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Old 16th March 2007, 14:16   #1
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Default Tata low floor buses lacking in power, says PMT

The six buses the Pune Municipal Transport (PMT) purchased from Tata Motors in 2004 are already in a state of disuse and simply cannot run on the roads, PMT general manager C.K. Anil said. “There are problems in their gear boxes and clutch boxes and they lack the power to carry passengers.“The company has shown readiness to refurbish the buses but we want them replaced,”

Meanwhile, the Tata Motors’ corporate communication office has refuted the charges levelled by Anil over poor quality of buses supplied.
“The buses were running on bad roads and were badly abused by the PMT. There was no proper maintenance of these buses,” company spokesman Debashish Ray told TOI. Six months ago, Tata Motors took over the maintenance of these buses free of cost, he claimed. Since then, their performance has “dramatically improved”, he said.

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Tata buses lack power to carry passengers, says PMT
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Old 16th March 2007, 14:19   #2
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I'm inclined to agree with the Tata communique. I've externally seen the state of the local transport buses there during my visits. They could have been better.
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Old 16th March 2007, 14:32   #3
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dunno bout above supplied buses....but i thnk the engine and gearbox combo of TATA is very reliable.... i hail from Darjeeling....we had logging business till 95 there....we never had any failure...we had 13 of them...with 12 with cummins engine and 2 a 4wheel drive version...with original mercedes 312 engine...

It operated flawlessly at 9k feet in cold winter and in jungles.....well places there were no roads....and u urself can imagine the loads...

2nos. 312 were older than me and bought b4 i was born...!
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Old 16th March 2007, 14:41   #4
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Originally Posted by rahul_intlad View Post
There are problems in their gear boxes and clutch boxes and they lack the power to carry passengers.
Then TATA would not have sold anything for many years.
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Old 16th March 2007, 14:45   #5
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dude! tata has the most reliable engine gearbox combo....its sells 10 to 1 if u compare with it leyland....that 2 at a very competitive price....it has proven this in cold and hot weather....have u seen all 713...that indian army uses at 19k feet...

we had 13 of them for logging jobs...two of them 4x4 in darjeeling...never gave any problems
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Old 16th March 2007, 15:05   #6
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I hope there isn't any politics involved to handover contracts to buy vehicles from some other manufacturer.
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Old 16th March 2007, 15:36   #7
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A Majority of the PMT drivers I have seen dont even depress the clutch while changing gears.
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Old 16th March 2007, 15:50   #8
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This report is about low floor buses which have a lower ground clearance. It is possible that the gear boxes of these buses might have hit things on the ground (a possibility on pot holed roads) and got damaged. Low floor buses require good and smooth roads and the few produced or experimented in India from time to time have never really been successful.
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Old 16th March 2007, 15:52   #9
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Some how there is this general consensus amongst all the truckies and bus drivers that TATA vehicles break down more than the Leyland buses. Even in a City like mumbai you would hardly see any BEST buses which have broken down (99% Leyland fleet) and there were some cases where the buses caught fire were the TATA Starbus! On the other hand a look at New bombay which has a fleet of TATA buses used by the NMMT, sees a lot more breakdowns than Leyland.

Leyland rules!
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Old 16th March 2007, 15:55   #10
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Originally Posted by SirAlec View Post
dude! tata has the most reliable engine gearbox combo....its sells 10 to 1 if u compare with it leyland....that 2 at a very competitive price....it has proven this in cold and hot weather....have u seen all 713...that indian army uses at 19k feet...

we had 13 of them for logging jobs...two of them 4x4 in darjeeling...never gave any problems
You use 713 for logging? Very interesting! I haven't come across any 713 being used for commercial/civilian purposes. Don't you find the load bed of 713 too small?
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Old 16th March 2007, 15:56   #11
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It is not clear whether these buses are the low entry type,no mention about that and you will find that the low entry buses not reaching PMT is also one of their complaints.

Edit: Found another link which clearly mentions semi low-floor buses

Source: PMT boss tightens screws on Tata Motors

Last edited by rahul_intlad : 16th March 2007 at 16:02.
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Old 16th March 2007, 15:59   #12
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Originally Posted by amtak View Post

Leyland rules!
I don't know what the current statistics are but till some years ago, Ashok Leyland used to sell more bus chassis than Tata even though Tata's combined commercial vehicle sales far exceeded Leyland's.
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Old 16th March 2007, 16:19   #13
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Exclamation Read this!

I guess in this case, both the warring parties, i.e., Tata and PMT are right in their own respect. Basically, from what I can see from the report, PMT is against this Tata bus shown below


This bus looks similar to the Starbus but it is NOT the Starbus. It was a precursor to the Starbus (tentatively called the Tata Easyride then in 2004). I would say it was more of a test mule rather than a full-fledged production vehicle thus it might be plagued with some inherent problems. It is currently a part of Pune's BRTS project.

About the maintenance of PMT buses, the less said about it, the better

---------------------------------------------------------
Here is another PMT Ashok Leyland(?) bus, pic is mirrored that's why the doors are on the right. I guess this is a part of BRTS too.


