Thomas Adds Universal Connector for GPS

Option Allows More Choices in GPS with Telematics Systems

High Point, N.C. – Thomas Built Buses customers who are considering adding a global positioning system (GPS) with telematics technology to their buses will be pleased to know that Thomas now offers a universal connector that allows customers to select the hardware/software provider of their choice. GPS with telematics allows customers to remotely monitor the location of their buses as well as transmit information on certain bus body components such as turn signals, warning lights, stop arms, parking brakes and emergency exit doors. The universal connector can be ordered as a factory option on all Thomas Type A, C and D buses.

“There are more than a dozen providers of GPS with telematics and, while many of our competitors have chosen to align themselves with a single vendor, our universal connector gives customers the flexibility to use the brand of their choice,” said Ken Hedgecock, vice president of sales, marketing and service for Thomas Built Buses. He noted that this is particularly convenient for fleets operating more than one brand of bus.

Thomas’ pre-wire for GPS with telematics includes a harness with universal connector and 12-volt battery supply, but does not include communications hardware/software or transmission antenna.

“Customers can order the pre wire harness option when their bus is built and select a GPS with telematics provider at any time down the road. They’ll save money by not having to re-wire the bus at a later date,” said Hedgecock.

Celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, Thomas Built Buses ( is the leading manufacturer of school buses in North America, with more than one-third of the market. Since the first Thomas Built bus rolled off the assembly line in 1936, the company has focused entirely on delivering the smartest and most innovative buses in North America.

Thomas Built Buses is a member of Freightliner LLC, the largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America and a leading manufacturer of class 3-8 vehicles. Freightliner LLC produces and markets commercial vehicles under the Freightliner, Sterling, Western Star and Thomas Built Buses nameplates. Freightliner is a company of DaimlerChrysler, the world’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer.

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