Having been a bus driver for two years, I’ve got quite a story to tell, from SMART to Durham/Trinity to D-DOT. I’ve driven some of the best and worst of the fleet. What you’re about to see is an example of some of the best we’ve got…
A 2014 New Flyer XD40 1408, Cummins Diesel I-6 engine, very smooth, palatial, and fast, to say the least.
All the bells and whistles! Retractable shades, adjustable air seat, well-illuminated dashboard, a descendant of the previous D40LF models, if I’m not mistaken, power mirrors (a definite must to avoid collisions).
Nice and spacious inside, immaculate heat for the winter, AC for the summer, the HVAC is stupendous for these models. The A.D.A. (Americans w/ Disabilities Act) seating is real easy to comprehend, not to mention self-explanatory for most A.D.A. passengers. This coach sits over 40 people (operaton included) 60 seated and standing simultaneously.
One thing I love about these newer coaches is that because Detroit has a huge bicycle populace, this particular vehicle has a three-slot bike rack, and believe me, driving this thing is both fun and challenging when the rack has three bikes on it. Sometimes it serves as a guide to avoid tailgating other motorists. Took me a minute, but I got used to that real quick!
Another shot of the cockpit with all the functions. Not to mention the windshield wipers have a one-function mode unlike some of our older models where one side of the dual windshield had its own wiper blade, whereas one switch operates both blades on both sides at the same time.
And the VIN Number/registration giving you all the stats. Notice the coat hook right above the cockpit. And now my most favorite feature…
On the drivers side, there is from left to right, the power dial (barely noticeable) that has both a day run (dash panel lights off), and a night run (dash panel light on, and recommended at all times), the silver handle that opens the front and back doors, power mirror remote controls, the top for left, the bottom for the right. The brake release as well as parking brake, a wire cupholder (also barely noticeable), tilt/telescopic steering, and HVAC floor control for the operator as well. I don’t get to drive these vehicles often, but I cherish each and every opportunity that comes my way to drive one of these bad boys.
And BTW, that silver handle you saw just now, now you know who closes the door when the driver get off.
Most of the time, anyway.
Tame the beast, baby!