Much postponed Bus Body Code implemented, half way. Reasons explained.

Tata LPO 1512 Bus StructureTata LPO 1512 Bus Structure

Bus Body Code Beginning

The Code of Practice for Bus body Design and Approval – AIS 052 was first discussed in the 10th CMVR-Technical Standing Committee meeting held on July 5 and 6, 2001. The finalized standard was submitted to Ministry for further action and was published in September 2001. Further it has undergone changes with inputs from various stake-holders, including manufacturers, STUs and members of the sub-committee from ASRTU, ARAI, SIAM, CIRT and ACMA. The changes have been duly incorporated in the code and have been released as AIS-052 (Revision-1) – Code of Practice for Bus Body Design and Approval. This revised Code had the formal vetting of the CMVR-Technical Standing Committee, at its 24th meeting held on July 14, 2008.

Scania Metrolink High Deck Mercedes Benz SHD Structure

Scania Metrolink High Deck  Structure 

First at April 1 2015 With all the necessary revisions and changes done, the target date for implementing the code was April 1, 2015, for new design of bodies and October 1, 2015, for the existing design of bodies. But implementation and the required changes in the existing designs were not so easy. It’s not exactly issues but was a giant leap forward for all the bus body builders to migrate to that level. The reason being, though the buses look jazzy and excellent in designs the industry was more than unorganized. There are reputed body builders, but still this being more of fabrication industry there were equal and more of unorganized players as well.With around 50% of Indian heavy buses sold in India are purchased by State Transport Undertaking (STU), they had their own body building units. Even these body building units found extremely difficult to implement the standards.

If the code of practice was to be implemented, it required several changes in the design of the body, from the scratch. Structurally, each and every part – from seats to electricals, steel channels to floor materials – needs to be certified. Most importantly, the structure design is to be protected for roll-over protection. With all this, and no communication, the implementation deferred to Jan 2017.

Mercedes Benz SHD Bus

Mercedes Benz SHD structure 

Now at January 1 2017

As per the notification received about CMVR on September 21 2016, bus body code shall be implemented in two phases. In first phase, the provisions of AIS 052(Rev. 1) – 2008, excluding the parameters and requirements given in following table below, shall be applicable on and after 1st day of January, 2017. This means all the essentials and tough regulations like roll over testing, structural tests are excluded and only dimensional aspects, pertaining to Bus body code is getting implemented.

Exclusions in the First phase of bus body code implementation

Sr. No. Nature of Test/ Parameters Understanding
1. Body Structure – strength and stability This test ascertains the residual space ie the space to be preserved in the passenger compartment during and after the structure has been subjected to roll over test. This is a crucial test and requires full loading of bus with specified loading and will require high level competency to design the structure light weight as well as rigid.
2. Window Retention and window frames This requires tests to be carried out as IS 13944 : 1994, Automotive vehicles – Window retention and release systems for buses – Safety requirements. This standard has detailed testing procedure for buses less than and above 5T GVW, on how the window aperture should be positioned, how the latches and locks are to be designed for safety.
3. Wind Screen Wiping System and Driver’s field of Vision This calls for testing as per AIS 011 -Testing Procedure for Windscreen Wiping System. This is to study performance of wiping system to ensure a clear visibility for the driver on the road during inclement weather so as to make the driving safe. By complying to this test, body builders who makes huge and fancy windscreen, can’t continue the same way until they meet the regulations.
4. Bumper impact strength, Power Operated Service Door, Door Components, Joint Strength Test, This calls for tests that needs to be done to study the impact on bumpers, passenger doors, strength of joints etc. These are supporting tests, that will be complimenting roll over test as well.
5. Electrical: Electrical Conductor Test, Cabin and dash board Illumination,Vertical orientation for dipped beam – head lamp. Performance and validation tests necessarily to certify the electrical’s in the saloon as well as dash board. While  dash boards are unaltered majority times, the disco saloon lights which are popular in coaches and stage carriage lights needs to be certified.
6. Seat Anchorages, Seat Requirements, IS 15546-2005 for M1 category vehicles and AIS-023:2005 vehicles other than M1 category vehicle are referred for testing. These testing procedures  ensures testing of seats and their anchorage points during collision.

Then at Jan 1 2018
Though as of now, its decided to implement the full bus code by Jan 1 2018 as second phase, we are not sure will it get implemented or further postponed. Also this being the crux of Bus Body Code, will require serious efforts and energy, from all stack holders including bureaucrats  and nodal agencies to implement the major milestone in Indian bus Industry. Stay tuned with us for further happenings in this sector.

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