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Old 9th February 2007, 10:00   #16
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The whole issue is about the bodybuilding . What I dont understand is why doesnt Volvo directly do it . They have the experience . IF so many complaints have been lodged its high time they do something about AZAD .

Azad is supposed to be one of the leading manufacturers . They should respond to such compalints before it keeps piling up for the media to jump on .

By the way I saw a king Long bus , kinda pseduo Vovlo . Not bad .
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Old 9th February 2007, 10:02   #17
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I would have made a number of journies each more that 15 hrs in Volvo and these can easily go in three digits. Volvo's are the best public transport around and for the bad shape, it's the operators to be blamed.

Compare KSRTC volvo with that of VRL or Neeta and you'll see the difference. KSRTC keeps their B7R into immeculate condition and the one from Neeta/Konduskar/VRL, you'll find AC dripping, vibrations perticurlarly on the seats above rear axle. It all ends up how an operator uses these buses and how good maintenance is done.

Now comparision to Tata/Ashok Laylond and Volvo, the formal one are very basic machines and can take the abuse and later is a technology marvel atleast for India. All fine things expects a bit of care.

offtopic: there was a fued between operators and Volvo India on how soon they can rebuild the body. Typically all private bus with TATA and ALL chassic go for body rebuilding at the end of 3 years but Volvo is insisting on 5 year cycle. That probably is the factor that these operators are indirectly hinting on to.
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Old 9th February 2007, 10:07   #18
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@salil, as I mentioned earlier, all these are issues related to body and nothing to do with Chasis or engine or transmission.

BTW, ST Buses ply on pathetic roads or are offroading many times, while Volvos ply mainly on NH or express highway, which can not be compared at all. NH4 (Mumbai-Pune-BLR) surface quality is quite decent. I have to disagree with the argument that the roads are bad, which leads to their current condition.

Also, I do not think that there is any technological marvel in the coach body. It may be with engine, but no one is complaining about any problems with it.

Last edited by RX135 : 9th February 2007 at 10:10.
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Old 9th February 2007, 10:11   #19
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Originally Posted by maxbhp View Post

Azad is supposed to be one of the leading manufacturers . They should respond to such compalints before it keeps piling up for the media to jump on .

Yes, but are they publicly aware of it at all? Would the fleet operator in question have been proactive abt it - or the kin of the victim? Unless people recognize they are empowered and speak up, companies have yet another layer of insulation
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Old 9th February 2007, 10:16   #20
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[quote=RX135;370656
Also, I do not think that there is any technological marvel in the coach body. It may be with engine, but no one is complaining about any problems with it.[/quote]

Volvo B7R is designed to be intended as passenger bus chassis where as Tata/ALL as truck chassic. Besides, Volvo imports chassis with engine and not just engine as some people thinks. Volvo also has integrated OEM air suspension, hydraulik retarder, ABS and emergency brakcking system all being taken care while designing the chassis and not an after thought.
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Old 9th February 2007, 10:50   #21
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Originally Posted by nispatel View Post
I would have made a number of journies each more that 15 hrs in Volvo and these can easily go in three digits. Volvo's are the best public transport around and for the bad shape, it's the operators to be blamed.

Compare KSRTC volvo with that of VRL or Neeta and you'll see the difference. KSRTC keeps their B7R into immeculate condition and the one from Neeta/Konduskar/VRL, you'll find AC dripping, vibrations perticurlarly on the seats above rear axle. It all ends up how an operator uses these buses and how good maintenance is done.

