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Old 7th May 2011, 18:11   #16
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Default Re: Air vs Leaf suspension for Buses

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Originally Posted by Jeff_3 View Post
Thank you very much Ashley, Julupani and Vina for sharing your thoughts! I pretty much hoped for such answers to be honest... This makes the decision to go ahead with air suspension a lot easier! Two questions about the air bellows though: do they have a typical life-cycle? Much depends on quality and on how the bus is used of course, I know, but just to get a rough idea: is this a component that should be (preventively?) changed every year or so, or should they last much longer? And 2nd: in case of a blow-out, can a trained mechanic replace an air bellow on the spot beside the road? Regards, Jeff
In 2001 i was travelling from Chennai to Trivandrum in an airbus of a not very well known travel agency as all seats were booked up with Tier 1 agencies. At around 8pm the bus started listing to once side and the fault was diagnosed to a faulty valve in the air bellow. The journey was terrible post that event, it got worse and the body started rubbing on the tyres and eventually the bus had to be pulled over. They tried repairing it, it wasn't succesfull, they dint have a spare bus (it was a high density season and all the good travels were booked up so had to settle for this crappy one), they tried to maintain peace amongst the passengers, but eventually many passengers went on their own way. The bus limped its way forward with the remaining passengers. And by around 9am next day the arranged another bus and all continued their journey in that. That bus took me over till Nagercoil as it couldn't cross the border into Kerala due to some permit issue. Took a KSRTC bus from Nagercoil and i reached Trivandrum at around 5pm. Due to a leaky valve in the bellow and thier inability to repair it on the road cost everyone almost half a day extra in travel time! If it was leaf spring they could've got it repaired in maybe 2 or 3 hours. But with an air bellow and without proper parts and training they journey might end there.

BUT as a passenger i always prefer to travel in air suspension bus. A tier 1 travel agency will have proper maintenance schedules and such things wouldn't have happened, and even if it did happen they would provide a spare bus.

Last edited by Sankar : 7th May 2011 at 18:13.
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Old 7th May 2011, 18:21   #17
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Default Re: Air vs Leaf suspension for Buses

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Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
In 2001 i was travelling from Chennai to Trivandrum in an airbus of a not very well known travel agency as all seats were booked up with Tier 1 agencies. At around 8pm the bus started listing to once side and the fault was diagnosed to a faulty valve in the air bellow. The journey was terrible post that event, it got worse and the body started rubbing on the tyres and eventually the bus had to be pulled over. They tried repairing it, it wasn't succesfull, they dint have a spare bus (it was a high density season and all the good travels were booked up so had to settle for this crappy one), they tried to maintain peace amongst the passengers, but eventually many passengers went on their own way. The bus limped its way forward with the remaining passengers. And by around 9am next day the arranged another bus and all continued their journey in that. That bus took me over till Nagercoil as it couldn't cross the border into Kerala due to some permit issue. Took a KSRTC bus from Nagercoil and i reached Trivandrum at around 5pm. Due to a leaky valve in the bellow and thier inability to repair it on the road cost everyone almost half a day extra in travel time! If it was leaf spring they could've got it repaired in maybe 2 or 3 hours. But with an air bellow and without proper parts and training they journey might end there.

BUT as a passenger i always prefer to travel in air suspension bus. A tier 1 travel agency will have proper maintenance schedules and such things wouldn't have happened, and even if it did happen they would provide a spare bus.

Crappy travel agency + peak season -> for all we know these guys may have sent a bus with a known defect to you guys without taking proper care of the problem.

roadside repairs are possible (if not recommended), but you need trained staff, spares and equipment which are far more readily available for leaf springs.
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