Officials with the Missouri Propane Education and Research Council say that as alternative fuel options for school buses become increasingly common for districts across the nation, the Neosho School District’s fleet — which includes 18 propane-fueled buses — is an example of the potential cost-saving and environmental benefits for districts, students and communities.
Monthly Archives: March 2019
A Blue Bird school bus was on display last weekend in an unexpected place — the Atlanta Science Festival. Blue Bird Corporation brought a propane-fueled yellow school bus to the festival to show students emissions-reducing propane bus technology. The festival attracted thousands of attendees to celebrate the local science community with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities.
Improved RDT Adds Functional Tests and More
The Roush Diagnostic Tool (RDT) is a free software application that allows technicians in the field to perform diagnostics and module reprogramming. RDT has recently been upgraded to include some new functional tests and tools to make diagnosis and repair even easier for technicians.
There are a couple requirements before running the following new tests: The computer with RDT installed must have an internet connection and be online, and the vehicle’s ROUSH CleanTech calibration within the Ford Powertrain Control Module must be updated to the latest level.
Fuel Pump Performance Test
The Fuel Pump Performance Test commands the fuel system solenoids to open and fuel pumps to run. This test works in all Generation 3 and 4 fuel system applications. It aids in drivability diagnostics to test the output of the fuel pumps. It also commands the pumps to run both low and high speeds, and records pressure outputs and fuel pump adaptives.
The technician uses the pump output performance test to determine if the fuel system is making adequate pressures or not. This data can also be submitted into warranty claims for concerns where the fuel system is believed to be the root cause of the issue.
Dual Tank Transfer Test
The Dual Tank Transfer Test is only for dual tank systems on F-650 / F-750 applications. This test works in 2018MY or newer Generation 4 dual tank fuel systems. It commands the passenger side-tank supply solenoid to open and fuel pumps to run to test the transfer function. The fuel level in the driver’s side tank must be below 55 percent, and the passenger side tank must be above 10 percent for the test to run. The test will monitor the changes in the fuel sender percentages to register a pass / fail for the transfer function.
Output State Control
The Output State Control gives technicians the ability to control the fuel system solenoids via RDT. This function works on all Generation 4 fuel-system applications. It aids in many diagnostic situations for drivability-related concerns. It’s also helpful when performing various pinpoint tests for fuel-system-related issues. Keep in mind, the ambient air temperature as read by the vehicle must be above 40 degrees Fahrenheit for this feature to work properly.
The hotline function allows the user to send pertinent data from the vehicle directly to ROUSH CleanTech for review. This function works on all Generation 3 and 4 fuel-system applications. It sends all “Mode” data along with fuel-system parameters and fault codes. This data can aid our technical support staff in assisting with diagnostics.
PCM and SRM Recalibration
RDT has the capability to flash ROUSH CleanTech-specific calibration in both the Ford Powertrain Control Module (PCM) and the ROUSH Smart Relay / Gateway Module (SRM). A series of voucher codes need to be obtained from ROUSH CleanTech to allow the flash to occur. Codes can be obtained by contacting 800.59.ROUSH (then “option two”) or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the vehicle’s VIN number, mileage and reason for the flash.
For a complete RDT operator’s guide, including troubleshooting information, or to download RDT to your computer, please visit our website at www.ROUSHcleantech.com/rdt/.
Volkswagen Update: March 2019
More states have finalized their VW funding plans. Currently, 40 states have published funding opportunities representing $2.3 billion — with $132.7 million of that exclusively allocated for school bus replacement. Unfortunately, most of the current funding is going toward diesel. The clock is ticking, and we need your help! Our highest applicant success rates have been when we work together to create a strategy for your state.
Please contact Chelsea Jenkins at Chelsea.Jenkins@roush.com to discuss how best to approach and plan for the next phase of VW settlement (and other funding) opportunities in your state.
As of March 2019:
40 states have final plans:
Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Seven states have draft plans:
Alabama, Alaska, Kentucky, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota and Vermont.
Five states are still developing their plans and accepting comments:
Florida, Hawaii, Mississippi, Puerto Rico and West Virginia.
Visit www.ROUSHcleantech.com/volkswagen-settlement for more information.
Ohio Region Rally Wrap-up
Recently, we organized a Region Rally with Ohio’s Cardinal Bus Sales & Service to focus on alternative-fuel school bus sales. The goal of each Region Rally is to get sales teams from the dealer, ROUSH CleanTech and Blue Bird to work together for a few days of training and sales calls.
The Ohio rally began at Cardinal Bus’s Lima facility, where ROUSH CleanTech reps held a half-day training course discussing the different school bus fuel options. For the next three days, the sales teams divided into groups to make sales calls.
In total, the teams visited 16 different school districts, resulting in the potential for purchase orders for about 35 gasoline units and nearly 15 propane units in the next couple months!
Cardinal Bus’s Tony Rumer added a fun competition to the week as well. The team that sells the most buses from these visits will win a weekend trip with their families to a location of their choice!
Thank you to the Cardinal Bus team for hosting and lining up the customer visits.
If you are interested in an event like this, please contact Ryan Zic at Ryan.Zic@roush.com.
