NEOPLAN USA CORPORATION Download PDF ReportEXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The Neoplan USA Corporation submitted a model AN 460L, CNG-powered 57 seat/60-foot bus, for a 12 yr/500,000 mile STURAA test. The odometer reading at the time of delivery was 13,024 miles. Testing started on May 10, 2002 and was completed on December 18, 2002. 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 June 4, 2002 and was completed on December 3, 2002.
The interior of the bus is configured with seating for 57 passengers including the driver. Free floor space will accommodate 69 standing passengers resulting in a potential load of 126 persons. At 150 lbs per person, this load results in a measured gross vehicle weight of 63,460 lbs. The first segment of the Structural Durability Test was performed with the bus loaded to a GVW of 62,880 lbs. In order to avoid exceeding the GAWR (27,750 lbs) of the rear axle, ballast for six standing passengers was removed. This reduction in passenger weight resulted in an adjusted GVW of 62,880 lbs. The middle segment was performed at a SLW of 52,180 lbs and the final segment was performed at a CW of 44,330 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.
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 failures. Of the 26 reported failures, one was a Class 2, 15 were Class 3 and ten were Class 4.
The Safety Test, (a double-lane change, obstacle avoidance test) is to be safely performed in both right-hand and left-hand directions up to a maximum test speed of 45 mph. Although the test was safely performed up to 40 mph in both directions, the test driver exercised his discretion not to attempt 45 mph due to the handling of the vehicle. Further testing was terminated after the 40 mph runs were safely completed. 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 40.69 seconds.
The Shakedown Test produced a maximum final loaded deflection of 0.189 inches with a permanent set ranging between 0.000 to 0.005 inches under a distributed static load of 47,250 lbs. The Distortion Test was completed with all subsystems, doors and escape mechanisms operating properly. Water leakage was observed during the test around the driver’s side window and the destination sign.
The Static Towing Test was performed using a target load (towing force) of 53,196 lbs. At approximately 36,500 lbs of force during the 20º up pull, the entire front structure that interfaces with the main frame deformed downward. Further testing was terminated. The Dynamic Towing Test was performed by means of a front-lift tow. The towing interface was accomplished by incorporating the manufacturer’s supplied tow bar. The manufacturer’s towing procedures would not permit the test to exceed 10 mph, therefore, the test was not performed using the standard 20 mph test speed so as to protect the transmission and rear axle from damage. 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 4.3 inches.
A Fuel Economy Test was run on simulated central business district, arterial, and commuter courses. The results were 0.48 M/lb, 0.67 M/lb, and 1.02 M/lb respectively; with an overall average of 0.63 M/lb.
A series of Interior and Exterior Noise Tests was performed. These data are listed in Section 7.1 and 7.2 respectively.