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Old 1st February 2010, 00:48   #106
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Congratulations. The busses look great. But the steering wheel and the pedals have still not changed? I've been seeing the same design since my childhood. Nice interiors, and the LCD looks great.
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Old 1st February 2010, 05:53   #107
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Wishing you all the best. I really liked the color. Please post your website, and hope we could check availability online. Keep the vehicle clean and pay attention to the details.
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Old 1st February 2010, 10:01   #108
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Originally Posted by Trapezio View Post
Congrats on your new purchases. Looks quite good. Good luck with your endeavour.

I was recently trying to arrange a trip in Kerala. The options I had were seriously downmarket. Finally settled on a so called new AL bus. Its engine kept switching off and it gave me considerable embarrassment and tension. Wish you had bought these buses a few months earlier!

Does your buses have separate emergency exits? Also how is the luggage space like?
thanks buddy.

the sad about about prakash is that you dont have too many customization options. i had enquired about an emergency exit in the form of an opening rear glass but they said that was not possible.

the side berths carry the battery, tool box, spare tyre & jack. the luggage space is only in the rear berth. its good enough but if you plan to travel long trips, then luggage has to be tied on the carrier on the roof.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Transsenger View Post
@Raj.. Congrats and best wishes.
The body graphics is wonderful. The bus seems to be registered in Ernakulam KL7BM**** ?

Keep updating on the performance.
thanks buddy. you must have seen a lot of these on the roads.

yes, one of our office is based in ernakulam.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PAVAN KADAM View Post
Raj anna, i got company now, one more BUS owner on T-BHP

And saaar, Nice to see, you choose Safari Headlight for the Bus. he he....
yea right.

about the safari headlight, there are 2 reasons-
1) i had no other option except safari's headlight. not that it does not look good though. the other option i had was a simple non-reflective round headlight, which was too boring.
2) you people term the safari as the truck, the beast, the king, etc. so i thought its headlight would be more apt for this beast!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ram_NP View Post
Nice pictures Raj! The body graphics looks cool and the LCD screen is big.

The driver's cabin/console , specailly driver seats does not match the passenger side of the bus.
I guess , you can ask drivers to keep the cushions and switch to new comforts.
thanks ram.

the entire driver cabin including the dashboard has been custom made at extra cost. very few (i have not seen any) buses in kerela come with such a dashboard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadaver_prad View Post
Congratulations. The busses look great. But the steering wheel and the pedals have still not changed? I've been seeing the same design since my childhood. Nice interiors, and the LCD looks great.
thanks buddy. sadly, the more powerful 130 BHP (ours in 113 BHP) AL chassis comes with a better steering wheel, revised instrument console & a car like gear lever.

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Originally Posted by teamveevee View Post
Wishing you all the best. I really liked the color. Please post your website, and hope we could check availability online. Keep the vehicle clean and pay attention to the details.
thanks mate.

i dont think commercial declarations are allowed on T-BHP. so i'll stick to the rules & refrain from posting the website.

talking about clean, yesterday was the first trip of both the buses & 1 child vomited in the bus! luckily, i had covered the passage with removable mats & also given the cleaners mops to clean the bus's floors!

Last edited by raj_5004 : 1st February 2010 at 10:03.
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Old 1st February 2010, 10:05   #109
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Some info (things i noticed) on the buses-

1) the instrument console has a speedometer, an ammeter, two air pressure gauges & a fuel meter. warning lights consists of the turn indicator signals & high beam signal. there is also one red light which glows slightly when you lift of the throttle & goes away as you rev the bus.

2) it no longer has the push button type starter. you twist the key to start the bus like in any car!

3) the air pressure gauges shows the air pressure in both the air tanks for front & rear air brakes respectively. it reads from 0 to 10. for the brakes to apply, the pressure must be above 6 atleast. when the bus has been lying idle for long, the pressure drops to below 2 & the bus has to be revved to fill air in both the tanks. this is a 5 min procedure every morning! AL has provided a warning buzzer as a safety feature & it remains on till the needle goes above 6psi. it also remains on if the handbrake is engaged. another important thing to note is that one should not pump the brakes in a stationary bus, the air pressure will fall.

4) the steering wheel is aligned a bit to the left with the seat. the power steering is very light & the bus can be steered easily.

5) the seat has seat height/tilt adjust & slides on rails too. the seats have seatbelts too.

