Six Steps To Faultless Bus Flooring

Dan Lee

Today’s bus is getting more sophisticated all the time. But in a machine comprising of hundreds of complex parts and components certain elements are afforded more consideration than others. Like all complex machines, however, if one part isn’t working properly everything else can fall apart pretty quickly.

It’s probably fair to say that flooring isn’t always the first consideration on our minds when considering the next addition to a fleet, but perhaps it should be.

Dan Lee, commercial manager for Altro Transflor America, has over 30 years’ experience in the transit business working with vehicle builders and transit authorities from coast-to-coast. An expert in both installation training and a key contributor to new product innovation, Lee was happy to share some top tips when selecting a floor that performs flawlessly.

  1. Protect your investment: The right floor covering — correctly installed — will provide a protective shield for your vehicle’s sub-floor against water ingress and serious long-term damage. Product warranties are a good indication of the confidence a supplier has in the durability of their product and its ability to withstand the extreme demands of passenger transport. Pair this with easy access to technical installation and maintenance support and you’ll establish a strong foundation for your new bus from the outset.
  2. Select the right tool for the job: Different vehicles providing different types of service naturally experience different demands. A busy inner-city bus will experience considerably more foot traffic, exposure to contaminants and standing / moving passengers than that of a motor coach where passengers remain seated. Selecting products engineered for specific service demands is critical to long-term performance. Heavy-duty resilient floors — as the name suggests — are the perfect choice for high foot traffic environments, while more cushioned, design-led floors are perfect for comfort and visual appeal in vehicles where passengers remain seated for extended periods.
  3. Worth its weight in gold: Fuel economy and charge range represent cost to any transit operation. Optimizing performance and minimizing weight has therefore become a key consideration. Floor covering occupies a sizeable footprint within a bus, so it needs to be lightweight while still providing essential qualities such as slip resistance and durability. A high quality 2.7mm thick resilient floor is a great all-round option to offer the ideal balance of these vital performance characteristics for city bus environments.
  4. Don’t slip up: Passenger safety on board any vehicle is paramount. Public transport vehicles are subject to some of the highest levels of concentrated foot traffic of any public space. Their extreme use also sees them exposed to higher levels of outside contaminants, which increase the risk of potential slips and trips exponentially. A floor covering offering sustained, multi-directional slip resistance is paramount to onboard safety. Specifying a floor covering which meets all three globally recognized slip resistance tests shows a demonstrable commitment to ensuring passenger safety and your duty of care as an operator.
  5. Feel supported: A good floor covering will of course provide reliable support to the thousands of passengers walking on it. But just as important is reliable support from a trusted supplier. From delivery of material and initial installation to ongoing maintenance advice and training opportunities for staff — a good supplier partnership will continue to add value for the life of the bus. Getting the installation of the floor covering right the first time is absolutely vital. So having the peace of mind knowing your supplier is available to support and advise how to achieve the best result is invaluable. Building great relationships is what helps to build great buses.
  6. Keep it clean: The floor isn’t just the first thing a passenger sees when boarding the vehicle, it’s an operator’s first opportunity to create a lasting impression. A clean floor underlines a commitment to quality service by delivering a visually appealing environment which is both inviting and hygienic — critical concerns for the modern passenger. But beyond that, an easy-to-clean floor saves precious time on daily maintenance and ensures integral aggregates offer uncompromised coefficient of friction to mitigate slip risks.

Altro, a leading manufacturer of slip-resistant floors, has been at the forefront of innovation for more than 100 years. Having invented safety floors, Altro floorings have been satisfying the needs of the transportation industry for decades. Put passenger safety first with Altro flooring. Visit www.altro.com.

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