Australian bus drivers may drive some of the longest routes on Earth
Long haul drivers ? We often think of truck drivers, but Australian bus drivers may drive some of the longest routes on Earth. It’s a big brown country, and bus drivers can drive up to twelve hours each day. Fatigue is a key issue, but so is comfort for the driver and his many passengers, and for the operator; key costs are tyres and fuel. And spare a thought for urban bus drivers – think about the wear and tear on what was famously Australia’s longest urban bus route – 115 kilometres and 232 stops from Tullamarine to Frankston.
Buses run the same wheels as trucks.
With 30,000 rotations per hour at an average speed of 100 kph ( based on a 22.5-inch wheel ) we’re all interested in getting longer tyre life. What if you could also achieve better fuel consumption, reduced tyre wear, and better health for the driver? With tyres and fuel amongst the largest cost items,
At Atlas Balance Rings, we are former transport operators. We had to be cost-conscious too, and very particular in assessing steering and suspension components, having regular wheel alignments, and ultimately adding in a little-known product – truck and bus wheel balancing rings. We reduced vibration through the steering components and wheel assemblies as the wheels are balanced “on the fly” while we drove, counteracting imperfections in tyre manufacture. The advantages – improved tyre life, reduced component wear, improved handling and reduced resistance meant less fuel consumption.
We introduced our own wheel balancing system – Atlas Balance Rings, designed and produced in Queensland, and specifically designed for Australia’s harshest driving conditions. We kept things simple, designing two balance ring products that could be fitted to suit almost every heavy vehicle and bus in Australia. This allowed fleet operators to interchange balance rings between vehicles, or even transfer the balance rings from old vehicles to new.
The rings are designed to fit between the wheel assembly and the rim, protecting them from external damage. Previously, ball bearings in the ring would deteriorate and required premature replacement. We replaced them with a natural liquid metal-based material which is fully secured inside the ring, insuring no friction – it will never wear out.
Says Atlas Balance founder and director Simon McQuillan, “ One thing I talk to our customers about nonstop, is maintenance; and having Atlas Balance Rings on from new is what stops some parts wearing out quickly, including the driver! Out of balance truck and bus wheels create vibration and fatigue.”
Key Bus Lines and Atlas Balance Rings
“We are proud to report that every bus now that comes out new for Fallon’s, is fitted out from front to back with Atlas Balance Rings. Wide Bay Transit have fitted their whole fleet out as well. In addition our balance rings are fitted to buses from Adams Coachlines , Campbells Bus Service
Naracoorte Truck & Bus Service and Warragul Bus Lines.
What about your buses ? Save the driver and passengers from fatigue, and reduce your costs with wheels being continually balanced on the fly.