Meritor axles, brakes specified on Gillig hybrid buses

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ArvinMeritor’s Commercial Vehicle Systems business has announced that its Meritor transit bus axles and brakes have been specified as part of a hybrid bus consortium contract that consists of 11 transit agencies in California, Nevada and New Mexico.

The contract was awarded to Gillig Corp., one of North America’s largest producers of transit buses, with whom ArvinMeritor has partnered for numerous advanced-technology endeavors in the last several years. The contract calls for up to 157 diesel-electric hybrid buses in 30-foot, 35-foot and 40-foot configurations, with deliveries starting this year and running into late 2007.

“This contract is fully in line with our commitment to be integrally involved with developments that focus on improving the overall environment,” says Tim Bowes, general manager of Specialty Products for Troy, Mich.-based Arvin Meritor. “Our axles and brakes were chosen because of their demonstrated ability to specifically serve the transit bus vocation while offering advanced features that lead to higher fuel economy and lower maintenance.”

The Meritor 71000 Series, single-reduction drive axle, will be utilized on the 35- and 40-foot buses. According to the company, this axle features several design elements that offer extended life and lower maintenance, including a robust cast housing with integral suspension brackets, and an advanced carrier design with increased gear and bearing capacity to meet the rigorous demands of the transit bus vocation.

For the 30-foot bus, the R-160 Series axle (21,000 lb. capacity) will be utilized. This axle has been used in transit buses since 1992. The gearing and bearing capacities are matched properly to the 30-foot bus size in particular when using retarders that are common on transit buses. The housing is fabricated steel.

Both axle series are designed with Quiet Ride gearing designed for a low noise signature. Quiet Ride features an gear tooth design that ensures both the drive and coast side of the tooth are quiet. According to ArvinMeritor, CNC gear cutting equipment is utilized during the manufacturing process for precise cutting and excellent repeatability; specialized noise, vibration and harshness test equipment ensures a low-noise ride that can be up to 7 to 9 dBA quieter.

The axles will be delivered complete with Meritor cam brakes and the wheel-end equipment — hubs, drums, automatic slack adjusters and air chambers.

“Over the last several years, we have been involved with ArvinMeritor on a number of joint technology developments that have been beneficial to both the transit industry and the overall environment,” says Brian Macleod, senior vice president for San Francisco-based Gillig. “We’ve chosen Meritor axles to ‘drive’ these buses and Meritor brakes to ‘stop’ them due to their proven experience in the transit field, and their ability to deliver reliability, durability and fuel economy.”