If you have just taken ownership of a bus and coach company, you may understand how crucial such a service is, especially in a rural community. You know that there will always be a demand for public transportation and intend to provide a first-class service, but in order to do so, you must make sure that all your vehicles are well maintained and presented in good condition. While the typical bus is well engineered for the purpose and can be expected to deal with average wear and tear very effectively, some parts of the vehicle may require some additional observation and attention.
The air suspension system on the modern-day bus or coach must put up with a considerable amount of abuse during normal operation. Each component will need to deal with a heavily laden vehicle that will usually move at relatively slow speed in an urban environment. Whenever this vehicle has to turn a tight corner, the friction buildup underneath each wheel will be considerable and the air suspension will have to work overtime in order to compensate.
Consequently, you should make sure that your mechanics pay good attention to the air suspension, no matter whether it is electronically controlled or has a pneumatic levelling valve configuration. You need to ensure that the ride height is optimum so that each passenger gets a comfortable ride, and to ensure that you return good fuel economy figures.
Keep a close eye on the efficiency of each shock absorber and look for evidence of leakage. In particular, inspect the air bellow assembly for signs of any cracks or splits within the rubber and ensure that the frame (including the top plate and pedestal) are in good condition. This is an area that can be particularly susceptible to corrosion and debris accumulation, which can cause a need for bus repairs.
Valves and Sensors
You must also check that the automatic levelling valves are working correctly, and these work in concert with specific sensors to determine the height of the vehicle. Remember, some modern vehicles are designed to "kneel" at the entrance door so that passengers with disability can access more easily. While this is a great service, remember that there are more components involved here, and thus more attention needs to be paid.
While you may pay regular attention to the vehicle's engine and transmission, remember that air suspension issues can often cause an inordinate number of failures.