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Old 30th May 2013, 12:37   #2806
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Took Conti volvo day service to CBE on wednesday. They still go through Avinashi-Annur, which causes delays- 9 pm to reach, starting at 1.30 pm with only one break at Rajabhogam(bus took u turn). Safe speeds, safe journey but thin-cushion seats are not comfortable.
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Old 30th May 2013, 14:14   #2807
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Originally Posted by venki.bala View Post
what timings they reach back in the return direction.
Venki Sir, the return journey from Chennai to Hyderabad is a comfortable timing, starts around 7:30 PM, dinner break around 9:45 PM and reaches Hyderabad around 7 AM (KPHB). A perfect over nigh journey.

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Another difference could be the road and its conditions. The road from Hyderabad till we take the Main NH, is full of twists and turns and deep potholes.
I believe this is the culprit for the "cloth in a washing machine" journey, may be, if the roads are set right, the journey would be better
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Old 30th May 2013, 14:34   #2808
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Due to a lack of confirmed train tickets between Chennai and Bhubaneswar,
Vijayawada to Bhubaneswar:
.
It looks like there are 2 buses in Hyderabad - Bhuvaneshwar route. Diwakar Travels is the other service than Kesineni. Both of them have similar timings. Next VRL will join the bandwagon with Hyderabad - Kolkata service.. Since he has already started Bangalore - Jodhpur service.
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Old 30th May 2013, 16:27   #2809
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Not sure if this is the right place. But how come we don't hear about mercedes services being launched newly? All I see is news of new routes with B9R and now B11R. How is mercedes fairing these days?
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Old 30th May 2013, 16:42   #2810
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Not sure if this is the right place. But how come we don't hear about mercedes services being launched newly? All I see is news of new routes with B9R and now B11R. How is mercedes fairing these days?
Faring very badly. Very few operators went for a repeat order with Mercedes - the reasons being stated are body issues (lack of service support on body related problems - Mercedes washes its hands off the body and asks customers to contact Sutlej directly) and spare parts availability (some spares take a good 3-4 months to come!).

With the commercial vehicle division hived off to BharatBenz, I heard things are getting better now. May be we'll start seeing repeat orders if things are getting really better.
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Old 30th May 2013, 21:33   #2811
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...I would rather travel by Volvo than the sleeper again....
I never felt comfortable in any 1+1 type sleeper. I keep rolling back and forth during acceleration and braking.
But I greatly prefer regular 2+1 sleeper, especially the lower berths. I prefer them in all routes and im using them for past few years .
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Old 30th May 2013, 21:53   #2812
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Mangalore to Mumbai via Neeta Volvo sleeper (via Goa).
I didn't get a lower side berth so had to settle for an upper side berth. I chose an upper berth in the middle of the bus, thinking that it will be the most comfortable.
To my utter disappointment, I could not sleep for even 5 minutes on this bus. With so much body roll, I was getting nauseated and my 5'11 frame was also feeling very claustrophobic at the top. Many a times I had to grab a handle whenever the bus made a right turn to avoid falling 4 foot down on the floor.

I was so tired and nauseated with a spinning feeling in my head when I reached Mumbai (1 hour late). I will never take a sleeper bus again. Even a semi sleeper/recliner is much better that this monstrosity.
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Old 30th May 2013, 22:46   #2813
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derezzed View Post
Mangalore to Mumbai via Neeta Volvo sleeper (via Goa).
I didn't get a lower side berth so had to settle for an upper side berth. I chose an upper berth in the middle of the bus, thinking that it will be the most comfortable.
.
This is a slower route for sure. How much time did this journey take ? What about ticket fares as compared to the usual route via Belgaum - Pune.
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Old 31st May 2013, 13:42   #2814
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Faring very badly. Very few operators went for a repeat order with Mercedes
In fact AFAIK, VRL didn't even buy a single piece. When a operator of that size doesn't bother to pick a product, it says a lot about the product. Many of the Mercedes orders were from small time operators. Mercedes never got any bulk orders(except Neeta), But got orders because Volvo had its hands full, and were unable to meet the demands.

Cheers,
Abhijeet
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Old 31st May 2013, 14:49   #2815
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In fact AFAIK, VRL didn't even buy a single piece. When a operator of that size doesn't bother to pick a product, it says a lot about the product. Many of the Mercedes orders were from small time operators. Mercedes never got any bulk orders(except Neeta), But got orders because Volvo had its hands full, and were unable to meet the demands.

Cheers,
Abhijeet
Though I agree about the issues with the quality and service issues with Mercedes buses, but your logic here is not sound in my view.

I think a large operator will prefer sticking to single brand of buses, or keep variations between buses to a minimum so as to keep service costs down.

