Luxury Coach & Transportation

February 2014

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR FEBRUARY 2014 17 Limo Scene tors should include GVWR stats on all f eet vehicles in all company training and policy manuals. Operators also should keep curb and GVWR weights, passenger seat capaci- ties, and average per seat weight f gures on f le, and be ready to show that trip weights are calculated in a way that com- plies with GVWR. These records should always be handy in the event of an audit from the federal and or state authorities. In some ways, bus operators need to be as cautious as airline pilots. They have to calculate or verify weight and balance before safely taking off. By familiarizing yourself with the basics of GVWR and following the rules, you will run a safer, more durable f eet. ■ the factory f oor. Operators purchasing non-OEM vehicles (second-stage manu- factured) should ask for the curb weight and GVWR f gures for the actual vehicle being purchased. Load capacity guidelines do not change, regardless of added ameni- ties and modif cations. No matter the make or model, a vehicle still has to be built within such guidelines and meet federal requirements. Keeping Track Safety and GVWR certif cations on a f n- ished vehicle should be listed on a visible, accessible sticker. Never accept delivery of a vehicle lacking a sticker called the vehicle's Safety Certif cation label. Opera- performance of the vehicle, including brakes and powertrain components. Operators buying vehicles must check and make sure the bus meets weight specs and should fully understand the rules and limits. Know what the bus weighs out of the factory and at the time of purchase. Then know exactly how much additional passenger and luggage weight the bus can handle. Also, make sure the number of seats and average weight per passenger corresponds real- istically with the GVWR. Every vehicle will weigh differently when a custom coachbuilder or modif er gets done with it, depending on add- ons, amenities, and modif cations. Each vehicle should be weighed once it's off AWARDS, ACHIEVMENTS & ACCOLADES Memphis Luxury Ground Transportation Company Hits $1 Million Mark MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Despite the past downturn of the chauffeured transportation industry, T-Star Limousines of Memphis managed to double its earnings each year. After only being in business for f ve years, it strategically expanded its services to accommodate all aspects of group travel. By focusing on group transportation and charter services, T-Star Luxury Ground Transportation was able to enter the fourth quarter marking more than $1 million in annual revenue. With its f eet of 12 business and leisure vehicles, T-Star handles individual, group, and business clients. The com- pany is led by President Donell Todd. ■ T-Star Limousines President/CEO Donell Todd and his son, Cory Todd, vice president/COO. Watching Weight Critical To Safety Buses have more in common with airplanes than you would think, when it comes to weight. I saw that f rsthand in December after boarding a United Airlines Bombardier 200CRJ regional jet at Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C. The plane was booked full, with holiday travelers bringing smaller carry-ons and coats while leaving larger carry-ons to be placed into the cargo hold. Our f ight was delayed by about 25 minutes, as the plane sat at the gate with the side entry door open. Seated in the f rst row, I could overhear conversations among the pilots, a visiting pilot, f ight attendant, and tarmac employees who kept coming in and out of the cockpit area. Apparently, the plane was too heavy and off balance for f ying in the rainy conditions at the time. The pilots were trying to get the weight down to a safe level for takeoff. After some trial and error with removing pieces of luggage from the cargo hold, the f ight attendant f nally announced that two passengers would have to leave the plane in order for the f ight to leave. They of course incentivized travelers with free credits toward future tickets. Fortunately, two men volunteered and we left with two empty seats out of 50 total. While buses don't f y and many lack weight sensors and alerts, and while limo operators don't have scales on their premises, the concept of weight balance described above still comes into play. Operators should be on the lookout on bus trips with maximum loads and do the best possible back-of- hand calculations on estimated total weight of people and luggage. You can count pieces of luggage as well as do a quick scan of passengers; note the number of adults versus children, men versus women, and heavyset versus slender passengers. After the infamous stretch limousine f re of 2013 and some bus operators getting vehicles temporarily sidelined, GVWR compli- ance and passenger safety should be a priority for all opera- tors. ■ — Martin@lctmag.com a safer, more durable f ee t. ■ Correction - On page 32 in the January issue, the estimated price for the Royale Limousine Lincoln MKT 120-in. stretch with 5th door was incorrect. The actual cost of the Royale vehicle is much lower than what was listed. For information on the correct pricing of the MKT 120- in stretch, please contact Steve Edelmann, Sales Director (978) 374-4530; (800) 544-5587; sales@royalelimo.com. For More Info The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Adminis- tration defi nes and regulated GVWR. Info at www.fmcsa.dot. gov/rules-regula- tions. L I M O _ 0 2 1 4 l i m o s c e n e . i n d d 1 7 LIMO_0214limoscene.indd 17 1 / 2 1 / 1 4 1 0 : 5 1 A M 1/21/14 10:51 AM

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