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I have been looking at a few pics of EPA 2010 engine Gillig Low Floors and BRTs, and noticed that they still have rear-mounted HVAC units.

I thought that roof-mounted HVAC units were a requirement with EPA 2010 engines (except for CNG engines), considering that New Flyer, Orion, and Nova are all now using roof-mounted HVAC units with their EPA 2010 engine models. Is there any particular reason Gillig is still using rear-mounted HVAC units?

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I thought that roof-mounted HVAC units were a requirement with EPA 2010 engines (except for CNG engines), considering that New Flyer, Orion, and Nova are all now using roof-mounted HVAC units with their EPA 2010 engine models. Is there any particular reason Gillig is still using rear-mounted HVAC units?

There is no regulatory requirement that states that the HVAC system - where installed - must be on the roof of the vehicle.

Dan

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Many manufacturers are offering rooftop HVAC systems now for two reasons. First, the upgrades to the EPA2010 engines take up more room in the rear engine compartment of the bus - therefore, something needs to move. Secondly, it is arguable that a rooftop HVAC unit will circulate the air better than one at the rear of the bus. Combine this with the fact that the HVAC unit is not an essential component to make the engine run, it's the one most manufacturers have chosen to move out of the engine area.

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I have been looking at a few pics of EPA 2010 engine Gillig Low Floors and BRTs, and noticed that they still have rear-mounted HVAC units.

I thought that roof-mounted HVAC units were a requirement with EPA 2010 engines (except for CNG engines), considering that New Flyer, Orion, and Nova are all now using roof-mounted HVAC units with their EPA 2010 engine models. Is there any particular reason Gillig is still using rear-mounted HVAC units?

It seems to be they have enough rear engine layout space in order to fit the rear HVAC.

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It seems to be they have enough rear engine layout space in order to fit the rear HVAC.

Why move it to the roof if you can keep it in the rear. Easier to maintain in the rear vs the roof. Besides with epa 2010 regs you dont have a regenerating particulate trap so theres plenty of room to put the hvac in the rear again. The 2007 or 8 spec called for particulate traps that regen themselves by injecting diesel into the unit and ignighting that. The 2010 engines use urea to handle the diesel particulates. Real intresting technology

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Why move it to the roof if you can keep it in the rear. Easier to maintain in the rear vs the roof. Besides with epa 2010 regs you dont have a regenerating particulate trap so theres plenty of room to put the hvac in the rear again. The 2007 or 8 spec called for particulate traps that regen themselves by injecting diesel into the unit and ignighting that. The 2010 engines use urea to handle the diesel particulates. Real intresting technology

There's still a soot trap in the 2010 units.

The urea is injected to turn the oxides of nitrogen (NOx) into straight nitrogen and water, I believe.

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There's still a soot trap in the 2010 units.

The urea is injected to turn the oxides of nitrogen (NOx) into straight nitrogen and water, I believe.

That's right. It's possible that the combustion temperatures could rise a bit, now that there is a NOx aftertreatment, and that could reduce the engine-out particulates, but my understanding also is that the particulate traps are still there.

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That's right. It's possible that the combustion temperatures could rise a bit, now that there is a NOx aftertreatment, and that could reduce the engine-out particulates, but my understanding also is that the particulate traps are still there.

The Particulate traps in the pre 2010 units were intresting as they were actually a combustion chamber, once enough particulate matter got trapped in there, it would actually spray a little diesel in there and ignight the material, getting up to a temprature of something like 1100 degrees. in a video i saw explaning the system they repeated many times dont park or pass under trees while the system was regnerating itself. Also i hear the system is a maintance nightmare to keep running.

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The Particulate traps in the pre 2010 units were intresting as they were actually a combustion chamber, once enough particulate matter got trapped in there, it would actually spray a little diesel in there and ignight the material, getting up to a temprature of something like 1100 degrees. in a video i saw explaning the system they repeated many times dont park or pass under trees while the system was regnerating itself. Also i hear the system is a maintance nightmare to keep running.

Not to mention it smells during the DPF running!

