Wayne Wheeled Vehicles

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Wayne Wheeled Vehicles
Industry Transportation
Fate Dissolved by parent company
Predecessors Wayne Corporation
Founded 1992
Defunct 1995 (1995)
Headquarters Marysville, Ohio, United States
Area served North America
Products school buses
Parent Harsco Corporation

Wayne Wheeled Vehicles (WWV) was a tradename of a division of a vehicle manufacturer that specialized primarily in the production of school buses. It was owned by Harsco Corporation, who purchased the rights to use the Wayne brand name, certain product rights, as well as parts and tooling during the liquidation of assets of the Wayne Corporation in late 1992.

The BMY Division of Harsco operated the WWV function from an assembly facility at Marysville, Ohio, where it also assembled military trucks. School bus production began there in 1993 and ended in early 1995. The entire operation was closed and the property vacated.

Overview[edit]

After the bankruptcy of Richmond Transportation Corporation in 1992, Wayne's other product rights and many assets (but notably not the corporation and subsidiaries themselves with pensions and other liabilities) were purchased at liquidation auction by BMY, a military truck assembler owned by steel giant Harsco Corporation.

BMY specialized in assembly of the "Big Foot," a five-ton truck whose tires partially deflated for sand travel.[1] Truck sales had dropped off considerably after the end of the major actions of the 1990 Persian Gulf War. As a result, management searched for a secondary product line to fill in slow periods between military truck orders.

School bus assembly of several Wayne models commenced at the BMY facility located near Marysville, Ohio in 1993; for the first time since the 19th century, Waynes were not built in Richmond, Indiana. The WWV name was adopted to reflect the addition of the products at BMY, which was often also called BMY-WWV. However, BMY-WWV was entering a tough market already plagued by over-capacity of the other school bus body companies. Additionally, the military truck order volume did not improve; truck assembly at the Marysville plant ended in June 1994.[2]

Harsco announced a deal in January, 1995 to sell the BMY-WWV operation to Warrwick Industries, a Goshen, Indiana-based commercial bus manufacturer of Goshen Coach products.[3] After the deal with Warrwick Industries failed to consummate, Harsco ended bus assembly at the Marysville plant in June 1995.[2][4]

Products[edit]

Wayne Wheeled Vehicles purchased the rights to the Wayne product line and returned the full-size Lifeguard conventional and Lifestar transit-style school buses to production. The most notable change was the change in chassis supplier for the Lifestar after the 1992 model year. Instead of using the International 3900 chassis (shared with the AmTran Genesis), WWV switched to an all-new chassis supplied by Crane Carrier Corporation.

BMY-WWV also produced hundreds of Wayne Chaperone models built on G30 cutaway van chassis supplied by General Motors under the Chevrolet and GMC brand names.[5]

Wayne Wheeled Vehicles Product Line
Model Name Chaperone Lifeguard Lifestar RD 9000
Production 1992-1995 1992-1995 1992-1995 1995
Chassis Type Chevrolet G30/GMC Vandura Ford B-Series
International 3800
International 3900 (1992)
Crane Carrier (1993-1995)
Spartan Motors
Notes Introduced in late 1980s, replaced Busette after 1990
  • RD 9000 was a prototype rear-engine Type D school bus
  • Never mass-produced.

RD 9000 prototype[edit]

In 1995, WWV unveiled a prototype of an all-new transit-style school bus called the Wayne RD 9000, featuring many innovations never before seen in school buses.[6] However, between several lost bids for more military trucks and questionable profitability of the WWV production, BMY shut down completely and closed the Marysville plant in 1995. The RD 9000 never entered mass production. Most of its groundbreaking features were eventually adopted by the other school bus builders, but not until 5–10 years later.

References[edit]