A much-anticipated day for school bus manufacturer Thomas Built Buses has arrived, as the High Point, North Carolina company announced that orders are now being accepted for the new Detroit DD5 and DD8 engines.
A Thomas representative said during last week’s STN EXPO Trade Show in Reno, Nevada, that diesel buses rolling off the line this fall would be powered by the engines. Officials at parent company Daimler Trucks North America, said the DD5 and DD8 meet 2017 greenhouse gas emissions standards and will continue to do so through 2020.
Thomas first announced in 2016 that Daimler’s Detroit brand was returning to the school bus industry. The engines were first launched in Europe in 2013, and the DD8 has been powering Daimler diesel commercial trucks since the spring.
“We’ve been waiting for this day for a long time,” said Caley Edgerly, president and CEO of Thomas Built Buses and formerly a quality control engineer for Detroit. “Both of these engines were developed from the ground up specifically for the medium-duty industry. These clean-sheet designed engines aren’t new. They are only new to the school bus industry. … Today, more than 90,000 engines are running on this platform with great success, including best-in-class fuel economy and maintenance intervals, proven power, performance and reliability, lower emissions and a lower cost of ownership.”
The Detroit DD8 engine is a 7.7L inline 6-cylinder medium-duty engine with specific development for the Thomas Built Buses Saf-T-Liner HDX. It promises a horsepower range of 260 to 300 HP and a torque range of 660-860 pounds per foot. The DD5 engine is a 5.1L inline, four-cylinder engine that was adapted specifically for the Thomas Built Buses Saf-T-Liner C2. It provides a 200-240 horsepower range and a torque range of 560 to 660 pounds per foot.
Daimler officials said the DD5 and DD8 offer power and best-in-class fuel economy, based on its state-of-the-art design that allows usable power and torque to be reached at lower engine speeds. Thomas added that school districts can expect at least a 3 percent improvement in fuel economy, compared to other diesel engines in the category.
Daimler said both engines come with Detroit Connect Virtual Technician remote diagnostics to complement what the company said is already longer service intervals, as oil and filter changes are only necessary at up to 45,000 miles, 18 months or 1,500 operating hours, whichever comes first. The Detroit engines also feature top-load oil and fuel filters for easier serviceability.
About Thomas Built Buses
Founded in 1916, Thomas Built Buses is a leading manufacturer of school buses in North America. Since the first Thomas Built bus rolled off the assembly line, the company has been committed to delivering the smartest and most innovative buses in North America. Learn more at https://thomasbuiltbuses.com or at https://www.facebook.com/thomasbuiltbuses.
Thomas Built Buses, Inc., headquartered in High Point, N.C., is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America, LLC., the largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America and a leading manufacturer of class 4-8 vehicles. Daimler Trucks North America produces and markets commercial vehicles under the Freightliner, Western Star and Thomas Built Buses nameplates. Daimler Trucks North America is a Daimler company.