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expands Hudson Service facility
Transit Maintenance Manager Big Blue Bus Santa Monica, CA
Get your PMI kit together Scheduled PMI and parts kits offer a solid solution to minimizing downtime and waiting on parts. Big Blue Bus runs 196 transit buses. We needed to enhance our preventive maintenance inspections by reacting less and focusing more on pre-planning and forecasting. When our maintenance and warehouse staff put together a new program to reduce our number of road calls, the number of buses on hold waiting for a part diminished significantly. A similar plan to identify parts before they fail would benefit any shop and help the entire organization operate more efficiently. Revisit past work orders to review what parts should have been replaced before they fail and cause a breakdown. Conduct a life-cycle analysis of key parts and components to determine the intervals at which they fail. Choose a day to forecast and schedule time to hold vehicles for preventive maintenance inspections (PMI). Alert the parts department of the vehicles on hold, so theyâ€™ll know in advance of PMI, based on mileage intervals, what key components to target for replacement. Assemble the necessary parts in a kit for delivery on the date for the scheduled repairs.
C ON T EN T S 4
At your service, New York City
Approach maintenance from both sides of the garage door
ABC Companies expands Hudson Service facility to offer expertise and convenience to all operators
By Robert Buchwalter
Brake check in real time, all the time Electronic monitoring
addresses the CVSA
By Chad Robinson
Architectural elevation from DiCara/Rubino Architects shows the conversion of Hudson Body to ABC Companies.
At your service, New York City
ABC Companies expands Hudson Service facility to offer expertise and convenience to all operators By David Hubbard What vehicle maintenance facility wouldn’t need a bit touching up at age 66? The once family-owned Hudson Body that has served bus and coach operators in the Jersey City, NJ, area since 1947 is no different. ABC Companies, Faribault, MN, finalized its purchase of this venerable full-service body repair business in November 2011 and is now undertaking a significant facelift and expansion to best serve one of highest-traveled corridors nationwide. The company says it has broken ground and will remain open for business during the project. Upon completion later this summer, the ABC Companies Hudson Service facility will feature nine bays, paint booths and portable lifts to accommodate operators of small, medium and large bus fleets and provide a more inclusive service and parts operation.
“We’re excited to have a facility this close to New York City,” says Dane Cornell, president and CEO, ABC Companies. “We can offer more expertise and convenience to customers in the Northeast Corridor with services focused on helping operators maintain peak fleet operations.” Situated in the tri-state area, between the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels on Routes 1 and 9, the convenient central location welcomes customers in the New York metro area and surrounding region. The range of services include general bus and body repairs, major and minor collision repairs, as well as manufacturer warranty work. While the facility initially utilized 10,000 square feet of shop space, the expansion will grow the space to 17,000 square feet with 5,000 square feet reserved for the full-service parts inventory. The expansion also includes a modern customer lounge area featuring Wi-Fi, cable and vending. The finished facility will house five service bays to provide fleet maintenance, preventative maintenance, warranty work and all heavy equipment repairs. Additionally, the company is adding three 45-foot body prep bays, a 65-foot paint booth for bus and truck fleets and a full wash and lavatory dump area.
The convenient location gives New York City operators easy access to the Hudson Service Facility.
The expanded parts division represents a major leap in service.
Now the ABC Companies Hudson Service facility offers operators: • General bus and body repair and service • Full body paint • Major and minor collision repairs • Interior, electrical and all related components • Structural and suspension repairs • Manufacturer warranty repair “Building on the strength and reputation of the former operation, the expansion of the Hudson Service facility certainly opens the doors to more immediate service in the New York City area,” says David Beagle, ABC Companies vice president, service operations. “Beginning this summer, we will offer a parts delivery service for operators working and visiting in the city.” Beagle says that because the Hudson facility is the closest and largest bus and coach parts facility to the city, the driver and delivery van will soon be able to provide long overdue one-day and next-day service. Operations Manager Mike DeMayo leads the Hudson Service facility, overseeing the maintenance team of four experienced mechanics, three body and paint specialists, and one mechanical assistant. DeMayo began with ABC Companies in 1999 and graduated from the inaugural class of the Commercial and Heavy Equipment Training Program at South Central Technical College in Faribault, MN, which ABC Companies sponsored. He moved to the Hudson Service facility in November 2011
where he earned his promotion to operations manager. Mike Laffin, ABC Companies general manager, Northeast Region, says the ease and accessibility to a larger inventory of parts makes business much easier for the operators in his region. He also appreciates the capability to provide a full range of on-the-road services to coach tours in an area where it was not previously available. “While we are the exclusive distributor of Van Hool equipment, we have the expertise and trained personnel to service all coach makes and models,” he says. “We welcome all operators and look forward to servicing their needs from this center.” BRM
This aerial site plan shows the scope of the expansion.
Approach maintenance from both sides of the garage door By Robert Buchwalter
The nature of this business tells us there are no unimportant tasks in passenger transportation. Everything focuses on carrying people safely, which demands our very best performance in every aspect of the job. Though many times drivers and technicians butt heads over maintenance issues, drivers are our best sources for information on how the bus behaves. Theyâ€™re the fulltime representatives of our companies and must dress, act, drive, and care for their passengers in a safe, professional and courteous manner. Keeping 56 passengers safe, happy and on time is quite challenging, even in nice weather and light traffic conditions. In our maintenance seminars we often meet technicians who also drive. Since they live and work on both sides of the garage door, their insight is refreshing and illuminating.