Now comparision to Tata/Ashok Laylond and Volvo, the formal one are very basic machines and can take the abuse and later is a technology marvel atleast for India. All fine things expects a bit of care.

offtopic: there was a fued between operators and Volvo India on how soon they can rebuild the body. Typically all private bus with TATA and ALL chassic go for body rebuilding at the end of 3 years but Volvo is insisting on 5 year cycle. That probably is the factor that these operators are indirectly hinting on to.
This is exactly what I actually mean....
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Old 9th February 2007, 11:57   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nispatel View Post
Volvo B7R is designed to be intended as passenger bus chassis where as Tata/ALL as truck chassic. Besides, Volvo imports chassis with engine and not just engine as some people thinks. Volvo also has integrated OEM air suspension, hydraulik retarder, ABS and emergency brakcking system all being taken care while designing the chassis and not an after thought.
But, ABS/Suspension or Emergency braking are not part of the coach body. They form part of the chasis and looking at the report, operators are mainly complaining about coach body (leaking roof, doors, floors, loose parts of body etc).
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Old 9th February 2007, 12:22   #23
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I believe the way the buses are treated shows in the long run.
Besides the examples pointed above, lemme add another one.

Travel by Volvos from the Kallada fleet which do service between Bangalore and Kerala, and try the APSRTC Volvos. The APSRTC Volvos are pretty well-maintained, while the same cannot be said about the Kallada fleet.

I am waiting to find out how the BMTC B7R Volvos hold on with time before i make my final comments.
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Old 9th February 2007, 13:04   #24
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Some more thoughts...

An MSRTC Volvo is cleaned in an mechanized washing facility by a trained uniformed government employee with a secure job. It is parked in a secured state compound. MSRTC has trained uniformed drivers and repairs are carried out at the MSRTC garage by trained full-time mechanic employees who can't get a job without showing proper qualifications.

The private Volvo is washed on the road side by the unskilled bus conductor and street urchins hired by him. It is often illegally parked on the roadside by bribing the constable. The private operator's Volvo has lower quality drivers. Anything less than the most major of repairs are carried out at commercial street-garages run wit the objective to do the least work, with the cheapest labor for the most money.

Naturally the results will show.

"Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution" -- William A. Foster

"Quality means doing it right even when no one is looking." Henry Ford

-- Ram
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Old 9th February 2007, 13:06   #25
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Vovlo buses are ridiculously over-priced with typical European costs and arrogance.

This argument about State RTC buses being in better condition - I hope you realise that most of the RTCs are in the red, sponging off tax-payers money. They are least bothered about making money on running these buses, the politicians make more money in kickbacks placing orders for more and more new buses.

STC buses that cost Rs 50-60 lakks plus is a ridiclous idea, I thought the State is expected to provide cheap transport for the cheap man and not try to compete with private operators. The privatisation principle is that the State should get out of areas where there is private sector participation, which is the situation in the bus transport industry. Instead of running superluxury buses like Volvos, the RTCs should concentrate on running buses to villages and other ill-served areas where private operators may not be interested for feasibility reasons.

If you spend 75 lakhs on a bus, obviously the private operator will flog his bus - please look at how private airlines are run in India, because it is so difficult to make money unless fleet utilisation is high.

Incidentally, I don't appreciate buses that tear along highways at 120 kmph - that is simply too fast for a bus on Indian roads. And I would expect a so-called "responsible" European company like Volvo to institute safety standards in their buses such as speed governors.

If Volvo cannot make buses to suit Indian conditions and that of operators, they should go elsewhere. We have seen Ford try to make buses in India a couple of decades ago, they failed.

I am looking forward to the day when Telco and Ashok Leyland launch their Volvo-type uxury buses - which is any day now (Tata already has Globus and Leyland is about to launch its NexGen buses - and they clobber Volvo on costs. I hope you all remember how Telco 407 LCV finished off all the fancy Jap companies like Toyota, Mazda, Mitsubishi and Nissan in the LCV market simply on prices. Already, I can see large Volvo operators like Raj Travels switch over to Tata Globus recently?

Do the bus operators know something that we don't? Or are we saying that, simply because we may be tarvellers on the Volvo buses, we know better than they do? Or are private operators there to do charity or make money running a business?