6) gear shifts are a bit hard & take time getting used to. the bus has a 5 speed synchromesh gearbox. the first gear is called as load gear & is used only with full load on steep inclines otherwise the second gear is used to start the vehicle.
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Old 1st February 2010, 10:22   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
3) the air pressure gauges shows the air pressure in both the air tanks for front & rear air brakes respectively. it reads from 0 to 10. for the brakes to apply, the pressure must be above 6 atleast. when the bus has been lying idle for long, the pressure drops to below 2 & the bus has to be revved to fill air in both the tanks. this is a 5 min procedure every morning! AL has provided a warning buzzer as a safety feature & it remains on till the needle goes above 6psi. it also remains on if the handbrake is engaged. another important thing to note is that one should not pump the brakes in a stationary bus, the air pressure will fall.
Can someone tell me why heavy vehicles use air-brakes instead of hydraulic braking systems found in cars and light commercial vehicles? What are the benefits of having air brakes?
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Old 1st February 2010, 10:32   #111
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@raj_5004 nice looking buses do maintain then beautifully. Wishing you all the success

(ps: there is a carpeting material available @ almost any car accessories shop which makes it easy to clean the floor in case of fluids spillage, vomit etc. May be you can check it out. I got them installed in my Vista, and it cost me 1.2K)
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Old 1st February 2010, 10:41   #112
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Review about ashok leyland:

the AL dealer in ernakulam was very helpful & they showed us around their yard the different models available & also the pros & cons for each. however, the price they quoted was way higher than the company price.

TVS is the authorized service centre of AL here. they are nothing but useless.

our deal with them for air suspension was confirmed & advance payment was already made. then on the day, the chassis were sent to them for the fitment of the AS, they demanded 12,000 extra citing that the older kits have been discontinued & new kits are costlier! we of course, refused to pay.

the AS they fitted had different valve settings on each side in both the chassis. the result is that, after the body was made in prakash, both the buses had a tilt to the left which was rectified by the "wheels india" technician in bangalore in just 10 mins.

after the buses arrived to kerela, we sent the buses to TVS for a thorough/complete check up before it starts any trips on the road. we also asked them to fit the speed governer which is compulsory in kerela. they asked us to bring the bus by 9am & the bus will be checked & delivered by 5 pm. we rached at 4.45 pm & sadly, nothing in the bus was checked. they had not even removed the tyres! only thing they did was fit the speed governer (which was not over yet) & i was wondering why they called the bus at 9 am then! finally i got the delivery at 7 pm. also, we had complained of a noise from the front wheel hubs during braking. they dint check that too. when enquired, they said the bus is "new" & let it run first. the brake noise dint go & the wheels started getting hot during running. finally, we had to get it rectified from a local garage.

Review about prakash:

90% of the buses you see in kerela are from prakash. their bodies are known to be lighter compared to other body builders (our bus weighs 10 tonnes ONLY!!!) & also long lasting. the panels are made of aluminium, fit & finish is better & rattles dont come in earlier. also, resale value of prakash buses are more in kerela. delivery time is exact & they dont delay much.

those were the pros. the only cons i can think of is that they dont have much customization options. also, some mis-communication happens between the sales staff & the technicians, so we have to cross check everything. for example-
1) sales staff said JBL amp would do & we bought it. then technician says, its impossible to connect this!
2) i had told the sales guy that i want turn indicators on the sides. they dint inform the electrician & this was done at the last moment.

but these are minor things & my overall experience with prakash has been good. they even have their own quality control dept. who checks the buses after its ready & notes down small things to be rectified which they do immediately.
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Old 1st February 2010, 10:43   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
Can someone tell me why heavy vehicles use air-brakes instead of hydraulic braking systems found in cars and light commercial vehicles? What are the benefits of having air brakes?
our experts in T-BHP will give you a proper answer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theexperthand View Post
@raj_5004 nice looking buses do maintain then beautifully. Wishing you all the success

(ps: there is a carpeting material available @ almost any car accessories shop which makes it easy to clean the floor in case of fluids spillage, vomit etc. May be you can check it out. I got them installed in my Vista, and it cost me 1.2K)
hey, i have already got the mats done for both the buses. it cost me 5k with installation charges.
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Old 1st February 2010, 11:01   #114
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Loved the short and sweet review about Prakash and Ashok Leyland
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Old 1st February 2010, 11:39   #115
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Hey cool interiors I know how happy the owner feel when I bus rolls out shinning like that.
But why the the drivers seat still the old fashioned type. The driver should be more comfortable to make a safe drive naa ?
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Old 1st February 2010, 12:27   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ram_NP View Post
The driver's cabin/console , specailly driver seats does not match the passenger side of the bus. I guess , you can ask drivers to keep the cushions and switch to new comforts.
The drivers would rather find another bus to drive than drive in a cabin which suits the owner's taste.

Driver comfort within the limits they can adjust is No.1 priority for them.

@Raj - please consider having leather steering covers custom made for the steerings. That steering is the old style one, which I had in the 1978 model bus. Looks ugly after a few years, and can get very slippery in sweaty palms.

