Lone Star Handicap Vans, LLC submitted a model SXT, gasoline-powered 5 seat (including the driver) 16-foot converted Dodge Grand Caravan minivan, for a 4 yr. /100,000 mile STURAA test. Testing started on June 25, 2013 and was completed on August 19, 2013. 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 July 3, 2013 and was completed on August 8, 2013.
The interior of the converted minivan is configured with seating for 5 passengers including the driver. Note: this converted minivan is not designed for standing passengers. Therefore, GVW and SLW are the same 5,520 lbs. At 150 lbs. per person, this load results in a measured gross vehicle weight of 5,520 lbs. The first segment of the Structural Durability Test was performed with the bus loaded to a GVW of 5,520 lbs. The middle seated load weight segment was performed at the same weight of 5,520 lbs and the final segment was performed at a curb weight of 4,640 lbs. Durability driving resulted in no unscheduled maintenance and no failures were encountered during the Structural Durability Test. A complete and detailed listing of scheduled 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. This test vehicle encountered no failures during the Structural Durability Test.
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 4 and gradeability test data are provided in Section 4, Performance. The average time to obtain 50 mph was 8.70 seconds.
The Shakedown Test produced a maximum final loaded deflection of 0.020 inches with a permanent set ranging between 0.000 to 0.004 inches under a distributed static load of 1,350 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 test vehicle submitted for testing (converted minivan) 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. The towing interface was accomplished using a hydraulic under-lift wrecker. The test 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 bus was found to be stable on the jack stands, and the minimum jacking clearance observed with a tire deflated was 3.2 inches.
A Fuel Economy Test was run on simulated central business district, arterial, and commuter courses. The results were 13.70 mpg, 16.52 mpg, and 26.95 mpg respectively; with an overall average of 16.90 mpg.
A series of Interior and Exterior Noise Tests was performed. These data are listed in Section 7.1 and 7.2 respectively.
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