Buses with the passenger heaters on in hot weather.

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As per title, are any of your local buses currently operating with the passenger heaters turned on in an effort to stop them overheating?

I saw a good friend of mine today and she looked exhausted, turns out they have the passenger heaters on. Not sure of the type of bus, sorry.

They have cut our day time service in half today as they are short of drivers, so it's not like I can just let a bus pass that is too hot.
 
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Dai Corner

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I had one last week, a Stagecoach Dart which appeared to have the auxiliary radiators in use.
 

cnjb8

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A few years ago, TrentBarton was criticised by the local news for this. It wasn’t a good summer on their buses at all
 

175mph

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Stagecoach were often guilty of this on their route 100 between Scunthorpe, Gainsborough and Lincoln with the E400s used on that route. I've no idea if the E400 MMCs they now use on that route are producing the same problem in the height of summer, as I've only ever traveled on that route on the MMCs provided when it has been cooler weather.

Can't say I've ever noticed such excessive heat on the E200 MMCs used on the 350 to Hull since I started becoming a regular user of the route.
 

Flying Snail

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I made it my business to find out where the isolation valves for the heating were on all the buses/coaches I drove, the first sign of unwanted heat in the saloon and I'd shut them off.

Only once do I recall getting a message to use the saloon heating to stop the engines in a particular type overheating on hot days, I ignored it. I thoroughly read my contract and nowhere did it mention being employed as an auxiliary coolant device.
 

miklcct

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Why are there heaters in buses? I have never heard of them.

In contrast, I have heard complaints in the past that the air-conditioned buses are too cold in the winter, as the early models in 1990s did not have good temperature control in their A/C units.
 
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I have been on buses on holiday in the Mediterranean and never have I known them need the " auxiliary radiator" ,great euphemism by the way. So glad I got to experience Malta's buses before they were fixed.

When I passed my PSV test we were told our first concern was the comfort and safety of our passengers. Mustn't be the case now.

I honestly thought this thread would get no replies, rashly assuming my local operator was unusual in their neglect of their passengers.

If you complain to the company they tell you the driver can turn the heaters off and you should ask them to, they know full well that the drivers cannot do that.
 

Andyh82

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A few years ago, TrentBarton was criticised by the local news for this. It wasn’t a good summer on their buses at all
Of course were the heaters really on, or was it just members of the public not knowing what happens when you have glass + the sun, and the local rag not missing an opportunity to run a negative story about something
 

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Remember to post quotes along with your links! Thanks :)
 

MotCO

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If you complain to the company they tell you the driver can turn the heaters off and you should ask them to, they know full well that the drivers cannot do that.

Why are the heater controls not in the driver's cab?

I remember my Dad's 1965 Ford Anglia where there was switch located in the engine bay, but surely buses have come a long way since then?
 

cnjb8

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Passengers have complained of being "boiled alive" on buses - after heaters were switched on during the hottest day of the year.
One passenger thought she was going to "pass out" and another said it felt like he was "walking into an oven".
One man said the driver told him the heating needed to be on in order to keep the engine cool.
The services are run by East Midlands bus operator Trent Barton, which said it was not aware of the problem.
Tom Morgan, director of service delivery, said: "Our vehicles are one of the most modern fleets in the country and we don't need to put our heaters on to cool our engines down."
Mr Morgan said he would need to find out more in order to explain what happened.
Rainu Bhele said fans on the Mickleover service in Derby were blowing out "very hot air" and estimated that temperatures reached between 35C (95F) and 45C (113F).
"I've been to India in 46C heat and it felt very similar," she said.
"It was significantly cooler outside when I got off the bus, which is saying something."

Image caption,
Temperatures reached 32C (90F) across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire on Tuesday
She said she felt quite dizzy and lightheaded by the time she got home.
"It was awful. I thought I was going to pass out and there was no way of cooling myself down," she said.
Temperatures reached 32C (90F) across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire on Tuesday, which was the hottest day of 2016 in England and Wales.

'Heating on full blast'​

John Heath, who took a service between Nottingham and Mansfield on Tuesday, said passengers were "boiled alive".
"It was like walking into an oven," he said.
"The windows were open in the bus but made no difference because the heating was on full blast."
Mr Heath said he spoke to the driver when he got off.
"He said 'Sorry mate I can't turn it off, it's on all the time, it helps the engine'," he said.
 
