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Old 23rd June 2010, 23:37   #256
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Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
TVS replaced the odo of both the buses with new ones, free of cost. now it is working perfectly but now the odo reads 0 kms! our buses had run around 10000 kms before this!
Do not worry, you will soon get used to buses without odos!!!

Seriously, either the meter, or the cable are prone to frequent damage, and since it is not a show-stopper, people do not bother fixin them.

IIRC, te cable for the odo is connected to the gear box, near the propeller shaft.

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By the way, we are getting an average of 4.15-4.25 kmpl on both the buses now, after the first service. a major improvement from 3.5-3.75 kmpl. is this okay or should it be more?
Yes, this indeed a reasonable figure. Our AL bus used to drink 90 Liters of diesel for exactly 250 KMS of run, but that was a stage carriage, with plenty of idling, and several stops, and of course, frequent gear shifting.

Depending on the route / road conditions, make sure you get above 4.5 KMPL. That is the figure contract carriages / long distance buses used to get way back then, and I guess with improved FE / emission norms, FE should have improved.

Oh well, my guess is that with turbo, you should get above 5 KMPL in ideal conditions. Kerala does not have ideal conditions though.
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Old 24th June 2010, 00:16   #257
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Yes, this indeed a reasonable figure. Our AL bus used to drink 90 Liters of diesel for exactly 250 KMS of run, but that was a stage carriage, with plenty of idling, and several stops, and of course, frequent gear shifting.
Tell us more about this. About the bus, the picture..
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Old 24th June 2010, 09:32   #258
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@Raj

Where would you rank PRAKASH as a body builder. Are they better than/equal to/more logical alternative to SUTLEJ who is arguably the best body builder in India.

What about VEERA who are able to match if not better the finish of PRAKASH. OJES also has some pretty impressive busses on the road, but you mentioned that they have problems with Customer relations.

A lot of mini busses in Banagalore are JCBL. Are they the kings of mini-bus body building?
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Old 24th June 2010, 10:26   #259
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Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
This is indeed a not bad figure. its bound to increse upto 4.75 max in sub service
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Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
Do not worry, you will soon get used to buses without odos!!!

Seriously, either the meter, or the cable are prone to frequent damage, and since it is not a show-stopper, people do not bother fixin them.

IIRC, te cable for the odo is connected to the gear box, near the propeller shaft.



Yes, this indeed a reasonable figure. Our AL bus used to drink 90 Liters of diesel for exactly 250 KMS of run, but that was a stage carriage, with plenty of idling, and several stops, and of course, frequent gear shifting.

Depending on the route / road conditions, make sure you get above 4.5 KMPL. That is the figure contract carriages / long distance buses used to get way back then, and I guess with improved FE / emission norms, FE should have improved.

Oh well, my guess is that with turbo, you should get above 5 KMPL in ideal conditions. Kerala does not have ideal conditions though.
so, i should be looking at a figure of 4.5 to 4.75 kmpl after the next service.

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@Raj

Where would you rank PRAKASH as a body builder. Are they better than/equal to/more logical alternative to SUTLEJ who is arguably the best body builder in India.

What about VEERA who are able to match if not better the finish of PRAKASH. OJES also has some pretty impressive busses on the road, but you mentioned that they have problems with Customer relations.

A lot of mini busses in Banagalore are JCBL. Are they the kings of mini-bus body building?
IMO, Sutlej is the best buddy. their styling & finishing is simply superb. but since they are based in north, its not practical for bus owners in south.

Next in line comes Prakash, the "best" alternative to bus owners in south.

I have no hands on experience with Veera but i have seen their buses from outside & they are equivalent to prakash. but then since i am from kerela, if i have to take the hassles of transporting the chassis to bangalore from kerela & back, it would be for prakash only, and not for veera! (that is the reason we got out mini bus done at sisira, since prakash was overbooked!)

