Life gets easier one step at a time
Glaval Bus makes this pledge with its Titan II LF kneeling-floor model
By David Hubbard
Following two years of research and development, Glaval Bus, Elkhart, IN, an industry leader in the manufacture of commercial buses since 1998, will officially debut its new Titan II LF in June at the CTAA show in Indianapolis, IN. The company says its latest model meets the growing demand from the small bus market for a low-floor kneeling option. Glaval Bus will make this innovative bus available to operators in the very near future.
“The kneeling style low-floor bus is a proven success with the larger metro style buses, as well as with small buses in paratransit applications,” says Glaval Bus General Manager Phil Hayes. “The low floor allows all passengers to move in and out of the vehicle quickly and easily without negotiating steps.”
According to Glaval Bus, the Titan II is currently one of its top-selling models in both the transit and retail markets.
“Unlike its predecessor, the new Titan II LF low-floor model totally eliminates the need for steps,” says Glaval Bus Project Manager/Marketing, Ken Becker. “This model incorporates a Ricon or Braun wheelchair ramp with a 1:6 slope, which exceeds the current ADA minimum standard of 1:4.”
The Titan II LF, available in 24-, 26- and 28-foot lengths, offers configurations to accommodate up to five wheelchairs in what is termed random access seating.
“This simply means there is plenty of room inside the bus to secure wheel chairs and easily maneuver these passengers in and out of the bus,” says Becker. “The other passengers do not have to change seating positions.”
According to Becker, the kneeling capability will simply help make life easier for all passengers, and allow them greater enjoyment of the convenience and efficiency public transportation can offer.
“We strongly believe other types of riders such as the elderly, parents with strollers and riders with luggage or groceries will equally appreciated the Titan II LF,” he says. “The fact is more disabled and elderly passengers than ever before now rely on public transportation.”
Becker says Glaval Bus can also build the Titan II LF with perimeter style seating, which is of interest to hotel and airport shuttles, as well as car rental agencies.
Glaval Bus says it began the development process over two years ago as the demand for the low-floor product grew more significant. The company first listened to its dealers and operators with regards to specific low-floor bus features to better learn how passengers in every application would use the bus.
Based on the Titan II, one of Glaval’s top-selling models in both the transit and retail markets, the Titan II LF, or low-floor, utilizes a Chevy 4500 as its foundation. Spartan made extensive design modifications and reinforcements to the chassis and incorporated a four-corner, self-leveling air-ride suspension that gives this new product the ability to kneel with the touch of a single switch. The 24-26-or-28-foot models are available with a rear wheel drive Vortec 6.0L V-8. Glaval says it is looking to also offer the Titan II LF with the Duramax 6.6L diesel in the near future. Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) also is an option.
“We wanted to be certain we presented our newest bus simply as a new version of our successful Titan II,” says Hayes. “The difference being the kneeling low-floor option.”
Glaval Bus says it also continued to respect price points in both the transit and retail markets.
“Customers asked for choices so we needed to remain flexible to meet their requests,” says John Skelton, Glaval Bus director of engineering. “It became apparent very quickly the most important feature of the new low-floor product would be its capability to provide the 1:6 ramp slope and exceed the ADA minimum requirement.”
Skelton says modifying the existing Chevy chassis frame rails would not be durable enough, a decision that initiated the partnership between Glaval Bus and Spartan Chassis, Inc, Charlotte, MI, known for its design and manufacture of extreme heavy-duty equipment.
“Working with Spartan Chassis enabled us to develop and produce a bus on what we call a ‘purpose-built chassis’ with a low-floor that starts from the back of the cab and extends to the back of the bus,” says Skelton. “We were able to utilize the benefits of a four-corner, self-leveling air-ride suspension and give this new product the ability to kneel with the touch of a single switch.”
With the Spartan quality floor design, Glaval Bus elected for each delivery of a Titan II LF to include a limited Five-Year/100,000-mile warranty, which exceeds the standard GM chassis warranty.
“Offering a standard Five-Year/100,000-mile limited warranty is a big statement in itself,” says Hayes.
“We want operators to feel the same confidence in this new model as they do with all other Glaval Bus models.”
The new vehicle joins the company offering of 10 different models that range from 21-to-43-foot. A limited number of Titan II LFs currently in production will be available for retail sale, demonstrations, test drives and for exhibition at trade shows. One of the early units also heads to Altoona for STURRA testing, while full production begins third quarter 2011. BR