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This is exactly what I was referring to, either the driver has been deliberately driving round with the heaters on in warm weather, in which case he is in trouble, or the company is not prepared to admit what they are doing.

I know who I believe.

Why are the heater controls not in the driver's cab?

I remember my Dad's 1965 Ford Anglia where there was switch located in the engine bay, but surely buses have come a long way since then?
They bypass the cab controls to make the heaters on all the time. No one in their right mind wants to drive round with the heaters on in summer.
 

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Stagecoach Bluebird have to keep the heating on at full blast on a number of Enviro400s all year round as otherwise they overheat, most notably 19373 (also known locally as "the raft"... :lol:) which has a history of catching fire with three thermal incidents in 2019/20 alone despite the fact that after it's biggest fire in February 2019 it spent almost a year off the road! Even now it still constantly breaks down and you can see there's been some very shoddy repairs with fire and smoke damage still visible downstairs at the rear. 19375 and 19378 are also particularly poor, albeit neither have caught fire 'yet'.
 

GregA

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All this talk of the engines overheating if the saloon heating isn't on in hot weather: is this just very poor radiator maintenance by the bus companies, or is this a core design fault with a lot of engine designs?
If a car company tried to sell a car which overheated in hot weather unless the heating was on, I doubt they'd make many sales!
Stagecoach Bluebird have to keep the heating on at full blast on a number of Enviro400s all year round as otherwise they overheat, most notably 19373 (also known locally as "the raft"... :lol:) which has a history of catching fire with three thermal incidents in 2019/20 alone despite the fact that after it's biggest fire in February 2019 it spent almost a year off the road! Even now it still constantly breaks down and you can see there's been some very shoddy repairs with fire and smoke damage still visible downstairs at the rear. 19375 and 19378 are also particularly poor, albeit neither have caught fire 'yet'.
These sound like they wouldn't even pass a standard MOT....?
 

Simon75

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Another thread
 

mb88

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I drive Volvo buses every day and there are controls for the saloon heaters in the drivers cab. You can also turn them off completely. I can’t for the life of my fathom why this isn’t standard practice across manufacturers (I’m looking at you, ADL).
 

Blindtraveler

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There is one driver for a particular operator at a particular depot who I shan't talk about in any more specific detail but I've spoken to him several times over the course of several years and he says that every time he gets a bus with its heaters stuck on full in the summer and unable to do anything about it he simply refuses to take it. Each time he gets a tea and no biscuits interview with management. Each time his union rep gets him off with it because his union rep quite rightly says that neither he or the passengers wish to be slow roasted in a poorly maintained vehicle
 

GusB

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There is one driver for a particular operator at a particular depot who I shan't talk about in any more specific detail but I've spoken to him several times over the course of several years and he says that every time he gets a bus with its heaters stuck on full in the summer and unable to do anything about it he simply refuses to take it. Each time he gets a tea and no biscuits interview with management. Each time his union rep gets him off with it because his union rep quite rightly says that neither he or the passengers wish to be slow roasted in a poorly maintained vehicle
If the heater doesn't switch off then it's a fault just like any other. A driver who is suffering discomfort because it it's too hot is not a safe driver as it's a distraction. That's even before you consider the effects on the passengers!
 

Busman84

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Sadly there not enough drivers like that. Instead they do the right thing but get no back up from there manager. The manager won’t bother either to check up on for themselves to see the issue. Plenty of garages about too where the Union men never get allocated a bad bus. You’ll no see them driving about with a vehicle with poor heating etc.
 

Jordan Adam

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These sound like they wouldn't even pass a standard MOT....?
19373 hasn't had a MOT since December 2019 when it returned to service following it's first fire, it failed it's first one although passed a few days later.