Is this your first venture into the heavy vehicle operations business?

Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
the sad about about prakash is that you dont have too many customization options. i had enquired about an emergency exit in the form of an opening rear glass but they said that was not possible.
Please consider buying a book called "Law of Motor vehicles in Kerala". You need to be very thorough with the rule book. (I think the author is one A. G Suresh).

You should buy only the "Kerala" edition - you need to know the Kerala rules inside out.

A clear (as in no barrings / bars) window which is at least 1.2M x 1.2 M is a good substitute for emergency doors.

Openable emergency windows are a pain - can rattle like a bullock card on a country road.


Quote:
about the safari headlight, there are 2 reasons-
1) i had no other option except safari's headlight. not that it does not look good though. the other option i had was a simple non-reflective round headlight, which was too boring.
2) you people term the safari as the truck, the beast, the king, etc. so i thought its headlight would be more apt for this beast!.
Heh. And additionally, safari headlights would be available for another 10 years at least. No such assurances about other headlights.


Quote:
the entire driver cabin including the dashboard has been custom made at extra cost. very few (i have not seen any) buses in kerela come with such a dashboard..
Is not a bit different from what it used to be; almost same controls and meters.

Quote:
talking about clean, yesterday was the first trip of both the buses & 1 child vomited in the bus! luckily, i had covered the passage with removable mats & also given the cleaners mops to clean the bus's floors!
So, how will you handle teenagers going out on their annual school / college trip?

Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
Some info (things i noticed) on the buses-

1) the instrument console has a speedometer, an ammeter, two air pressure gauges & a fuel meter. warning lights consists of the turn indicator signals & high beam signal. there is also one red light which glows slightly when you lift of the throttle & goes away as you rev the bus. .
What? No oil pressure guage?

Or have you confused teh air pressure guage and oil pressure guage? Please look closer.

[/quote]2) it no longer has the push button type starter. you twist the key to start the bus like in any car!.[/quote]

Law requires so. Earlier, it used be a key, + a push button starter.

Quote:
3) the air pressure gauges shows the air pressure in both the air tanks for front & rear air brakes respectively. it reads from 0 to 10. for the brakes to apply, the pressure must be above 6 atleast. when the bus has been lying idle for long, the pressure drops to below 2 & the bus has to be revved to fill air in both the tanks. this is a 5 min procedure every morning! AL has provided a warning buzzer as a safety feature & it remains on till the needle goes above 6psi. it also remains on if the handbrake is engaged. another important thing to note is that one should not pump the brakes in a stationary bus, the air pressure will fall..
The hand brakes are vacuum operated. In case air pressure is insufficient, the vehicle will not move, since the hand brakes would be engaged. Notice the "whooosh" sound when hand brakes are engaged - it is the air escaping.

Quote:
5) the seat has seat height/tilt adjust & slides on rails too. the seats have seatbelts too..
The passnger seats and driver's seats look very good - better than what I expected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
Can someone tell me why heavy vehicles use air-brakes instead of hydraulic braking systems found in cars and light commercial vehicles? What are the benefits of having air brakes?
Frankly, I do not know the answer; but will put in something others may be interested to know.

AL has always had air brakes.

Tatas used to have fluid brakes till mid 1980s. Early 1980s onwards, some models used to come with dual air/fluid brakes. This was known to cause problems, and late 1980s onwards, Tatas switched over to complete air brakes.

Diagonal twin braking circuit - was mandated by law, and was introduced only as the law mandated it.

This means there are independent brake circuits for one front wheel and the rear wheel on the diagonally opposite side.

This provides better safety in case of circuit failure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
Review about ashok leyland:

the AL dealer in ernakulam was very helpful & they showed us around their yard the different models available & also the pros & cons for each. however, the price they quoted was way higher than the company price.
You mean outside Kerala price?

Did you have to pay any "entry tax" since the chassis was purchased outside Kerala? I am very much sure you had to.

Quote:
TVS is the authorized service centre of AL here. they are nothing but useless.
+1 to that. Getting a scheduled maintenance done from them is next to impossible. I mean "scheduled" means "I havea trip at 3 PM, so please return the vehicle by 2.30" kind of schedule.

Quote:
also, we had complained of a noise from the front wheel hubs during braking. they dint check that too. when enquired, they said the bus is "new" & let it run first. the brake noise dint go & the wheels started getting hot during running. finally, we had to get it rectified from a local garage.
This squealing is usually caused by dust from the liners. Just use air / brush to brush away the dust.

Quote:
1) sales staff said JBL amp would do & we bought it. then technician says, its impossible to connect this!
That is called ignorance. Not mis-communication. I am sure that the ICE guys here will fry them for making this statement.

Some queries - does the engine realy have an intercooler?

