Thrasher "Goes Big" to celebrate 45 Years!

Thrasher Brothers Trailways of Birmingham, Alabama, will celebrate its 45th year in business this year.   For spring of 2016, Thrasher decided to go big, as in purchasing a big Van Hool double deck coach.

Alan Thrasher and Alyce T. Davidson, brother/sister owners of the Thrasher Brothers Trailways of Birmingham, Alabama, company founded by their father, had debated the idea for some time.

Pictured left to right front: Brenda Borwege, ABC Companies, Shari Sanders, ABC Companies, Alyce Davidson and Alan Thrasher, Thrasher Brothers, Roman Cornell ABC Companies / Back: Jim Morrison, ABC Companies

“We had been half-jokingly discussing adding a double deck with ABC Companies for over a year,” said Davidson. The renovated UMA show coach rolled out at just the right time, featuring a Cummins engine, Allison transmission, new upholstery by Sardo Interiors, REI video system, an updated 110V plug system at every seat, and was finished in a beautiful silver paint.

The finished product was presented to the Thrashers at the 80th Annual Trailways Meeting in Ft. Myers, FL. After Roman Cornell presented the coach at the outdoor luncheon, Thrasher told the gathered crowd that it was apparent the double deck coaches were here to stay. “Double-deck coaches are standard in Europe, and Van Hool has developed a good product for service in the United States. The used ones are not going away, and the ABC renovation plan helps provide a cost effective way to re-purpose these coaches in the private charter market.” While many of these coaches become open top sightseeing buses, Thrasher believes the large capacity coach has a place in the growing charter market. “We are very proud to be the first in the Trailways network to offer the double deck service for charter.”

Jim Morrison, Vice President, ABC Companies stated, “We are excited that Thrasher has the foresight to see the application of the TD925 in their market. Thrashers are known throughout the motorcoach industry for being visionaries. We are excited to watch their success with the Van Hool double deck coach.  For more information, contact ABC Companies at 800-222-2875

2016 Bus Maintenance: Dealing with Electrical Learning Curve

From Metro:


2016 Bus Maintenance Survey: Shops Still Dealing with Electrical Learning Curve.


With electric vehicle usage and the transitioning to electric cooling fans continuing to grow at transit agencies around the nation, electrical (issues/training) continues to be the top issue in the shop, according to respondents to METRO’s 2016 Bus Maintenance Survey.


Overall, electric vehicle usage is up six percentage points from last year’s survey, while three-quarters of this year’s respondents report that their agency is moving from hydraulic to electric cooling fans. To address the issues being caused by these changes, maintenance officials report that they are adding specialized training programs or requesting increased training from their OEM partners.

When asked what new issues have had to be addressed through training in the last year, respondents reported a range of topics, including after treatment systems, super capacitor care and maintenance, high-voltage propulsion systems and electric buses.

Ninety-four percent of this year’s respondents reported filters as the fast-moving part they buy the most, followed by fluids and brakes. More than half of this year’s respondents reported alternators as their most-purchased lifecycle part, followed by starter motors and compressors.

When asked what questions an agency should ask when exploring the possibility of adding alternatively propelled vehicles, the top answers were: “What infrastructure upgrades will be necessary and what will those modifications cost?” “What are the true maintenance costs?” “What additional training will be required?” and “What hiccups have other transit agencies experienced both early in the adoption process and down the road?”

Now in its sixth year, METRO sent out its survey to even more maintenance shops, spanning a wide demographic consisting of large metropolitan to small and rural transit agencies as well as university-focused systems. Questions covered topics ranging from fleet size to average age of their fleet, hours-of-training provided per year and how that training is delivered, and the top issues in their shops to what parts they buy most often.

Agencies varied in fleet size, with the largest maintaining 5,800 buses and the smallest 17, with the mean boasting a fleet of 534 buses - up significantly from last year’s 288 buses.


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