Hardy hangs his shingle

Industry identity Luke Hardy is taking the next step towards a safer, design-compliant bus sector

Hardy hangs his shingle
Hardy hangs his shingle

By David Goeldner | August 23, 2012

After five years at Custom as the bus builder’s engineering general manager, and prior to that in senior roles with NSW State Transit Authority, industry identity Luke Hardy has ‘hung up his shingle’.

Starting mid-August, Hardy has set up engineering consultancy Bus and Coach Support Pty Ltd, based in Sydney, but working across the Australian bus industry sector.

Hardy will run Bus and Coach Support with his wife and business partner Trish.

Coinciding with Hardy’s new business venture, he has also taken on a part time role as the Bus Industry Confederation’s Technical Manager, and will continue to chair BIC’s technical committee.

Hardy’s notable achievement during his time at Custom was overseeing the designs of the CB80 and SB50 city and school bus bodies.

As part of plans to grow his new company, Hardy has identified a gap in performance based standards certification in the bus and coach industry.

"There’s no bus-specific certifier in the industry for PBS," Hardy says.

Hardy is also seeking Australian Design Rules (ADR) certification for compliance work, specialising in bus design compliance while building up a full-time consultancy.

"I have been talking to a number of chassis suppliers about offering this role through BIC."

Hardy says there are two factors to consider with PBS.

"You have to get the design of a vehicle assessed and certified and then get someone to certify that a vehicle complies with the performance standard," he says.

Hardy says most new vehicle certifying in Australia is truck-based.

"I want to make this more bus-focussed," he says.

"Trucks don’t have to meet the Disability
Discrimination Act (DDA), for example, and they don’t have to be ‘low floor’.

"As a PBS certifier I will understand this in detail."

Hardy is a member of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s bus industry committee with BIC Executive Director Michael Apps, and is also a member of the Strategic Vehicle Safety and Environment Group (SVSEG), which is a federal government body.

SVSEG sets safety and emission standards in Australia, of which Hardy has represented BIC for the past two years.

Hardy says he has no regrets leaving Custom, and looked forward to his career change as an industry consultant.

Having worked at STA for 17 years, he says the move could have been made much earlier, but for a lack of more recent private industry experience, now rounded off through his Custom engineering management role.

Hardy has also just completed a bus door safety advisory project, and is now in the final stages of a BIC report on bus fire mitigation.

Both projects will be discussed at the upcoming BIC National Conference in October.

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