Alternative Fuels

Report: Blue Bird propane bus performs well in cold temps

Posted on January 17, 2014

Officials for Blue Bird say propane autogas’ natural properties keep the fuel in a constant liquid form, free from freezing or gelling. Pictured is Blue Bird's propane Vision school bus.
Officials for Blue Bird say propane autogas’ natural properties keep the fuel in a constant liquid form, free from freezing or gelling. Pictured is Blue Bird's propane Vision school bus.
FORT VALLEY, Ga. — While much of North America recently experienced record-breaking cold weather, school districts and contractors reported that their Blue Bird propane school buses started and operated impeccably, according to the manufacturer.

All Star Transportation in Torrington, Conn., has a fleet that includes 40 propane Vision school buses.

The area experienced average temperatures of around zero degrees for several days, and officials for the operation said the propane autogas buses were “stellar performers.”

“The temperature here dipped as low as -12 F, adding complexity to our daily operations,” said Leslie Sheldon, operations manager for All Star Transportation. “The propane autogas buses made the lives of our technicians and bus drivers easier, as the buses started perfectly and came up to temperature promptly.”

Bus companies and school districts in the Midwest were also impacted by low temperatures. In eastern Wisconsin, the temperature fell to -27 F, but the 14 propane Vision school buses in Lamers Bus Lines’ fleet didn’t experience any issues.

“Simply put, our propane Visions are great cold weather buses,” said Allen Lamers, owner of Lamers Bus Lines. “We experienced easy starting, heat within minutes, quiet operation and less headaches. Our drivers love the buses, and when the driver is happy, everyone is happy.”

Likewise, as -13 F temps hit Reed City (Mich.) Area Public Schools’ area of service, the district’s six propane Vision buses started without a problem.

“School was canceled for a few days, but we were out there anyway, starting the buses and making sure our fleet was fully prepared,” said Paul Lewis, director of facilities and transportation. “The quietness of the propane bus is amazing. During these colder temperatures, the drivers love how quickly the buses warm up. We are very happy with our propane buses.”

Officials said Blue Bird’s propane school buses offer superior cold weather starting and operational capabilities due to two important factors. First, propane autogas’ natural properties keep the fuel in a constant liquid form, free from freezing or gelling. Second, propane autogas’ liquid form provides better control of the air-to-fuel ratio, resulting in the superior start-up dependability that districts are widely reporting. Also, there is no need to plug the buses in to pre-heat them.
 
The Blue Bird propane Vision and propane Micro Bird, equipped with the ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas fuel system and a Ford 6.8-liter engine, meet all EPA and California Air Resources Board certifications. 


Recent news related to cold temps and pupil transportation:

Frigid temperatures cancel bus routes, delay school

Related Topics: alternative fuels, Blue Bird Corp., Micro Bird Inc., propane, weather, winter

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