Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > Commercial Vehicles


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10th October 2017, 14:59   #1
BHPian
 
ashwin1224's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Nagpur
Posts: 154
Thanked: 191 Times
Default Prevalence of Force Travellers in the hills?

I've been to a few Himalayan States and one thing has been common throughout, Force Travelers. I've been to the mountains on various vehicles and I've seen people preparing their vehicles for months before finally embarking on for the treacherous trails. While I see these stock buses being virtually omnipresent!

What makes these vehicles such good mountain goats? I checked their specs and they are mediocre for a vehicle this big. The older ones even lack power steering and ABS, and they are seldom unloaded. This question has been bugging me for months now. I was reading up on motor homes, and the smallest Traveler, 3050 seems perfect for one or two people.

Do we under-rate our vehicles? Are normal cars good enough to tackle most roads? Or are these Travelers seriously good offroaders? Ive not driven one so I dont know and I wish to know more about these brutes. On the other hand Ive seen one pulling out a stranded 4x4 bolero out of the Pangong Tso, so they definitely are capable. Or is it purely because of the skilled himalayan drivers?

Mods, please move if this is not this is not the appropriate section.

Last edited by tsk1979 : 11th October 2017 at 13:42.
ashwin1224 is offline   (17) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2017, 15:17   #2
Distinguished - BHPian
 
CrAzY dRiVeR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Bangalore / TVM
Posts: 8,724
Thanked: 15,768 Times
Default re: Prevalence of Force Travellers in the hills?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwin1224 View Post
What makes these vehicles such good mountain goats? I checked their specs and they are mediocre for a vehicle this big.
Ahem!

That's a Mercedes derived motor - with most versions getting a 130hp, 300Nm tune thats almost similar as the ones running on the GLA and the likes. And it's not that the vehicle is rather heavy either, the vehicle itself based on the old Mercedes Transporter.

Frankly I really hate the Travellers out on the roads, being used as company cabs. They have the size, the power, the sheer road presence and is extremely hard to get rid of them from getting irritatingly close to the car from the rear.
CrAzY dRiVeR is offline   (16) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2017, 15:51   #3
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Belur/Bangalore
Posts: 4,081
Thanked: 9,785 Times
Default re: Prevalence of Force Travellers in the hills?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Frankly I really hate the Travellers out on the roads, being used as company cabs. They have the size, the power, the sheer road presence and is extremely hard to get rid of them from getting irritatingly close to the car from the rear.
You said it! They are way too irritating mainly because we not only see them bullying others on city roads ferrying company employees but also spot them quite frequently on highways at weekend getaways!

No doubt this one has the right power and control too - Not sure but this one was the first LCV with Disc brakes? (and now with ABS too). They drive this almost like a car and I once noticed a Traveller hitting speeds in excess of 120 after the trumpet interchange leading towards the Bangalore Airport.

And many locations that is out of bounds for cars, these fellas are parked there when you reach the summit!
paragsachania is offline   (9) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2017, 17:02   #4
BHPian
 
abhishek46's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 929
Thanked: 1,689 Times
Default re: Prevalence of Force Travellers in the hills?

The Force Traveller offers something, which the small capacity buses of Tata, SML & AL dont - Ride Quality & Refinement (relative).

As per my evaluation, the Traveller offers a much better ride than the bouncy (especially when half empty) Canter category buses.

The old Mercedes sourced engine is arguably far more refined as well, than it's larger counterparts.
abhishek46 is online now   (8) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2017, 17:29   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
1100D's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Calcutta
Posts: 4,163
Thanked: 2,299 Times
Default re: Prevalence of Force Travellers in the hills?

To add to what other people have added, the Travellers have car-like Monocoque structure instead of ladder frame, which gives it quite sorted road manners for a van. Besides this, they are technically Mercedes-Benz vans!

Last edited by GTO : 11th October 2017 at 12:51. Reason: typo
1100D is offline   (14) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2017, 17:32   #6
BHPian
 
ashwin1224's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Nagpur
Posts: 154
Thanked: 191 Times
Default re: Prevalence of Force Travellers in the hills?

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhishek46 View Post
The Force Traveller offers something, which the small capacity buses of Tata, SML & AL dont - Ride Quality & Refinement (relative).

As per my evaluation, the Traveller offers a much better ride than the bouncy (especially when half empty) Canter category buses.

The old Mercedes sourced engine is arguably far more refined as well, than it's larger counterparts.
Why dont we see many overland conversions being done to these vans then? Frankly the 3050 version(smallest of the lot) is not much bigger than a Vcross. But it has enough space inside for a small apartment! Do these vehicles have any offroad credentials? They dont come in 4x4 but that doesn't stop them from scaling Khardung la or Nathu la, or most other mountains for that matter where roads are non existent.
ashwin1224 is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2017, 17:36   #7
Senior - BHPian
 
reignofchaos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 2,206
Thanked: 1,148 Times
Default re: Prevalence of Force Travellers in the hills?

