Last week after long time I traveled from Chinchwad to Pune in PCMC Public transport service (PMT/PCMT). Since I am in habit of observing different things, I just noted down the PAIN the bus drivers are suffering from, due to heavy traffic as well as the number of start-stops he has to do…
So, here go some simple calculations to show how many times the bus driver has to change gears and press clutch pedal. As we know pressing clutch pedal is the most painful activity in driving since it puts down lot of pressure on knees. For a commercial vehicle, the required force is as high as 75 pound force (approximately 35 kilogram force). In a physical sense, the driver is trying to push away 35 kilograms of load in every stroke of clutch operation and finally 2, 16,000 times in a year. Can you imagine the load and the fatigue experienced by the knees of the driver?
Normally when I travel to Pune in my car, my knee starts paining due to continuous gear changes that are required due to so many traffic signals and congested / undisciplined Pune traffic.
I counted the approximate number of stops the bus has to make. It is close to 20 stops. While traveling through Aundh, to Pune (~25 kms), there are 10 traffic signals (approximate). So driver has to take approximate 30 stops you can say.
Now I calculated number of times driver has to press clutch travel in between two stops –
Start from stop – 1st gear – 1 clutch pedal press
Shift to 2nd gear – 1 clutch pedal press
Shift to 3rd gear – 1 clutch pedal press
Brake and stop – Shift to Neutral gear – 1 clutch pedal press
Also due to application of brakes or shift to 4th gear if possible, he needs more clutch pedal pressing, but we will assume 4 times clutch pedal press per stop or signal.
So for 30 start-stops, the bus driver has to press clutch pedal 30 * 4 = 120 times per trip.
Assuming he makes 3 times to-fro travel i.e. 6 trips per day, bus driver has to press clutch pedal 120 * 6 = 720 times per day.
That calculates to 720 * 25 = 18000 per month
That calculates to 18000 * 12 = 2,16,000 pedal strokes per year
So just imagine the bus driver has to press clutch pedal for 2 lakh times in a year, and you know pressing clutch of car also we complain for knee pain in heavy traffic :-). The force required to operate a clutch for a light vehicle is approximately 30 kilogram force.
So next time when you see bus driver trying to avoid gear shift, let him go on his own pace, do not make him brake hard 🙂
May be Mr. Ratan Tata & his R&D Engineering team of Tata motors can take up this issue after making peoples car to make life of Bus drivers in India easy 🙂
It must be noted that the mileage target set by the corporation to the drivers is 4 kms per liter which is also written in front of driver, so once has to come out with a solution which also maintains mileage of the bus 🙂
Power clutches (like power brakes or power steering)
Keywords: clutch operations, clutch operation fatigue, clutch operation pain, power clutches