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Old 11th January 2012, 09:37   #1
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Default Interstate Night Service Drivers

We have been discussing about the different models of buses and their technical details.But till now not a thread on the drivers who control it. So here i start..

Have always wondered how these guys drive on the same road and same route without even closing their eyes for a min.What i have felt is driving on a new road or a route in the night you dont feel that kinda dizziness first time.But for you go again and again you get bored.So how are these guys driving for years.I personally know a guy who had been in this business as a night service driver for the last 24 years.He started of in East Coast travels that was operating in KTM-BLR route way back in 90's. Now he is running in Hyd-Ekm route of Kesineni.
Last time i met him ,what he told me was "there is driver shortage in our company and since my partner driver need to go home urgently i did two single driver trips in HYD-EKM route."He used to do BLR-TVM single,but HYD-EKM-HYD nearly 2500 kms single handed...
Guys just put in your opinions on different driver talks,issues etc.
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Old 11th January 2012, 10:06   #2
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Default Re: Interstate Night Service Drivers

I am a frequent SUV driver on hiways, and observed the way buses ply in the night.I am quiet scared nower days to sleep in volvos or sleepers, as we leaving our life in hand of a unknown person from a own non refined segment of buisness.
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Old 11th January 2012, 10:28   #3
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Default Re: Interstate Night Service Drivers

Do they really do single driver trips that long? I thought they always changed drivers midway.

No they dont feel sleepy. If they do feel sleepy, they just drive straight at an oncoming lesser mortal, forcing him out of the road and the sheer adrenaline rush that they get from this is like a redbull or two. This works for the mentioned lesser mortal too, he will be sleepless for days together.
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Old 11th January 2012, 10:50   #4
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Default Re: Interstate Night Service Drivers

Long time ago i used to frequent night travels by Bus to get to my parents when i was staying ~400Kms away, monthly, or sometimes twice a month.

A lot of these trips were on buses, sometimes private, sometimes ST, and many a times right next to the driver, or right behind him (Happens if you are a frequent traveler, they let you sit close and talk to you).

Every time i sat, i felt i am not going to arrive safely at my destination, and every time i was proved wrong. Sometimes the glare from the headlamps of vehicles coming from opposite direction would blind me but i never saw these drivers even missing the road or curve by an inch. They are folks who do this for living and some of them whom i met have impeccable record of zero accidents (major or minor). My understanding of them was they were thorough drivers, not there on the roads to race, to show who is powerful but to drive, they also understood that they were driving huge vehicles and any mistake on their part or even a mistake by a small car driver could threaten a life hence they were always extra cautious. There are the drivers i admired.

These days i would agree there are quiet a few nut cases as well, who do not understand that the body needs rest and safety of everyone in the bus is in their hands.

Also these days i feel the truck drivers are more well behaved then the bus drivers (in general), in the night when we drove from HYD-BLR never had any problems passing a truck, they would be cautious and would watch their ORVM, on the other hand these private bus drivers were reckless and would sometime come on your way knowing very well the speed that a car would be doing. So whenever i saw a bus, i was more cautious.

Last edited by mayankjha1806 : 11th January 2012 at 10:53.
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Old 11th January 2012, 10:57   #5
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Default Re: Interstate Night Service Drivers

Most of the night service drivers are used to their work schedule.

When I notice a night driver driving quite fast for some time, then too slow for some time, occasionally rubbing his forehead...etc, I think he is feeling sleepy! Several drivers have tendency to drive very fast when they feel sleepy than a casual boring slow drive. May not be true with everyone.
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Old 11th January 2012, 12:33   #6
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Default Re: Interstate Night Service Drivers

While most of them are used to their schedules, we need to be careful of drivers of smaller companies / travels that rely a lot on cargo + passenger.

Larger operators have two drivers almost all the time for long distances. Most of such operators have a team (2 drivers + cleaner) through out the journey.

ST operations - some ST's have both drivers travelling in the bus. Other ST's (Maharashtra for eg) - the crew changes at mid-point. (eg: Mumbai - Pune, and again Pune-onwards).

But it's the category of smaller operators (no matter how long they are in business) that I would look out for. Apart from the overload (cargo on top) affecting the stability of the buses, the drivers themselves. Had a cousin who used to be part of such operations. He used to sometimes travel in these buses. On occasion, he has driven these buses - he wasn't licensed to. And he mentioned that it is not un-common for drivers to feel sleepy after 2 am. And apparently a lot of accidents that happen in the nights are after 2 am.
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Old 11th January 2012, 15:09   #7
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Default Re: Interstate Night Service Drivers

Note from Mod: There are several spelling & grammatical errors in your posts. This negatively affects the board experience for other readers.

