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RGRTA sues Cummins, Gillig over engine problems

 
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RailBus63
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:44 am    Post subject: RGRTA sues Cummins, Gillig over engine problems Reply with quote

DemocratandChronicle.com - Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority lawsuit claims 59 buses are faulty

Quote:
Fifty-nine bus engines purchased by the Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority in the last five years are faulty, the agency claims in a lawsuit filed in federal court.

The authority is seeking reimbursement for repairs made to fix the buses, which, according to the lawsuit, exceeds $1.25 million.

The authority is suing Cummins Inc., Cummins Northeast Inc. and Gillig Corp., but that's not stopping the authority from buying 50 new buses from Gillig and Cummins, said RGRTA spokeswoman Jacquie Halldow.


Click on the link above to read the full article.

I can't help but wonder if today's high-tech transit buses are getting simply too complicated for some transit agencies to take care of. Back in the day, I'm sure it was far easier to keep a 6V-71 engine going with the bare minimum of maintenance, but doing that today could risk an engine fire. I don't necessarily think this is the case with RGRTA, since their buses appear to be decently maintained, but there are definitely some other agencies I wonder about.
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HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 932
Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:29 am    Post subject: Re: RGRTA sues Cummins, Gillig over engine problems Reply with quote

RailBus63 wrote:
...I can't help but wonder if today's high-tech transit buses are getting simply too complicated for some transit agencies to take care of....

RailBus63 -

Rhetorical query here, yes? Your wonderment: Yes!

Couple with perfectly sloppy and unforgivable skimping on ordinary, scheduled upkeep and repair schedules, so as to comply with "budget cut"
foolishness. Nice recipe for a lot of headaches and potential other disasters...

...................Vern...............
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timecruncher



Age: 68
Joined: 23 Dec 2008
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Location: Louisville, Kentucky

PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It smells like a component problem. Cummins has been furloughing employees regularly for several years, and perhaps some of the remaining staff is unhappy with the situation. Who knows?

Gilligs work generally fine for all of the agencies around here, but I recall that in 2002 (or so), TANK got 10 new low-floor coaches that were all delivered with defective surge tanks. Nothing seemed amiss until the buses were placed in service and got good and warmed up. A little pressure in the engine cooling system and each and every one of these units failed over a span of several weeks!

The component is built to Gillig specs by one of their suppliers, and there was no hint that a problem existed until the buses were loaded with passengers. Mind you, Gillig convoys their buses across country for delivery, but driving an empty bus without the a/c is nowhere near the routine operating environment of a bus in line service.

All of the surge tanks were replaced under warranty at no cost to TANK, but there are still dark spots on the pavement on I-75 in what is known locally as the "cut in the hill" where buses climb a 1.5-mile 15% grade out of the Ohio River valley.

I suspect that RGRTA is covering all bases since the buses are still under factory warranty, even though I'll bet Gillig is pointing to Cummins for a solution to the problem.

15 years ago we got partial delivery of an order for 38 Flxible Metros here in Louisville with DD50 engines. These early 4-stroke (and 4 cylinder) engines lasted all of 10,000 miles before disintegrating. Detroit Diesel finally made good on their engine warranties, but it took a lot of wrangling to get it taken care of.

timecruncher
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Dieseljim
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 6:23 am    Post subject: RGTA Bus Engine Problems Reply with quote

I wonder if Cummins is trying to replace American workers with Mexican labor, much of it illegal aliens. With corporate greed a big part of the economic crisis, I would not put it past Cummins to try it. I wonder of those RGRTA buses would have been any better off with Caterpillar engines.
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timecruncher



Age: 68
Joined: 23 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, for heaven's sake, Jim -- see if just for once you can take off those eyeglasses of prejudice and look at life outside of your little corner of the world. I would bet that a lot of 'yanks from your side of the Niagara sneak across the border to work at businesses in Canada every day. Do you suppose that Canadians look down upon them as 'foreigners' or 'illegals' because they find gainful employment in another country?

Cummins is no different from any other domestic manufacturer. They're affected by the marketplace on one side, and government meddling and union bone-headedness on the other.

If a business cannot turn a profit creating a product, you either reduce your costs or go out of business. There is a limit to how much the price for a product or service can be before customers begin to look elsewhere. Lest we forget, capital dollars do not appear out of thin air except in Washington where the real crooks do business and print their own currency.

Since you brought up Catapillar, it shouldn't escape this forum that Cat busted its union in order to keep production in this country. The labor dispute stretched out for several years. Does it thus escape possibility that Cummins is trying to avoid that unpleasant means of lowering its costs in order to stay in business?

