Thomas Built Buses Saf-T-Liner HDX

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Thomas Saf-T-Liner HDX
Thomas Built Buses Saf-T-Liner HDX
Years of manufacture 2001 to present
Length 20 to 40 feet
Width 96 inches
Power/Fuel Diesel or CNG
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The Thomas Built Buses Saf-T-Liner HDX is a type-D, rear-engined school bus. The HDX was introduced as the heavier-duty, updated version of the Thomas Built Buses Saf-T-Liner ER. It was known as the Saf-T-Liner HD until the end of 2002 when it replaced the ER.


The Saf-T-Liner HDX is noticeably distinguished from the ER with its low cut windshield, contemporary round headlights, and integrated swung mirrors. It also features enhanced suspension and electrical system over the ER. The chassis features a heavy-duty steel frame with an "S" frame engine cradle. The HDX is available with a diesel or compressed natural gas (CNG) drivetrain.[1]

The HDX is available with a number of options, many of them used for commercial and activity versions of the HDX. These options include full HVAC, a Pioneer stereo, large coach seats, underfloor storage, tinted windows, adjustable pedals, and a wheelchair lift. Towards the end of 2016, the Zonar’s V3 telematics system was made standard on all Thomas products. It can monitor location, mileage, fuel usage, driver behavior and remote engine and system diagnostics.

Also in 2016, Thomas introduced the Saf-T-Anchor Removable Seat (S.T.A.R.S.) Mounting System for special needs buses. The seats are wall-mounted with the feet secured in a special anchor in the floor using specially designed anchors. This allows the seats to be easily removed and installed when the seating arrangement needs to be reconfigured for wheelchairs.

At the 2018 STN Expo, Thomas, in partnership with MITO Corporation and CUB Group, debuted a prototype of their new pedestrian detection technology. The system features LED ground lights on the cross-view mirrors and multiple radar units around the bus. The radar can detect a pedestrian or object within ten feet of the front, back or side of the bus.[2] Known as Saf-T-Zone, the system was made available in 2021. The Stage 2 Lights safety system, also made available in 2021, allows the bus driver to remotely signal to students who are loading or unloading that it is safe for them to cross the road via green bumper-mounted lamps.[3]



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  1. Thomas Rolls Out Saf-T-Liner® HDX Type D School Bus (Press release). Thomas Built Buses. 09 December 2002. Retrieved on 09 August 2009.
  2. "Thomas Built Buses Debuts Pedestrian Detection Prototype at STN Expo Tradeshow". Press release. 17 July 2018. Thomas Built Buses.
  3. "Thomas Built Buses Introduces New Saf-T-Zone™ Pedestrian Detection System." Thomas Built Buses. Press release. 01 November 2021.