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News


knows it needs to intervene.” Te technology measures road condi- tions and driver behavior when navigating them to apply the right amount of brake pressure at the appropriate axle to mitigate loss of control and, in extreme circum- stances, rollover. It’s especially useful on wet road surfaces when the vehicle is more prone to skidding. Jason Johnson, president of the New York


Head Mechanics Association and service equipment manager at Horsehead CSD, said he recently attended a seminar in Texas on Bendix ESP and came away impressed. “ESC is going to the point that, even


when your seat belt is unhooked, the park- ing brake won’t release,” he said. “It’s making it safer for the driver and more comfortable.” He added that the NHTSA report on “School Transportation-Related Crashes,” most recently published last June, indicates the importance of improving driver control of buses and maneuvering in traffic or extreme weather elements, especially during


different times of day. Johnson said features like all-axle braking and individual corner braking are tools bus drivers have never had before, and the tech- nology could greatly assist in crashes like those documented in the NHTSA research. “It’s a real eye-opener,” Johnson added. But what does this all mean for the school bus maintenance programs? “Te things you do to keep your brakes in good shape, as well as your tires, helps support the stability system,” Andersky add- ed. “If the brakes and tires are in bad shape, the system will do all it can do to help. But routine brake system and tire maintenance is key to stability system maintenance.” He said the only new requirements of ESC on technicians is to calibrate the steer angle sensor following any front-end alignment work, for example. Re-calibra- tion to zero can be performed using the brake diagnostics software, in Bendix’s case its ACOM system. While Bendix ESP is an option on the Blue Bird Vision, Tomas


Built Buses announced in the fall it is part- nering with Meritor WABCO to provide the SmartTrac ESC on the Saf-T-Liner C2. SmartTrack works with both air disc and air drum brakes. “When faced with rollovers and loss-of-


control accidents, drivers normally are not aware that vehicle dynamics are about to be- come critically unstable until the point of no return is already reached,” explains Stephen Hampson, president and general manager for Meritor WABCO. He explained that SmartTrac ESC


intervenes by comparing the vehicle’s actual movement to performance models using various vehicle sensors. “If the vehicle shows a tendency to leave


the driver’s intended path or exceeds a critical acceleration threshold, SmartTrac ESC helps the driver maintain control,” Hampson added. “Te system applies the appropriate brakes selectively and better aligns the vehicle with the driver’s intend- ed path of travel.” l


ACT & Eberspaecher


ACT, ProAir & Eberspaecher


18 School Transportation News • FEBRUARY 2016


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