And if you want indiactions about Volvo's success (or lack of it?), please count the number of (hardly any) of FH12 and FM7 that are their trucks which were the first to be introduced in India - they were so expensive to buying and atrocious on maintenance costs that truck operators disbanded their Volvo fleets (except for specific high-cap applications) and decided to look elsewhere. I expect that to happen to the B7R too soon.
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Old 9th February 2007, 13:32   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
STC buses that cost Rs 50-60 lakks plus is a ridiclous idea, I thought the State is expected to provide cheap transport for the cheap man and not try to compete with private operators. The privatisation principle is that the State should get out of areas where there is private sector participation, which is the situation in the bus transport industry. Instead of running superluxury buses like Volvos, the RTCs should concentrate on running buses to villages and other ill-served areas where private operators may not be interested for feasibility reasons.
1. State should care for the poor and also for the rich & well to do.
2. If RTCs run buses only to ill-served areas, they will obviously lose money & are always in red.
3. Example: Rural areas of southern & western parts of Karnataka are better served by private operators than RTC !

My point is: It doesn't matter whether who runs the transport service or where they run it, money can still be made out of that operation. Then why not RTC? If they offer better service to those who can afford?
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Old 9th February 2007, 13:53   #27
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It is insane to believe that by running Volvo service, state run RTC is doing injustice to poor.

It's all above covering a spacturam of customer base. I'm sure that RTC would have done cost analysis and would have arraived at correct pricing so that they not only cover the running cost of Volvo but also make so much money that it could subsidize loss making rural routes.

My prudent suggestion to anyone who don't seem to agree with speed with safety motto which Volvo promises to travel Banglaore to Pune / Mumbai by Tata/ALL bus be it private or statu run operator. I'm sure they'll reconsider their view.
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Old 9th February 2007, 14:32   #28
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@hvkumar: By offering speedy, comfortable transportation, the Volvo B7R has weaned passengers away from the Indian Railways and set new paradigms in road transportation in India. It is now possible to set out on a three-hour trip through the Sahyadri mountains and arrive fresh at the destination.
Sure some state RTCs may be in the red and some may be in the black. This may be more due to inefficiency and bad planning than extravagance. What concern is it of the forty passengers in an RTC Volvo B7R who pay about Rs. 8,000 in ticket money for their 150 km trip?

The MSRTC is already doing a unique yeoman job of transporting the state’s villagers. They happen to be one of India’s largest fleet owners, with over 16,000 buses. They connect every possible village in Maharashtra State with cheap and reliable transportation. They even travel as far as Bangalore, Goa, Ahmedabad and Surat. So what's wrong if they also operate a fleet of well maintained light blue "Shivneri" Volvo buses, that keep timely schedules, unmindful of a few unoccupied seats.


Private operators driven by undeserved profits run the unsafe ill-maintained crates they call luxury buses. For meaningful private sector participation it should be properly monitored by the State with a whip! Too many Indian businessmen in the private transport sector try to make a quick buck by delivering shoddy quality. Look at the scores of overloaded Sumos and Qualises on the highway.

The private operator flogging his Rs. 75 lakh bus is a very good reason why the private sector should exit out of this business. The State should levy severe penalties for passenger delays and discomfort. Businesses that can’t satisfy the consumer should not be allowed to survive!
I traveled on a Raj Travels Tata Globus from Mumbai to Pune. They charged me Rs. 175 when I was willing to pay Rs. 250. The seats were too narrow, too crude and the noise vibration & harshness levels were pathetic even compared to those on even an ill-maintained Neeta Volvo.

Does somebody who does not appreciate purpose-built buses tearing along highways at 120 kmph, probably also disparage the need for a Rs. 1,630-crore expressway between Maharashtra’s most important metropolises? Or Team-BHP’s gleaming 100 bhp cruisers?


