Willis responds to the challenge


Willis responds to the challenge of installing an Air Conditioning system in 70 years old Bus

The Burger Bus Gets Back On Schedule!

About fifty miles north of Atlanta is Ball Ground Georgia. Ball Ground is a small community of about 1500 residents, nestled at the base of the Appalachian foothills. Like a lot of small towns, Ball Ground has “been discovered” as a welcoming place to live, removed from the hustle and bustle of nearby metro Atlanta.

Within Ball Ground a resurgence is going on. As new residents arrive, there is an increasing interest in establishing new businesses to accommodate both the residents and the increasing traffic on State Route 372 in the heart of the town.

In 2015, The Burger Bus was opened to serve the community by T.Y. and Dylan Brown. It is an interesting concept. At the heart of the Burger Bus is an honest to goodness Pullman trolley which, at one time, shuttled passengers in downtown Atlanta. The trolley, #1386, was built in 1948 and served the streets of the city until 1963. From there was moved to Ball Ground and served as an office for 50 years. Finally, it was restored to become the seating area of the new Burger Bus restaurant.

As you might expect, using the bus as a restaurant posed some interesting challenges. The one we helped solve was heating and cooling a nearly 70-year-old bus with a lot of windows and not much insulation. As summer temperatures rose in June, customers dropped off. The internal temperature of the bus was 90+ degrees by early afternoon because the system used for conditioning simply could not keep up.

Makau Marketing, representing the Willis and Tosot brands of equipment (available from Flex Depot in Montreal) and C Dempsey Heating and Cooling, determined the best answer was a pair of floor/ceiling mini-split units. These mounted easily to the floor, out of the way of traffic flow, and resulted in immediate relief from the Georgia summer heat, increased customer counts at the Burger Bus, and even an increase in comfort for the cooks in the kitchen.

While two 30,000 BTU units probably seems like overkill in a trolley, a definite comfort benefit has been achieved because of the very high rate of exhaust from the kitchen drawing cooled air throughout the building, thereby supplementing the existing forced air system.

Each and every step of the installation was an exercise in creativity and out of the box thinking. With the exception of setting and connecting the outdoor units, nothing was routine about the application. T.Y. and Dylan Brown were adamant that the historical integrity of the bus would be maintained to the highest degree possible. And although it was necessary to cut access for the piping, electrical and condensate lines, those access points were hidden well out of view. Positioning the indoor units was also carefully evaluated so that even mounting holes would be minimized, while gaining the maximum benefit of air flow in the restaurant.

So the bus is back on schedule. Owners and customers are delighted because Makau Marketing and C. Dempsey applied creativity, ingenuity, and some muscle to solve a unique problem.

On Sunday June 12, the local temperatures were in the mid to high 90s, and humidity was on the rise as thunderstorms popped up throughout the North Georgia area. But back at the Bus, customers enjoyed the day as they had their lunch after church, and enjoyed the comfort provided by the Willis mini-splits.

By  Bill Rau Willis Air Conditioning