ELDORADO NATIONAL Download PDF Report
Eldorado National Kansas submitted a model Dodge Mission, gasoline-powered 4 seat (including the driver) 16-foot converted Dodge Grand Caravan, for a 4 yr/100,000 mile STURAA test. Testing started on September 20, 2011 and was completed on March 13, 2012. 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 September 28, 2011 and was completed on February 2, 2012.
The interior of the bus is configured with seating for 4 passengers including the driver. This converted minivan offers no free floor space. 2 seats fold away for 1 wheelchair position. At 150 lbs per person and 600 lbs per wheelchair position, this load results in a measured gross vehicle weight of 5,960 lbs. The first GVW segment of the Structural Durability Test and the middle SLW segment was performed with the bus loaded to the same 5,960 lbs. Note: at Gross Vehicle Load (GVL) the weight of the front axle is 130 lbs over the front GAWR. The final segment was performed at a curb weight of 4,770 lbs. Durability driving resulted in one unscheduled maintenance failure that occurred in the rear axle. A description of this failure 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, were found to be readily accessible and no restrictions were noted.
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 Class 1, 2 or 3 failures. The one reported failure was a Class 3 involving the rear axle.
The Safety Test, (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 11.59 seconds. The Stopping Distance phase of the Brake Test was completed with the following results; for the Uniform High Friction Test average stopping distances were 19.94’ at 20 mph, 40.55’ at 30 mph, 65.76’ at 40 mph and 79.91’ at 45 mph. The average stopping distance for the Uniform Low Friction Test was 17.76’. There was no deviation from the test lane during the performance of the Stopping Distance phase. During the Stability phase of Brake Testing the test bus experienced no deviation from the test lane but did experience pull to the left during both approaches to the Split Friction Road surface. The Parking Brake phase was completed with the test vehicle maintaining the parked position for the full five minute period only after a 26” roll at 3 minutes 50 seconds in the downhill position.
The Shakedown Test produced a maximum final loaded deflection of 0.044 inches with a permanent set ranging between -0.003 to 0.004 inches under a distributed static load of 2,100 lbs. The Distortion Test was completed with all subsystems, doors and escape mechanisms operating properly. No water leakage was observed throughout the test. All subsystems operated properly.
The converted minivan submitted was not equipped with any type of front 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. The towing interface was accomplished using a hydraulic under-lift wrecker. The vehicle was towed without incident and no damage resulted from the test. The manufacturer does not recommend towing the vehicle from the rear, therefore, a rear test was not performed. The Jacking and Hoisting Tests were also performed without incident. The vehicle was found to be stable on the jack stands, and the minimum jacking clearance observed with a tire deflated was 2.6 inches.
A Fuel Economy Test was run on simulated central business district, arterial, and commuter courses. The results were 18.66 mpg, 22.33 mpg, and 39.34 mpg respectively; with an overall average of 23.24 mpg.
A series of Interior and Exterior Noise Tests was performed. These data are listed in Section 7.1 and 7.2 respectively.