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Old 3rd October 2011, 22:44   #1
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Default Vehicle for shuttle service / medical emergencies

Hi Friends

I am building and operating a retirement village at the foothills of Nilgiris.
Its about 8 Km from the nearest town (Mettupalayam).
Right now I have about 50 residents and expect it to go up to a hundred people within a year.

As a part of my service offering I have promised the residents
a) A shuttle service to Mettupalayam about 8 KM away and a thrice a week shuttle to Coimbatore about 32 Km away.
b) A standby vehicle to take people to hospital in case of some urgency.

There is also periodic running around for buying monthly groceries for the kitchen, going to Coimbatore to purchase some small construction items like handles or electric wires etc.

I have a Tata Indica Vista and till recently had a Toyota Innova.
However, recently I sold the innova because I got a good offer of 700,000/- for a 4 year old innova with 135000 on the odometer.

Now, I need to choose a vehicle to fulfil the shuttle service and keep as a standby for medical emergencies. I can go in for one or two vehicles. But I already have a driver and do not intend to employ another one.

My Priorities are
a) Vehicle must take atleast 9-10 people.
b) Dont want a large vehicle which will require a separate licence or a yellow board as I understand vehicles over 10 seats will require.
c) Vehicle must be registered in company name (to be able to avail loan and claim depreciation)
d) Vehicle must facilitate elderly people's ingress and exit.
e) A/C is optional not a must.
f) Seats must be reasonably comfortable and if possible foldable to take a person lying down (in case of emergencies) as well as have decent suspension,
g) Vehicle must be low maintenance and high mileage.
h) For g above I can sacrifice performance
i) The vehicle must have some degree of safety.

My budget is the Rs 700,000 /- plus maybe another lakh squeezed in from some other budget.

I have been suggested the Tata Winger, Tata Magic, Maruti Omni, Mahindra maximo, Chevy Tavera etc.

Tata Winger seems to be most promising based simply on web research as well as the brochures.

Would appreciate erudite Team BHP-ians to contribute suggestions and view points.

Thanks
Sathya
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Old 3rd October 2011, 22:58   #2
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Default Re: A Vehicle for a retirement home

Whoa! Thats good work you doing!
The tata Winger suits your requirement and i feel is a good choice for you. Elderly people would be happy since its a sliding door and ingress is really easy. Also check out the Sumo which is a good car considering the roads you would be driving on.
However if you can squeeze in another lakh check out the xylo. These are the best options available.
Im not sure about this but can you get a non yellow number plate on the force traveller? The traveller WB 3050 has a seating capacity in 6 or 9 option. Hope it helps!
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Old 3rd October 2011, 22:58   #3
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Default Re: A Vehicle for a retirement home

I'm familiar with the Tata Winger, Maruti Omni, and Maruti Eeco.

Maruti's offering does not provide you with the required seating capacity but the Tata Winger does. The Tata Winger has an AC model has 10 seats whereas the non-AC model has 13 seats (or is it 14?).

The Maruti Omni provides 5/8 seats and the Maruti Eeco can be thought of as an Omni with AC and can seat 5 passengers, or 7 passengers in the model without AC.

The Chevrolet Tavera seats 10 (unsure of which variant).
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Old 3rd October 2011, 23:06   #4
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Default Re: A Vehicle for a retirement home

Tata Winger. It would be almost ideal, I had seen one of these carrying 8 adults from some religious sect to Shimla last summer and they seemed quite comfortable despite the long distance they had traveled from haridwar via Nahan. (Those of you who have had the misfortune of traveling on this road would know, what I mean).
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Old 4th October 2011, 06:32   #5
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Default Re: A Vehicle for a retirement home

Winger is nice, pretty modern and a good people mover.
So is the tried and tested Tempo Traveller.

You can customize these after market to make it more comfy for the guests so that they have a nice time buzzing around in it.
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Old 4th October 2011, 06:56   #6
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Default Re: A Vehicle for a retirement home

Force (Tempo) Traveler would be a better choice as you can have, as shankar balan has said, a lot of after market luxury options and is one in which the residents can travel in all comfort.
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Old 4th October 2011, 08:03   #7
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Smile Re: A Vehicle for a retirement home

@psathya,

Great initiative, boss. Appreciate the work you are doing. All the best.

