OTTAWA — Brian Barrington, Vice President of Sales and Operations for Titan Bus LLC, gave a presentation Tuesday about the features in Titan Buses and what sets the school buses they make apart.
It can be difficult to talk about the features Titan school buses come with because each bus is created to the specific specifications of the state in which the school purchasing the buses is located, Barrington said.
“There are 50 states and 50 different sets of requirements,” he told the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce.
He said Titan does install LED lights in each bus as standard rather than incandescent lights. They also install lap belts as a standard feature but that can be changed depending on state regulations, Barrington said.
The major feature Barrington and Ed Verhoff, President and CEO of Verhoff Machine and Welding (VMW), parent company of Titan Bus LLC, is the touch screen display installed standard in all Titan buses. Bus drivers can control every function of the bus with the touch screen, Verhoff said. It replaced the old nobs and switches.
The touch screen controls the door, lights, heating and everything else, Barrington demonstrated during the tour.
Titan Bus LLC and VMW are Putnam County owned and operated businesses. The metal work and frames are made at the VMW factory in Continental. The frames and metal skin pieces are transported to Ottawa where the buses are assembled, wiring work is done and the buses are painted on the Titan Bus assembly line.
The assembly begins with the doors being removed from the vehicle chassis. Then the frame is placed on the vehicle and the aluminum skin is installed. The skin of the bus sides is seamless.
“It used to be made out of a couple of pieces,” said Verhoff. “We are able to make it out of one piece.”
They factory still has equipment that used to be used for government work. That equipment makes it possible to cut the aluminum into bigger pieces, he said.
After the body is assembled, wiring is installed, then the interior metal is placed and sealed. The bus is than painted to the customers specifications; yellow for school buses and colors of their choosing for activity buses. After the painting is finished windows and seats are installed, followed by lights and lettering.
Each bus manufactured by Titan Bus LLC sells for anywhere between $50,000-$65,000 or even as high as $70,000 Barrington said. The factory employs 17 employees at this time but Verhoff said he could see the company needing to hire as many as 50 employees in the future.
Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362