IC Bus customization pushes the envelope
The company introduces its Bus Specialty Center in Tulsa, OK
By David Hubbard
IC Bus™, Warrenville, IL, a wholly owned subsidiary of Navistar, Inc, says it is working to meet a widening range of customer needs and preferences for vehicle customization. The company sees its orders becoming more specific as the bus industry continues to evolve, noting growing demand for applications that stretch beyond conventional bus and coach service.
To meet this challenge IC Bus offers these customizations through its Bus Specialty Center at its plant in Tulsa, OK. Its primary focus this year is to further expand the options for customizing and configuring the RE Series and CE Series commercial buses to meet a broad spectrum of transportation functions.
The Bus Specialty Center says it is gaining a reputation among operators for the attention and service it gives to individualizing bus shells for applications that range from corporate shuttles to prisoner containment coaches. Engineers at the post-production center say their specialized solutions adhere to strict federal regulations and GSA specifications in addition to meeting each specific customer need.
“IC Bus operators can save time and headaches now that they no longer have to customize vehicles at multiple shops and locations,” says Bus Specialty Center manager, Bob Brown.“When it comes to covering the very specific needs of our wide range of customers, we don’t see any challenge as being too great.”
Jim Connell, Longhorn Bus Sales, Houston, TX, remembers the customization process before there was a Bus Specialty Center.
“We all had to fend for ourselves,” he says. “This makes it a one-stop-shop that makes everyone feel like IC Bus is their partner.”
The center installs all special components and optional features and readies the bus for delivery to the customer. IC Bus says the advantages the center provides include final approval by the engineering department for all detail and custom work. The center also guarantees all parts and modified systems work together and assures modifications made to the customized bus will not interfere with the original new vehicle warranty.
IC Bus says the Bus Specialty Center can provide nearly every variation imaginable including integrated electronics such as video systems with surveillance, custom seating from upholstered coach seats to transit benches, as well as other major body or chassis modifications.
“We can customize any and all components,” says Brown. “We have a host of interior and exterior options for all lighting and signage, as well as cabin partitions, windows, flooring, and any mandated ADA requirements.”
The center documents every installation and part for easy tracking in the central databank, creating a working history for every bus that comes through the shop. The quality control department reviews all work done prior to delivery. Brown says any work completed through the center can be included in the vehicle financing.
In Hartford, CT, IC Bus dealer DATTCO recently worked with engineers at the Bus Specialty Center on its order for a fleet of RE Series commercial buses to be used for public transit operations on Martha’s Vineyard.
“The IC Bus Bus Specialty Center was key in securing this deal as they installed very specific wiring while the bus was still on the line,” says Comer Hobbs, vice president, IC Bus DATTCO dealership. “We couldn’t have installed this technology after the bus was already built, and the center covered us by making this project possible.”
IC Bus™ RE Series Commercial Buses
The IC Bus RE Series commercial bus is a 96-inch wide, rear engine transit vehicle. The side door provides access to the engine for easier service. The company says this is just an example of the many important customer-friendly standard features of the RE Series commercial bus.
According to IC Bus, the model offers high-quality options that allow operators to customize and economize at the same time. RE Series commercial buses feature the MaxxForce® DT wet-sleeve diesel engine and come standard with heavy-duty brakes, transmissions and hydraulics. The company touts the RE Series commercial bus as having the power to move a higher capacity passenger load than comparable buses with a similar-sized engine.
The body is a steel cage construction with one-piece roof bows and galvanized smooth exterior sidewalls. RE Series buses used for transit applications can be customized to include Pretoria ducted racks and Freedman perimeter seats. Other typical applications for the RE Series include transit for church shuttles, college and sport teams, correctional facilities, bloodmobiles and bookmobiles.
All IC Bus brand buses are sold, serviced and supported through a dealer network that spans North America, offering an integrated customer program that encompasses parts, training and service.BR