ORLANDO, Fla. - Starcraft Bus unveiled its new Type C conventional school bus featuring standard two-point lap belts at a national dealer meeting.
The 2011 model-year school bus is thought to be the first entirely new Type C from a manufacturer new to the market to be introduced to the industry in more than a decade. And it certainly is the first non-small school bus to come standard with seat belts of any kind and without a federal mandate behind them.
About 75 dealer representatives from across the country were briefed at the Marriott World Center on the school bus, which goes into final production next March. It will be built on the Hino 338 chassis at a gross vehicle weight rating of 33,000 pounds. At 260 horsepower, the Starcraft Type C Series brand is powered by a Hino diesel engine utilizing SCR and a 270 amp alternator on an Allison 2500RDS transmission. Hino Trucks is a Toyota company.
The new bus has passenger capacity configurations of 59 (10 rows), 65 (11 rows), 71 (12 rows) and 77 (13 rows) and a wheel base of 235 inches, 253 inches or 271 inches.
David Wright, GM of Starcraft Bus, told dealers the focus is on safety. In addition to the lap belts, which dealers can remove if customers don't want them, though he recommended dealers get that in writing to dodge any legal culpability down the road, air brakes and the Child Check Mate system come standard. The bus also features a standard 20-gauge steel roof unlike the Fiberglass Plastic Roof on the smaller Type A Quest. The Type C also has 14-gauge skirts and flooring and is available with air ride suspension.
The Hino 338 truck chassis is a 2012 model year and is manufactured in West Virginia and shipped to Indiana, where it will be certified for school bus Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards before moving on to final assembly at Starcraft. Wright added that the school bus chassis will come directly off of Hino's assembly line beginning in the 2012 calendar year before final assembly occurs at Starcraft.
Check out photos on our Facebook page. For more, see the November issue of School Transportation News magazine.
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