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Why the Compressor Is Such a Crucial Part of a Bus Suspension System

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If you run a small bus or coach fleet, then your number-one priority will be to provide a reliable, safe and comfortable ride for all your clients and passengers. This is a utilitarian vehicle after all, and people don't expect too much out of it and simply want to get from point to point so they can get on with their day. With this in mind, comfort is probably the most important factor, and you will need to pay a lot of attention to your suspension system as this is one area that is notoriously difficult to maintain. As you know, most buses today are fitted with an airbag suspension system. What does this system entail, and what type of issues could you expect?

How It Works

Due to the size and rather unwieldy shape of a typical bus, engineers feel that a compressed air system is the best way to maintain the most comfortable ride. Consequently, these vehicles have a number of inflatable airbags fitted along each axle which take the place of the traditional leaf spring or shock absorber system. Airbags require a constant supply of pressurised air in order to support the weight of the vehicle correctly. This supply is managed by the compressor. While the bags themselves will require regular inspection and maintenance to make sure that they are kept in good condition, you must give the compressor even more attention.

Compressor Problems

If things start to go wrong with this vital component you may notice that the vehicle 'sits' a lot lower to the ground than it would ordinarily. In this case, the compressor may not be able to inflate the airbags properly, and this will lead to a rougher or bumpier ride. The compressor may start to make some strange noises as well, as the fan or motor starts to give up. Be on the lookout for any grinding or whining noise during normal operation and check the compressor at the next available opportunity.

Individual Air Bag Issue

Generally, a problem with the compressor will affect the entire suspension system on the vehicle. If you notice that one corner of the bus or coach seems to be set at a different angle to another when the vehicle is in motion, then this could be due to an issue with the airbag at that particular point instead.

Regular Checks

Faulty air suspension will not only affect the quality of the ride, but it could be a safety issue as well. Ensure that you inspect your compressor and all the other elements of the system on a regular basis.

If your air suspension system is having problems, contact a local technician who performs bus repairs for help.