Even in public transit, we are seeing a slow but steady trend towards privitization of operations. Why? Because even publicly-funded services such as transit are getting increasingly cost-prohibitive to provide. Nevermind the negatives involved -- the same market forces apply -- increasing costs for parts and fuel, plus reduced tax revenues on one side, government regulation and public-employee unions on the other. The private outfits are doing the same work with fewer employees and are getting progressively better at it.

timecruncher
"Wait! What's that smell?"
"Nothing. I don't smell nothing!"
"Right - its Canada!" (from the movie Canadian Bacon)
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RailBus63
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cummins manufactures the ISB engine in Columbus IN and the ISM engine in Jamestown NY.
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Dieseljim
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 11:36 am    Post subject: For Privatization-Use NFTSI as a Model Reply with quote

For privatization, why not use the old NIAGARA FRONTIER TRANSIT SYSTEM, INCORPORATED as a model to operate by. NFTSI was the product of a reogranization of the International Railway Company, which had been in bankruptcy for several years and emerged in 1950 as the NFT, which became one very highly progressive and profitable bus company of its size and stayed that way much longer than most ohter bus companies of comparable size. The company had management that was far superior to many of the types in the business today. During its all too brief 25 year history, NFT was led by just two presidents, Roswell Thoma, who died in 1962 and Alex Trumble who held the company together right up to the time the NFTA tookover and built today's METROBUS system. As for the buses themselves, one might do well to try Caterpillar diesel engines in a few buses. I am quite familiar with CAT engines, having delivered parts for them over several years in the 1990s using a Ranger pickup. Piston packs, cylinderheads, crankshafts, injectors, you name it, I hauled it, and that includes the engine block for a 3406 CAt. Can you picture a Ford Ranger hauling a 3406 CAT block, crankshaft, pistonpacks, turbo, injectors, and cylinder head? I have done it numerous times and most of those on one trip between Buffalo and Andover,NY. Caterpillar might be the way to go.
timecruncher wrote:
Oh, for heaven's sake, Jim -- see if just for once you can take off those eyeglasses of prejudice and look at life outside of your little corner of the world. I would bet that a lot of 'yanks from your side of the Niagara sneak across the border to work at businesses in Canada every day. Do you suppose that Canadians look down upon them as 'foreigners' or 'illegals' because they find gainful employment in another country?

Cummins is no different from any other domestic manufacturer. They're affected by the marketplace on one side, and government meddling and union bone-headedness on the other.

If a business cannot turn a profit creating a product, you either reduce your costs or go out of business. There is a limit to how much the price for a product or service can be before customers begin to look elsewhere. Lest we forget, capital dollars do not appear out of thin air except in Washington where the real crooks do business and print their own currency.

Since you brought up Catapillar, it shouldn't escape this forum that Cat busted its union in order to keep production in this country. The labor dispute stretched out for several years. Does it thus escape possibility that Cummins is trying to avoid that unpleasant means of lowering its costs in order to stay in business?

Even in public transit, we are seeing a slow but steady trend towards privitization of operations. Why? Because even publicly-funded services such as transit are getting increasingly cost-prohibitive to provide. Nevermind the negatives involved -- the same market forces apply -- increasing costs for parts and fuel, plus reduced tax revenues on one side, government regulation and public-employee unions on the other. The private outfits are doing the same work with fewer employees and are getting progressively better at it.

timecruncher
"Wait! What's that smell?"
"Nothing. I don't smell nothing!"
"Right - its Canada!" (from the movie Canadian Bacon)
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HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 932
Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dieseljim -

Didn't a memo cross the wires whereby Caterpillar announced a policy decision it is bailing from the sales to highway users markets?
(Unstated agenda: IMHO, they had more than enough of folks not on its design payroll imposing demands on how to build motors.)

Privatization. Where does one sign? Not a bad deal. The operators evidently do it much cheaper than in place alternatives. As there
are no provisions in law (AFAIK) that we are compelled to provide "creme de la creme" services, what's wrong with economy coach?
Suffering taxpayers would greet this idea with much delight...

..................Vern.................


Last edited by HwyHaulier on Sun Jul 26, 2009 8:25 am; edited 1 time in total
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Dieseljim
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 10:24 am    Post subject: Caterpillar Reply with quote

I never even saw the memo or anything like it. Jim
HwyHaulier wrote:
Dieseljim -

Didn't a memo cross the wires whereby Caterpillar announced a policy decision it is bailing from the sales to highway users markets?
(Unstated agenda: IMHO, they had more than enough of folks not on its design payroll imposing demands on how to build motors.)

Prviatization. Where does one sign? Not a bad deal. The operators evidently do it much cheaper than in place alternatives. As there
are no provisions in law (AFAIK) that we are compelled to provide "creme de la creme" services, what's wrong with economy coach?
Suffering taxpayers would greet this idea with much delight...

..................Vern.................
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HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 932
Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dieseljim -

IIRC, I saw some reports wherein Caterpillar possessed of much concern about pending EPA compliance requirements. I'll try to track it down,
but don't have an immediate source(s) at hand...

...................Vern...............
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