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhishek46 View Post
The old Mercedes sourced engine is arguably far more refined as well, than it's larger counterparts.

It ain't the old mercedes OM616 anymore in most of them. They now get a Common Rail 2.2 liter diesel with 130hp - the same 2.2 engine seen in most mercedes cars in the same state of tune as the A/B/CLA.

Even I was shocked when I read the specs . I thought it would still be running with the age old 2.6 liter 90 hp engine.

Last edited by reignofchaos : 10th October 2017 at 17:37.
reignofchaos is offline   (8) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2017, 17:38   #8
Distinguished - BHPian
 
smartcat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 2,835
Thanked: 10,838 Times
Default re: Prevalence of Force Travellers in the hills?

It's both - good engine and monocoque chassis. The kerb weight of Force Traveller is just 2.2 tonnes, same as Tata Safari. However, gross weight (fuel + passengers) is around 3.2 tonnes.

Traveller's market share:

Name:  traveller.jpg
Views: 12427
Size:  32.9 KB

In the graph, VECV is Eicher Motors

Last edited by smartcat : 10th October 2017 at 17:47.
smartcat is online now   (9) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2017, 18:19   #9
BHPian
 
ashwin1224's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Nagpur
Posts: 154
Thanked: 191 Times
Default re: Prevalence of Force Travellers in the hills?

Quote:
Originally Posted by reignofchaos View Post
It ain't the old mercedes OM616 anymore in most of them. They now get a Common Rail 2.2 liter diesel with 130hp - the same 2.2 engine seen in most mercedes cars in the same state of tune as the A/B/CLA.

Even I was shocked when I read the specs . I thought it would still be running with the age old 2.6 liter 90 hp engine.
Even though I trawled through the soec sheet multiple times i just glossed over the fact that these are no longer OM616 driven, ignorance at play here
Really good VFM as a used option me thinks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
It's both - good engine and monocoque chassis. The kerb weight of Force Traveller is just 2.2 tonnes, same as Tata Safari. However, gross weight (fuel + passengers) is around 3.2 tonnes.

Traveller's market share:

Attachment 1684199

In the graph, VECV is Eicher Motors
Thats pretty interesting. I did not connect the dots with the weight. Its a shame they are not offered in 4x4 from factory. Would have been an awesome overlander!
ashwin1224 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th October 2017, 12:55   #10
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 47,117
Thanked: 84,916 Times
Default Re: Prevalence of Force Travellers in the hills?

Moderator Vid6639 used to drive his office bus often ! Here's what he thinks of the Force Traveller:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
Exteriors:
Very basic exteriors. Not much to say about it. I think everyone has seen one. The external ORVMS are huge and give good visibility. The tyres are 215/70-15. The newer models come with radials but the older ones have the cross ply's. The doors are very heavy and close with a heavy thud.

Interiors:
It is available as 2 models 14+1 and long wheelbase 17+1. i drove the 14+1 model which is the most popular. The seating can be all individual buckets or 1+2 config. The seats are pretty comfy in the bench config. The buckets take up more space and the legroom decreases. You can fall off to sleep easily on the bench seats while travelling on hosur road.

The drivers seat can be pushed a long way back so tall drivers have no problem. I usually pushed it full back on other cars but for this that was too far. The steering is so big so it will always be in your reach.

The clutch pedal is too far away from the brake and accelerator. The accelerator is organ type floor mounted type. The gears have a very long throw and have huge play when slotted in their positions. The gear shifts are like a M800's only longer throw. The gears are a little different with one down and 2 on top.

The instrumentation is just speedo fuel and temp and other tell tale lights. The interior mirrors are day/night which was surprising since most cars dont have these.

Engine:
It has 2.7L naturally aspirated engine. This engine puts out 68bhp. For the psychotic drivers which these this is more than enough. You will regularly see it hitting 3 digits on empty stretches of hosur road and ring road.

Suspension:
The suspension on the front I dont know but at the rear it is basic leaf springs. They are not too bad and the ride isn't that bad.

Driving Impression:
The clutch is real heavy and needs a lot of effort to press it in. you need to wait for the coil to heat up before cranking it up. Once you crank it up the idling is real bad and it vibrates quite when cold once warm it's better. I doubt there is any NVH as the engine is next to your left leg covered by a plasticky cover.

Once you start moving it's much more smoother. You generally dont need 1st gear at all unless your on full load going up an incline. That's why the 1st gear is on the bottom separately whereas second is on top to the right of 1st. Effectively you have only 4 forward gears.

The initial acceleration is very good in second gear and you dont have to slip the clutch much either. You can easily keep up with the traffic. Pretty impressive for the size and engine. The brakes are power assisted and pretty powerful.

The steering is really heavy since not power steering. It turns many many times lock to lock I couldnt count how many. The advantage is the feedback is more accurate but overtime develops play.

It can touch 80-90kmph pretty easily, beyond that it struggles not for power but for gears as the gearing is too short. your in 5th gear which is effectively 4th since 1st is unusable most of the times.

