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Old 2nd June 2010, 10:00   #436
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I am sorry I did not understand this part. You mean the bus has two engines - one for movement and the other for a/c? Or do you mean the A/C buses' engines are different from the engines on non-A/C buses?
He definitely meant each bus has 2 engines one for AC and another for movement as all ARC and ABTX are of the same configuration AL 12M painted in white and maintained impeccably.
They are a very good example of why an operator does not need a VOLVO to give premium offering to their customers, always. Had travelled by ABTX couple of times from Bangalore to Chennai and found their service to be good. They maintain their times, are not very rash and found that the bus does not struggle in the ghats (at Soolagiri). In fact, I am told all their service gets booked before others and there is always a demand for their offerings during weekends and are preferred by ladies travelling alone.
I doubt if they have 2 engines though because if the bus is switched off the AC also gets switched off which should not be the case if there were 2 engines.

Last edited by DWind : 2nd June 2010 at 10:02.
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Old 2nd June 2010, 11:25   #437
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Originally Posted by Sam.k View Post
I travel frequently between Chennai- Coimbatore.Off late my preffered operator is ARC Travels based out of coimbatore.All thier buses are relatively new and very well maintained,always clean and the staff are very courteous..
For an AL bus the cabin is very quiet and roomy.I also heard that their buses have a seperate engine for the a/c.I usually take the 9.15pm bus from Koyambedu and im in coimbatore by 5.30.5.45am sharp..now thats a very good timing for a AL bus doing 525kms with a 15 min break at thoppur.At one instance i was woken up at 5am at coimbatore.That was really quick...better if not at par with the train timings.They provide shawls and a packaged water bottle while boarding.All in all its a pleasure patronising them.
They are my favourites too. I do travel very frequently between Chennai and CBE, and generally prefer ARC. AFAIK, these buses have the AC driven off the engine itself. That's the reason they don't turn off the engine when they stop for a (tea)break. Others such as Parveen, KPN et al (non-AC) turn off the engine when they take a break.

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Its the same case with ABT X TRAVELS(all A.L fleet) These guys share the same timings with ARC and are rivals i guess..but on healthy grounds.

CONTI(Volvo & Isuzu) is also a very trusted operator and the oldest among the list.All these coimbatore operators are really good and punctual and offer better customer service.
I've always had bad experiences with Conti. Once I traveled in their Volvo. It was bumpy, very noisy for a volvo and I could smell the exhaust from inside. Moreover, there was hot air gushing in thru holes in the floor. They didn't provide any blankets or water, unlike ARC.

On another occasion, I took their non AC bus, and it was horribly slow. I started from CBE at 9 (guess so), and they dropped us at Koyambedu at half past seven.

Never had a chance to travel by ABT. Hope they won't disappoint me

Before I sign off, here's one thing that makes me wonder: If I book a ticket for ARC via redBus or ticketgoose, or their booking counter, I'll be charged Rs.540. Now, if I book a ticket using their website [www DOT arctours DOT in], I'll be charged Rs.567. Generally it's the other way!!!

Last edited by silversteed : 2nd June 2010 at 11:27.
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Old 2nd June 2010, 12:32   #438
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I once had a bad / good experience in Kallada a few years back. On the way to Trichur, we left Madiwala around 1030 PM on a Kallada A/c Sleeper coach. Suddenly woke up around 1 in the night and the bus was crawling in 1st/2nd gear. Reached Dharmapuri around 130 and the driver told us that replacement bus will reach within an hour, and asked us to stay in the bus till then. Replacement bus came only in the morning around 630 and we reached Trichur around 330 in the afternoon. Thats the bad part of the journey.
However the good part is when the bus was parked on the roadside in Dharmapuri all night the driver kept the engine running, and all of us had a nice sleep in the A/c comfort. The driver could have easily switched off the engine saying bus has broken down.
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Old 2nd June 2010, 19:45   #439
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Originally Posted by Sam.k View Post
For an AL bus the cabin is very quiet and roomy.I also heard that their buses have a seperate engine for the a/c.
Nope, they don't! Almost all new AL AC buses introduced by regular operators have their AC's directly powered by the engine. These buses are powered by 177hp Hino Engines, and they can easily power the Airconditioners (albeit with some loss of power).