Take a look at the airline industry as an analogy. Big operators like Indigo or Air Asia also keep their fleet variations to a minimum. And they operate the Airbus A320series. But it doesnt mean that the Boeing 737 is not a good product.

So VRL not opting for a Merc is logical, as having a few Mercs among hundred+ of Volvos will not make sense. It will be a service nightmare. But for a smaller operator, it doesnt make that much of a difference.
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Old 31st May 2013, 20:14   #2816
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Great to hear about Volvo's service quality among bus manufacturers. I have a training cum visit to the Volvo Hosakote(BLR) plant on June 5th and 6th. The Volvo bus body facility is top on my list of things that i will check out. Super-excited !
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Old 31st May 2013, 20:14   #2817
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That seems to be a considerable difference between the two manufacturers. But another doubt - Do these operators really go in for genuine spares given their high cost?
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Old 1st June 2013, 08:53   #2818
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That seems to be a considerable difference between the two manufacturers. But another doubt - Do these operators really go in for genuine spares given their high cost?
They do. A lot of operators even prefer to get even minor works done at the Volvo service station itself instead of using their own workforce. Major operators get the spares on credit from Volvo, and pay as they use the parts. I haven't heard of spurious parts in Volvos - it is surely a possibility though.
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Old 1st June 2013, 09:42   #2819
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Thats a good thing to hear. I have heard of using other suppliers or parts on two ocassions:

1. There was a newspaper article on how expensive the volvo buses were to maintain and in this article, none other than a BMTC official stated that parts from volvo are very expensive and they are sourcing some parts from the local market costing a fraction,, such as Window panes etc. Though I dont think mechanical parts can be duplicated so easily. No wonder we now see BMTC volvos with no-brand front and side glass panels. The original ones have the volvo sign on them whereas the replaced panes have some other name.

2. In one of the forums I read, about the bad maintenance of these buses there was a post which quoted the driver saying that the spare parts are very high priced which leads to them taking the aftermarket route.

Hence I had the doubt. Yes there are well maintained volvos as well as battered ones. Sometime back there was a Sangita travels volvo first gen B7R that used to be parked near my house during the day. Everytime I saw the bus some or the other part would have been taken out for repairs. Even the body was in bad shape. Then I used to wonder how these buses would cater to people. It could be true that parts are expensive. But I feel it will be worth every penny given the reliablity it offers.

I even dont like how KSRTC maintains its volvos. Absolute rubbish workmanship. The older the buses get, worse they look. In such cases, I think for an operator, servicing with the company itself will prove to be beneficial in the longrun. It pains to see a first gen volvo these days, that too the KSRTC ones. Mechanically I am not aware, but paintwork, tinkering and also the way they fix glass panes is very disheartening. This will definitely shorten the lifespan of the bus. One fine day they will even start jugaad work on engine, transmission and finally render the bus unfit for service

Recently, I saw an APSTRC garuda 9400 which had a headlight of the normal buses fit right in front of the tiny projector housing of the original headlamps. Say if they dont know about projectors etc why should they do these jugaads and ruin the bus? I saw that in at least three buses in Tirupathi bus station. Guess the lights had conked, and they just added their own in front of the.existing lights

Last edited by audioholic : 1st June 2013 at 09:46.
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Old 2nd June 2013, 06:56   #2820
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Originally Posted by venki.bala View Post
It looks like there are 2 buses in Hyderabad - Bhuvaneshwar route. Diwakar Travels is the other service than Kesineni. Both of them have similar timings. Next VRL will join the bandwagon with Hyderabad - Kolkata service.. Since he has already started Bangalore - Jodhpur service.
Well, seems like Kesineni will beat VRL to the punch in connecting the south to the east. Just a couple of days back during my time with the Kesineni guys of the Vijayawada office, I was telling them a service between Chennai and Bhubaneswar/Cuttack will also do good business.

But probably looking at the superb occupancy of the Bhubaneswar/Cuttack - Hyderabad service has generated, Kesineni has done one better than my suggestion. They are lauching a Chennai to Bhubaneswar/Cuttack and Bangalore to Bhubaneswar/Cuttack(via Tirupathi) on 6th and 7th of June respectively.

OT: Though I cant be sure, but it seems like the Chennai-Vizag and Bangalore-Vizag service seem to have been extended to Bhubaneswar/Cuttack as these new services have the same number as the Vizag services. Upon creation of East Coast railway headquartered at Bhubaneswar, which included area north of Vizag, people from Vizag have complained that many trains serving Vizag have been extended to Bhubaneswar. Now it seems like the same is happening with Volvo services.

Last edited by julupani : 2nd June 2013 at 07:05.
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