Eldorado National California, Inc. submitted a model Axess, diesel-powered 38 seat (including the driver) 41-foot bus, for a partial STURAA Test in the 12 yr./500,000 mile category. The Federal Transit Administration determined that the following tests would be performed;1.2 Maintainability, 2. Reliability, 5.1 Structural Shakedown Test, 5.2 Structural Distortion Test, 5.3 Static Towing Test, 5.4 Dynamic Towing Test, 5.5 Jacking Test, 5.6 Hoisting Test and %.7 Structural Durability Test. Testing started on October 8, 2013 and was completed on March 12, 2014. 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 October 21, 2013 and was completed on March 6, 2014.
The interior of the bus is configured with seating for 38 passengers including the driver. Free floor space will accommodate 36 standing passengers resulting in a potential load of 74 persons. At 150 lbs. per person, this load resulted in a measured gross vehicle weight of 41,180 lbs. The first segment of the Structural Durability Test was performed with the bus loaded to a GVW of 41,180 lbs. The middle segment was performed at a seated load weight of 35,790 lbs. and the final segment was performed at a curb weight of 30,170 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.
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 or Class 2 failures. Of the 18 reported failures, 12 were Class 3 and six were Class 4.
The Shakedown Test produced a maximum final loaded deflection of 0.212 inches with a permanent set ranging between 0.000 to 0.004 inches under a distributed static load of 27,750 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 Static Towing Test was performed using a target load (towing force) of 36,204 lbs. All four front pulls were completed to the full test load with no damage or deformation observed. 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 bus was towed without incident and no damage resulted from the test. The manufacturer does not recommend towing the bus 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.