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Don't Forget the Belt and Tensioner!


November 6, 2015

Did you know there are over 500,000 school buses in the United States and Canada? School buses are the safest mode of transportation for getting children to and from school, due in part to the fact that school buses are designed to be safer than passenger vehicles in terms of avoiding crashes and preventing injury. Since school buses play such an integral role in students’ lives, it’s crucial that these vehicles contain the best parts for maximum reliability and safety. Gates has quality belts, tensioners and hose to service this unique market. Faced with long idling times, high temperatures and harsh environments, Gates has engineered products that will provide the long-lasting performance this application deserves.

Gates FleetRunner® Heavy-Duty belts are engineered to handle low mileage, high idle times and high temperatures in abusive environments. They last 34% longer than OE belts and 4X longer than other Aftermarket belts. Nowadays, belts rarely show the visual symptoms of wear. Our new Gates Belt Wear Gauge provides simple and reliable pass/fail results when checking for belt wear.

You shouldn’t talk about belts without including tensioners in the conversation. Gates recommends replacing tensioners with every belt change. All parts in a system are engineered to work in concert and wear at about the same rate, so replacing only the belt can potentially cause the entire system to fail. You don’t want that to happen with a bus full of students! Our recommendation intervals are as follows:

Inspect the system every 6 months OR every 5000 miles OR every 200 hours.

Replace the system every 1-2 years OR every 15000 miles OR every 400-800 hours.

Gates has a problem-solving tensioner built specifically for bus applications with A/C drives. Reduce downtime and extend maintenance intervals with the Gates Green Stripe® DriveAlign® Heavy-Duty Transit Bus Belt Tensioner. This tensioner significantly outlasts other tensioners in the punishing environment of the bus engine compartment. Plus, it includes an adapter plate that provides a wide range of positioning options that enable the tensioner to be installed on most engines.

Conveniently, Gates offers Accessory Belt Drive Kits to make these system replacements easy! Engineered specifically for school buses, these kits contain better-than-OE components for optimal repairs and long-lasting performance. Each kit contains a FleetRunner® Micro-V® Belt and a DriveAlign® Tensioner, and is designed for systems working in tough environments with high idle times and temperatures. Gates has what school buses need to stay safe and on the road.

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