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Old 5th August 2012, 18:42   #151
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

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Front Engined buses are not primitive. They are still contemporary.
The best of my find. A Volvo Front engined Mulit axle Bus !! Would love to hear what Volvo India Guys have to say about this !


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Old 14th August 2012, 16:13   #152
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Default Re: How Volvo changed the way we look at buses and bus travel

Found this link that shows how a Volvo bus is built!



A nice watch!
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Old 24th August 2012, 02:04   #153
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Default Re: How Volvo changed the way we look at buses and bus travel

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Nice piece of info. In India and India alike countries, FE buses are unlikely to be phased out in near future. That's for the simple reason they are more user friendly and reduced maintenance.
In what way?
RE buses are lower floor so you get either better step in height or large luggage carrying capability
Maintenance wise, RE buses have no driveshaft so its 1 less component
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Old 25th August 2012, 00:51   #154
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Default Re: How Volvo changed the way we look at buses and bus travel

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FYI, before Volvo started its operations as a bus maker in India.
I seriously doubt that. Volvo came with their huge multi axle trucks before introducing their buses.

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The use of truck chassis for building bus - its to be read as same chassis with same suspension and same stiffness, was obsoleted some 25 years back atleast. COmet was the chassis from Leyland which was used for both bus and chassis.
Really ? Then what was this AL contraption that I have traveled in all these 30 years ?

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This is the truth in Indian bus industry.

Later advancements have come in leaf spring itself, termed as Weveller or rubber ended leaf. This shift was great as there were a good difference in ride quality. Then the paradigm shift was to air suspension. But even after this its still termed as Truck chassis.
Actually its the other way around. For several white goods applications like scooter carrier, egg and chicken carrier bus chassis is used, as they offer fairly better suspension leading to reduced transit damage.
So its no surprise that tomorrow some body comes and tells, we are offering true truck chassis with right aggregates and proper suspension as against the
bus chassis which is used in India so long.
I am sorry, I cannot understand what you are trying to say about the chicken and scooter carriers. As a paying passenger in one of these extremely advanced, competitive AL buses, I felt shortchanged. I wanted to travel in a passenger carrier and paid for it, instead all these state transport corporations and even the private players took me on a truck trip (even with the fairly better suspension), some with their own compensated cushioned recline-able seats and ACs and they expected me to be a happy camper for that.

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Yes, KPN was the pioneer in introducing newer technologies. They were the first to use the term AIR BUS( as early as mid 90's), big and bold indicating that they are with air suspension. Later this became the norm of the Intercity transportation.
Now they have converted all their buses to 100% air (both front and rear), in-spite of the fact that, it costs ~1.5 lks for each axle. They use a little stiffer springs compared to regular ones.

Apart from this they are now trying Automatic transmissions in their buses, purely to reduce the driver fatigue. They get a mileage penalty of min 15%, but still they are increasing the Automatic fleet size only. Total fleet size as of now is ~ 10 (Including Leymatic and Allission ) and they are likely to induct Volvo i shift in near future for 4 coaches.
Correct me if I am wrong, what technology did KPN introduce ? "AIR BUS" ?

That was the most silliest terms I have ever heard of. People like you & me knew that it was the air suspension, but what about the others (Who are the most likely to travel in those buses) ? And why should that demand a premium on the ticket ? Isn't that basic bus travel requirement ? A 'not breaking your back' kind of comfort.

In this case, why would anyone want to point fingers at Volvo for their campaign as a true bus maker ?

I truly appreciate Volvo for coming into the Indian market against all odds with their comparatively very expensive buses to offer a real bus travel for us, this premium was worth it more than the premium we had to pay for "Air Buses".

Just a note of nostalgia: In my childhood, I have enjoyed mimicking the sound of these AL buses whenever I rode my bicycle including the ear shattering clatter they make while they braked.
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Old 25th August 2012, 13:30   #155
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Default Re: How Volvo changed the way we look at buses and bus travel

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I seriously doubt that. Volvo came with their huge multi axle trucks before introducing their buses.
I suggest that you read what I typed, in its entirety, before making (hasty) comments such as the one above. Quoting my statement below, in case you missed reading it:
Quote:
before Volvo started its operations as a bus maker in India, there were many inter-city buses
May I know if/where I have said that Volvo came in with their buses first?

Q.E.D.
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Old 25th August 2012, 13:31   #156
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Default Re: How Volvo changed the way we look at buses and bus travel

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Really ? Then what was this AL contraption that I have traveled in all these 30 years ?
..
I am sorry, I cannot understand what you are trying to say about the chicken and scooter carriers. As a paying passenger in one of these extremely advanced, competitive AL buses, I felt shortchanged. I wanted to travel in a passenger carrier and paid for it, instead all these state transport corporations and even the private players took me on a truck trip (even with the fairly better suspension), some with their own compensated cushioned recline-able seats and ACs and they expected me to be a happy camper for that.
Before I answer many of your questions, let me understand from you about truck chassis used as a bus and a true bus chassis.

Also plz have a look at post no - 151 made by autokrat

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Correct me if I am wrong, what technology did KPN introduce ? "AIR BUS" ?

That was the most silliest terms I have ever heard of. People like you & me knew that it was the air suspension, but what about the others (Who are the most likely to travel in those buses) ? And why should that demand a premium on the ticket ? Isn't that basic bus travel requirement ? A 'not breaking your back' kind of comfort.
Air bus is not a technology but the term popularly used by KPN. It may be Silliest now but not some 15 years ago. We need not speak of why they are charging premium. Its their business and they charge. If you feel you cant afford, you always have options.

