Press Releases

BLUE BIRD OFFERS COLORADO RACKING TEST AND KENTUCKY POLE TEST COMPLIANCE AS A STANDARD FEATURE

[image: thumbnail]While these important safety tests are offered as an option on competitors’ buses, Blue Bird provides them as standard equipment on its school buses.

FORT VALLEY, GA. (April 8, 2013) -- Those in the school transportation industry are aware that school buses in North America are compliant with either Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards or Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. However, additional safety tests beyond the Federal standards are available and required in some states and provinces. While meeting compliance with tests can require an additional level of engineering complexity, Blue Bird sets the industry standard as the only school bus manufacturer to offer the Colorado Rack and the Kentucky Pole Test specifications as a standard feature on its conventional and transit-style school buses.

After a 1971 school bus rollover crash in Gunnison, Colorado, the Colorado Rack Test was developed to test structural integrity in the event of a school bus rollover. The Colorado Rack Test simulates a rollover crash by applying a constant load along the full length of the school bus body. When testing for Colorado Rack compliance, the test requires that two prescribed cycles of load be applied to the bow immediately above the passenger windows. During testing, the bus structure cannot deflect more than 5 1/8 inches when measured diagonally and all emergency exits must be functional after the test. Blue Bird meets this requirement as a standard feature on its All American and Vision bus line while compliance is offered as an option by competitors at an additional cost.

The Kentucky Pole Test was developed by the Kentucky Governor’s Task Force on School Bus Safety with special assistance from Blue Bird’s Engineering Test Department in 1989. During the test, a school bus rollover is simulated with an eight-inch diameter pole impacting the roof with enough force to cause the roof to bend into the passenger compartment between eight to 10 inches. Throughout this test, the body panels cannot separate. While this test was developed for the state of Kentucky, the test is widely utilized throughout multiple North American states and provinces as a required specification.

“Blue Bird’s school buses are widely regarded as the most durable in the industry. Standard compliance with the Colorado Rack Test and the Kentucky Pole Test reinforces our commitment to ensuring our buses meet the highest level of safety standards,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corporation. “Our one-piece roof bow system and super body structure, coupled with robust steel structural parts, allow Blue Bird’s buses to meet or exceed all federal safety regulations. Standard compliance with these important tests is an example of Blue Bird’s commitment to designing the highest level of safety into every bus that we build.”

Posted on 2013-04-08

As a Blue Bird customer for over 25 years, our district has a solid Blue Bird fleet of the Vision, All American and Micro Bird buses. We choose to standardize our fleet to solely Blue Bird because of the quality of the buses. Our Blue Bird school buses are dependable, our drivers love driving the buses and we receive excellent parts and service support from Blue Bird and our local dealer, New York Bus Sales.
Fred Paye
Director of Transportation
Hilton Central School District
Hilton, NY

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