New Flyer, NABI and DaimlerChrysler all sought to make the maintenance job easier on their buses by making it easier to get at essential components. New Flyer moved these components above the floor on its new low-floor buses. NABI moved the main electrical panel containing the main bus controller inside the bus to the backside of the driver’s barrier/radio compartment. It felt that beyond easier access for technicians, this new location also kept the vital electrical components in a cleaner environment. The redesign on the DaimlerChrysler Orion VII bus included a widened engine door with new gas springs. The rear lamp panels were also redesigned with hidden hinges that allow them to swing open or be removed entirely, giving greater access to the engine compartment.
EMP has come up with an innovation that makes keeping a bus cool that much easier. Its “miniHybrid” retrofit replaces hydraulically driven fans and pumps with an electronically controlled thermal system. This interesting device consists of electric fans, an optimized radiator and CAC, fan controllers, jacket water and charge air temperature sensors and a 400-amp alternator. The system can improve fuel economy by 25 percent and the fans can be reversed, cleaning debris from the radiator.
Buses, like all of transit, are continually being updated, redesigned and improved. Staying on top of what you can add to your transit fleet just may give you the advantage you need to keep your riders happy and your costs down — a winning combination!