Material Failure in Bus Step Treads

Durability is critical for student and passenger safety.
Failure of a school bus step tread.

Are you seeing this in the step wells of school buses and commercial shuttle buses?  Why is it happening?

In the field of material science this is an example of the brittle failure of a material.  These are molded rubber parts that have been attached to a metal backing and installed as the wear surface on a step in a school bus.

Step treads should never fail in this way.  Material placed in demanding service like this should be compounded to have physical properties that make this type of failure impossible.

What can you do to have greater assurance that step treads last the life of the bus?

An extended warranty against brittle failure would be one way.

We’d like to know what you think of this idea, and would an extended warranty against brittle failure be a factor in the step treads you specify for new buses.  And, what do you think the length of the extended warranty against brittle failure should be?

Please share your thoughts below and send your brittle failure photos to  

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