CHAMPION BUS INC. Download PDF Report
Champion Bus, Inc. submitted a model LF Ford F-Series, diesel-powered 18 seat (including the driver) 31’ 9.5” bus, for a 7 yr/ 200,000 mile STURAA test. The odometer reading at the time of delivery was 2,190 miles. Testing started on February 25, 2016 and was completed on July 18, 2017. 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 16, 2016 and was completed on July 18, 2017.
The interior of the bus is configured with seating for 18 passengers including the driver and three wheelchair positions. Free floor space will accommodate 24 standing passengers resulting in a potential load of 45 persons. However, the manufacturer recommends that there are to be no standees. At 150 lbs per seated person and 600 lbs per wheelchair position and no standees, this load results in a measured gross vehicle weight of 18,880 lbs. It is noted that there is a potential for overloading the bus with available floor space for standees.
The first segment of the Structural Durability Test was performed with the bus loaded to a GVW of 18,880 lbs. The middle segment was performed at a seated load weight of 18,880 lbs and the final segment was performed at a curb weight of 14,360 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. Of the nine reported failures, two were Class 2, four were Class 3 and three were Class 4.
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 17.76 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 26.91’ at 20 mph, 56.36’ at 30 mph, 95.78’ at 40 mph and 111.42’ at 45 mph. The average stopping distance for the Uniform Low Friction Test was 30.61’. 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 bus maintaining the parked position for the full five minute period with no slip or roll observed in both the uphill and downhill positions.
The Shakedown Test produced a maximum final loaded deflection of 0.145 inches with a permanent set ranging between -0.002 to 0.001 inches under a distributed static load of 8,550 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 17,232 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 8.9 inches.
A Fuel Economy Test was run on simulated central business district, arterial, and commuter courses. The results were 6.29 mpg, 6.28 mpg, and 11.86 mpg respectively; with an overall average of 7.26 mpg.
A series of Interior and Exterior Noise Tests was performed. These data are listed in Section 7.1 and 7.2 respectively.
The Emissions Test was performed. These results are available in Section 8 of this report.