Although Tata Winger suits your requirment, would the vehicle be always fully occupied when doing the trips? If so the Winger is an apt choice. If not then you can go for Eeco.

Since the trips would be frequent wouldnt the running qualify for a diesel car? If you need for grocery drives then you need a sufficient boot space too. If Innova had served you well, why not think about it again?
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Old 4th October 2011, 08:34   #8
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Default Re: A Vehicle for a retirement home

Hang On! Have you considered the Force Cruiser Toofan for your list?

It suits your space requirements to the 'T', is reliable, long-lasting, comes with loooooong warranty, is comfortable and quite cheap. Moreover, spares are cheap and easily available in your part of the world.
After you buy it, you can spend some money to customize the seating etc. in a way, that can accommodate a bed, with flexi-seating options.
I'd highly recommend this for your purpose.
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Old 4th October 2011, 09:42   #9
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Default Re: A Vehicle for a retirement home

Quote:
Originally Posted by roy_libran View Post
Hang On! Have you considered the Force Cruiser Toofan for your list?

It suits your space requirements to the 'T', is reliable, long-lasting, comes with loooooong warranty, is comfortable and quite cheap. Moreover, spares are cheap and easily available in your part of the world.
After you buy it, you can spend some money to customize the seating etc. in a way, that can accommodate a bed, with flexi-seating options.
I'd highly recommend this for your purpose.
+1

You should check out Cruiser Toofan, it has lots of space and can easily fit a stretcher if you opt of the side seating variant.
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Old 4th October 2011, 15:20   #10
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Default Re: A Vehicle for a retirement home

Thanks to all of you who have a) Strengthened the case for Tata Winger b) Given me alternative choices.

Will keep this post updated on our trials and choices.

Thanks
Sathya
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Old 4th October 2011, 15:44   #11
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Default Re: A Vehicle for a retirement home

Tata Winger fits your bill. It isn't very large and maintenance shouldn't be very high either. Also it carries the old Sumo engine which is easily serviceable anywhere.
Please have a comparison with the Force Tempo Traveller which is a good altermative to the Winger.
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Old 4th October 2011, 17:24   #12
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Default Re: A Vehicle for a retirement home

@psathya Very commendable work sir ! Proud of all people like you on this site.

I have personally used the Tata Winger many times for office outings or weekend excursions with friends & the car has absolutely not disappointed. The car is a breeze to drive can easily accommodate 10-12 odd people & the seating is relatively comfortable as opposed to the high ingress of the sumo & the narrow gangways of the force traveler.
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Old 4th October 2011, 17:38   #13
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Default Re: A Vehicle for a retirement home

Hey psathya: That is indeed some good work you are doing. My best wishes to you.

About the vehicle, I agree with most of the people saying WINGER. No doubts a comfy ride and for the distances you have mentioned it will not be a problem at all.

Two points I can vouch for (I had rented the WINGER from a friend for family trip) :

1. Its not so comfy on long journeys, its most suitable for city runabouts, office travel and likes
2. The ingress / egress can be a task for older people (especially with weaker knee's) - had to carry a small stool in the entire trip to take care of my aunt

Hope this helps !
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Old 4th October 2011, 17:41   #14
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Default Re: A Vehicle for a retirement home

You may want to try a Mercedes MB100 / MB 140 Van. It is spacious and also is a "Mercedes". You will get a used one for 7-8 lacs easily.

Can be registered as White board. Can seat 14 if i am not wrong. It is a diesel.

Last edited by scopriobharath : 4th October 2011 at 17:45.
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Old 11th October 2011, 13:30   #15
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Default Re: Vehicle for shuttle service / medical emergencies

kindly look into Tata Venture as well, Can seat 8 people sliding doors like winger, smaller that winger and more fuel efficient, good ride quality, However if you need to accomodate a strecher in the same vehicle, It will not do. However for really long drives it really is good, have been to Northeast very recently with five people and luggauge, and it behaved perfectly. Middle seats are semi sleeper type and may be used to carry sick people in it, if emergency arises.

Last edited by sumitkalindi : 11th October 2011 at 13:34.
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