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Should LF Artics Go OTR?

 
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Q65A



Age: 64
Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 1745
Location: Central NJ

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 9:01 pm    Post subject: Should LF Artics Go OTR? Reply with quote

The August 2007 issue of National Bus Trader contained an interesting "point-counterpoint" discussion about the use of LF artics in OTR services.
The proponent of this concept cited the fact that many OTR bus passengers are elderly persons who routinely experience difficulties when entering and exiting high-floor OTR motorcoaches. His contended that a LF artic would be ideal for OTR applications. Under his proposal, luggage would be carried in the "trailer" section of the artic; the lowered floor height would make baggage handling much easier (an important benefit, given that the average age of the typical OTR B/O apparently is 61).
The opponent of this concept indicated that an LF artic OTR would be a very expensive unit to build, operate, and maintain, due to insufficient fuel/luggage space, poor maneuverability (especially when backing, which is common for OTR buses), and powertrain problems (OTR's need high HP engines, which might not fit inside the engine bay of an LF artic).
Both arguments are compelling, and NBT did not endeavor to take sides.
Question: What do you folks think about this issue?
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Cyberider




Joined: 27 Apr 2007
Posts: 499
Location: Tempe, AZ

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To me, the stated disadvantages would overrule any supposed advantages. In addition, LF buses ride and look like junk, IMHO!!! Razz
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ripta42
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Location: Pawtucket, RI / Woburn, MA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The two most important aspects of an OTR coach are comfort and performance. Both of these are more difficult to acheive with a low floor articulated coach. Also, the problem with elderly or disabled passengers boarding and alighting isn't generally a problem with OTR coaches, since dwell time at stops isn't a concern. Improved lifts or capability for high-platform loading would be a better investment than low-floor coaches.
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DE60LF




Joined: 03 Oct 2007
Posts: 142
Location: Albuquerque, NM

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, so an OTR New Flyer DE60LF? Sounds cool, but probably won't be sufficient.
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RTS_04




Joined: 26 Apr 2007
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Didn't Prevost, at one time, have an articulated OTR coach?

Granted, it wasn't a LF coach, but I don't think they sold many H5-60s - I've certainly never seen one (although that doesn't mean much).

I really think OTR operators - at least here in NA - don't want the artic design. Which helps to explain why 'smaller' versions of the H-series sold quite well.
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The Port of Authority




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 118
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Van Hool had an articulated OTR coach as well.
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Mr. Linsky
BusTalk's Offical Welcoming Committee



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 5071
Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My opinion? (for what it's worth!).

I really can't see any artic in an 'Over the Road' scenario.

Just stability alone (especially in windswept situations) at 75 miles per hour and more would be of great concern to me!

I know that the semi's have very little trouble at high speeds, but they are not connected by a flexible pleated curtain! (I know that there must be a solid tractor/trailer connection under an artic floor, but I don't think that it would be sufficient in thruway operation).

I, for one, wouldn't take that bus ride!

Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Jamaica, NY
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ripta42
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Age: 43
Joined: 15 Apr 2007
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Location: Pawtucket, RI / Woburn, MA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As others have pointed out, there have been successful application of an articulated OTR coach (there are a lot of them in the Midwest), and stability of the articulated joint hasn't been an issue. The point is that they are forremost OTR coaches, and they happen to be articlulated. I've never ridden on one, but I would imagine that except for some sway in the rear portion, the ride isn't unlilke a standard OTR coach. Low floor coaches, whether standard or articulated, ride very differently.
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The Don of All Buses



Age: 35
Joined: 30 Aug 2007
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Location: Yonkers, NY

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I designed a low floor MCI D4500 OTR coach, but that wouldn't work. due to the low floor, there wouldn't be any space under the bus for luggage.
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Dieseljim
Deceased



Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 548
Location: Perry, NY

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 4:28 pm    Post subject: Low Floor OTR Coach Would be very Rough Riding Reply with quote

The idea of a low floor OTR coach would make such a bus very rough riding since the underfloor space between the seats and the ground would not be there and the suspension system would leave a great deal to be desired. Continental Trailways came out with the first good OTR articulated coach with the early Golden Eagles of the mid 1950s and Orleans Express did the same with the Prevost H5-60, which they deploy on high density runs. I don't think a low floor artic OTR coach would be a viable coach for intercity operations, especially high speed thruway operations. Besides, don't we have enough junk going down the highways as it is?
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Mr. Linsky
BusTalk's Offical Welcoming Committee



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 5071
Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

D. J.,

You're a man after my own heart - JUNK is right!

Actually, a low floor, whether articulated or not, couldn't possibly afford passengers a smooth ride over the road despite air suspension for just the reason you stated and that would be the lack of shock absorption space between the floor and the road.

In a way, I liken it to the extra measure of survivability that a passenger on a 747 has with the vast hold below them to cushion the shock of a crash landing.

Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, NY
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The Port of Authority




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 118
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OTR coaches generally don't need low floors.

Transit buses and OTR coaches are subject to very different uses. The former operate on slow speed, high turnover urban routings, while the latter are more suited toward intercity travel and sightseeing tours. The central reason for designing a low floor bus is to maximize accessibility. This proves itself useful in transit buses, which often pick up mobility-challenged passengers during their daily use. However, OTR coaches don't have anywhere near the number of pickups and dropoffs that transit buses do, and they can be made accessible by simply adding a wheelchair lift.
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HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 932
Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:36 am    Post subject: Re; Should LF Artics Go OTR? Reply with quote

I'm late to this party, but... I think I missed some bulletins wherein Congress repealed Laws Of Physics!

Part of the 1935 introduction of ICC regulation of the industry included comprehensive safety rules and practices. At the time, a ban issued
which prohibited further use of conventional (engine front, low floor) bodied OTR designs...

Why? There was a long and most tragic history of dreadful side impact accidents involving the low floors. These decades later, if anything
the vehicles in the traffic mix are now heavier and faster. Low Floors carry a most high potential of being very, very bad news. IMHO, riders
shouldn't be subject to this modern day, cavalier, rolling the dice attitudes about safety...

...................Vern...............
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