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APRIL 2011

IN THE NEWS

NATGAS Act of 2011
The New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions (NATGAS) Act of 2011 was recently introduced to the U.S. Congress by a bipartisan set of sponsors in an effort to boost consumption of alternative fuels. The new bill, aggressively supported by T. Boone Pickens, aims to reduce the U.S. dependence on foreign oil and reduce the country's carbon footprint, yet it proposes doing this with only one alternative fuel source – Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

The bill provides incentives for the use of natural gas as a vehicle fuel; the purchase of natural gas fueled vehicles; and the installation of natural gas vehicle refueling property. Each of these incentives would be in place for five years. View Bill

New, Revised Wheelchair Standards Expected
Later This Year

The Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) is developing Volume 4 of its Wheelchairs and Transportation standards, which, when completed, will contain all U.S. voluntary industry standards for the equipment as seats in motor vehicles.

Changes to the Section 19 of the RESNA standards, or WC19 will include the removal of limitations on size and mass of wheelchairs, but manufacturers will also be required to warn customers that not all sizes and masses of wheelchairs are compatible with travel in public vehicles. Read Article - [SOURCE:stonline.com]



Strike Force Inspections Remove 289 Unsafe Passenger Buses and Drivers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and its state and local law enforcement partners across the nation recently conducted 2,782 surprise passenger carrier safety inspections over a nine-day period that resulted in 289 unsafe buses or drivers being removed from our roadways. The unannounced inspections took place from March 28 through April 6, 2011, as part of FMCSA's ongoing efforts to strengthen passenger carrier safety nationwide.The coordinated enforcement strike force issued out-of-service violation citations to 156 drivers and 262 vehicles. Previously, from March 12 to March 28, an estimated 3,000 passenger carrier safety inspections were conducted across the country, resulting in nearly 300 passenger carrier vehicles being put out of service during the 17-day timeframe

Golf Joke

 

Bus Briefs

Freightliner Introduces the MB-65

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC) has introduced its MB-65 commercial bus chassis. Designed with a lowered engine and softer suspension, the MB-65 is reported to have "industry-leading maneuverability, durability and reliability." The chassis is powered by an Allison automatic six-speed transmission and a 2010 Cummins ISB 6.7-liter engine with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology with up to 300 horsepower. It has a Hendrickson SofTek taper leaf suspension on the front and rear of the chassis. The MB-65's front-end diesel engine is lowered, resulting in a flat-floor driver cockpit area which offers a benefit to bus body builders, allowing them to develop the body without concessions for the doghouse. .

 


Ford's New Alternative-Fuel Solutions

Ford Motor Company’s ever-growing portfolio of fuel-efficient products extends to commercial customers, including those interested in alternative-fuel vehicles to “green” their fleets. According to Ford, it delivers the most comprehensive alternative-fuel solutions for commercial customers looking to switch their vehicles from gasoline power to another fuel, such as compressed natural gas or propane. By 2012, half of all Ford vehicles will be capable of running on alternative fuel.

Ford has developed an expansive suite of commercial truck alternative-fuel choices. These include flex fuel, biodiesel, compressed natural gas/liquefied petroleum gas (CNG/LPG), hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicle (BEV) for Ford’s Transit Connect, E-Series cargo vans, E-Series cutaways and stripped chassis; E-Series wagons; F-Series Super Duty, F-350 to F-750 Super Duty chassis cabs and F53 and F59 stripped chassis.

Calendar

ROUSH CleanTech's
Innovative Propane Autogas Technology

ROUSH CleanTech heads to the 2011 National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo to speak with 2,500 industry professionals about their innovative propane autogas technology created for light- and medium-duty Ford trucks and vans. The event will be held April 16 to 18 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. ROUSH CleanTech has developed the knowledge and skills to create engines that provide a domestic fuel solution to America’s energy crisis. With 90 percent of the propane used nationally being produced in the United States, operating a fleet on propane autogas eases our nation’s foreign dependence on oil.




 
toolkit

Heavy Duty Wheel Stud
Service Kit

Tiger Tool’s new Heavy Duty Wheel Stud Service Kit, No.10608, delivers up to 10 tons of pressing power with a straight-forward design. This tool assists with removing and installing virtually any combination of wheel studs on Class 7 and 8 trucks and buses. The patented design allows users to remove and install 10 studs in only 10-20 minutes, without removing the hub from the spindle. No more damage to hubs, seals and wheel bearings by removing the hub. Interchangeable adapters provide maximum flexibility and accurate installations..


safetytrim
SafetyTrim Ends Loose Wheel Nuts, Prevents Wheel-OFFS

Since its introduction over a year ago, SafetyTrim has now expanded its product line to include wheel safety products for mini-vans, sprinters, small and medium buses as well as trucks and trailers. Safety Trim is the only wheel nut management system that simultaneously indicates when a loose wheel nut condition occurs, but more importantly holds that nut in place until the wheel assembly can be re-torqued when the vehicle returns to the workshop. Vehicle wheel loss in America and Canada is an ongoing dangerous problem. The SafetyTrim ring is pressed on the wheel and becomes an integral part of the wheel rim assembly. In operation the" At-Glance” Safety Device provides an individual visual signal by means of a fluorescent marker when a nut is backing off. Simultaneously the offending nut is "Locked" in position to prevent further back-off.
More Information


Fire Suppression System

Firetrace International’s FIRETRACE systems provide stand-alone automatic fire detection and suppression for bus and coach engine compartments, generators, electrical systems and heaters. The systems includes an extinguishing agent cylinder — which is usually mounted in a convenient location in or near the engine compartment — attached to a specially developed leak-resistant polymer tubing, via a custom-engineered valve. Once a fire is detected, the tubing ruptures and automatically releases the suppression agent, extinguishing the fire. More Information

Little Known Fact

The National Transportation Safety Board recently announced that it will hold a two-day symposium in May to review the progress of large truck and bus safety over the past decade. The Washington, D.C., event starts on May 10, as it examines government determination of carrier fitness, including the new entrant screening process and other federal, state, and industry oversight initiatives.


Emerging Technology

Dutch Superbus
New Dutch Superbus

High speed trains are so passé — for comfortable super fast travel, hop on the Superbus. With a top speed of 155 MPH, the new Superbus, which sort of looks like an elongated Batmobile, could be an efficient way to reduce congestion at a lower cost than building new trains or other public transit systems. The project is led by Wubbo Ockels, the Netherlands' first astronaut and a professor of aerospace sustainable engineering and technology at TU-Delft. Made of carbon fiber with an electric motor, the Superbus is the same width and length as a normal bus, but sits much lower to the ground. It seats 23 passengers in a luxury setting, with multimedia controls in each comfortable seat. The harness-style seatbelt makes you feel like you’re in a racecar (racebus?) and 16 gull-wing doors give it a DeLorean-like feel. The bus debuted last fall and is starting to appear at transit trade shows.



Upcoming Events


International Parking Institute (IPI) Conference & Expo 2011

May 22-25, 2011 • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
http://www.goeshow.com/parking/2011/expowelcome.cfm

International Bus Roadeo
May 20-24, 2011 • Memphis Tennessee
http://www.apta.com/mc/busroadeo/Pages/default.aspx

Bus & Paratransit Conference
May 22-25, 2011 • Memphis Tennessee
http://www.apta.com/mc/bus/Pages/default.aspx

BusCon 2011
September 13-14, 2011 • Navy Pier, Chicago, Illinois
http://www.busconexpo.com/



Questions

Jack Santa
Transportation Doctor
Voice: 440-543-4123, Ext. 224
Fax: 440-543-4131
Email Jack Santa

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