Bus 474

My mechanic said you shouldn’t judge the age of a vehicle by it’s years, but by its mileage. I slid behind the wheel of our new 2012 Chevy Express 4500 bus for the first time this morning and noted it’s paltry 2,768 miles. It didn’t get activated into the fleet until last month so as far as I’m concerned, it’s brand new!

The fact that it’s a Chevy made me smile as I’ve been driving nothing but Fords for years now, and I’m a Chevy guy. The dash and controls are a sharp deviation from the Fords which never seemed to change from version to version. It’s Glaval body is a slightly different 12 seat layout but matches the rest of our fleet in quality.

The ride is noticeably softer but after a few miles I got right into it’s seductive rhythm. Acceleration hesitates on first press but moves smoothly up to speed afterwards. This contrasts sharply with the buggy Ford trannies. Every time I mentioned gear transition issues to our contract mechanics they just shook their heads and said It’s a Ford

The turning radius is alright but our 12 seater Fords beat it out slightly. Overall, I give this little ride a big thumbs up! Driving along the spacious dry farms today at 65mph was effortless and the cruise control kicked in quickly and stayed true over rolling hills.

The communications tablet is a Panasonic FZ-A1 government issued industrial strength brick running Mobile RouteMatch on the Android OS. It’s not bad but there’s way too many clicks to perform a ride. (Sally, can you talk to these guys?)

SlideShow (Bus 474)

Categorized as The Bus


  1. Sounds like you had a great run today. New machines are sometimes hard to get use to. I think your new bus well give you years of pickups. I like Fords but I also like Chevy’s.

  2. Leonard told me recently that Veolia just went to gas powered Chevy busses. He said most drivers are not all that happy.

  3. The only comment so far is about the lack of adequate hand bars entering the bus, and yes it has A/C but I use something called fresh air.

  4. I’ll get right on that and let you know how it goes. Surprised they work after 12 months in storage. I’ll tell you that story sometime.

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