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I know it will probably never reach the iconic status of the RTS. However, it seems that the Low Floor and its derivatives are really versatile buses, helping to replace a couple generations of buses (from early 1990's RTS's and Flixible Metro's to slightly newer Orion V's and Gillig Phantoms. Besides, the Trolley Replica derivative helps largely killing off many truck-based trolley designs and conversions from other low floor buses/chassis. It is even a credible commuter buses and also a solid if much more expensive paratransit bus in its 29ft. version. It allowed many medium to small agencies to become low-floor in an affordable and/or stylish way (with the BRT options). These are all possible reasons that this family of buses has seen fixed route (including university shuttle) use in 49 out of 50 states, plus Puerto Rico.

I have a few questions for you guys to predict the future of this bus:

1. How much longer will this design be produced?

2. Will it exceed the production life or quantity of the RTS?

3. Will Gillig be under any pressure to develop a heavily modified version similar to the Orion VII NG and thew New Flyer Xcelsior? Thanks!

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I know it will probably never reach the iconic status of the RTS. However, it seems that the Low Floor and its derivatives are really versatile buses, helping to replace a couple generations of buses (from early 1990's RTS's and Flixible Metro's to slightly newer Orion V's and Gillig Phantoms. Besides, the Trolley Replica derivative helps largely killing off many truck-based trolley designs and conversions from other low floor buses/chassis. It is even a credible commuter buses and also a solid if much more expensive paratransit bus in its 29ft. version. It allowed many medium to small agencies to become low-floor in an affordable and/or stylish way (with the BRT options). These are all possible reasons that this family of buses has seen fixed route (including university shuttle) use in 49 out of 50 states, plus Puerto Rico.

I have a few questions for you guys to predict the future of this bus:

1. How much longer will this design be produced?

2. Will it exceed the production life or quantity of the RTS?

3. Will Gillig be under any pressure to develop a heavily modified version similar to the Orion VII NG and thew New Flyer Xcelsior? Thanks!

Well, Gillig is not the new RTS, I would say that New Flyer has become the new RTS with NABI/Orion (give NABI the edge) trying to take over where Flxible started and Gillig being the new Neoplan USA if you ask me. New Flyer's sales skyrocketed once the RTS was stopped being produced. When Flxible stopped production, NABI sales skyrocketed.

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Well, Gillig is not the new RTS, I would say that New Flyer has become the new RTS with NABI/Orion (give NABI the edge) trying to take over where Flxible started and Gillig being the new Neoplan USA if you ask me. New Flyer's sales skyrocketed once the RTS was stopped being produced. When Flxible stopped production, NABI sales skyrocketed.

Your points make sense in terms of the histories of the bus manufacturers. However, my original proposition is based on my impression that the Gillig LF is the most widely accepted bus since the RTS. Thanks for your input anyway!

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Your points make sense in terms of the histories of the bus manufacturers. However, my original proposition is based on my impression that the Gillig LF is the most widely accepted bus since the RTS. Thanks for your input anyway!

It's widely accepted like the RTS, but for somewhat different reasons. RTS was more or less mandated by White Book; LF is not. Gillig also has the advantage of being one of the more affordable ways to go LF; for quite some time, the RTS was one of the more expensive options on the market.

Still, you're not the only one to note that the advent of the Advantage has more or less ushered in the demise of the ADB, especially at small properties. NF and Orion may have some traction in the larger markets, but there are many smaller properties operating on tight budgets that likely couldn't have gone LF had it not been for the pricepoint of the Gillig.

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There is a long history of bus manufacturers trying to offer lower-cost models for smaller operators. GM had its Hydramatic Old Look bus in the 1960's for agencies not interested in the full-sized New Look models, Twin Coach briefly enjoyed success in the early 1970's with its TC-25 minibus and TMC modified the Orion I a few years later as the City Cruiser (and paving the way for Orion to gain a foothold in the U.S. market when TMC ended production). What is truly interesting about Gillig, IMO, is that it started out as one of the small guys with the Phantom and gradually muscled its way into many medium-sized fleets thanks to its low price point, relative good value for the money and strong customer service.

