By Joel Badskey
Passengers commonly complain that cutaway buses “ride like trucks.” They are not wrong; in fact; buses and trucks oftentimes share the same model of chassis. Bus manufacturers use the same engines, transmissions, frames, cabs, axles, and suspension systems that box truck companies use to build delivery trucks and moving vans. Unfortunately for the transit world, this results in buses with stiff, uncomfortable rides for passengers, no matter which brand of chassis you choose. These manufacturers produce thousands of chassis to serve multiple markets and leave the job of transforming the units into usable products to the chassis upfitters and end users. For most applications, the standard factory suspension system performs adequately, but for those in the transit industry who must consider the comfort and safety of their passengers, the standard suspension creates a harsh and unforgiving ride.
The chassis manufacturer equips each standard suspension system with metal leaf springs rated to a given capacity. As the weight of the vehicle reaches the load rating of the metal leaf springs, the ride becomes smoother. This type of suspension system works well for delivery vans and work trucks because their operators load these vehicles to capacity. In the transit world, however, cutaway buses usually operate well below their carrying capacity. As a matter of fact, many buses routinely transport just one or two passengers. In these cases, the weight of the vehicle does not come close to engaging the standard metal leaf springs, providing little to no suspension benefit to the passengers. The resulting rough ride quality especially affects the occupants of paratransit vehicles. While these passengers tend to be some of the most fragile, they find themselves positioned over the rear axle of the unit where the bus rides the worst. Thus, they spend the majority of their journey being jostled around uncomfortably.
To combat the fact that the bus rides like a truck, the suspension system must be altered so that the springs engage even with one or two passengers, yet the system maintains the weight carrying capacity for times when the operator fills every seat. For example, MORryde’s rubber suspension systems do exactly that; for decades, MORryde has used their rubber suspension in conjunction with the standard factory system to deliver an improved ride quality regardless of the number of occupants. The rubber shear springs are mounted in such a way to allow the standard leaf springs to achieve up to two inches of additional suspension travel in a full jounce or rebound. This technology translates to a softer ride for all of your passengers, and your bus will no longer ride like a truck.
These rubber suspension systems are engineered to provide improved ride quality for each vehicle make and model. The systems can be ordered and installed with your next new unit from the bus manufacturer, or installed as an aftermarket upgrade on most models already in operation.
To learn more about how the MORryde rubber suspension system can soften the ride of your bus, contact MORryde customer service at 574-293-1581 or visit