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Old 20th May 2010, 20:09   #346
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Originally Posted by smashnerd View Post
2. The whole thing was vibrating when going over bumps on the road.
Certainly got to do something with the driver - Have traveled day in and day out in Volvos in Bangalore - which has its huge share of bad road. In fact, I have had perfect rides on the volvo on the most imperfect roads.

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3. Interior quality doesn't justify the price.
Could you please elaborate further? The quality on the Volvo is certainly better than what the Marcopolos are thought to be. I felt the Marcopolos were too flimsy - and have already heard from friends that parts inside the Marcopolos were already falling down (cannot verify the authenticity of this news, though). At the same time, the first few Volvos introduced in Bangalore have held up fairly well (compared to the kind of mis-use they are exposed to).

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4. The leveling feature wasn't used at all on the trip.
That depends on the driver - on my two journeys in KSRTC city buses (once each in Kochi and Trivandrum), the kneeling feature was used. Plus, well trained drivers always use the suspension adjustment every time the buses go over a hump or a rough patch of road.

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5. No point in placing adjustable A/C vents if you have to stand to use them.
I guess you traveled on the "lower deck". The upper decks have the vents well within one's reach. The AC Marcopolos have adjustable vents, which cannot be reached even if you stand on the seat! And, why is there no use if you have to stand to use them? You can still stand and change the direction of air flow or manage the flow of air.

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7. Has a emergency window and not a door. Plus, no directions on how to use it anywhere.
I thought people use no directions to break a glass and escape! Hammers are provided near the windows marked as "Emergency Exit". The older versions had a huge multi-lingual notice about how to operate the exits stuck at the front end of the bus. I am not sure if this exists in the newer buses as well.
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Old 20th May 2010, 20:56   #347
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Dude, Take a ride after few more days, after the rains have intensified. You will feel that this ride was smooth. Onam is only 15 weeks away. We have started the process of creating pathways for our former ruler, His Excellency, Rajarajadhiraja Sriman Mahabali' to come up from paataal.

On a more serious note, which route was this? The Volvos run only on the best roads here.
It was from Vytilla to Aluva. Bus was coded JNK 4.

But I guess the worst part was the driver driving it like the other KSRTC's. He would brake hard at the last moment making the standing passengers swing forward wildly.
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Old 20th May 2010, 21:03   #348
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Certainly got to do something with the driver - Have traveled day in and day out in Volvos in Bangalore - which has its huge share of bad road. In fact, I have had perfect rides on the volvo on the most imperfect roads.
I don't think so, it was the bumps on the road.

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Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
Could you please elaborate further? The quality on the Volvo is certainly better than what the Marcopolos are thought to be. I felt the Marcopolos were too flimsy - and have already heard from friends that parts inside the Marcopolos were already falling down (cannot verify the authenticity of this news, though). At the same time, the first few Volvos introduced in Bangalore have held up fairly well (compared to the kind of mis-use they are exposed to).
Well as I said the whole bus especially the overheard hand-grab bars vibrated like hell.

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That depends on the driver - on my two journeys in KSRTC city buses (once each in Kochi and Trivandrum), the kneeling feature was used. Plus, well trained drivers always use the suspension adjustment every time the buses go over a hump or a rough patch of road.
Maybe, but I still expect him to use it especially when I pay such a high price.

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I guess you traveled on the "lower deck". The upper decks have the vents well within one's reach. The AC Marcopolos have adjustable vents, which cannot be reached even if you stand on the seat! And, why is there no use if you have to stand to use them? You can still stand and change the direction of air flow or manage the flow of air.
Still, one feels stupid to get up from the seat to do it.

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Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
I thought people use no directions to break a glass and escape! Hammers are provided near the windows marked as "Emergency Exit". The older versions had a huge multi-lingual notice about how to operate the exits stuck at the front end of the bus. I am not sure if this exists in the newer buses as well.
It just had a small sticker saying "Emergency Window". They need to point out the Hammer and show instructions on it's usage.
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Old 20th May 2010, 21:57   #349
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Originally Posted by smashnerd View Post
2. The whole thing was vibrating when going over bumps on the road.
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Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
Certainly got to do something with the driver -.
If a Volvo vibrates, it is because of the road and the driver, Where as a Tata bus vibrates, it is the fault of the chasis maker.
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Old 20th May 2010, 22:02   #350
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Chennai MTC Marco Polos are no good at all. I had been waiting to get into one. Yesterday I was in Chennai and had a taxi all day long. But I got into a bus plying in Route No. 596 between CMBT and Maduravoyal, while the car followed me. It was raining very heavily.