I tried to rank the manufacturers, but today's bus market is much more fragmented than the GM/Flxible days. New Flyer, Nova, Orion and NABI all have their large fleet sales they can point to and are legitimate heavy-duty manufacturers. The Gillig LF is just a step below these, IMO.

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Well, Gillig is not the new RTS, I would say that New Flyer has become the new RTS with NABI/Orion (give NABI the edge) trying to take over where Flxible started and Gillig being the new Neoplan USA if you ask me. New Flyer's sales skyrocketed once the RTS was stopped being produced. When Flxible stopped production, NABI sales skyrocketed.

Neoplan never had anywhere near the market penetration Gillig does.

The RTS and 870 owned about 90% of the transit market in the U.S., but only for about 2 years. By 1982, Gillig, the Europeans, and the Canadians were giving Flxible and GMC a lot of competition. And of course, the RTS and 870/Metro were never a significant presence in Canada, unless you lived in New Brunswick.

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And of course, the RTS and 870/Metro were never a significant presence in Canada, unless you lived in New Brunswick.

...or Quebec. NovaBus did have moderate success selling RTS buses in the Montreal area (CITs and OMITs), and in Hull (STO), Lévis (Trans-Sud) and Shawinigan (ex-demo). 52 of the buses also went to the TTC in 1998. As far as 870/Metros are concerned, I've only ever seen second-hand US buses.

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Neoplan never had anywhere near the market penetration Gillig does.

The RTS and 870 owned about 90% of the transit market in the U.S., but only for about 2 years. By 1982, Gillig, the Europeans, and the Canadians were giving Flxible and GMC a lot of competition. And of course, the RTS and 870/Metro were never a significant presence in Canada, unless you lived in New Brunswick.

You gotta understand why I said Gillig is the new Neoplan. While in the 80's GMC/TMC and Flxible were getting the big orders while Neoplan USA (and ur claim is false about Neoplan, more spread out than you think, 1092 AN440's ran the Philly streets by 1989 while LACMTA had over 500 by '87, Port Authority's bulk of their fleet were Neoplans) took the other orders (except the PennDOT order) with AC Transit, MARTA, throughout Pennsylvania (SEPTA being the most famous with Neoplans), SCRTD (before it was LACMTA), Dallas DART, SamTrans, Denver RTD, Community Transit, MTA Maryland (they had 10 Neoplans), Orlando Lynx, etc. And at the time, Flyer (before the name change) was working the Canadian market and some parts of the US and Orion jus got its foot in the door in the US market. Gillig was indeed working the smaller TA's. GMC/TMC and Flxible got the bulk of the orders in the 80's, like New Flyer, NABI, Nova and Orion while Gillig was getting other orders, like Neoplan USA in the 80's. Understand where I am coming from now? Need to learn ur 80's manufacturing more, Neoplan made big noise in the 80's.

Plus remember the Neoplan/Gillig project?

this is my own opinion, but also it's facts. Neoplan was a lot more relevant in the 80's than ppl think. GMC/TMC, Flxible and Neoplan were the big three in the US market in the 80's.

IMO also in the 90's, if it wasn't for Ikarus underbidding Neoplan in 94-95 for SEPTA's order, Ikarus/NABI wouldn't be anywhere in the US market and I think Neoplan would still be in business.

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You gotta understand why I said Gillig is the new Neoplan. While in the 80's GMC/TMC and Flxible were getting the big orders while Neoplan USA (and ur claim is false about Neoplan, more spread out than you think, 1092 AN440's ran the Philly streets by 1989 while LACMTA had over 500 by '87, Port Authority's bulk of their fleet were Neoplans) took the other orders (except the PennDOT order) with AC Transit, MARTA, throughout Pennsylvania (SEPTA being the most famous with Neoplans), SCRTD (before it was LACMTA), Dallas DART, SamTrans, Denver RTD, Community Transit, MTA Maryland (they had 10 Neoplans), Orlando Lynx, etc. And at the time, Flyer (before the name change) was working the Canadian market and some parts of the US and Orion jus got its foot in the door in the US market. Gillig was indeed working the smaller TA's. GMC/TMC and Flxible got the bulk of the orders in the 80's, like New Flyer, NABI, Nova and Orion while Gillig was getting other orders, like Neoplan USA in the 80's. Understand where I am coming from now? Need to learn ur 80's manufacturing more, Neoplan made big noise in the 80's.

