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Thomas Built Buses Adds SmartTrac™ Electronic Stability Control And Other Innovations To School Buses

Thomas Built Buses has teamed up with Meritor WABCO to offer new factory-installed SmartTrac™ electronic stability control (ESC) on its diesel and compressed natural gas-fueled Saf-T-Liner® C2 school buses. SmartTrac ESC is a vehicle safety system that intervenes automatically when it senses instability that could lead to a rollover or loss of bus control.

“When faced with rollovers and loss-of-control accidents, drivers usually are not aware that vehicle dynamics are about to become critically unstable until the point of no return is already reached,” explains Stephen Hampson, president and general manager for Meritor WABCO. “Meritor WABCO’s SmartTrac ESC intervenes by comparing the vehicle’s actual movement to performance models, using various vehicle sensors. If the vehicle shows a tendency to leave the driver’s intended path or exceeds a critical acceleration threshold, SmartTrac ESC helps the driver maintain control. The system applies the appropriate brakes selectively and better aligns the vehicle with the driver’s intended path of travel.”

The SmartTrac ESC system works with the Saf-T-Liner C2’s air disc and air drum brakes and supports a driver in difficult road conditions. However, the driver maintains responsibility for safe driving practices in all road conditions.

In addition to SmartTrac ESC, Thomas Built Buses is also pleased to announce the introduction of Bendix® ADB22X air disc brakes for Type D Saf-T-Liner® EFX school buses. Coming in Q4 2015, this introduction will complement Thomas Built’s Saf-T-Liner® C2 and Saf-T-Liner® HDX school buses, which already offer the Bendix air disc brakes. The ABD22X air disc brakes offer enhanced control, shorter and safer stopping distances, a longer life and improved performance over standard brakes.

Coming in early 2016, Thomas Built Buses also will introduce the severe duty chassis harness protection for the Saf-T-Liner HDX and Saf-T-Liner EFX. This new severe duty harness, which is already an option for the Saf-T-Liner C2, is an upgrade for the main chassis electrical harness that protects the electrical system from water and debris that could cause service concerns. The new severe duty harness is made of durable braided nylon that allows water and debris to pass through instead of becoming trapped.

“All three of these innovations are testaments to our commitment to continuous improvement,” explains Caley Edgerly, president and CEO of Thomas Built Buses. “We are dedicated to building and designing buses that are safe, efficient and provide our customers the lowest total cost of ownership possible. These innovations help us do just that.”

For more information about SmartTrac, ADB22X air disc brakes or the new severe duty harness, customers can speak with their dealer.


There has been a lot of buzz around different types of fuels in the marketplace. From gasoline to propane and CNG to diesel, making a decision on fuel type can be a difficult one. However, it’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all model for every district. In fact, choosing the right fuel type is a very individual decision.

At Thomas Built Buses, we not only provide a strong network of dealers who can help you make that decision, we also offer a wide range of fueling options for our school buses so that no matter what your fuel of choice is, we have the perfect bus for you.

That is why we are so proud to present you with yet another option: the new Saf-T-Liner® C2 CNG. Thomas Built Buses introduced its first compressed natural gas bus more than 20 years ago. It’s been popular and we’ve put more than 2,000 CNG buses on the road since then, but never before have we been able to offer a CNG natural gas option for our popular Saf-T-Liner® C2.

Today we can. We are proud to add the new CNG-fueled C2 to our family of alternative-fueled buses.

We will start production on the new highly-anticipated Saf-T-Liner® C2 CNG in early 2016. With this new bus, you can expect a 13% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to our traditional C2, decreased bus maintenance due to CNG being the cleanest-burning alternative fuel and significant costs savings due to lower fuel costs and exceptional fuel economy.

The new Saf-T-Liner C2 CNG will be powered by a Cummins Westport ISB6.7G 200-240 horsepower engine and an Allison 2000 series transmission. It will be CARB-certified and will exceed EPA 2013 emissions requirements. It will have four fuel tanks with a 60 diesel gallon equivalent capacity. And the C2 CNG will feature excellent driver ergonomics and maneuverability, along with the best visibility in its class.

If you love the Saf-T-Liner C2 and are interested in switching to compressed natural gas, talk to your local dealer to find out more about this bus and the fueling options available in your area.

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