School bus A/C service and technology
By Jerry Lemon, MACS Technical Correspondent
School is back in session, to some extent anyway, in most parts of the country. Now our thoughts turn to servicing the air conditioning on the buses, which are generally filled with up to 72 students. Full-sized school buses feature a mix of configurations from various manufacturers who try to keep the interior of a school bus comfortable in a wide range of operating conditions. Many rural school boards tend to run older buses, resulting in a number of challenges regarding servicing their systems, not the least of which is cost. These buses were likely originally equipped with the least expensive system available, not necessarily a system that even performed to the required standard. This story features an excursion through a complete refit/upfit for one of the older buses from a school district east of Dallas, Texas.
First, some background on the bus. This International bus came with a locally installed A/C system from a known supplier of school bus A/C systems. The district had purchased a number of these arrangements over the years and didn’t realize they performed poorly until they compared them to newly purchased Thomas bus systems, installed with the OEM supplied MCC air conditioning units. MCC purchased the Carrier line a number of years ago, and the basic design has not changed. They are the selected assembly line installed system for Thomas Bus. So, when the district purchased the Thomas buses, they compared the A/C performance to their existing buses … they found the existing buses were lacking. Although the district had tended to do all their own maintenance over the years to keep the A/C systems operating, they quickly realized this fix was beyond their capabilities. (Read More)