NEW CARLISLE, Ind. — Navistar’s commercial trucks, school buses and military vehicles will undergo testing at the newly opened Navistar Proving Grounds, company officials announced this week.
The 668-acre site in New Carlisle includes a 3-mile paved and banked oval, as well as more rugged rural-type routes in a wooded area. Navistar recently purchased the site from Robert Bosch LLC.
On Tuesday, journalists from truck and bus publications, including School Bus Fleet, were invited to the Navistar Proving Grounds to drive the company’s vehicles around the facility.
Attendees got behind the wheel of two IC Bus CE Series school buses. One was a diesel, and the other was the company’s new propane model.
“The objective is to have this propane engine perform just like a diesel for the driver,” said Trish Reed, vice president and general manager of IC Bus, as she rode along while an attendee drove the propane bus. “So as a driver operates a diesel and then shifts over to a propane, the driver should see no difference in the performance … except that [the propane bus] is a lot quieter than a diesel.”
Also making the rounds during the media event were a variety of Navistar’s heavy-duty, medium-duty and severe-service trucks. Attendees drove some of the trucks through difficult terrain, including bumpy roads, a 30% grade and a muddy path through a heavily wooded area.
The site is about 90 miles from Navistar’s headquarters in Lisle, Illinois. Officials said that the Navistar Proving Grounds will complement the company's validation center in Melrose Park, Illinois, allowing test capabilities to be managed in-house by Navistar.
"The new Navistar Proving Grounds is a strategic addition to our product development operations and will play an important role in our mission to deliver industry-leading uptime for our customers," said Bill Kozek, president of Navistar Truck and Parts. "Beyond testing our latest vehicles and innovative technologies, we will also use the site as a customer center to showcase new products and give customers an opportunity to experience our vehicles firsthand."
For more details on the Navistar Proving Grounds, go to www.navistarprovinggrounds.com.