Ojes has some of the better designs, especially in AC mini buses. but many complain that they dont stick to any schedule, often delay the promised delivery dates, their bodies are too heavy thus impacting FE & so on.

Shillibear & sisira were the options left to us. a friendly bus operator known to us claimed that sisira is the best when it comes to mini buses. we gave it a try.

Last edited by raj_5004 : 24th June 2010 at 10:27.
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Old 24th June 2010, 11:16   #260
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@Raj
A lot of mini busses in Banagalore are JCBL. Are they the kings of mini-bus body building?
I would rate JCBL as the last. The reliabity of their bodies are very bad compared to other builders.
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Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
IMO, Sutlej is the best buddy. their styling & finishing is simply superb. but since they are based in north, its not practical for bus owners in south.
wrt sutlej I am not sure that I can tell they are the best but I can tell vey well Prakash(SMK)) is very close. Their designs are plain, simple and rugged.

I would like to quote some examples from TNSTC - SETC Ultra delux buses.
There are buses from Prakash,JCBL( though initial lot only in 2005),Irizar.
SETC has the worst maintenance schedule I can say.They run,run and simply run the buses with out stopping. With all this torture I can say only prakash and Irizar have survived.
JCBL buses I still remember their paint finish was so bad that they need to repaint with in 2 years of service.
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Old 25th June 2010, 15:30   #261
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Tell us more about this. About the bus, the picture..
Oh well, it was a 1978 AL cheetah, with a TVS body. 43 seater, route bus. doing city service. We never regretted choosing a TVS body since maintenance was very low - practically nil, except for accident repairs and upholstery work on seats.

The still older one was sold in 1979/80; it had a TN built body on a Fargo chassis.

Pics? I am afraid no. We only have accident pics teken for insurance survey; and that too would be poorly maintained - since they would be kept in legal papers, not albums.

I am a bit amused why nobody mentions TVS bodies nowadays for luxury vehicles.
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Old 25th June 2010, 18:39   #262
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I am a bit amused why nobody mentions TVS bodies nowadays for luxury vehicles.
TVS is mentioned here as IRIZAR.
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Old 25th June 2010, 19:15   #263
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TVS is mentioned here as IRIZAR.

I thought that Sundaram Industries (maduari) was different from Irizar TVS.
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Old 25th June 2010, 20:02   #264
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Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
Oh well, it was a 1978 AL cheetah, with a TVS body. 43 seater, route bus. doing city service. We never regretted choosing a TVS body since maintenance was very low - practically nil, except for accident repairs and upholstery work on seats.

The still older one was sold in 1979/80; it had a TN built body on a Fargo chassis.

Pics? I am afraid no. We only have accident pics teken for insurance survey; and that too would be poorly maintained - since they would be kept in legal papers, not albums.

I am a bit amused why nobody mentions TVS bodies nowadays for luxury vehicles.
So you have quit this field now. What was the name of service and till whn was it on Road. Which route ?
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Old 25th June 2010, 20:49   #265
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So you have quit this field now. What was the name of service and till whn was it on Road. Which route ?
Till 1989.

One end for all the 4 buses was Fort Cochin. Let the other ends remain a mystery!!!

One of he other 2 was a Tata, and was a miserable failure financially. This one was built in TN (probably TVS, nor sure), and had tube lights for internal lighting. The other bus was a 1975 or 76 model AL with a TVS body. It was taken over by one of father's brothers in early 1980s, so I do not have more details of that one. But it certainly was a better vehicle.

Since the Tata bus was turning into a failure, we sold the allottment papers of a brand new Tata chassis for a 15K premium in late 1970s!!! (those were the days of control).

And let this thread belong to Raj.

Last edited by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR : 25th June 2010 at 20:56.
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Old 26th June 2010, 11:32   #266
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I was under the understanding that SUTLEJ makes coach bodies with full square section but PRAKASH use L shaped angles for coach bodies.

The full square section bodies since they are hollow, transmit the energies of an accident throughout the bodies and there is less overall damage. The L section bodies transmit the forces directly to the passengers.

