Dean Transportation, one of the largest private school bus companies operating in Michigan and the nation, received the 50,000th Thomas Built Buses Saf-T-Liner C2 conventional school bus, which recently rolled out of the High Point, N.C., manufacturing plant.
"Dean Transportation's commitment to provide best in class pupil transportation mirrors Thomas Built’s dedication to design and build the best buses on the road," said Kelley Platt, president and CEO at Thomas on Oct. 30, when the bus was delivered to the contractor. "I am thrilled to deliver this milestone bus to Dean Transportation, a company as focused on excellence, sustainability, community and the pupil transportation industry as we are."
Thomas representatives said the model-year 2014 bus featured a redesigned driver cockpit for added erogonomic comfort and viewing area around the bus, a multiplex wiring system shared by the bus body and chassis system designed to ease maintenance and troubleshooting and a structural adhesive that doubles the strength of standard joining methods.
Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation president Bob Harbin said the milestone C2 was the result of combined efforts within the Daimler Trucks North America family.
"Working together, Thomas Built Buses and Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation brought the school bus industry the most innovative school bus design and technology," he added. "Today, we both continue to set impressive examples as leaders in our product offerings, sustainable manufacturing practices and alternative-fuel offerings."
Platt also recognized the company’s long-standing relationships with its employees and with the community which, she said, contributed significantly to the company’s nearly 100 years of success in the area and to customer satisfaction with the C2. The company's flagship bus was launched in 2004 in response to driver and customer input.
"We have great pride in our employees’ dedication to building the best bus possible. Their care and commitment help to ensure we are routinely exceeding customer expectations," she said. "As a company we are focused and committed to building buses that meet and surpass the requirements of today so our customers will be ready to meet the pupil transportation needs of the future."
Thomas Built Buses utilizes more than 100 suppliers in North and South Carolina and said, on average, $28,000 of the purchase price of each C2 remains in the Carolinas.