CHAMPION BUS INC. Download PDF Report
Champion Bus, Inc. submitted a model LF Transport, gasoline-powered 16 seat (including the driver), two wheelchair position, 27 foot, nine inch bus, for a 7 yr/200,000 mile STURAA test. The odometer reading at the time of delivery was 3,798 miles. Testing started on October 24, 2016 and was completed on November 17, 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 November 7,2016 and was completed on November 15, 2017.
The measured curb weight is 4,320 lb. for the front axle and 7,890 lb. for the rear axle. These combined weights provide a total measured curb weight of 12,210 lb. There are 16 seats including the driver, 2 ADA accessible positions and room for 17 standing passengers bringing the total passenger capacity to 35. At this full capacity, the gross load is equal to (33 x 150) + (2 x 600) = 6,150 lb., and the gross vehicle weight is 18,360 lb. However, the manufacturer recommends that there are no standees. Therefore, the measured gross vehicle weight would be 15,810 lb., for 16 passengers and two wheelchair positions. Even at this configuration, the gross vehicle weight exceeds the manufacturer recommended GVWR of 14,500 lb. In order to stay within the limits of the manufacturer specified GVWR, the equivilant weight of nine seated passengers was removed for testing, brining the measured gross vehicle weight to 14,460 lb. It is noted that even at full seated capacity as specified by the manufacturer, there is a potential for overloading this bus. The available floor space for standees further exacerbates this problem.
The first segment of the Structural Durability Test was performed with the bus loaded to a GVW of 14,460 lb. The middle segment was performed at a seated load weight of 14,460 lb. and the final segment was performed at a curb weight of 12,210 lb. 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, but 10 Class 2 failures. Of the 22 reported failures, 11 were Class 3 and one was Class 4. The hydraulic kneeling SQUAT system suffered multilple breakdowns during the durability tests and was replaced with a Ford OEM suspension at 4,801 test miles at the beginning of the curb weight segment.
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 16.18 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 24.79’ at 20 mph, 50.41’ at 30 mph, 83.56’ at 40 mph and 102.73’ at 45 mph. The average stopping distance for the Uniform Low Friction Test was 31.85’. 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. 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 0.212 inches with a permanent set ranging between -0.004 to 0.004 inches under a distributed static load of 7,200 lb. 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 bus submitted for testing 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 bus was towed without incident and no damage resulted from the test. 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 7.0 inches.
A Fuel Economy Test was run on simulated central business district, arterial, and commuter courses. The results were 5.85 mpg, 5.92 mpg, and 10.53 mpg respectively; with an overall average of 6.73 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.