Coach manufacturers are adding features to buses to assist drivers, such as Adaptive Cruise Control. This involves radar installed at the front bumper which enables the cruise control to reduce throttle if the vehicle ahead slows. Drivers must be encouraged to use cruise control when conditions permit, since it reduces their workload and improves fuel economy. This allows them to maintain higher vigilance regarding current conditions and traffic. Technicians must learn about this system in order to train drivers in its operation and features. We must also be aware of the limitations of and the proper application of such systems along with new job functions such as radar calibration and aiming. All tasks and repairs must be based on the technical information available from your OEM or system vendor. Drivers and technicians need to learn these systems using factual documentation and not hearsay. The engine on the coach is constantly improving in terms of emissions and fuel economy. Cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation has been part of the emission reduction plan for nearly a decade. Recently, EPA 2010 rules have mandated further reductions in NOx using exhaust aftertreatment in the form of Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) injection. To this point, there is a critical connection between drivers and technicians regarding DEF systems and their proper handling. Human errors can creep into this system, specifically the possibility of pouring DEF into the diesel fuel tank. DEF is highly corrosive to metal. Pouring it into the wrong tank will cause rapid and costly damage to the engine and all of the metal inside the fuel system â€” even with a mix of a couple gallons of DEF in a 200 gallon fuel tank. DEF fuel dispensers at truck stops are engineered to forestall such mix-ups but problems arise from storing DEF in plastic jugs. A formal training session can ensure drivers and technicians know how DEF works, and to learn the handling errors they must guard against. Such training is available from OEMs, engine manufacturers and DEF suppliers. The point here is that maintenance technicians must continually work hand in hand with the drivers to reduce the chance of human errors that result in costly repairs. BRM
Brake check in real time, all the time
Electronic monitoring addresses the CVSA inspection standard By Chad Robinson
Electronic brake monitoring as a The ES3D system monitors the vehicle braking system proactive approach to maintenance in real-time and can detect: has increased in popularity as the technology has develNon-functioning brakes due to broken air hoses, faulty oped, enabling operators to reduce costs by identifying valves and faulty brake chambers Dragging brakes due to faulty valves, faulty parking trends that lead to problematic brake issues. Left undetected, a minor issue can prematurely mushroom into serious chambers and caliper adjuster failures Over stroke brakes due to caliper adjuster mechanism component damage and compromise the safe operation of failure or other mechanical failure a vehicle. Air disc brake systems pose an even greater challenge MGM Brakes, Charlotte, NC, a 50-year-old supplier of air brake actuators worldwide, became interested in to maintenance and periodic inspections due to the lack of electronic brake monitoring with its development of the brake component accessibility. CVSA and industry experts recently agreed that the e-Stroke Brake Monitoring System for S-Cam drum brakes. The company designed this system to address the CVSA only physical inspection of disc brakes a technician could standard that requires the driver to conduct a walk-around perform required removal of the wheels to check pad wear. Running the vehicle over a pit or hoisted on a lift brake inspection of all vehicles equipped with to check brake function would prove fruitair brakes before each daily service. The brake actuator in both S-Cam less unless the rotors showed obvious drum and air disc systems is the rust or were visibly scored from conversion point where pneumetal-to-metal contact with worn out-brake pads. matic energy is converted to Other potential avenues to mechanical force, and where ensure functionality include problems with air delivery, placing the vehicle on a rolling air release, and mechanical dynamometer to check parkproblems that effect brake adjustment and stroke, can be ing brakes and service brake readily detected. forces, or using a temperatureIntegrating electronic brake sensing device on wheels after monitoring into the brake actuator repeated service applications to MGM Brakes follows its e-Stroke brake moniwas the ideal location to achieve this toring system with ES3D for air disc brakes. check wheel end temperatures. goal. MGM Brakes recommends onboard MGM Brakes has continued development of technology such as the ES3D brake monitoring the e-Stroke brake monitoring system with ES3D for air disc system as the most cost effective and reliable solution. brakes. MGMâ€™s prior ES3 technology utilized an Electronic This technology provides real-time diagnostics that monitor Controller (ECU) and Hall Effect Sensing Technology to brake conditions with every brake application. monitor brake stroke, which is still widely deployed on As a safety device on motorcoaches departing from S-Cam drum brake applications. remote locations, or as a maintenance alert for city transit The new ES3D technology utilizes the same ECU, operators, real-time monitoring of air disc brakes equates cabling, diagnostic software, and now adds new infrared to safer vehicles and better component utilization. Itâ€™s like optical sensing technology to monitor air disc brake opera- having an inspector on board. Whether the system is alerttion. The new spring-loaded chamber ball-end design mon- ing the driver via vehicle displays or alerting maintenance itors proper contact and movement of the caliper lever arm to persistent faults in the air brake system, ES3D users will find that having a constantly watchful eye on their braking during each application and release of the brakes. The first system designs were simple LED-lit stroke system will ensure better operational returns and safer braking performance. BRM indicators that indicated proper brake function and stroke ____________________________________________________ compliance. Todayâ€™s systems fully integrate with the vehiChad Robinson serves MGM Brakes, Charlotte, NC, as market development cle J-1939 data bus, displaying, sending and recording manager. assigned SAE fault codes for out-of-adjustment, dragging, and faulty or nonfunctioning brakes.
The Exclusive Maintenance Resource for the Transit and Motorcoach Industry! Our March 2013 cover story: ABC Companiesexpands Hudson Service...