Plus remember the Neoplan/Gillig project?

this is my own opinion, but also it's facts. Neoplan was a lot more relevant in the 80's than ppl think. GMC/TMC, Flxible and Neoplan were the big three in the US market in the 80's.

IMO also in the 90's, if it wasn't for Ikarus underbidding Neoplan in 94-95 for SEPTA's order, Ikarus/NABI wouldn't be anywhere in the US market and I think Neoplan would still be in business.

Neoplan was relevant, but it wasn't everywhere like Gillig is. You can't go on an MBS convention in the U.S. today without seeing several different agencies' Gilligs. Neoplans were never anywhere near as common, unless you lived in Pennsylvania.

There were only a handful of agencies in California that bought Neoplans over the 20 year span they were sold (and that pattern holds across the nation, where the list of cities that never bought Neoplan was much larger than the list that did), whereas Gilligs can be seen in a majority of systems, mostly avoiding the big ones. Which is another difference. The only Gilligs to run under Muni and SCRTD/LAMTA colors were bought used, whereas both agencies bought a lot of Neoplans. Gillig mostly likes to avoid the large agencies, but Neoplan was never shy about going after the big cities and big orders, though they didn't do that exclusively.

Trivia point. Probably the last buses sold new in the U.S. with 6V92/V731 were Neoplans that went to Sun Tran in Tucson. According to their website, they still have 11 of those. They were in the middle of receiving the order during the Fall 1994 MBS convention. IIRC, the reason Sun Tran bought Neoplan is that they were the only manufacturer that would supply 3 wheelchair positions. They also were a combined diesel/CNG bus with PING, which is likely the only reason they got a 6V92 at that late date. They converted them to pure diesel after a few years.

BTW, yes I do remember the Gillig-Neoplan project. I rode quite a few of them back in 1979 and the early 80s (look where I live :)). SCCTD had a huge chunk of the total build. Ford propane engine and all.

Norwalk and Modesto had them too (and a few others). Modesto was still running them in the mid-1990s, but SCCTD retired them in 1986 after a failed project to convert them to Cat diesels.

...or Quebec. NovaBus did have moderate success selling RTS buses in the Montreal area (CITs and OMITs), and in Hull (STO), Lévis (Trans-Sud) and Shawinigan (ex-demo). 52 of the buses also went to the TTC in 1998. As far as 870/Metros are concerned, I've only ever seen second-hand US buses.

Yes, but I didn't really consider those a significant presence. I know that Sherwood Park had one too, and there were RTSes running in Vancouver on the airport service.

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I wonder, are there any TAs in New Mexico (besides RoadRUNNER Transit in Las Cruces) that operate Gillig LFs and/or BRTs? ABQ RIDE is a mostly New Flyer fleet with some Neoplans and Thomas/Dennis SLFs, while it seems Santa Fe Trails has mostly become loyal to ElDorado National with some Blue Birds still remaining. Perhaps Gillig could try to make inroads with Santa Fe Trails now that they offer a CNG model.

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I wonder, are there any TAs in New Mexico (besides RoadRUNNER Transit in Las Cruces) that operate Gillig LFs and/or BRTs? ABQ RIDE is a mostly New Flyer fleet with some Neoplans and Thomas/Dennis SLFs, while it seems Santa Fe Trails has mostly become loyal to ElDorado National with some Blue Birds still remaining. Perhaps Gillig could try to make inroads with Santa Fe Trails now that they offer a CNG model.

Having CNG will make a big difference, as they can now be sold to agencies who use CNG. For the last decade, there have been no Gilligs sold in southern California, but they have won nearly every diesel 35-40' order in the state -- VanHools and NABIs in Oakland, Neoplans in SF, and Orions and NFIs for Golden Gate being notable exceptions.