Roush CleanTech’s headquarters has been buzzing with tours already this year. Each group took advantage our Tour Support Program to help with the costs of getting folks to Michigan to learn more about propane buses. We can accommodate one-day or multiple-day agendas.
Girardin in Quebec organized our first tour of 2019. The company brought eight people representing different districts that together operate over 400 school buses. The group needed to fly in and out the same day, so we condensed the schedule. They learned about propane, participated in a fueling demonstration, checked out the Mustangs at Roush Performance, and visited the Roush Automotive Collection museum to see Jack Roush’s car collection. It was a quick, informative day.
Next up was a combined tour with O’Connor Bus Sales from Maine and A-Z Bus Sales from California. O’Connor Bus Sales brought representatives from one school district. The district currently operates three propane buses, but wanted to learn more about how the fuel systems operate. A-Z Bus Sales brought representatives from three school districts interested in propane school buses. Together, the three districts operate around 200 school buses. Along with the factory tour, the two groups visited Roush Performance, the Roush museum and our dynamometer facility.
Tour Support Program
Now in its fourth year, our Tour Support Program has become a highly effective sales tool. A facility tour at ROUSH CleanTech headquarters in Livonia, Michigan, is a great resource to educate both your customers and your employees. Depending on your goals, we can customize the tour’s content to focus on propane, compressed natural gas or gasoline school bus sales, technical service or general education.
We want to provide an equal opportunity for all dealers, regardless of your location, to visit our factory. To help cover the cost of this tour, we pay a portion of your and your customer’s expenses based on where you’re coming from. Check out the map here to determine how much we will cover, per person, for visits from your state.
The typical tour itinerary includes:
- Afternoon arrival of dealer personnel and customers.
- Dinner hosted by ROUSH CleanTech and Blue Bird.
- Morning tour of the ROUSH CleanTech manufacturing facility, product overview and service presentations.
- Break for lunch provided by ROUSH CleanTech and Blue Bird.
- Demonstration of propane autogas fueling.
- Tour of ROUSH Performance and / or a tour of the Roush Automotive Collection museum, featuring Jack Roush’s personal collection of cars.
- Afternoon departure.
In order to qualify for the reimbursement program, the following criteria is required:
- Customer attendees must be current or prospective customers who plan to purchase in the next 12 months.
- Maximum group size is 30 people.
- Background information, including attendees’ names, titles, district and contact information, must be provided to ROUSH CleanTech in advance of the tour.
- At least one dealer representative must attend.
Whether you’ve taken this tour before with your staff or a customer, or this is your first time, you’re sure to learn something new, and, more importantly, to close sales.
To schedule a tour through our Tour Support Program, call us at 800.59.ROUSH or contact your ROUSH CleanTech rep today.
Starting this spring, Bethel students might notice their rides to school are a bit quieter. They’ll also be healthier. Thanks to a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency, new buses are arriving that have the cleanest emissions on the market. Bethel School District will be the first in the country to use them.
For fleets that want to go green with their heavy-duty trucks without sacrificing capability and paying more upfront costs that electric powertrains bring, consider Roush CleanTech’s near-zero autogas system. Roush has been working with three alt fuel powertrains—natural gas, propane and electric, and it’s the later that they feel isn’t quite ready for prime time when it comes to hauling heavy loads.
Our Team is Growing
Please welcome Adam Wilkum to the ROUSH CleanTech team! Adam is our new business development manager covering central western United States and Canada. He’ll be focused on growing the alternative fuel school bus market. With nearly 20 years in the public transportation industry, he has provided expert-level industry knowledge to some of the largest fleets in North America. He also worked with Thomas Built Bus, Cummins Inc. and Lion Electric, providing Tier 1 sales and support to both dealers and end users.
Q: What did you do prior to coming to ROUSH CleanTech?
A: I grew up in the bus business in the southwestern U.S., spending 15 years providing sales and support for a school bus dealership in Arizona. After relocating to the East Coast, I spent several years providing bus support for a diesel engine manufacturer, and a short time with an electric school bus OEM.
Q: What interested you in joining the ROUSH CleanTech team?
A: Growing up in Michigan, and in a Ford family at that, I had always been familiar with the Roush name. I became fully aware of the propane autogas offering during my time selling buses in Arizona after Mesa Public Schools made its first large propane purchase from Blue Bird in 2011. I knew propane offered a very good value proposition, while being environmentally friendly and easy on technicians. ROUSH CleanTech came highly recommended by my colleagues in the school bus industry, so coming to work for them was an easy choice for me.
Q: What will you bring to ROUSH CleanTech?
A: My experience includes equipment specification guidance for competitive advantage, grant funding for clean energy projects, and technical education to both small and large groups.
Q: Where do you live?
A: I currently reside in Redding, Connecticut, with my wife Ashley and our two dogs. We both grew up in Michigan and our plan is to relocate back to the Midwest in the next 12 months.
You can reach him at Adam.Wilkum@roush.com.
Strolling the floor at the National Truck Equipment Association’s Work Truck Show in Indianapolis last week, one booth had a large baby blue box van in it. Among the rest of the displays in the booth, this truck, built on the Ford (NYSE: F) F-750 truck platform, was powered by propane (sometimes called autogas) in a system developed by Roush CleanTech. The truck generated a broader question – “Why don’t more fleets use propane as a transportation fuel?”