If the owner's manual has some info about engine specifications, can you please post them here.

How / where is the spare tyre situated?

Where is the first aid kit? And what does it contain? (That is where the checking guys will look at first go, especially when they do not get anything else).

What is the insurance preminum? Can you give a split of third party and own insurance rates? And did you get the unlimited cover for third party property damage?

Edit:- can you post some pics of the engine bay? with the engine cover off? And a pic of the engine cable?

Where is the air filter?

Last edited by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR : 1st February 2010 at 12:30.
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Old 1st February 2010, 13:51   #117
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Hi Raj,
Nice pics and good looking buses for sure, Congratulations!
I hope to travel in them whenever I make it to kerala for my holiday(have been planning for long time now )
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Old 1st February 2010, 14:26   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
Loved the short and sweet review about Prakash and Ashok Leyland
thanks sankar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sujith1100 View Post
Hey cool interiors I know how happy the owner feel when I bus rolls out shinning like that.
But why the the drivers seat still the old fashioned type. The driver should be more comfortable to make a safe drive naa ?
that is what is available buddy! but when i sat in it, i realized it looks uncomfortable but it is not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
Is this your first venture into the heavy vehicle operations business?
yes.

Quote:
Please consider buying a book called "Law of Motor vehicles in Kerala". You need to be very thorough with the rule book. (I think the author is one A. G Suresh).

You should buy only the "Kerala" edition - you need to know the Kerala rules inside out.

A clear (as in no barrings / bars) window which is at least 1.2M x 1.2 M is a good substitute for emergency doors.

Openable emergency windows are a pain - can rattle like a bullock card on a country road.
thanks for the advice. i'll buy the book.

Quote:
Heh. And additionally, safari headlights would be available for another 10 years at least. No such assurances about other headlights.
more importantly, they look better than the normal round headlights.

Quote:
So, how will you handle teenagers going out on their annual school / college trip?
thats what even i am wondering.

Quote:
What? No oil pressure guage?

Or have you confused teh air pressure guage and oil pressure guage? Please look closer.
i dint confuse the air meters with the oil pressure ones. it does have 2 air pressure meters & also the oil pressure guage, which i forgot to mention.

Quote:
The hand brakes are vacuum operated. In case air pressure is insufficient, the vehicle will not move, since the hand brakes would be engaged. Notice the "whooosh" sound when hand brakes are engaged - it is the air escaping.
oh, i was unaware about that.

Quote:
This squealing is usually caused by dust from the liners. Just use air / brush to brush away the dust.
yes, and we did just that!

Quote:
That is called ignorance. Not mis-communication. I am sure that the ICE guys here will fry them for making this statement.
you mean my ignorance? LOL! yes, you can say that!

Quote:
Some queries - does the engine realy have an intercooler?
yes, it does have an intercooler.

Quote:
If the owner's manual has some info about engine specifications, can you please post them here.
the owner's manual is in kerela & i have returned to mumbai. i will post them as soon as i return to kerela.

Quote:
How / where is the spare tyre situated?
the spare tyre is situated in the left side berth. (the one behind)

Quote:
Where is the first aid kit? And what does it contain? (That is where the checking guys will look at first go, especially when they do not get anything else).
the first aid kit is in the driver cabin behind the partition door (the door separating the driver & passenger cabin). it consists of a first aid kit which we have bought, not supplied by AL.

Quote:
Edit:- can you post some pics of the engine bay? with the engine cover off? And a pic of the engine cable?
i will click them when i go to kerela.

Quote:
Where is the air filter?
the air filter is in the driver cabin. it can be accessed through a opening near the driver's legs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by getsurya View Post
Hi Raj,
Nice pics and good looking buses for sure, Congratulations!
I hope to travel in them whenever I make it to kerala for my holiday(have been planning for long time now )
sure buddy, anytime.
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Old 1st February 2010, 14:56   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sankar View Post
Can someone tell me why heavy vehicles use air-brakes instead of hydraulic braking systems found in cars and light commercial vehicles? What are the benefits of having air brakes?
From what I know, trucks, trains and other large vehicles use air brakes.

Air pressure is used to release the brakes and hence until the required pressure is built up, the brakes would remain engaged. This is the opposite of hydraulic brakes where hydraulic pressure is used to engage the brakes.

The advantages of air brakes:
1. In the event of a leak, the brakes would get engaged which is safe. In the case of a hydraulic system, a leak means brake failure.
2. In tractor trailer/train system etc. you can easily attach trailers/wagons and connect the air pipes of the braking system without having to worry about losing anything by air.

Others can shed more light perhaps.
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Old 1st February 2010, 15:04   #120
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Nice raj.. Congrats.
Why is the steering wheel a bit towards the left? Any technical reason behind it?
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