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Originally Posted by Sam.k View Post
Its the same case with ABT X TRAVELS(all A.L fleet) These guys share the same timings with ARC and are rivals i guess..but on healthy grounds.
To be really precise, they aren't rivals. Both the operators belong to the same family. ABT X Travels & ARC Tours have partitioned routes between themselves - they co-operate on major routes, and have reserved some segments between them. For example. ARC operates from CBE to Kerala, whereas Bangalore side is reserved for ABT.

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CONTI(Volvo & Isuzu) is also a very trusted operator and the oldest among the list.All these coimbatore operators are really good and punctual and offer better customer service.
CONTI is the oldest - they used to be owned by UMS (the group that manufactures Stabilizers). I am not sure of the current ownership. Their buses used to be the best in the scene, very punctual and efficient. However, all these were during my last trip - way back in 1998. Off late, there has been bad reports about Conti.
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Old 2nd June 2010, 20:00   #440
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Originally Posted by DWind View Post
He definitely meant each bus has 2 engines one for AC and another for movement as all ARC and ABTX are of the same configuration AL 12M painted in white and maintained impeccably.
They are all featured with engine driven A/c and do not use any slave engine.
Infact AL was the first to introduce the BS3 version of engine driven AC 12M bus before TML in 2006.
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Old 2nd June 2010, 20:17   #441
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Just saw this thread, couldnt read the whole thing, but thought of sharing my experience of last weekend trip to kerala and back. Its mixture of good and bad.

Last Friday evening, I happened to travel in the B9R volvo of Kallada, which is known as the multi-axle volvo, with 10 tires in total, ticket costed 950 bucks. Kallada has a pick up from Mathikere that is close to BEL circle which we never miss out whenever me or one of the family members travel. Its a blessing. It picks up passengers twice in the afternoon and drops infront of their Kalasipalayam office. So, I got my pick up and reached the station just 10 mts before the departure. B9R was already waiting with the AC ON, with very few people inside. Because most of these Kerala buses get filled from Madivala. It was a wonderful bus journey to remember, ever since I started my bus travels to kerala. They stopped at Krishnagiri at a very decent hotel for dinner around 9.15pm. One of the latest movies was shown and it was good. I reached my hometown with a fresh feeling in the morning around 7.30am.

Now the return nighmare on Sunday night. This was booked online with Sona Travels also titled on the bus as Raj National. I paid Rs.1000 from Angamaly to Bangalore which is higher than my Kallada ticket that was 60 kms more travel. Somehow I thought this is also going to be multi-axle volvo judging from the ticket rate. But I was mistaken bigtime right from the booking to the arrival. It was an old volvo (B5R I think), stinking of sweat, AC for the sake of it, because I was sweating throughout. They never stopped anywhere and I had my worst travel experience ever. Now the biggest pain was yet to happen...

They dropped everyone at Madivala and declared it wont go any further as a routine. Thats 30 kms far from my home. Now imagine Kallada that picked me up from 3 kms near my house and Sona that drops me 30 kms far from my home. Forget all that, I paid more for the ticket and they dont even show the courtesy to reach the main bus station that every inter-state buses operate from. Anyway, less said the better, I had around 7 people to share my woe and we jumped into a Kallada bus that was dropping its Madivala travellers infront of us. They happily agreed to take us all to the station without asking a penny.

Now I am mightly impressed with the Kallada service. Whatever said and done, I never had a bad experience with them so far, therefore I never took chances in other operators, but this time I got royally cheated by the Sona gang. None of us were in a mood to argue nor waste our time after an already exhausted overnite journey.
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Old 6th June 2010, 22:06   #442
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I travelled from Bangalore to Mumbai on Thursday and back on Friday by VRL Multi-Axle Volvo. Booked for Rs.1300 and 1400 via REDBUS. I was seated towards the back (#28) and the ride was ok. The bus from Bangalore started on time. Reached Mumbai on time and they dropped me right where i had to get down. Overall it was ok. A few irritants though.

