One of the hallmarks of funeral service has been professional service vehicles. In the past funeral coaches (sometimes known as hearses), limousines and luxury sedans have been a part of the fleet of vehicles owned by funeral homes.
Funeral coaches (hearses) have been used to transport the casket to the church and cemetery. Limousines, which are often 6-door stretch sedans, have been used to transport the pallbearers to the cemetery, or in some instances it has given opportunity for up to seven family members to ride together to the cemetery. Luxury sedans have been used to lead the funeral procession. They are often driven by the funeral director in charge, and the officiating clergy often rides in the vehicle as well.
In some parts of the country, flower cars were also used. These cars were luxury vehicles which allowed for the flowers to be viewd as the procession travelled to the cemetery. There is a great scene in the movie “The Godfather” in which multiple flower vehicles are being used to transfer the flowers to the cemetery for the funeral of Vito Corleone. Several limousines are also in use in this scene.
In recent years, some funeral homes have chosen to use large SUV type vehicles as part of their rolling stock.
The use of these professional vehicles has waned in importance in recent years for several reasons.
First of all, the vehicles get less use than in previous times. With the rise in cremation, the use of a funeral coach isn’t needed to transfer the remains to the cemetery.
Secondly, the cost of these vehicles is very high. It is a major investment for funeral homes to buy such vehicles, and this adds tremendously to the funeral home’s overhead.
At Joldersma & Klein we use “conversion vehicles.” These are vehicles that can be used for multiple purposes. They are often vans that have been or can be converted into multiple-use vehicles. Unlike the SUV vehicles being used by some funeral homes, they are less expensive to buy, insure and operate. Their use helps keep our overhead low. This allows us to keep our prices at a fair and reasonable point.
Should you wish to have a traditional funeral coach, there are livery services in the area that can provide them to us. Limousines are also available through the livery services. We would arrange any of that for you, should you wish to include this.
Let us know if you have a preference in using professional funeral vehicles. Please call us with any questions.