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Saf-T-Liner® C2 Customers Are Replacing Fewer Roof Hatches. Here’s why.

By Tom Schaaf
Vice President & General Manager

Over the past several years, we’ve noticed an interesting trend:
Saf-T-Liner C2 customers are replacing fewer roof hatches compared to other buses. We used to ship several hundred replacement roof hatches each month to customers. This is no longer the case.

The obvious advantage for customers is lower replacement parts costs and less headache. But it raises an interesting question: Why does the roof hatch on a Saf-T-Liner C2 last longer than those on other buses? The answer to that question may surprise you.

The Secret is the Roof

Contrary to what you might think, the answer is not in the roof hatch. While the quality and durability of the hatch is certainly a factor, the secret is in the roof itself.

If you take a close look at the Saf-T-Liner C2 roof, you’ll see that it’s flatter than other buses. Most other buses have a more curved roof. (The older Thomas FS65 did as well). The roof hatch has to conform to the shape of the roof. While it can do this pretty well when it’s new, over time the hatch will stress and fatigue. Sooner rather than later, it will need replacing.

Flatter By Design

The secret to the Saf-T-Liner C2’s flatter roof is actually in the roof bow design. When the C2 was designed, a major investment was made in the robotic equipment that forms the roof bows. This provided several advantages:

  • A stronger roof bow, proven in structural testing.
  • A tighter roof radius right above the windows. This provides full headroom from the center aisle to the interior walls. Benefits include more headroom above the seats for air conditioning and overhead racks.
  • The roof hatch now fits the natural, flatter shape of the roof. The stresses of the hatch conforming to a more curved roof are eliminated.
  • *One added benefit that increases the life of the C2 roof hatch. By using structural adhesives, the roof hatch is installed without the use of drilled fastener holes. This extends the life of the hatch and eliminates water leak paths.


Thanks to its flatter roof, Saf-T-Liner C2 customers are replacing fewer roof hatches. The flatter roof design is just one of the many features that reduces the total cost of ownership for the Saf-T-Liner C2. A longer lasting roof hatch means lower replacement costs and less maintenance headache for customers.

Got questions? Give us a call or email us.
Office:   (800) 440-3492
Email:  sales@carolinathomas.com
Tom Schaaf
Vice President & General Manager