(1) They stopped at all the major VRL terminals (VRL has major infrastructure from their parcel days) and this took time. What's the point in wasting time at all these places and then ripping to make it up?

(2) Whenever the bus stopped for food, the driver forced everybody to get down from the bus so that he could switch off the engine and lock the bus.

I couldn't figure why WE should care about the bus being multi-axle...and thus slightly longer. It didn't add any leg-room. It did add a few more seats.

No complimentary bottled water was provided. I haven't travelled to Mumbai by any other operator. So i can't do any comparison here.

-- Torqy

Last edited by Torqy : 6th June 2010 at 22:13.
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Old 7th June 2010, 14:41   #443
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VRL buses stop at their terminals, so that they can probably keep track of their buses/drivers. I have seen a couple of times where one person from the terminal comes and counts the no of passengers and tallies it with the chart so that the drivers cant load extra passengers.
Some of these terminals also have separate toilets for men and women which we rarely find on our highways.
VRL never provides water or blankets. That luxury is available only on KSRTC and some other private operators.
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Old 8th June 2010, 11:32   #444
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(2) Whenever the bus stopped for food, the driver forced everybody to get down from the bus so that he could switch off the engine and lock the bus.
Well, i would take that as a blessing in disguise. I hate it when some people have their packed dinner inside the bus, and the smell lingers inside the bus through the journey.

Also, locking the bus makes sure the bus is secured when people are outside. For all you know, someone can just walk in, pick up some bag and walk out, and no one would care. This helps to prevent such an occurrence.

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I couldn't figure why WE should care about the bus being multi-axle...and thus slightly longer. It didn't add any leg-room. It did add a few more seats.
Good point. I havent travelled by a multi-axle so far, so cant comment on the leg space. However, i have heard from friends about the ride quality being much better than the conventional setup.
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Old 8th June 2010, 11:53   #445
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VRL buses stop at their terminals, so that they can probably keep track of their buses/drivers. I have seen a couple of times where one person from the terminal comes and counts the no of passengers and tallies it with the chart so that the drivers cant load extra passengers.
Some of these terminals also have separate toilets for men and women which we rarely find on our highways.
VRL never provides water or blankets. That luxury is available only on KSRTC and some other private operators.
Those VRL terminals act as a checkpoint as well as a rest n refresh point. I believe they change drivers there(?). The last time I went to Hubli on a VRL Volvo, the driver changed at a checkpoint near Davanagere or Chitradurga (not sure).

Actually, they did provide me with a blanket on my journey, but I don't remember whether they gave me the water bottle that day.
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Old 8th June 2010, 14:53   #446
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VRL gave blankets. Yes, the terminals might be check points. The bus had 2 drivers right from the start.

-- Torqy
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Old 8th June 2010, 14:58   #447
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Also, locking the bus makes sure the bus is secured when people are outside. For all you know, someone can just walk in, pick up some bag and walk out, and no one would care. This helps to prevent such an occurrence.
Or even worse, someone may walk in and keep some baggage inside.

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I havent travelled by a multi-axle so far, so cant comment on the leg space. However, i have heard from friends about the ride quality being much better than the conventional setup.
There is no difference in the leg space, but the ride quality is definitely good. Especially when there are less passengers on board, the difference is much noticeable.
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Old 12th June 2010, 14:52   #448
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...big bus service to Trivandrum.....
Pardon me if this sounds stupid. What exactly is this big bus? Is this the same as multi axle volvo? Or some other manufacturer?

Last edited by Rehaan : 15th June 2010 at 16:30. Reason: Quoted post removed - however, leaving your question etc.
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Old 12th June 2010, 15:39   #449
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Its same Volvo multi axle 9400. The operator just call it "Big bus"
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Old 12th June 2010, 22:39   #450
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Pardon me if this sounds stupid. What exactly is this big bus? Is this the same as multi axle volvo? Or some other manufacturer?
Is it a brand name for the service? "Big Bus" is famous in UK and recently started operations in US. I saw a "Grey Hound" bus in Kochi recently.
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