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Old 10-18-2015, 09:44 AM   #1
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Rear Engine Bus Fire Montgomery MD

School bus catches fire in Montgomery County
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Old 10-18-2015, 11:29 AM   #2
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This almost doesn't qualify as news anymore!
We sold all our rear engine buses we got from Montgomery County after we had one burn down on us in the yard and take out the bus it was parked next to as well.
We didn't figure out what caused it
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Old 10-18-2015, 11:31 AM   #3
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It does seem more common than it should be.
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Old 10-18-2015, 11:35 AM   #4
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When I see Thomas and BB REs, all I can think of is just how little air there is circulating around the power plant coupled with that tiny radiator, versus the engine bay and radiator of an International RE. Biased in my opinion? Probably.
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Old 10-18-2015, 11:56 AM   #5
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I read somewhere that at one point in time, those buses had hydraulic actuated fans that could catch fire due to a hydraulic leak.
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Old 10-18-2015, 12:01 PM   #6
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My friends Thomas has that setup.
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Old 10-18-2015, 02:18 PM   #7
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Almost every rear engine bus fire is caused by lack of maintenance. The hydraulic actuated fans run engine oil, from the same pump as the power steering.
When the hydraulic actuated fan motors front seal starts to leak, it sprays hot oil into the fan, that then blows the oil all over the hot turbo and exhaust manifold.

We run just under 100 rear engine buses in both Bluebird and Thomas.
To date, due to our diligent maintenance, we have not had a single bus fire in our fleet of over 400 buses.

Nat
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Old 10-19-2015, 04:48 PM   #8
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Ok, you guys just scared the pants out of me, what kind of maintenance can I provide to the hydraulic actuated fan to minimize leaking and prevent fires?

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Old 10-21-2015, 12:32 AM   #9
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Just watch for leaks, and when they happen, fix the leak.

It starts slowly, not suddenly.

Nat
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Old 10-21-2015, 06:26 AM   #10
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That particular model of Thomas RE also has a manufacturer's defect with the battery cables being pinched between the chassis and body. Last year FOUR of our '04 Thomas RE Saf-T-Liner buses went up in flames the same way, IN OUR PARKING LOT without the keys in the dash, or the vehicles ON. CHECK THE BATTERY CABLES. We sued Thomas, and won for the defect which caused the recall (along with several other ISD jurisdictions in Texas). I also checked the set-up on Heavy, different configuration.

Just a heads-up from our experiences.

M1031
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