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Bus Electrical: Experts In On-board Electrics

November 2016
Facts Magazine

CCTV Coverage

“Maintainability - that’s crucial!” So says Adam Fairclough, founder of Bus Electrical, and a whiz at solving electrical challenges for bus operators, large and small.

These days, electrical systems on buses and coaches are getting ever more complex. All the standard, heating, air and lighting systems, and all the bus function systems, such as doors, access ramps, kneeling systems and engine, gearbox and dashboard systems, are more and more being supplemented by things like route and service displays, CCTV coverage and recording, USB power-links at every seat, on-board wi-fi, and all sorts of other ancillary systems. The list is virtually endless, and all of it has to be installed, checked, tested and then maintained. Adam Fairclough explains some of the things that his company, Bus Electrical, get involved in.

“We are experts in all areas of electrical systems on buses. We have all the training, all the experience, all the tools and all of the diagnostics that we are ever likely to need. But most importantly we have the expertise required to solve problems, keep them fixed and to make sure that anyone else coming along later can see what we have done and can maintain it themselves. On-board electrical systems can get extremely complicated, and it is our job to get them working and keep them working, and to leave everything, neat, tidy, labelled and secured.”

Adam’s business falls into three main categories; VoR fixes, providing additional in-house expertise, and upgrades, refits and conversions.

VoR fixes

“A lot of what we do involves helping people out when their bus or coach has developed an electrical system fault which is keeping it out of service. Sometimes this is a failure on the road, and sometimes it is a failure in the garage. Either way, it doesn’t really matter. We will despatch one of our mobile engineers in his van full of parts, components, tools and diagnostic equipment to wherever the vehicle is, and get it going again. It is pretty rare that we come across a problem where we can’t either fix it on the spot or find a work-around to at least get the vehicle back to the garage for fuller investigation and repair. If we can’t fix it, we don’t charge a call-out fee - that’s how confident we are in our level of competence. We even make sure that all our vans are equipped with a vacuum-cleaner, because we believe in doing a complete job, and leaving the vehicle in the best possible condition after our visit."

Additional Expertise

“Our customers range from the very largest to the very smallest; from one man refurbishing an old double-decker to the big national fleets, we often get called in to provide either additional expertise or simply additional man-power. Most larger fleet operators will have their own in-house electricians of course, but they still need additional cover either to address areas of expertise not available in the team, or simply to cover shortages caused by holidays or illness. Quite often what happens is that we get called in to provide temporary cover, and then are asked back because we have demonstrated the ability to provide a higher level of problem solving. Similarly, for the smaller customers, we become recognised as their “go to guys” whenever the electrical systems start acting up.

Upgrades, refits and conversions

“A very important, and rapidly growing part of our business, is providing bespoke solutions for buses and coaches which are either being refitted or upgraded. We can design, install and test virtually any new wiring requirements and ancillary systems. We even work with specialist body-builders, when they have special requirements to fit additional electrical systems. We have done a lot of work for example on open-top tourist buses for example. We also get called in to install door and ramp systems, or sometimes to remove them when there is a change of purpose. Basically, whatever the project, we can provide the electrical solutions, and fit them to the highest standard, at least as good as they would have been ex-factory. Everything we supply and fit is finished to the highest possible level, because we understand how complex system maintenance issues can be, and we want to be sure what we fit is clearly marked and neatly installed.”

It was fascinating talking to Adam. The complexity of bus electrics is inevitably growing as more and more value and comfort systems are installed. Bus Electrical, based out of Blackburn, are ready, willing and able to take on the challenges which arise from ensuring these systems are always functional and safe.

For more information call us on 01254 456 006 or email us.