I’ve been North of the Border this week for the launch of ADL’s all new Enviro400 and a look at their Larbert facility: neither disappointed. They’ve set out to raise the benchmark in the double deck arena and there’s no question that it’s better all round than the already popular existing model. They’ve listened to customers and involved them in the development process to an extent that may well be unheralded in the industry and this input has been instrumental in the incorporation of a host of features that should make it a far easier and more reliable bus to operate.
Remarkably, given that the additional weight of the Euro6 driveline is 250kg heavier and they haven’t downsized the engine, the overall weight of the bus is more than 400kg lighter and they may yet be able to shave a bit more off that, which should be good for fuel economy. First tests at Millbrook suggest that this is indeed the case.
What I really liked about the new bus was that they’ve come up with a brilliant way of resolving the old gasket glazing versus bonded glazing debate. They’re not using either; instead they’ve come up with a system they call QRG, standing for quick release glass, which has all the aesthetic benefits of bonded glazing yet surpasses the quicker replacement times of gasket glazing. I witnessed a member of the Larbert team, who had only ever been through the procedure once before, remove a full depth pane of glass from the top deck and reinstall it in not much more than five minutes, without leaving the bus interior or the need for specialist scaffolding. And when he had finished the bus was ready to go straight back into service. Further more, the new system is safer because it has frames that form part of the bus structure, and you can use thinner glass, saving weight, yet avoiding window shimmer. No wonder ADL have applied for patents covering the design.
There are a load of other enhancements as well as other interesting developments at the company, but you’ll have to wait for next week’s issue to read about them.
Have a good Bank Holiday weekend,