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School Bus Fleet: Proper Tire Choice & Maintenance

Are the tires on your school bus fleet helping or harming your efforts to run a safe, cost-effective bus system? Despite seeming like a relatively minor choice, the kind of tires on your buses can have a lot of impact on both safety and performance. Likewise, proper care and maintenance of the tires can help keep safety standards high, while reducing long-term costs.

Here are a few tips we've picked up over the years.

School Bus Fleet: Air Conditioning Considerations

Do all the vehicles in your school bus fleet include air conditioning? In many districts, this is already the case - yet there are still plenty of districts playing catch-up. A/C comes standard on most new buses, but that doesn't help smaller or lower-income districts who can't afford to replace their fleet. For those districts, retrofitting is an option. 

Retrofitting can allow them to add A/C to existing buses - if they can navigate the maze of choices available. Here are a few of the most important factors to look at.

Washington School District Buys Electric School Bus

 

Just a few years ago, electric school buses were thought to be a pie-in-the-sky concept. There were numerous technical challenges to overcome, with the biggest issue being the matter of pure power. Electrical engines just weren't able to produce enough horsepower to get a bus moving at safe speeds.

Now, things are starting to change. Blue Bird buses has introduced a line of electric school buses that are turning heads - and opening up checkbooks. The latest school district to embrace electric buses is Franklin Pierce School District (FPSD) in Washington. Does their new purchase indicate a shift in attitudes?

NTSB Calls for School Bus Fire Suppression Systems

In December of 2017, a truly horrific school bus accident occurred in Oakland, Iowa. A fire broke out in the engine compartment of a bus, sending dangerous fumes into the bus interior, and ultimately taking the lives of both the driver and a 16-year-old student.

After more than a year of investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued a series of recommendations to improve school bus safety - and these are raising some eyebrows across the education sector. Their own report had 10 separate recommendations, but let's focus on the three most impactful.

Atlanta-Area School Districts to Benefit From Propane Bus Grant

The push to move school bus fleets away from traditional gasoline and diesel is stronger than ever, and it's being championed by many major groups - including the Environmental Protection Agency. As part of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA), the EPA makes millions of dollars available to school districts which need assistance in moving away from diesel, and towards more ecologically-friendly alternatives.

Is It Time To Upgrade The Radios In Your School Bus Fleet?

There has recently been a boom in technology designed for the school bus fleet, and that creates an interesting problem for district transportation managers. On one hand, you have so many new options for improving the safety and functionality of your fleet, but on the other, there are far too many new products to ever buy into them all.

School Bus Fleet: Are Low Rolling Resistance Tires A Good Choice?

Now, more than ever, school bus fleet managers are under pressure to find ways to lower the operating costs of their buses. Fuel costs are always a target, as they usually comprise one of the single largest line items in any bus fleet's budget. So, if a district could cut fuel use simply by changing tires, wouldn't that be a good thing?

Safe Fleet to Offer Perimeter Safety Solutions in 2019

There is no doubt that the most dangerous time for any student riding the bus is when they are getting on and off the bus. The entire perimeter around the bus has been dubbed the "danger zone" due to how exposed students are. So, one major focus of school bus safety initiatives has been to find ways to make that danger zone less dangerous.

Now, we may be a lot closer to that goal than ever before. One of the leading bus technology vendors, Safe Fleet, has announced a new series of products all aimed at protecting students near the bus's perimeter.

Nothing will make the danger zone 100% safe, but if Safe Fleet's new products live up to their sales pitch, they will substantially improve school bus safety.

New Standards for Greenhouse Gas, Fuel Efficiency

New standards for medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, which includes school buses, were designed to improve fuel efficiency and decrease pollution. Both the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued these standards that were called for by the President’s Climate Action Plan.

New Heavy-Duty Electric Drivetrain Designed for School Buses

Options in gasoline alternatives for student bus transportation continue to expand. As we've talked about before, both propane and natural-gas engines are becoming more popular with school districts, thanks to their lower ongoing costs and better emissions. However, both of those are still derived from fossil fuels, and aren't a "magic bullet" solution to alternative-power issues.

 

 

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