------------------------------------------------------
This is the latest addition to its fleet. The front end is similar to the new BEST buses (Ashok Leyland Viking) in Mumbai



Read more about this bus in the link below
PMT


All pictures courtesy PMT's official website: PMT

Note from moderator: DO NOT leech images of other server

Last edited by adya33 : 16th March 2007 at 18:03.
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Old 16th March 2007, 16:37   #14
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Leyland has tarditionally sold more buses to State Transport Undertakings (STU) simply because they were considered to be more robust and trouble-free in the highly abusive conditions that they are subject to. Tata used to be the prime choice for private operators. Even today, you will find STU fleets in TN, Kerala, Gujarat, MP, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, etc dominated by Leylands.

But, yes, most procurement contracts are driven by corruption and hardly on merit. There is a very strong bias in favour of buses produced locally - Leyland has plants in TN (almost 100% Leyland fleet), Maharashtra (good percentage) and Rajasthan (very strong presence). For instance, BEST (100%) and DTC (mostly) used to be strong Leyland fleets till CNG came along and Leyland lost out to Telco - look at BEST, most CNG buses are Telco, same in Delhi. Am told that Leyland does not ahve its proprietary technology for CNG, imports it unlike Telco which has developed it in-house - which means Leyland has serious supply constraints in number of kits it can assemble (hearsay). Some individuals make a lot of difference - one senior BEST official moved someyime ago to Thane MT, and he saw to it that the entire Telco fleet was replaced by Leylands, now someone else has come, he has converted again to Telco!!! Look at Bangalore - Volvo plant being at Hoskote nearby, they are buying so many Volvo buses.

Incidentally, Leyland had almost 50% market share for buses in India, and not the low figure that our friend from Darjeeling mentioned.
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Old 16th March 2007, 17:40   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Leyland has tarditionally sold more buses to State Transport Undertakings (STU) simply because they were considered to be more robust and trouble-free in the highly abusive conditions that they are subject to. Tata used to be the prime choice for private operators. Even today, you will find STU fleets in TN, Kerala, Gujarat, MP, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, etc dominated by Leylands.

But, yes, most procurement contracts are driven by corruption and hardly on merit. There is a very strong bias in favour of buses produced locally - Leyland has plants in TN (almost 100% Leyland fleet), Maharashtra (good percentage) and Rajasthan (very strong presence). For instance, BEST (100%) and DTC (mostly) used to be strong Leyland fleets till CNG came along and Leyland lost out to Telco - look at BEST, most CNG buses are Telco, same in Delhi. Am told that Leyland does not ahve its proprietary technology for CNG, imports it unlike Telco which has developed it in-house - which means Leyland has serious supply constraints in number of kits it can assemble (hearsay). Some individuals make a lot of difference - one senior BEST official moved someyime ago to Thane MT, and he saw to it that the entire Telco fleet was replaced by Leylands, now someone else has come, he has converted again to Telco!!! Look at Bangalore - Volvo plant being at Hoskote nearby, they are buying so many Volvo buses.

Incidentally, Leyland had almost 50% market share for buses in India, and not the low figure that our friend from Darjeeling mentioned.
I have observed the business of North Indian State Transport Undertakings from very close quarters. Among them, the ratio between Tata and Leyland buses has been roughly 50:50 for nearly 4 decades.

In sixties and seventies, Hindustan Motors and Premier Automobiles also produced bus and truck chassis which were sold under Bedford and Dodge brands. However, the products from HM and PAL were substandard and broke down frequently. As a result, STUs stopped buying from them. Tata and Leyland buses performed well and that was the reason why they were preferred. The decision was based on merit, not corruption. Again, most STUs deliberately bought buses from both the manufacturers, in order to avoid falling trap to monopolistic trade practices that a sole supplier may well resort to.

Operators usually prefer to buy from manufacturers closer home, partly for the tax advantage. That's why you usually find more Leyland buses in Southern parts of the country. A decade back, a lot of Delhites used to buy their Cielos from NOIDA since the car was cheaper in the state of its manufacture. To penetrate the North Indian market better, in early eighties, Leyland set up a plant at Alwar, Rajasthan. Similarly, Tata which originally manufactured only at Jamshedpur, expanded its operations southwards by setting up its second truck plant at Pune. At one time, there was also a proposal to set up the third plant in Karnataka but it failed to materialise.

In the sixties, the Leyland bus chassis was indeed heavier and sturdier than that of Tata (then known as Tata-Mercedes-Benz or TMB). But, with the launch of 1210 from Tata, the difference disappeared. In 1977, Tata launched 1210 E bus chassis with superior driver ergonomics and the Tata product became a driver favourite.

In my view, today there is hardly any quality or reliability difference between the products of these two manufacturers.

Incidentally, Tata's CNG technology is not indigenous but has been sourced from Cummins USA where it was originally developed for use in school buses.

Last edited by directinjection : 16th March 2007 at 17:45.
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