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Tracknut

What are Artics?

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An artic (short for articulated) bus is a bus that is double, or even triple jointed. The standard artic here in the USA is 60ft long. Some do have 59fters, such as NJT. These are buses that have the accordion like skirt in the middle, and bend in that part. Most are 35ft front, and 25ft rear. Some are 40 ft front, and 20ft rear. There are some massive artics in Europe, which use dedicated BRT routes and lanes.

 

There are two types of artics.

 

The most common is the pusher type. A pusher is rear wheel drive (the 2nd unit is the power unit). They have a total of 10 wheels. The back of the bus pushes the entire bus forward. The engine is rear mounted (behind C axle). They are NOT the best in snow, due to the fact that a driver has little control over the bus. When the rear wheels spin, it pushes on the center (bendy) part of the bus. They are prone to jackknife. That is why when it snows the rule is to parallel the bus to the stop, do not curb the bus. These buses can be found in NYCTA/MTA Bus, which MTA Bus (Baisley Park) has a few, NJT, and Westchester Bee-Line.

 

The other type is a pulley type. They have a flat type engine mounted under the front of the bus (b/w axle A and :D. The wheels that drive the bus is the B axle. They are a tractor trailer type bus. The front actually pulls the back. The rear wheels (axle C) actually turn the opposite direction of the front (like a hook and ladder fire truck). They can make tighter turns. The disadvantage of these is the rear of the bus swings out ALOT. AC Transit in California has them (Van-Hool models). NJT had them (Volvo), and so did Bee-Line (MAN). They are better in the snow due to the fact you have the drive wheels on the front unit, so you have more control over where the back goes.

 

NABI has a website that talks about the two types, and I will link sites with picks of the two types.

 

NABI: http://www.nabiusa.com/resource_page.cfm?res_id=11

 

Pulley type artics:

http://www.actransit.org/aboutac/vanhoolmain.wu

http://www.vanhool.com/products_bus_detail.asp?TabID=8&ID=11&ProductCategoryID=1

http://www.vanhool.com/products_bus_detail.asp?TabID=8&ID=12&ProductCategoryID=1

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9c/Doppelgelenkbus_01_KMJ.jpg

 

Pusher type artics:

http://hometown.aol.com/chirailfan/pppnyc1.jpg

http://images5.fotopic.net/?iid=yncsm2&outx=600&noresize=1&nostamp=1

http://images5.fotopic.net/?iid=yncslw&outx=600&noresize=1&nostamp=1

http://images1.fotopic.net/?iid=yncsl0&outx=600&noresize=1&nostamp=1

http://images3.fotopic.net/?iid=yncsmy&outx=600&noresize=1&nostamp=1

http://images4.fotopic.net/?iid=yncsm1&outx=600&noresize=1&nostamp=1

http://images1.fotopic.net/?iid=yncslt&outx=600&noresize=1&nostamp=1 (these are the buses rumored to be the new low floor artics for NYCTA).

 

These are not my pics, but from other sources.

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Those Van Hool buses are really nice.

I agree, but then that Novabus LFS artic isn't bad either. NYCTA looked at/tested both (Van-Hool was borrowed from AC Transit), and the Novabus that some say they seen tested in Queens area. The Van-Hool (AG300) has two problems.

 

One is where the engine is (which would require redesigning the maintenance shop) which has to be worked on from the sides. There is no room. The second is too many of the front seats are actually on platforms, due to the floor mounted engine. There are articles in the newspapers in AC Transit area, that states how the public hates the buses. It is problematic for seniors and those who have a problem climbing steps, to climb up into one of the raised seats when the bus is moving. Many have fallen. Buses don't sit until one gets a seat. We got to move. I believe that is why the MTA just kept it at Zerega, and never did any real stress tests with it. I doubt they liked the bus.

 

The Novabus LFS, some on Subchat did say they seen being tested with water barrels in it. When the MTA does that, that means they like the bus, and they want to see how well it handles under the stresses it will face in revenue service. Its engine is rear mounted, the seats are only raised in the rear front part (over the wheels (B axle)), and in the rear of the power unit. Basically like the Orion VII. They come with a Cummins diesel engine. IIRC, they also come as Hybrids. If the MTA is smart and are getting the LFS artics, they should come as pictured. With 3 doors.

