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21Jun2017

Is School Bus Construction a Tough Job for Manufacturers?

 

School buses are designed for ensuring student safety. Technology is changing day-by-day and in order to keep up with change, school bus manufacturers are required to have knowledge of changing trends. Hence, it is a tough job for them to keep themselves updated with new technology and design the bus accordingly.

You must have observed the peculiar structure of each school bus and how it changes with time. But you wouldn't have given it much thought. When you compare the earlier school bus with the present day school bus, you will find tremendous changes. These are vital for enhancing safety of school bus transportation. Many of these changes are implemented as certain safety guidelines and school bus specifications by state governments. School bus manufacturers should comply with these safety norms. 

What's so special about the School Bus?

School buses are considered the safest means of school transportation for students. They are safer than any of your vehicles, including, car, public bus, train, and truck. That is because they are designed and manufactured for ensuring safety and security of your student passengers. As a manufacturer, it is their duty to confirm that all the federal standards are fulfilled or not and get a solid certification regarding it.

With the modern straight body truck framework, better safety is ensured. And the school buses have steel collision beams, which is covered by heavy gauge steel plates. Hence, it is essential for your child and emergency personnel to get proper training for making the evacuation process successful.

Safety features

  • Every school bus is constructed on the basis of compartmentalization concept. It consists of a passive restraint system, an alternative for seat belts. In this concept, the passenger seats are placed high off ground so that if a medium sized opposing vehicle crashes, it will only come underneath a child's seat. The cushioned seats and seat backs used in a school bus acts as a safety compartment for your child in times of collision.
  • In order to create a compartmentalized safety zone, seats are closely arranged compared to other vehicles
  •  The school bus aisles are recommended to have at least 12 inches wide. For ensuring better safety of school bus riders, no windshields or doors are placed near them. All the passenger windows are placed higher than any other passenger vehicles.
  • For smaller kids, seats are arranged in such a way that 3 kids sit together while high school students are allowed to sit 2 at a time. This is because small kids are careless and have a greater chance of injuries. Hence, crowding is promoted so that they are unable to move away from the seat.
  • Modern school buses have the school Bus GPS systems and CCTV cameras installed for ensuring better student safety. Apart from all the above features, buses should have facilities for handling special needs children and have special provision to evacuate them safely in emergency situations.

What are the common challenges faced by school bus manufacturers?

Today, some common issues faced by manufacturers include staffing, performance issue due to ageing buses, obsolete emission system, changes in technology, funding issue, and electrical diagnostics. And the most dominant challenge is the issue between old and new school buses. 

Old school buses will deliver lower performance, and have increased repair costs. Rusting is the common issue for old school buses. And most of the parts and engines of old school buses are damaged and are difficult to replace.

In the case of new buses, one of the key challenges is to keep up with technological changes, such as the computer and software systems comprised in servicing the school buses.

Staffing is yet another challenge faced by school bus manufacturers. As per the survey, there has been an increased rate of school bus driver shortage. And it was reported to have a drastic decrease in the number of technicians as well. This is because technicians are sent to cover the school bus driver shortage.

Safety is the keyword of every school bus transportation. For ensuring enhanced school bus safety,  they are liable to follow safety standards put forth by the Government and also should have an awareness of modern technologies that can be implemented in a school bus. Thus, school bus construction is indeed a tough job for manufacturers. 

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