Thomas SLF Bus Receives High Marks In Altoona Test
Recent results from the Federal Transit Administration new model bus testing program, also known as the Altoona Test, confirm durability and performance standards for the Thomas SLF 230 bus. The 30-foot bus completed the heavy-duty bus testing that is equivalent to a 12-year, 500,000-mile service life. The SLF 230 received high marks in all areas and rated higher than its ompetitors in many categories.
The Altoona Test assesses the overall quality and durability of the bus through a series of standardized tests that range from maintenance and reliability to safety and structural integrity.
"We are very pleased with the results from the Altoona Test," said John Thomas III, president of Thomas Built Buses. "We've always believed that the SLF is a high-quality vehicle able to provide exceptional transit and shuttle services, and now we have the test results to support it."
Performance and fuel economy are areas where the SLF excelled. It had the smoothest and fastest acceleration from 0 to 40 mph and was more fuel efficient than any low-floor bus in its Class.
In direct comparisons, the SLF's lightweight aluminum body and powerful engine give the SLF a power to weight advantage over its competitors. The structure of the SLF also offers greater passenger capacity than other transit buses of equal size.
"Unlike other buses in its Class, the SLF 230 provides a lightweight body structure with superior passenger capacity, offering the ability to move a large number of people quickly and efficiently," said Thomas.
Part of the testing process includes tracking unscheduled repair needs. Again, the SLF 230 did exceptionally well with 40 percent more uptime than its closest direct competitor. No unscheduled maintenance was required for the structure of the body, chassis frame or braking system. It also experienced the lowest number of breakdowns, which require a bus to be removed from service.
Compared to its competitors, the SLF also features the largest door clearance that makes them more accessible and easier for passengers to board.
The vehicles are produced at Thomas' 250,000 square-foot manufacturing plant near Jamestown, N.C. Thomas Built Buses is a subsidiary of Freightliner LLC and is a leading manufacturer of school, commercial transit and shuttle buses in North America.