Bendix and Thomas Built Buses Inc. are working together to help make school buses even safer. Supporting student safety and the men and women behind the wheel, the Bendix Intellipark Electronic Parking Brake can now be ordered factory-installed on two Thomas Built models.
Intellipark is available as an option on the Saf-T-Liner C2 equipped with a Cummins diesel or Detroit Diesel powertrain and an air brake package, and comes standard on the Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley electric bus. Thomas Built Buses is the first school bus manufacturer to make Intellipark available.
“Thomas Built Buses continues to be a strong safety partner in our mission to provide student transportation drivers with advanced technologies and the best tools for helping to keep their passengers safe,” says Scott Burkhart, Bendix vice president, sales and marketing.
“In a typical year, they carry nearly 25 million children on regular routes, and there’s no more important cargo than our collective future and the potential they represent,” Burkhart says.
Monitoring inputs in critical areas, such as the foot brake, the accelerator pedal and wheel speed, along with a 30-second timeout, the Bendix Intellipark Electronic Parking Brake helps prevent rollaway and runaway crashes by automatically setting the brakes if the driver does not. The system utilizes a customizable J1939 network message to facilitate or inhibit unparking the vehicle to support when the driver intends to do so.
The Intellipark system replaces the familiar yellow push-pull dash valve with an easy-to-engage electronic switch, making it more ergonomically friendly and eliminating the “stinging” feel of engaging a 120-psi hand-controlled park brake valve. The switch maintains the recognizable yellow symbols and text and includes built-in LED indicator lights that show the status of the brake immediately, offering an additional advantage over the traditional valves. Intellipark also offers increased durability and additional cycles over the current pneumatic system, the company says.
“School bus driving is a job unlike any other in both its demands and importance, and it matters greatly that we support North America’s school bus drivers in their mission of safely getting kids where they need to go,” says Thomas Built Buses President and CEO Caley Edgerly. “With Intellipark, we aim to make that job safer and easier behind the wheel, and offer additional peace of mind to parents, students and fleet managers.”
“We’re driven to create the best solutions, and we believe Intellipark solidly delivers on that commitment,” says TJ Thomas, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions, Controls Group. “With Intellipark, the day-to-day driver experience in the bus will be enhanced by Intellipark’s functional advantages, and that also plays a role in safety.”
School districts and fleets also can use information from the data Intellipark provides through Bendix SafetyDirect to enhance their safety programs and driver training efforts.