Kindly ensure that you proof-read your posts prior to submission. Also, it would be a good idea to use spell-checkers.

Last edited by GTO : 12th January 2012 at 14:37.
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Old 11th January 2012, 16:07   #8
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Default Re: Interstate Night Service Drivers

Major operators (those who have Volvo or other multi-axle) have well rested drivers since its their business at stake. And these drivers driver pretty very well, in fact some of them get trained by Volvo.
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Old 11th January 2012, 17:09   #9
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Default Re: Interstate Night Service Drivers

I did a Shama gold class BLR-Alleppey Run in 2008 end/2009 early and there was only 1 driver. We reached alleppey by 10:00 am and was told he would need to drive back to BLR, so he would be ready to drive by 3:00pm. This is too much load.
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Old 11th January 2012, 17:29   #10
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Default Re: Interstate Night Service Drivers

Couple of points :
1) The bus driver job is a awesome one if he loves driving.
2) It take a pride and responsibility for all the passengers while every asleep.

Just imagine driving the nov-volvo buses in older days which required a lot of effort maneuvering the vehicle. Now driving a volvo is a comfort and very less effort required to maneuver the vehicle.

I just wanted to know, is there any institute to train heavy vehicles. I like to learn and drive.
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Old 11th January 2012, 17:36   #11
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Default Re: Interstate Night Service Drivers

Noticed a couple of time on the Kallada Multi axle between Kottarakkara-BLR, there will be only one driver. The driver will have the additional resp of collecting the collections from different travel agents till Angamaly.
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Old 11th January 2012, 17:56   #12
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Default Re: Interstate Night Service Drivers

Quote:
Originally Posted by scopriobharath View Post
I did a Shama gold class BLR-Alleppey Run in 2008 end/2009 early and there was only 1 driver. We reached alleppey by 10:00 am and was told he would need to drive back to BLR, so he would be ready to drive by 3:00pm. This is too much load.
Traveled in Shama's Ernakulam-Bangalore 9pm Volvo (non stop) with only driver few times. The driver used to run to RTO counter at Walayar on Sunday trips for a quick return.
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Old 11th January 2012, 18:21   #13
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Default Re: Interstate Night Service Drivers

Quote:
Originally Posted by contactme27 View Post
Couple of points :
1) The bus driver job is a awesome one if he loves driving.
2) It take a pride and responsibility for all the passengers while every asleep.

Just imagine driving the nov-volvo buses in older days which required a lot of effort maneuvering the vehicle. Now driving a volvo is a comfort and very less effort required to maneuver the vehicle.

I just wanted to know, is there any institute to train heavy vehicles. I like to learn and drive.
IRTT & MRF Institute teaches "proper" driving of a heavy vehicle. there are some car driving schools that teach truck driving, but all they say is leave the clutch gently and accelerate for speed. They teach nothing about taking the outermost part of a curve, panic braking etc.

If you are planning to get attached to some company, Volvo, Merc buses and truck offer a training course. It is complementary with the vehicle. They do not teach you to drive a bus but they acquaint you with the bus and its features. As an example they teach what is a retarder and under what scenario to use the same.

Last edited by scopriobharath : 11th January 2012 at 18:25.
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Old 11th January 2012, 18:53   #14
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Default Re: Interstate Night Service Drivers

Quote:
Originally Posted by contactme27 View Post
Couple of points :
1) The bus driver job is a awesome one if he loves driving.
2) It take a pride and responsibility for all the passengers while every asleep.

Just imagine driving the nov-volvo buses in older days which required a lot of effort maneuvering the vehicle. Now driving a volvo is a comfort and very less effort required to maneuver the vehicle.

I just wanted to know, is there any institute to train heavy vehicles. I like to learn and drive.

Yes! You had an option of getting trained in Volvo.Its a different scheme called open market training. Dont know weather its still there or not.You need to remit a fee of nearly 10k and also you should be having 5+years of HMV driving experience.
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Old 11th January 2012, 20:19   #15
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Default Re: Interstate Night Service Drivers

Excellent thread indeed! Interesting. But I do not know whether this thread will have enough juice to go on for long. Nevertheless, driving the new age passenger buses like Volvos and Mercs, have surely elevated the standards of long distance commuting in India.

The gizmos in a Volvo/Merc dash only make it a little less complicated than a cockpit. I'm a frequenter to God's Own Country and mostly by bus, and never has a trip failed to amuse me. Especially after the bus gets out of city limits, the driver starts demonstrating his perfection (sometimes there are rash drivers too!).

However, has anyone else observed why the front bumpers of a long distance bus including Volvos tend to look like they've lost their metal-look and start looking like Plaster of Paris?
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