ELDORADO NATIONAL Download PDF Report
Eldorado National, Kansas, a Thor Company. submitted a model Aerotech 240, gasoline powered 17 seat/24-foot bus, for a 5 yr/150,000 mile STURAA test. The odometer reading at the time of delivery was 2,850.0 miles. Testing started on April 14, 1998, and was completed on June 12, 1998. The Check-In section of the report provides a description of the bus and specifies its major components.
The primary part of the test program is the Structural Durability Test, which also provides the information for the Maintainability and Reliability results. The Structural Durability Test was started on April 22, 1998 and was completed June 8, 1998.
The first segment of the Structural Durability Test was performed with the bus loaded to a GVW of 12,290 lb. The number of standing passengers was reduced from 11 standees and one wheelchair position, to 0 standees and one wheelchair position (600 lb per. Wheelchair position). This reduction in passenger weight was (8,600 lb). The middle segment was performed at a SLW of 12,290 lb. The final segment was performed at a curb weight of 9,180 lb. The durability driving resulted in unscheduled maintenance breakdowns that consisted of a variety of subsystem failures. These unscheduled maintenance breakdowns can be found in a complete and detailed listing of scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, which is provided in the Maintainability Section of this report.
Accessibility, in general, was adequate, components covered in Section 1.3 (Repair and/or Replacement of Selected Subsystems), were found to be readily accessible and no restrictions were noted. Restrictions noted during testing due to limited space were noted with the spark plugs and alternator.
The Reliability section compiles failures that occurred during Structural Durability Testing. Breakdowns are classified according to subsystems. The data in this section are arranged so that those subsystems with more frequent problems are apparent. Failures are classified according to the severity as defined in Section 2. The test bus encountered no Class 1 or Class 2 failures. Of the five reported failures, one was a Class 3 and the remaining four were Class 4.
A Double-Lane Change (obstacle avoidance) test was safely performed in both right-hand and left-hand directions up to a maximum test speed of 45 mph. The performance of the bus is illustrated by a speed vs. time plot. Acceleration and Gradeability Test data are provided in Section 4, Performance. The average time to obtain 50 mph was 14.52 Seconds.
The Shakedown Test produced a maximum final loaded deflection of 0.450 inches with a permanent set ranging between 0.000 to 0.005 inches under a distributed static load of 11,100 lbs. The Distortion Test was completed with no water leakage observed throughout the test. All subsystems operated properly. The NBM was not equipped with any type of tow eyes or tow hooks; therefore, the Static Towing Test was not performed. The Dynamic Towing Test was performed by means of a front lift tow. Due to the lack of tow eyes or tow hooks, the interface was accomplished by chaining to the frame. No deformation or damage was noted, and no problems were encountered wit the towing interface. A rear test was not performed as per manufacturer’s recommendations. The Jacking and Hoisting Tests were also performed without incident. The bus was found to be stable on the jack stands, and the minimum jacking clearance observed with a tire deflated was 6.30 inches.
A Fuel Economy Test was run on simulated central business district, arterial, and commuter courses. The results were 7.17 mpg, 7.45 mpg, and 12.16 mpg respectively; with an overall average of 8.22 mpg.
A series of Interior and Exterior Noise Tests was performed. These data are listed in Section 7.1 and 7.2 respectively.