School Bus Fleet

September 2014

A management & maintenance magazine for school transportation fleets

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Page 13 of 69

industry news 12 S C H O O L B U S F L E E T • S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 4 Thomas Built Buses adds FuelSense as standard equipment Thomas Built Buses has teamed up with Allison Transmission to offer FuelSense fuel-saving technology as standard equipment on several buses. FuelSense will come standard on Thomas Built's Saf-T-Liner C2, Saf-T- Liner EFX and Saf-T-Liner HDX school buses produced on or after Oct. 1, 2014. The standard FuelSense package will include Allison 5th Generation Electronic Controls; EcoCal, a defned set of low and "super" low speed shift schedules designed to keep the en- gine speed at its optimum point; and Dynamic Shift Sensing, which auto- matically selects between EcoCal or a higher-speed shift schedule, based on vehicle load and operating grade, to provide the best fuel economy and per- formance for the operating conditions. There are two optional packag- es available: FuelSense Plus and Fu- elSense Max. FuelSense Plus adds the Neutral at Stop feature to reduce non- productive fuel consumption when the bus is stopped. FuelSense Max includes the features in FuelSense Plus and adds Accelera- tion Rate Management, which, based on vehicle load and operating grade, controls engine torque to mitigate ag- gressive driving and further enhance fuel savings. Offcials said that buses with FuelSense Max can achieve max- imum fuel economy and realize fuel savings up to 10%, compared to buses with the baseline Allison transmission. "The addition of FuelSense technol- ogy on our school buses allows our customers to lower their total cost of ownership even more by lowering their fuel costs," said Ken Hedgecock, vice president of sales, marketing and service for Thomas Built Buses. "Fuel costs are among the highest annual expenditure for school bus feets, and these new fuel-saving features can de- liver signifcant savings." For more information on FuelSense, go to year contract to supply custom win- dows to Blue Bird. As with the new window, customer feedback was a sig- nifcant component during the redesign process of Blue Bird's newly enhanced luggage compartment. Offcials said that the luggage compartment's steel-bonded design, solid door reinforcement and tough handles provide cus- tomers with robust, easy-to-operate construction. A full-perimeter bulb seal ensures that the compartment and its contents stay clean and dry. The luggage compart- ments are offered in a choice of three sizes, with the option of interior compartment lighting and gas cylinders to assist with door operation. The new luggage compartment is avail- able on the Vision and All American buses. Blue Bird has also launched a new state-of-the-art air- conditioning system that eliminates encroachment into the passenger compartment. The system, supplied by Mobile Climate Control, is mounted in the bulkheads at the front of the bus above the windshield and at the rear of the bus above the emergency door window. With the factory- installed system, drivers will have a dedicated in-dash evaporator. Blue Bird Air Conditioning has been fully validated by engine suppliers Cummins and Ford/ROUSH CleanTech to diminish any concerns of voiding warranties. The air condi- tioning is offered on the Vision and All American buses. Also on the list of new innovations, Blue Bird has added ADB22X air disc brakes from Bendix. Offcials said that the new brakes require less maintenance, deliver longer pad and rotor life, and reduce service time by 50%. The brakes provide a sharper, safer stop that closely resembles stop- ping with a passenger car, with virtually no brake fade, ac- cording to Blue Bird. The Bendix ADB22X air disc brakes are available on the Vision and All American buses. "Blue Bird is thrilled to introduce these best-in-class and innovative technologies," said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird. "Since our founding in 1927, Blue Bird has been providing the school transportation industry with cut- ting-edge and forward-thinking technologies. We continually listen to our customers and strive to offer technology that delivers four driving priorities: enhanced safety, quality, du- rability and serviceability." FuelSense fuel-saving technology will soon come standard on Thomas Built's Saf-T-Liner C2, Saf-T-Liner EFX (pictured) and Saf-T-Liner HDX. cont. from page 8

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