Gallaudet U. chooses FCCC commercial bus chassis

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Gallaudet University will expand its student transportation fleet with new commercial buses built on the S2C chassis from Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. Marking FCCC’s first foray into the commercial bus cab cutaway market, the front-engine diesel-powered FCCC S2C is built on a shuttle bus chassis rather than a traditional truck chassis. Gallaudet, based in Washington, D.C., ordered two 32-passenger commercial buses through Colonial Equipment Company in Monrovia, Md.

The new buses will join Gallaudet’s existing eight-bus fleet and carry students between the campus and nearby public transportation routes. “Gallaudet has operated Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation’s commercial bus chassis in the past, but they needed a larger capacity commercial bus that would be able to transport a large number of passengers,” says John Hesson, regional sales manager for Colonial, a Mid-Atlantic transportation supplier. “Gallaudet wanted a single-door cab to allow the driver to more easily and safely assist the students in the back of the bus.”

The cutaway construction of the FCCC S2C chassis is built to provide coach designers with options to fit their customers’ specific business needs, and manufacturers can add or remove cab amenities for a customized product. A 55-degree wheel cut provides enough maneuverability for city driving.

Hesson says Gallaudet executives appreciated the flexibility of the FCCC S2C chassis design because the university needed its new buses to offer wheelchair accessibility to meet the specifications of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Manufacturers working with the FCCC S2C benefit from the all-inclusive chassis design because they only need to address the vehicle’s body, seating and wheelchair capabilities; all other integral parts of the vehicle are taken care of by FCCC.

The FCCC S2C is designed for enhanced ride and handling for maneuvering in and out of tight spaces and is suited for airport shuttle, park-and-ride, assisted living, charter, rental, church and university transportation needs. “We are pleased to partner with Gallaudet University to help meet the transportation needs of students, while meeting the university’s need for a fuel-efficient commercial bus chassis that offers a comfortable ride and superior handling,” says Ivan Roberts, FCCC commercial bus sales manager. “We hope that other universities will follow Gallaudet and recognize the passenger and customer benefits of the FCCC S2C chassis.”

The S2C is powered by a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2010 Cummins ISB 6.7-liter engine with up to 260 hp and an Allison automatic six-speed transmission. The engine utilizes selective catalytic reduction technology, while a sloped hood is designed to allow for easy engine access and visibility. The S2C also features an aluminum Freightliner cab, while its aluminum frame helps reduce flex and bowing to minimize coach stress.