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Old 9th February 2007, 15:28   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ram View Post
Private operators driven by undeserved profits run the unsafe ill-maintained crates they call luxury buses. For meaningful private sector participation it should be properly monitored by the State with a whip! Too many Indian businessmen in the private transport sector try to make a quick buck by delivering shoddy quality. Look at the scores of overloaded Sumos and Qualises on the highway.
No business profit is ever "undeserved". In business, all parties get what they deserve. At least in a free market economy. State interference should only exist to the extent required, to monitor certain basic safety parameters.

Quote:
The private operator flogging his Rs. 75 lakh bus is a very good reason why the private sector should exit out of this business. The State should levy severe penalties for passenger delays and discomfort. Businesses that can’t satisfy the consumer should not be allowed to survive!
In a free market economy, only those survive that deserve to survive. It is the survival of the fittest. If our people want better service, they will have to get it by rejecting those that do not meet the standards. The govt. must create a climate that fosters free, healthy and fair competition.

Your cure, namely, heavy-handed govt. interference, is worse than the disease, as has been well documented in the past. Remeber that the govt. bus operators today offer decent service only because of the competition from private buses. If you remove these, govt. bus service will again drop to abysmal levels.

Last edited by rks : 9th February 2007 at 15:31.
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Old 9th February 2007, 15:43   #30
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
This argument about State RTC buses being in better condition - I hope you realise that most of the RTCs are in the red, sponging off tax-payers money. They are least bothered about making money on running these buses, the politicians make more money in kickbacks placing orders for more and more new buses.

STC buses that cost Rs 50-60 lakks plus is a ridiclous idea, I thought the State is expected to provide cheap transport for the cheap man and not try to compete with private operators. The privatisation principle is that the State should get out of areas where there is private sector participation, which is the situation in the bus transport industry. Instead of running superluxury buses like Volvos, the RTCs should concentrate on running buses to villages and other ill-served areas where private operators may not be interested for feasibility reasons.

If you spend 75 lakhs on a bus, obviously the private operator will flog his bus - please look at how private airlines are run in India, because it is so difficult to make money unless fleet utilisation is high.

Incidentally, I don't appreciate buses that tear along highways at 120 kmph - that is simply too fast for a bus on Indian roads. And I would expect a so-called "responsible" European company like Volvo to institute safety standards in their buses such as speed governors.

If Volvo cannot make buses to suit Indian conditions and that of operators, they should go elsewhere. We have seen Ford try to make buses in India a couple of decades ago, they failed.

And if you want indiactions about Volvo's success (or lack of it?), please count the number of (hardly any) of FH12 and FM7 that are their trucks which were the first to be introduced in India - they were so expensive to buying and atrocious on maintenance costs that truck operators disbanded their Volvo fleets (except for specific high-cap applications) and decided to look elsewhere. I expect that to happen to the B7R too soon.

With regards to your view that politicians make loads of money by placing orders for expensive buses..... arent they doing the same in every field?

Next, if the state should only be bothered about providing for and looking after the poor (??), then why do the other members of society need to pay taxes to the government?

The government has a duty to invest the tax payers money in terms of good roads, and better infrastructure. When these are provided, as is the case with good roads, they are done with the purpose of ensuring quick and efficient means of travel. Now, a trip from Hyderabad to Bangalore on a Volvo takes about 12 hours (usually lesser), which is the result of having Volvos plying on this route. At the same time, travelling by train on teh same route means u spend upto 14 hours or more, (considering they are accountable to no one) on travel. I believe the point is made.

Having speed governors doesnt really make sense on these buses because they were meant to reduce time required for travel, and usually on long distances. I am sure we would not appreciate if these buses chugged along at slow-coach paces. They dont serve a purpose then.

Quote:
truck operators disbanded their Volvo fleets (except for specific high-cap applications)
The part in bold itself shows that even today, where reliability is a MAJOR factor, Volvos continue to be the number 1 choice.

Volvos were the need of the hour for long distance travel in india, and it has revolutionized the same. If there are quality issues they need to be sorted out. Asking Volvo to leave India is not the solution.
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