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Propane Blue Birds Survive Arctic Blast

January 17, 2014 in Propane by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

‘School Buses Started & Operated Flawlessly Despite Extreme Temperatures’

School buses fueled with propane autogas fared well during the brutal cold experienced this month in the Midwest and on the East Coast, says Blue Bird. “School districts and contractors reported that their Blue Bird propane school buses started and operated impeccably,” the manufacturer says.

It started, at -7F.

It started, at -7F.

Blue Bird offers Propane Vision and Propane Micro Bird models with 6.8-liter Ford engines outfitted for dedicated-propane operation equipped with the Roush CleanTech propane autogas fuel systems.

According to Blue Bird’s Thursday announcement,

  • All Star Transportation in Torrington, Connecticut, experienced average temperatures of around zero degrees Fahrenheit for several days. Its extensive fleet includes 40 Propane Vision school buses. While the fleet’s diesel buses experienced cold weather issues, the propane autogas buses “were stellar performers during the challenging temperatures,” Blue Bird says.
    “The temperature here dipped as low as minus 12 degrees Fahrenheit, adding complexity to our daily operations. 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.
    “Given these weather challenges, the technicians and drivers wish all of our buses were propane-powered,” said Leslie Sheldon, operations manager for All Star Transportation, says in the Blue Bird release.
  • Lamers Bus Lines in Eastern Wisconsin experienced exceptionally low temperatures during the arctic blast, Blue Bird said. Lamers has 14 Propane Vision buses in its substantial fleet, and temperatures dropped to minus 27 degrees Fahrenheit.
    “Simply put, our Propane Visions are great cold weather buses,” said owner Allen Lamers. “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.”
  • Reed City Area Public Schools in Reed City, Michigan, is no stranger to bitter temperatures, says Blue Bird, and recent temperatures dipped as low as minus 13 degrees Fahrenheit. “All six of our Blue Bird Propane Vision school buses started right up, without hesitation,” said facilities and transportation director Paul Lewis.
    “School was cancelled for a few days but we were out there anyway, starting the buses and making sure our fleet was fully-prepared… 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.”

Blue Bird explains that propane’s natural properties keep the fuel in a constant liquid form, free from freezing or gelling,” and that the fuel’s  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.”

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Source: Blue Bird with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

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