Slightly off topic (although related at the same time), 19212 which self combusted in Buchan last year after the driveshaft snapped in half and punctured the fuel lines and engine block had an advisory for "condition of chassis" less than a year earlier in August 2019. Does make you wonder if such an incident was avoidable...
All this talk of the engines overheating if the saloon heating isn't on in hot weather: is this just very poor radiator maintenance by the bus companies, or is this a core design fault with a lot of engine designs?
Perhaps both? B7R/RLEs for example can be bad for dust and debris getting stuck in the radiator, all it needs to fix it is a decent clean. At the same time maintenance practices at certain depots can be very shoddy even at the bigger operators.
 

MCR247

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I don’t know if it’s still the case but on Optare Solo SRs (the one I was on was 57 reg) have vents from the engine compartment at the back of the bus which release excess engine heat into the saloon
 

Citistar

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I don’t know if it’s still the case but on Optare Solo SRs (the one I was on was 57 reg) have vents from the engine compartment at the back of the bus which release excess engine heat into the saloon
There was only one 57 reg Solo SR which was the very first one made, which appears to have been scrapped three years ago. Anyway, the system is the same on all diesel Solos - the vents at the rear of the passenger saloon are for heating and very effective in the winter if everything is connected properly. They have a negligible effect on cooling the engine down if it is running hot, having the demisters on at the front is much more effective.

I think the question that needs to be asked is - do you want the bus to stop moving for 10-15 minutes while it cools down, or do you want it to keep going? The railways don't keep going at full speed when it's unusually hot, so why would you expect a bus to?
 

MCR247

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There was only one 57 reg Solo SR which was the very first one made, which appears to have been scrapped three years ago. Anyway, the system is the same on all diesel Solos - the vents at the rear of the passenger saloon are for heating and very effective in the winter if everything is connected properly. They have a negligible effect on cooling the engine down if it is running hot, having the demisters on at the front is much more effective.

I think the question that needs to be asked is - do you want the bus to stop moving for 10-15 minutes while it cools down, or do you want it to keep going? The railways don't keep going at full speed when it's unusually hot, so why would you expect a bus to?
Oops typo - I was only going off what the driver was telling passengers complaining that the heating came on when he turned on the engine on a hot day
 

The exile

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There was only one 57 reg Solo SR which was the very first one made, which appears to have been scrapped three years ago. Anyway, the system is the same on all diesel Solos - the vents at the rear of the passenger saloon are for heating and very effective in the winter if everything is connected properly. They have a negligible effect on cooling the engine down if it is running hot, having the demisters on at the front is much more effective.

I think the question that needs to be asked is - do you want the bus to stop moving for 10-15 minutes while it cools down, or do you want it to keep going? The railways don't keep going at full speed when it's unusually hot, so why would you expect a bus to?
I have learned to avoid the seat in front of that vent on my local route as it always “kicks in” at a certain point on the ( steepish but relentless) hill. Not too unpleasant in winter ( though a bit of a shock the first time it happens), but distinctly unpleasant in summer. Quite good for reminding me it’s nearly time to get off, though!
 
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There is one driver for a particular operator at a particular depot who I shan't talk about in any more specific detail but I've spoken to him several times over the course of several years and he says that every time he gets a bus with its heaters stuck on full in the summer and unable to do anything about it he simply refuses to take it. Each time he gets a tea and no biscuits interview with management. Each time his union rep gets him off with it because his union rep quite rightly says that neither he or the passengers wish to be slow roasted in a poorly maintained vehicle
I have béen suspended for refusing to drive a bus with the saloon heaters jammed on in hot weather. The companies argument was that the cab heaters weren't on. This was over 20 years ago.

I pulled out my company rule book and pointed to the bit that said passenger safety and comfort were my first priority. We sat and argued for a bit but the manager clearly knew he wasnt going to win so he gave me an " advised" which I couldn't appeal and repaid the money from my one day suspension. I told him I would refuse to drive the bus until it was fixed and sure enough, it was fixed a few days later.

I felt a bit sorry for the manager, imagine having a job where you have to claim that this sort of vehicle condition is acceptable, and then when a member of the public complains, tell them the driver can turn the heaters off, knowing this to be untrue.

Either the vehicles are not built properly in the first place or they are are not maintained properly. Who would accept a private car that could only be used with the heaters jammed on in summer?

Bus drivers have been gaslighted into a position where for many of them stuff like this is acceptable. It's not.
 
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