I think the Gillig LF is becoming as ubiquitous as the GM New Look was.

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Yes I totally agree with that! The GM New Look was the cheaper option compared to Flxible in the US, was it not? I seem to recall that.

I'm not sure -- I've been told the GM was a better design than the Flxible, but Flxible offered more options. For example, you could get the Cummins 903 in Flxibles, and Flxible offered the 8V71 in a 35' bus. Also, the Flxible 30' bus (31', actually, I think) was based on the larger models, whereas the GM 30' was a very different, lighter duty design. Actually, there were two different 30-31' Flxible models -- one based on the 35'-40' model and then another one built in Alabama, IIRC.

In low bid situations where both offered what the customer wanted (40' for example), they both won.

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Interestingly, when ABQ RIDE was shopping for their 100/200-series TMC RTS replacement in 2006/2007, ABQ RIDE was actually going to piggyback on Gillig LF Hybrids through a consortium led by San Joaquin RTD, considering that most TAs of ABQ RIDE's size are loyal Gillig customers.

However, there were two issues that prevented this. First, since this order was a piggyback, ABQ RIDE would have been restricted in the number of buses they can piggyback on, and thus it wouldn't have been a one-for-one replacement for the RTS fleet. Second, there were complaints by ABQ RIDE drivers about the layout of the controls on the Gillig demo that was provided. In the end, ABQ RIDE chose to tender out their own contract, which New Flyer ultimately won. However, the second time ABQ RIDE tendered out a contract (to replace most of the 400-series SLFs), New Flyer was the only bidder.

Specifications for the next ABQ RIDE order should emerge in September. With a new mayor and transit director now in office, it remains to be seen whether the next bus order will be diesel, diesel-electric hybrid, or CNG. I presume these will probably replace the aging 300-series Neoplans. If the hybrid route is chosen again, ABQ RIDE can simply exercise their options with New Flyer. However, if the diesel or CNG route is chosen, a new contract will have to be tendered out. I wonder if Gillig will bid this time, considering the new mayor and director. I wouldn't be surprised if the next order is for CNG buses, as the Yale Transit Facility (the only facility with CNG) will remain open for years to come. Gillig could possibly be able to beat New Flyer in such contract as they did with Long Beach Transit.

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Having CNG will make a big difference, as they can now be sold to agencies who use CNG. For the last decade, there have been no Gilligs sold in southern California, but they have won nearly every diesel 35-40' order in the state -- VanHools and NABIs in Oakland, Neoplans in SF, and Orions and NFIs for Golden Gate being notable exceptions.

I think the Gillig LF is becoming as ubiquitous as the GM New Look was.

The New Flyer x0LF® family is ubiquitous. There are a lot of gilligs out there, but they are more like the Flxibles of old.

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The New Flyer x0LF® family is ubiquitous. There are a lot of gilligs out there, but they are more like the Flxibles of old.

I don't know which has more buses in the U.S. In small town U.S.A., the Gillig is just about everywhere that buys standard diesels.

In big city U.S.A., NFI has the lead, because Gillig tends to steer away from the big systems.

In that respect, the Gillig<->Fishbowl or Flxible analogy breaks down, since both GM and Flxible sold to the big systems.

In the Bay Area, there are a lot more Gilligs than New Flyers, but then the Gillig factory is here. Both Samtrans and VTA are 100% Gillig in standard size buses. And the small systems that aren't CNG are nearly all 100% Gillig (a few mid-90s D40LFs at Wheels to go with the Gilligs in the rest of their fleet).

Very few D40LFs have been sold in California since the Gillig low floor took over around 1999. There are 7 DE35LFs at GGT. And quite a few C/L/GE40LF®s at the alternate fuel systems. And then a batch of diesel C40LFs for Santa Cruz that came ready to convert to CNG (I wonder whether the builder's plate says C or D). Long Beach may have the last D40LFs in the state. I'm probably missing a system.

Outside of metro Seattle and Portland in Washington and Oregon, who is buying non-Gillig diesels?

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