Ride & Handling:
The ride is ok ok. nothing to write home about. If you sit at the back most bench and you have a mad driver be ready to be thrown off your seats. The other seats are ok and it can absorb all large potholes without worry.

The handling was a surprise to me. It handles very good. I would rate it much better than the sumo which is a much smaller vehicle. The body roll is lesser and feels more together while cornering.

Verdict:
Overall a fun experience. My bus driver lets me drive and I jump at the opportunity. It's a good feeling driving a vehicle this big and seeing all 2 wheelers, autos and cars make way for you.
GTO is offline   (24) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th October 2017, 13:07   #11
Senior - BHPian
 
Latheesh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore/Kannur
Posts: 2,922
Thanked: 2,492 Times
Default Re: Prevalence of Force Travellers in the hills?

"If there's one thing I know, it's never to mess with Force Traveller, Tata 407, and State road transport buses on Indian roads"

Quote courtesy - Similar dialogue by Skinny Pete (Italian Job)

Similar to Traveller, I see lot of Mahindra loadking on Kerala mountain roads.

Last edited by Latheesh : 11th October 2017 at 13:13.
Latheesh is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th October 2017, 13:31   #12
Distinguished - BHPian
 
condor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Speed-brkr City
Posts: 10,511
Thanked: 3,976 Times
Default Re: Prevalence of Force Travellers in the hills?

The reason is :
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
That's a Mercedes derived motor - ... the vehicle itself based on the old Mercedes Transporter.
From Wikipedia:
Quote:
In 1987, Force Motors set up a new plant at Pithampur in Madhya Pradesh, for the production of Tempo Traveller. This plant was designed and built to the specification of Daimler-Benz
With such DNA, what else can one expect other than a good medium category vehicle ?
condor is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th October 2017, 13:58   #13
BHPian
 
anshumandun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 101
Thanked: 350 Times
Default Re: Prevalence of Force Travellers in the hills?

I travel daily in Force Traveler to my office. I've never seen the driver use first gear. When asked, he just said that 1st gear is too powerful and he uses it only on steep slopes. That speaks a lot about the powerful engine and good torque that these vehicles have.

The comfort, compared to other small buses, is really good. New vehicles are really comfortable. However, the comfort level decreases as the vehicle ages because the owners don't maintain these vehicles well.

These vehicles have high ground clearance. I remember when the roads near our office were dug and no car dared to cross the mud heaps and pits, these force travelers managed to drive through them quite easily, at the cost of passenger comfort though.

These are rear wheel drive which makes them better suited for hilly terrain.

They have strong AC and the AC doesn't affect the engine performance much.

Only thing that I hate about them is the way they are driven. It's too much power in irresponsible hands. On my way to and from office, we overtake anything and everything that comes on the road.
anshumandun is offline   (7) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th October 2017, 14:11   #14
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Sheel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Purnea(Bihar)
Posts: 5,146
Thanked: 4,628 Times
Default Re: Prevalence of Force Travellers in the hills?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwin1224 View Post
Do we under-rate our vehicles? Are normal cars good enough to tackle most roads?
While others have already said, don't we come across threads where the OP wants to buy a car/SUV to go to Leh/Laddakh

Most of us underrate our current rides. I am contemplating a change of my 2 wheels, but it does good speeds and in hills where I have the most fun, it is as fast as I want it to be.

In Nepal, it is the Hi-Ace which rules the roost.
Sheel is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th October 2017, 15:40   #15
A M
BHPian
 
A M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Chd
Posts: 301
Thanked: 174 Times
Default Re: Prevalence of Force Travellers in the hills?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwin1224 View Post

Do we under-rate our vehicles? Are normal cars good enough to tackle most roads?
Yes. We do. With my 13 years of official (and 20 years of un-official ) driving experience, I have come to a conclusion that all you need in 80% of mountain drives is an engine with good low-end torque and enough ground clearance to tackle bad roads. You really don't need special vehicles purpose built for mountains until and unless you are going to do the Mustang district in Nepal.

Our cities these days have worse roads than those in the mountains. So ground clearance wise if a car is able to tackle roads in Gurgaon / Bangalore, its ready to take on the mountains. There won't be a problem.

A Maruti 800 is a damn good mountain goat just because it has a good all-round visibility and good low-end torque delivery. And you would be surprised what terrains this little car can tackle. I am a fan.

My two cents.
A M is online now   (11) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Landmaster Travellers In India. JayD Post-War 58 15th February 2016 07:29
Vintage car lovers and travellers - meet the Zapps on Wednesday 4th at NSCI Mumbai karlosdeville The Team-BHP Meet Section 7 4th April 2012 13:38
15 days, 5 crazy travellers, 4000 kms. h@r$h@l Travelogues 7 21st September 2010 14:42
Hogenakkal - Some info for travellers ashwinsid Travelogues 10 13th May 2009 18:01


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 00:32.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks