Blue Bird has unveiled a new school bus window — which company officials said features a smoother, more ergonomic design — and other enhanced features in luggage compartments, air conditioning and brakes for the company's buses.
Blue Bird officials said that the new window, dubbed the E-Z Window, was made with transportation personnel and schoolchildren in mind. According to the company, the exclusive window is easy to adjust and features interlocking construction with leak-resistant seals.
Made with hollow frame construction for superior strength, the ergonomic dual-grip latches with Super Spacer technology are made of glass-filled nylon that can reportedly withstand more than 50,000 up-and-down cycles over the life of the bus. Blue Bird officials said that the kid-friendly windows are outfitted with greater weather stripping, which further reduces noise, wind, dust and water intrusion.
The E-Z Window is featured on the Vision and All American buses.
As with the new window, customer feedback was a significant component during the redesign process of Blue Bird’s newly enhanced luggage compartment. Officials said that the luggage compartment's steel-bonded design, solid door reinforcement and tough handles provide customers with robust, easy-to-operate construction.
A full-perimeter bulb seal ensures that the compartment and its contents stay clean and dry. The luggage compartments are offered in a choice of three sizes with the option of interior compartment lighting and gas cylinders to assist with door operation. The new luggage compartment is available on the Vision and All American buses.
Blue Bird has also launched a new state-of-the-art air-conditioning system that eliminates encroachment into the passenger compartment. The system, supplied by Mobile Climate Control, is mounted in the bulkheads at the front of the bus above the windshield and at the rear of the bus above the emergency door window. With the factory-installed system, drivers will have a dedicated in-dash evaporator.
Blue Bird Air Conditioning has been fully validated by engine suppliers Cummins and Ford/ROUSH CleanTech to diminish any concerns of voiding warranties. The air conditioning is currently offered on the Vision and All American buses.
Also on the list of new innovations, Blue Bird has added ADB22X air disc brakes from Bendix. Officials said that the new brakes require less maintenance, deliver longer pad and rotor life, and reduce service time by 50%. The brakes provide a sharper, safer stop that closely resembles stopping with a passenger car, with virtually no brake fade, according to Blue Bird. The Bendix ADB22X air disc brakes are currently available on the Vision and All American buses.
“Blue Bird is thrilled to introduce these best-in-class and innovative technologies,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird. “Since our founding in 1927, Blue Bird has been providing the school transportation industry with cutting-edge and forward-thinking technologies. We continually listen to our customers and strive to offer technology that delivers four driving priorities: enhanced safety, quality, durability and serviceability."
The manufacturer of the new E-Z Window is Lippert Components Inc., which has signed a multi-year contract to supply custom windows to Blue Bird.
“We love the opportunity to develop custom products for companies that really get it,” said Andy Pocock, vice president of specialty sales for Lippert Components. “Blue Bird sought to set new standards for window safety, quality and durability. We are delighted to deliver a premium product with sturdy frames, integrated seals and enhanced performance.”
Other recent news related to Blue Bird:
• Wisconsin contractors add 57 propane buses