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May 30, 2013  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

Micro Bird Type A completes Altoona testing


DRUMMONDVILLE, Quebec — Micro Bird’s DRW G5 school bus has successfully completed Altoona testing.

The Type A school bus manufacturer submitted the G5 lift bus for a 7-year/200,000-mile STURAA test (Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987). Testing started on Oct. 8, 2012, and was completed on Feb. 18, 2013.

Officials said the DRW G5 outperformed the competition on the interior noise tests with impressive results and arrived at the finish line with a clean slate on the body structure.

To ensure optimal safety, quality, durability and serviceability, the Micro Bird bus was tested using the following criteria:

Maintainability. This segment is broken down into three subsections that focus on the ability and time required to service the bus’ components. These subsections include accessibility, service/preventive maintenance and repair/replacement.

Reliability. Documents unscheduled breakdowns, repairs, downtime and repair time that occurs during testing.

Safety. Determines handling and stability of the bus by measuring speed through a double-lane change test.

Performance. Determines acceleration, gradeability, top speed capabilities and braking of the bus.

Structural integrity. Includes various subsections, including structural shakedown, structural distortion, static towing, dynamic towing, jacking, hoisting and durability.

Fuel economy. Provides accurate comparable fuel consumption data on bus product by manufacturers.

Noise. Measures and records interior and exterior noise levels and checks for audible vibration under various operating conditions.

Emissions. Provides comparable gas and emissions data for buses produced by different manufacturers while operating the vehicle over a simulated route.

The Altoona test, performed in Duncansville, Pa., is required for any bus purchased utilizing Federal Transit Administration funds. While there is no pass or fail designation applied, the standardized test is utilized as a comparison tool for purchase decisions.

Micro Bird is a joint venture between Blue Bird and Girardin. Blue Bird buses have continually undergone Altoona Testing since 1993. In the event that a bus experiences substantial product redesign, the Altoona test is re-administered.

With each bus product line tested, Blue Bird is fully compliant with Altoona testing, according to the company.

“Micro Bird’s focus has always been to build the best, most economical buses,” said Steve Girardin, president of Micro Bird. “Altoona’s independent test results confirm we are achieving our objectives.”

Complete details and results from Altoona tests are available at

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