Navistar announced Monday the opening of its Proving Grounds in New Carlisle, Indiana. The company will use the site to test its products, including class 5-8 commercial trucks, school buses from IC Bus, a subsidiary, and military vehicles.
The site sits on 668 acres that includes a three-mile paved and banked oval road with the following testing capabilities:
- Brake testing capabilities which include infrastructure, complete instrumentation and computerized data acquisition
- Structural durability testing/accelerated mile accumulation with road profile capability using accelerometer and strain gage data and multiple road surfaces including chatter, impact, cobblestone, undulating, resonance road surfaces, high speed oval, gravel, body/chassis twist event and off-road surfaces
- Specialized testing, such as vehicle noise and handling, center-of-gravity, rollover and roof crush testing, grade-ability up to 60 percent, traction control, powertrain durability among others.
“The new Navistar Proving Grounds is a strategic addition to our product development operations and will play an important role in our mission to deliver industry-leading uptime for our customers,” said Bill Kozek, president of Navistar Truck and Parts, adding that the site will also be available for customers to experience the vehicles firsthand.
According to Trish Reed, vice president and general manager of IC Bus, the new grounds give the company full validation capability for all of its products. “Specifically for IC Bus, we’re able to put our buses through some of the most rigorous testing environments to ensure our vehicles have the durability and reliability customers require,” she said.
STN publisher Tony Corpin had the opportunity to visit the Proving Grounds and experience driving a number of different vehicles, including the IC Bus CE series, which has a propane engine.
“It was very nice to drive,” he said of the bus. “It had good take off, was a good experience.”
Corpin added that “mentors” were available to accompany attendees on test drives and give tips for driving specific vehicles.
“It was really nice having mentors in the buses or trucks, going through conditions of vehicle, telling you what makes the vehicle special,” he said.