Some KARUR guys have woodden bodies, i.e Wood reepers on the L section angles for the structure of the bodies. Its definitely stronger than normal L section bodies but then, remember the Jayalalitha fire incident where a bus load of school girls were burnt alive - are extremely combustible.

It seems SUTLEJ bodies are heavy and give less mileage but can have more load on their roofs making them semi passenger-goods vehicles, while PRAKASH bodies are light and make them not very suitable to carrying luggage on their roofs.

The experts opinion awaited...
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Old 30th June 2010, 10:10   #267
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As i had mentioned before, one of our buses had a slight tilt to the left. Our bus had gone to the A.S.S to check this & if possible, make the necessary adjustments.

but according to TVS- our A.S.S, the chassis does not have any faults & they are blaming PRAKASH. according to them, PRAKASH has made some error in the body building & hence more weight is shifting to the left making the bus tilt a bit towards left.

We tried to compensate for the tilt by adding extra leaves on one side but there is still a slight tilt to the left.

Now,
1) Will this have any adverse long term affects on the chassis or suspension or any other parts of the chassis?
2) We all speak high about Prakash's quality, their expertise & so on. but this has left a bad impression on me, if this is indeed their fault. We cannot just drive the bus all the way to bangalore just to get this checked from prakash.
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Old 30th June 2010, 12:15   #268
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As a layman with no internal knowledge but just based on observation I can say more then 80% of buses here in Bangalore, both BMTC and Private buses ( except highend ones like Volvo, Marcopolo ) have bodies sagging to one side.
For BMTC buses we can say it is due to passengers hanging on foot-board but for others it looks like a standard feature of local body builders.
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Old 30th June 2010, 15:56   #269
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Raj - please check with Prakash. Also, get the vehicle hauled up on one of those ramps at water-wash service stations, and check the U bolts / "I" clamps which hold the body to the chassis. My guess is that this may have been checked by the leaf guys, but still be sure.

If required, take the vehicle to some experienced "asan" at a heavy vehicle workshop. Get it checked at both body and mechanical workshops.

Put the vehicle on some flat ground (nor road, SOME fuel stations have reasonably flat grounds), and measure the following heights from the ground.

1. bottom of front axle (both sides).

2. Bottom of the chassis. (hear the leaf "shoes" - thing which holds the leaf assembly to the chassis- both front end and rear end of the front leaves.

3. Bottom of the floor board (bottom the platform inside the vehicle.

4. Ground to top of the vehicle (both sides). This will rule out inclines in the body / frames itself.

Use tape / strings to make the measurements. Use a water level thingie (waer in a transparent tube - used by mason / brick layers) on ALL the 4 tyres (use top of the tyres as reference point) to ensure that the vehicle is indeed level.

I once had an obstinate vehicle vibration problem; and finally took diagnosis into my own hands, and measured the distances between the front and rear hubs on both sides; it was 4 inches more on one side - caused by a bent front axle (accident damage).

My guess is that some 1 / U clamp has got loose, and/or packing material between the chassis and body may have fallen off. The symptoms of this is drivers frequently miscalculating vehicle clearances while negotiating narrow stretches of roads.

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Originally Posted by amitk26 View Post
For BMTC buses we can say it is due to passengers hanging on foot-board but for others it looks like a standard feature of local body builders.
This happens due to the slope of the road too (always towards left of the vehicle).

Also, since most passengers tend to stand on he left side, the leaves on left side tend to stay "flatter" more time, and ultimately, stay that way.

We sometimes re-camber the leaves once 2-3 years. This ought not be required on a luxury bus with air suspension on the rear.

Last edited by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR : 30th June 2010 at 16:00.
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Old 30th June 2010, 16:38   #270
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@ backseatdriver: thanks buddy. i have noted all your points. i believe all such checks have already been done before adding the extra leaves but i will still make sure its done.
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