1. The bus has an irritating vibration. This vibration is absent in MTC privately bodied Leylands
2. The bus seemed to lack in power. made me remember the KSRTC sluggish 1510's. What engines does these Marcopolos have?
3. Even though the bus was just 1 or 2 months old, the body was rattling.
4. It was also very stuffy inside, unlike the usual MTC buses

First pic is of the MTC Marcopolo while the second is of MTC's Irizar TVS built Leyland Semi Low Floor.
Attached Thumbnails
City Buses of various STUs all over India-img_0054a.jpg  

City Buses of various STUs all over India-img_0034a.jpg  

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Old 20th May 2010, 22:09   #351
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I don't think so, it was the bumps on the road.
Well as I said the whole bus especially the overheard hand-grab bars vibrated like hell.
I would still blame the driver. The Volvos vibrate very badly at certain RPM bands in certain gears - but vibrating over humps certainly point fingers at wrong driving methods of the driver. Wrong timings of deceleration and early (& Harsh) acceleration ends up in such vibrations.

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Maybe, but I still expect him to use it especially when I pay such a high price.
Oh boy! I never knew this up-down circus was part of the ticket!

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Originally Posted by smashnerd View Post
Still, one feels stupid to get up from the seat to do it.
Depends on the person - atleast I've never felt stupid when I get up to adjust the vents - as a ticket paying passenger, you have your rights to do it.

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If a Volvo vibrates, it is because of the road and the driver, Where as a Tata bus vibrates, it is the fault of the chasis maker.
If the volvo vibrates on humps, it certainly is the fault of the driver and the road. And if the TATA vibrates all the time, it certainly is the fault of the maker.

But then, the Manual Transmission Volvo does not vibrate as badly as the 8400 does - and the 8400 does that only when the bus nearly red-lines in each gear - unlike the TATA which vibrates every time except during run (even when it slows down, i've experienced vibrations).

Last edited by binaiks : 20th May 2010 at 22:14.
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Old 20th May 2010, 22:48   #352
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@Binai - I'll clarify what I meant by vibrations.

The whole bus body shook when the bus went over irregularities (not really bumps) on the road at a constant speed. I drove that stretch in a car and never felt vibrations or irregularities at 70 kph. I'm not sure why this was. Maybe it's because he driver had not raised the bus.

Also, about the interiors. The only thing better about the seats on the Volvo than those on the Tata is that they are proper cushioned seats. Plus there is the felt lining on some interior panels that tend to collect dust.

I don't know why you have to step up a bit to sit on the seats ahead of the rear door. I remember the Marcopolo's as having a truly flat floor in the front part.
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Old 21st May 2010, 11:08   #353
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Default Query regarding Marcopolos

Why do these Tata Marcopolos come with 6-speed gearboxes? Isn't a 4-speed gearbox the standard for a city bus?
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Old 21st May 2010, 13:01   #354
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If a Volvo vibrates, it is because of the road and the driver, Where as a Tata bus vibrates, it is the fault of the chasis maker.
Absolutely. As former owner, I can say that Tata buses are more prone to harmonic vibrations than AL buses.

Dunno about SLF/LF and Volvos. I am yet to travel in one.

The modern Tatas have improved a lot, but when it comes to absorbing engine and road vibrations, AL still is ahead of Tatas. (I am speaking of normal chassis with spring leaf suspension on all four sides).

If you find a bus on an AL chassis vibrating, (due to harmonics - not body noise / rattle), blame it on poor body building.

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Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
I would still blame the driver. The Volvos vibrate very badly at certain RPM bands in certain gears -
This is vibrations caused by harmonics.

We probably have a thread on the subject here.

Vibrations at idle is caused by bad fuel pump governor settings. A passenger in the rear half of a normally maintained AL will never know whether the engine is running or not, provided the original body is well built. At least, that is how it used to be with the older AL 370 engines.

However, though Tatas used (almost) same fuel pumps (we have inerchanged fuel pumps with some minor modifications), getting the right idle settings on the governor was a real pain.