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I agree, but then that Novabus LFS artic isn't bad either. NYCTA looked at/tested both (Van-Hool was borrowed from AC Transit), and the Novabus that some say they seen tested in Queens area. The Van-Hool (AG300) has two problems.

 

One is where the engine is (which would require redesigning the maintenance shop) which has to be worked on from the sides. There is no room. The second is too many of the front seats are actually on platforms, due to the floor mounted engine. There are articles in the newspapers in AC Transit area, that states how the public hates the buses. It is problematic for seniors and those who have a problem climbing steps, to climb up into one of the raised seats when the bus is moving. Many have fallen. Buses don't sit until one gets a seat. We got to move. I believe that is why the MTA just kept it at Zerega, and never did any real stress tests with it. I doubt they liked the bus.

 

The Novabus LFS, some on Subchat did say they seen being tested with water barrels in it. When the MTA does that, that means they like the bus, and they want to see how well it handles under the stresses it will face in revenue service. Its engine is rear mounted, the seats are only raised in the rear front part (over the wheels (B axle)), and in the rear of the power unit. Basically like the Orion VII. They come with a Cummins diesel engine. IIRC, they also come as Hybrids.

 

Great analysis there. The Van Hool buses do look easy on the eyes. Any chance the MTA is rethinking about acquiring them?

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Great analysis there. The Van Hool buses do look easy on the eyes. Any chance the MTA is rethinking about acquiring them?

 

Don't know, and it seems the depot bosses don't know. Only the Zerega bosses would know. We would know when the union says new ones are in, and we would have to be shown how to work them, as they would be different than what we already drive. We would have to be shown the controls, and how to operate the lift. If I see a cool friendly Zerega Superintendent, I'll ask him. He trained me on shifting buses. We actually spoke about the Van-Hool that was there.

 

Nobody likes the Novabus LFS artic? Is it that ugly?

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How about the yellow ones? I've been to Baahhh-ston a few times on charter runs, and seen their nice fleet. Those artics are loud, but seemed powerful.

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Nobody likes the Novabus LFS artic? Is it that ugly?

 

The Novabus artic buses are also very nice looking buses. There's certain details about the Novabus that are better looking than the Van-Hool buses.

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The Novabus artic buses are also very nice looking buses. There's certain details about the Novabus that are better looking than the Van-Hool buses.

 

The new Novabus front headlights are similar to the Van-Hool's. Two dots diagonal from one another. Also the Novabus does seem more "American" than the Hool.

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Novabus all the way!

 

Even thought I hate, absolutely hate, driving buses anymore, I will always like them.....from afar. Saying that, I agree with you. Like I said before, the Van-Hool has been probematic in Cali, and even AC Transit who is ordering more, is having Van-Hool make minor modifications, on the new ones. The ride is bouncy, so the wheelbase will be extended, the front door made wider, along with two doors instead of 4. Also the front aisle is very narrow, passing the front wheels on the inside, along with too many high seats on platforms. Sound more than minor modification to me. The Novabus test bus has seats almost like MTA uses.

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Even thought I hate, absolutely hate, driving buses anymore, I will always like them.....from afar. Saying that, I agree with you.
Maybe you'll like them more if you get behind the wheel of an NJT Nova.....Trust me, the Novas in Joisey can MOVE! Too many good rides on them recently that made me respect more than I did. But I still like my Flxibles....

 

To stick with topic, The artics in Joisey suck. Ever since the Volvo artics. I hope the artics that NABI makes are good cause them Neoplans aren't that great....

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Maybe you'll like them more if you get behind the wheel of an NJT Nova.....Trust me, the Novas in Joisey can MOVE! Too many good rides on them recently that made me respect more than I did. But I still like my Flxibles....

 

Unless I can drive with in a dedicated section where no other vehicles are allowed, I'll hate driving them. People in cars have absolutely no respect for trucks or buses, and our sheer size advantage. That is why I hate driving them. I will always admire nice buses and coaches though. As for how a bus can move, the artics I drive can move, especially 5663. It can take off, and climb hills with A/C on. I drove powerful OTR coaches for 5.6 years as you know. Learn to hate that also. You do 74mph in your coach, and car comes pass at 80mph, gets in front of you about 2 car lenghts, and drops back to 70mph. Only if it were legal to bump them and force them to move faster, if you know what I mean.

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