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December 08, 2009  |   Comments (1)   |   Post a comment

Blue Bird redesigns cockpit of Type C unit


FORT VALLEY, Ga. — Blue Bird Corp. has redesigned the cockpit of its Vision school bus.

Key features include ergonomic placement of switches and controls angled toward the driver, an easy-to-read instrument panel and easily accessible dual wiper motors, a higher capacity defroster system, a new foot-applied parking brake (with hydraulic brakes), a redesigned electrical panel and a cup holder. There is also more overall room in the driver’s area.

“In redesigning the Vision, we focused on feedback from drivers, service technicians, transportation directors and the expertise of our dealer network to tool a cockpit that was not only ergonomically functional, but comfortable,” said Roger Howsmon, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of sales for Blue Bird. “The new elements are designed to be easily serviceable to assist with completing routine checks and maintenance with ease.”

The new cockpit can be seen in buses currently rolling off the production line.

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Yes, the more you design the driver's area around the driver the better the safety features become. Jump in the very old buses, then work your way up every couple of years until you reach today's modern designs. It is almost like you can watch everything grow around the driver's needs. One thing I never liked was the door switches built into the steering wheel. Once you turn the wheel in the dark you have to hunt for the switches if the wheel did not return to center or you were still in a turn when stopped. "Put some lights inside those if you intend to keep that design." Still, the beginning improvements in safety was the first convex cross over mirrors added to the front corners. The rest of the safety features soon followed. Foremost, the safety piece of the school bus still remains, "a safe school bus driver." Safety training gets you there along with high standards with hiring good people to begin with. What good does it ever do to have the safest school bus if you can't even put a safe driver in the drivers seat? Just the same, keep up the good work on the school buses.

Dan Luttrell    |    Dec 14, 2009 04:25 PM

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