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Why do these Tata Marcopolos come with 6-speed gearboxes? Isn't a 4-speed gearbox the standard for a city bus?
All heavy vehicles come with 5 front, 1 reverse gear box. At least, that is the case for past 3 decades. The vehicle starts off in 2nd gear. Yes - you got it right - 2nd gear. The 1st gear is a "crawler" gear, and is used only when there is high load or on steep inclines. We discussed this in raj's thread on his luxury / contract carriages. Since the proper 1st gear is not used, you get the impression of a 4 speed gear box.

The fact sheet from Tatas posted by Ashley couple of pages back mentions a chassis with 6 forward gears. I would like to know if any of the gears are overdrive gears.

To put the thing in proper perspective - almost all cars have the 5th gear as an overdrive. The old school Zen had 4th and 5th gears as overdrives, IIRC.
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Old 21st May 2010, 13:38   #355
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Not many of us would be aware that our own AL had been making bold attempts in the past to offer advanced products in the Indian market. But unfortunately there were not much takers for these new concepts due to various reasons. Here is an article published in "The HINDU" newspaper in 2000. It talks about one such "Sitibus" from AL.
Dude this clipping is awesome! Look at the bus!! I would love go on a ride....Very nostalgic.

Thanks for sharing. But how did you get hold of it?

BH.
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Old 21st May 2010, 14:35   #356
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My god! Are Tata diesel buses so bad? Their CNG buses do not have any of these vibrations. In fact I can safely say that the Tata Marcopolo is the best available option right now in low floor CNG buses. Even the non low floor (i.e truck chassis) CNG buses do not vibrate, and their engines are quite smooth.
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Old 21st May 2010, 18:11   #357
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Originally Posted by smashnerd View Post
Also, about the interiors. The only thing better about the seats on the Volvo than those on the Tata is that they are proper cushioned seats. Plus there is the felt lining on some interior panels that tend to collect dust.
Dust shouldn't be an issue in these buses - they run with doors closed all the time, and the windows are sealed. There are very little chances of huge quantities of dust ingress.

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I don't know why you have to step up a bit to sit on the seats ahead of the rear door. I remember the Marcopolo's as having a truly flat floor in the front part.
The reason is simple. The Volvos have their fuel tanks (they have two tanks, interconnected) between the front and the rear axles. The tanks (made of plastic) are suspended right below the seats in the front portion of the bus. At the same time, the TATA Marcopolo (and the Ashok Leyland ULF) has the fuel tank right next to the engine (between the rear axle and the engine). The fuel tank placement in the TATA/Ashok Leyland buses is a bit haphazard, while the Volvo has placed it far off from the engine.

The location of the fuel tank results in the raised portion inside the bus in case of a Volvo.
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Old 21st May 2010, 20:24   #358
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The reason is simple. The Volvos have their fuel tanks (they have two tanks, interconnected) between the front and the rear axles. The tanks (made of plastic) are suspended right below the seats in the front portion of the bus...

....The location of the fuel tank results in the raised portion inside the bus in case of a Volvo.
Thanks for the info about the tanks.
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Old 22nd May 2010, 01:32   #359
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The reason is simple. The Volvos have their fuel tanks (they have two tanks, interconnected) between the front and the rear axles. The tanks (made of plastic) are suspended right below the seats in the front portion of the bus. At the same time, the TATA Marcopolo (and the Ashok Leyland ULF) has the fuel tank right next to the engine (between the rear axle and the engine). The fuel tank placement in the TATA/Ashok Leyland buses is a bit haphazard, while the Volvo has placed it far off from the engine.
Binai you are right.
The reason for placing the fuel tanks(120l+120l) between the front and rear axle in a volvo B7R LE unlike TATA or AL is due to the hydrodynamic retarder (Voith) and its oil tank(same oil is used by the torque converter as well) which are located between the rear axle and engine.

The intercity version has fuel tank configuration of [(1x350l)+(2x150l)].
The 350l is located horizontally between rear axle and engine(more towards the rear axle) and vertically between the chassis and the body. All the three are interconnected.
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Old 23rd May 2010, 15:39   #360
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BEST has started outsourcing repaints to a private garage. Attached a pic of a bus painted by them. It was painted a week before clicking the pic. Paint quality is superb, far better than the work done by most of the depots.
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