Aero Elite Ford (F550 Superduty Chassis)



ElDorado National-Kansas submitted a model Aero Elite Ford (F-500 Superduty Chassis), gasoline-powered 21 seat (including the driver) 32-foot bus, for a 7 yr/200,000 mile STURAA test.  The odometer reading at the time of delivery was 1,178 miles.  Testing started on February 22, 2011 and was completed on July 20, 2011.  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 March 10, 2011 and was completed on June 24, 2011.


The interior of the bus is configured with seating for 21 passengers including the driver plus 2 wheelchair positions.  Free floor space will accommodate 17 standing passengers resulting in a potential load of 38 persons and 2 wheelchair positions.  At 150 lbs per person and 600 lbs per wheelchair position this load results in a measured gross vehicle weight of 19,700 lbs.  Note: at Gross Vehicle Load (GVL) the weight of the rear axle is 960 lbs over the rear Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) and 200 lbs over the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR).  The first segment of the Structural Durability Test was performed with the bus loaded to a gross vehicle weight of 19,700 lbs.  The middle segment was performed at a seated load weight of 17,160 lbs and the final segment was performed at a curb weight of 12,860 lbs.  Durability driving resulted in unscheduled maintenance and failures that involved a variety of subsystems.  A description of failures, and a complete and detailed listing of scheduled and unscheduled maintenance is provided in the Maintainability section of this report.


Effective January 1, 2010 the Federal Transit Administration determined that the total number of simulated passengers used for loading all test vehicles will be based on the full complement of seats and free-floor space available for standing passengers (150 lbs per passenger).  The passenger loading used for dynamic testing will not be reduced in order to comply with Gross Axle Weight Ratings (GAWR’s) or the Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (GVWR’s) declared by the manufacturer.  Cases where the loading exceeds the GAWR and/or the GVWR will be noted accordingly.  During the testing program, all test vehicles transported or operated over public roadways will be loaded to comply with the GAWR and GVWR specified by the manufacturer. 


Accessibility, in general, was adequate.  Components covered in Section 1.3 (repair and/or replacement of selected subsystems), along with all other components encountered during testing with the exception of the alternator, were found to be readily accessible and no restrictions were noted.  Note; the add-on A/C compressor and mounting brackets must be removed to access the 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.  The problems are also listed by class as defined in Section 2.  The test bus encountered no

Number: 1103
Model: Aero Elite Ford (F550 Superduty Chassis)
Vin Number: 1FDUF5GYOBEA95573