vehicles. Like all vehicles, military and civilian, a skilled mechanic is required to fix broken or damaged parts, and most military vehicles require equipment that only a specialist can repair. Because of this, it may be wise to choose a more common vehicle if one has the choice.
See also: Tanks
A lot of people think that a tank would be the ultimate zombie destroyer, and they're right in a few instances. A functional tank with plenty of ammunition will be a rarity in the days of the dead. Not many will have the luxury of sitting cozily inside an armored box, possibly snacking on their favorite goodies, completely protected from the decayed hands that are grabbing sporadically and the broken teeth that are gnashing, hungry for the flesh found inside that just can't be reached.
Tanks are quite intimidating, to say the least. They can destroy entire buildings with just one push of a button. They can absolutely obliterate the morale of those who foolishly choose to oppose anyone who has a tank on their side. Though, these armored beauties come with a hefty cost.
The ammunition that a tank uses will quickly deminish unless someone nearby knows how to manufacture them correctly or is at an ammo storage site. Not only that, a tank would draw the attention of anyone or anything within earshot of the tank's thundering boom and clinking treads. Many will try to get their hands on one, or at least the people inside. Those who succeed to find one will most likely perish because of it. If one happens upon an abandoned tank on the side of a road with the crew gone, it will be because it ran out of fuel and they knew that they shouldn't waste time and effort trying to gather enough to get it going again, knowing it would only happen again after a few hours of use; anyone who finds one in this condition should realize that too. Overall, a tank would be a nice thing to have during an emergency, but they should be discounted and sold to an unfortunate soul, willing to trade all they have for what they think is their savior, who doesn't know any better and probably never will.
Armored Personnel Carriers
See also: Armored Personnel CarriersThese are preferred more than a tank, as they provide more mobility, storage and living space, and faster speed. These are usually equipped with specialized firearms that are difficult to find anywhere else. A zombie will have a tough time trying to bite into the solid metal surrounding the people inside, so one could camp out inside an APC for as long as they wish if resources held out.
An APC is generally a mobile base, capable of withstanding a lot of damage. No bullet, except for very large caliber weapons, will be able to penetrate it, and even the strongest of the undead will not be able to destroy it. These may just be the ideal for vehicle-related zombie protection. The tradeoff again is the greatly increased fuel consumption over regular vehicles.
Humvees and Other Small Military Vehicles
These are commonly more armored than civilian vehicles for obvious reasons, so if one of these is found, and is still functional, it could be used to a great advantage. These, like most military vehicles, are made to be able to go off-road, which could be very helpful in some situations. Many can go just as fast as regular civilian vehicles.
A Humvee, the Hummer's cousin, is an exceptional choice when it comes to choosing an armored vehicle. Because of their durability, a Humvee can withstand a lot before breaking down or otherwise ceasing to function properly. These do have a bit of a downside to them, however.
A Humvee does not have very good gas mileage, so refueling will be common. It's best to keep extra cans of gasoline inside the vehicle in case it runs out of gas at an inconvenient location.