Groeneveld lubrication for Hess trolley buses
Urban transport in Arnhem, the Netherlands, is unique in the Benelux because of the use of trolley buses. Moreover, it is one of the largest trolley networks in Western Europe. Because urban transport must be emission-free from 2025, the existing trolley network offers an interesting future-proof solution for urban transport in Arnhem. For this trolley network, Swiss manufacturer Hess supplied 40 articulated trolley buses to Connexxion. In order to reduce total cost of ownership, Hess advised Connexxion to install Groeneveld lubrication on the articulated trolley buses. "Although this makes the bus somewhat more expensive, it reduces maintenance and repair costs in such a way that bottom line the costs are lower. Moreover, you are sure that the parts that need to be lubricated are always lubricated in the right way," says Johan Onstein, Hess Customer Service.
The Hess buses are used for the trolley network in Arnhem. These buses, which make use of the characteristic overhead line network, form the heart of urban transport in Arnhem. The current operator is Connexxion subsidiary Hermes, which carries out city and regional transport under the brand name ‘Breng’. Conexxion Techniek carries out the maintenance of the Swiss articulated buses. As usual with city buses, the maintenance contract is part of the purchase of the Hess buses. The city buses in Arnhem run almost around the clock from 4:30 to 1:20. As a result, the buses make about 80 to 90,000 intensive kilometers per year. Proper preventive maintenance, including automatic lubrication, is therefore necessary.
TriPlus automatic lubrication system
The articulated trolley buses in Arnhem are equipped with the TriPlus automatic lubrication system. And for good reasons as there is a considerable number of lubrication points on an articulated trolley bus. "Both the articulating system and the independently suspended front axle have to be lubricated, more significant work than just greasing the steering knuckles. Especially good manual lubrication of the articulated system is a time-consuming task, as the inspection hatches at the turntables must be opened in order to reach the lubrication points. The service interval of the Hubner articulating system is now set on 60,000 km, and then we check the entire system. If we were to lubricate manually, we would have to go through the entire system at least every 30,000 km. Only this is already a considerable saving of time and money," explains Johan Onstein.
Experiences with Groeneveld
The trolleybuses were delivered with the Groeneveld systems, installed in Switzerland by the independent Groeneveld distributor Luginbühl Fahrzeug- Technik AG. After commissioning, the settings have been fine-tuned by Groeneveld employees as a result of the experience on the road. The front axle receives 0.4 cc per 180 minutes of operating time and the articulating system 0.1 cc per 140 minutes. The ability to lubricate different parts with different amounts of grease and different intervals is one of the great advantages of the progressive TriPlus lubrication system.
The Swiss company is a manufacturer of special vehicles for bus transport. The trolley buses are a good example of the solutions the company offers. The company distinguishes itself by supplying buses including trailers, an alternative for articulated 18 meters and double articulated 24 meters buses. A big advantage of this concept is that during rush hours additional capacity can be coupled. At times when that extra capacity is not needed, the trailer can be easily disconnected. Other examples of Hess's innovative strength are electrical buses that are sold including infrastructure, Inductive charging, Opportunity charging, Flash Charging and Inmotion charging are all possible. So, the company offers "one-stop shopping" for electric urban transport.
Hess builds 80 to 100 buses per year, of their Co-Bolt modular system they build around 2,400 packages on an annual basis. The packages are built up by various licensees around the world. In Europe, this concept is deployed at airports under the name Cobus.