100 Things You Should Know About Daimler | #6

The famous yellow school buses come from Daimler

What’s the distinguishing feature of the famous school buses in the US? That's right: They’re yellow. And they bring millions of children to school every day. Many of these buses are Daimler products, even though they don’t bear a Mercedes star.

In homes with school-age children, the typical morning is a mad rush. The parents want to get to work on time — and the kids shouldn’t be late to school. So getting up, showering, waking up the kids, and making breakfast become sources of stress! On the street in front of the house the school bus is already approaching. The kids put on their jackets in a hurry, quickly say goodbye, run out of the house, and climb into the yellow bus.

This looks and sounds like a typical scene from a Hollywood family film, but it’s really not very different from reality. It’s often thanks to a Daimler product that this scene is repeated day after day in North American homes. Thomas Built Buses is a brand of Daimler Trucks North America and the buses they manufacture safely bring a large portion of the 26 million U.S. schoolchildren to school day in and day out. For these kids, the yellow school bus marks the beginning and end of every school day.

Part of the Daimler family for more than 20 years

The former Daimler-Benz AG acquired Thomas Built Buses in October 1998, so these iconic yellow buses have been part of the Daimler family for more than 20 years. But of course the history of Thomas Built Buses stretches back much further. The brand has existed since 1916, and that makes it North America’s oldest company producing school buses. It is based in High Point, North Carolina in the southeastern region of the United States.

At the TBB plant, about 1,500 employees make sure that the youngest Americans travel back and forth to school safely. The team in High Point is not the only one in the Daimler Trucks North America network to take pride in the responsibility of ensuring the safety of our youngest ‘customers’. Our colleagues in North Carolina work closely with Freighliner Custom Chassis Corp in Gaffney, South Carolina. They manufacture the bus chassis.

There's also an electric version of the school bus: the Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley.
There's also an electric version of the school bus: the Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley.

All the buses from Thomas Built Buses are safe and efficient. Beginning later this year, the yellow icon has will be available in a locally emission-free version. The Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley has room for almost 80 children.

That’s fitting, because the future of mobility is electric. The future “belongs” to children. What could express this reality better than an electric school bus?

Curious about our Thomas Built Buses location? Click here for the location portrait and here for the podcast with the Deputy Chief Engineer Leslie Kilgore.

In this column, we present you interesting, quaint or widely unknown facts from the world of Daimler. We publish a new episode of "100 Things You Should Know About Daimler" every two weeks.

Kenyan Price

was born in the USA, but he grew up in southern Germany. That’s why he never had the pleasure of riding to school in one of these yellow buses. However, after seeing them in many films he has grown to love them.

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