I have not only spoke of Air suspension but also about introducing automatic transmission in their fleet. What's your call in this.

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case, why would anyone want to point fingers at Volvo for their campaign as a true bus maker
I truly appreciate Volvo for coming into the Indian market against all odds with their comparatively very expensive buses to offer a real bus travel for us, this premium was worth it more than the premium we had to pay for "Air Buses".
I was interested to know the definition of true bus and nothing much. Even I have good regards to Volvo for changing gears in India but that's different.
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Old 26th August 2012, 12:04   #157
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One more thing that VOLVO Busses changed is the amount of casualties in a front-on collision. Just looking at pictures, not having the engine in front exposes the passengers to heavier damage, the engine being in front absorbs some part of the impact, but not having a engine in front makes the passengers the crumple zone!
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Old 26th August 2012, 13:20   #158
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Default Re: How Volvo changed the way we look at buses and bus travel

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One more thing that VOLVO Busses changed is the amount of casualties in a front-on collision...not having the engine in front exposes the passengers to heavier damage...but not having a engine in front makes the passengers the crumple zone!
I feel it has more to do with the way in which trucks in India are built, maintained and driven, and add to it a spineless law enforcement mechanism. There you have it. So there is no point in finding fault with Volvo or any other automobile manufacturer for that matter.
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Old 26th August 2012, 13:43   #159
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Default Re: How Volvo changed the way we look at buses and bus travel

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I was interested to know the definition of true bus and nothing much. Even I have good regards to Volvo for changing gears in India but that's different.
I am sure as the market matures, you would see more such buses from Indian OEM as well. It is not that they are not capable of making these. Just consider one aspect. During monsoons when parts of our cities get water logged the "true buses ( read ultra low entry buses) are the first ones to be withdrawn and the cummuters only have the "truck buses" to rely upon. What would be the situation if every one made only "true buses" ?. All the volvo low floor buses have kneeling facility to help differntly abled passengers to board at bus stops. But in how many bus stops can thi be really used? This is what i meant by market maturity. Same reason why a "truebus" manufacturer like Volvo continue to sell "truckbuses" in South America (Euro 4 compliant!). Interestingly these countries have better roads than in India.
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Old 26th August 2012, 14:06   #160
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Default Re: How Volvo changed the way we look at buses and bus travel

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In what way?
RE buses are lower floor so you get either better step in height or large luggage carrying capability
Maintenance wise, RE buses have no driveshaft so its 1 less component
Luggage compartment is not only the deciding factor and there are lot more. Infact you can have 80% equal Volume luggage space in FE buses also. Wrt Maintenance RE buses do have drive shaft, here its to be told as Propeller shaft.
Also the Scenario is changing with lot many FE bus options.
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Old 26th August 2012, 23:44   #161
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Default Re: How Volvo changed the way we look at buses and bus travel

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Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
I suggest that you read what I typed, in its entirety, before making (hasty) comments such as the one above. Quoting my statement below, in case you missed reading it:

May I know if/where I have said that Volvo came in with their buses first?

Q.E.D.
Sorry Sir, i did misunderstand your post, thanks for pointing it out. But when I read your post again, quoted below, it seems like someone said ONLY volvo buses started to ply passengers between cities.Please read the highlighted lines. And they also had 'not so bad' rides. I am speaking from MY experiences which is HUGE on travel in these 'sorry' buses and I admit that I had also been carried away by their 'Air Buses' and 'Not so bad' rides. It was only when we got to feel the REAL bus travel that we feel that we have been taken on a bullock cart ride all these years. Not to say that AL/TATA did not have the means for a better comfort, but they chose not to give it to us, the passengers.

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FYI, before Volvo started its operations as a bus maker in India, there were many inter-city buses. I can recollect Akbar travels, Supaa, No.1 Air etc. They were using AshLey chassis with air suspension. I doubt if they were the 12M chassis, and I've even heard people say that they were built on truck chassis. Ride was not so bad. I'd once visited Mahabalipuram and a few other places as a one-day sightseeing trip, in a tourist bus, sometime in 2001. IIRC, the operator's name was Geethalayam (and the bus had some KA-xxx-1111 registration). The ride was good, despite being an oldschool leyland. Back-breaking buses were there, but AL and TM did have comfortable buses too.

This "True Bus Chassis" is only hogwash, just like some toothpaste brand comparing itself with an "ordinary" toothpaste.

I find the air suspension in newer buses more stiff, compared to some of the old 'Air Bus'es. I've read that these days they make the bellows with harder materials to increase their lifespan by compromising ride quality. This is true for all buses fitted with air suspension, including Volvos

Some MBA who specialised in Marketing would've searched for a catchy phrase to lure bus owners. And the result is this "True bus chassis".
Why that great prejudice against a MBA ? Is it wrong to say that a bus ride in a Volvo even without the AC, is more comfortable than the one in AL/Tata ? It is only a truth, not a myth, what people have felt.

@Ashley, will answer your posts later, am too tired and need my sleep, but I will.
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Old 27th August 2012, 12:53   #162
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Default Re: How Volvo changed the way we look at buses and bus travel

There are two aspects of the Volvo India Bus story that are worth considering

The first being the fact that they were able to position their Buses as a value proposition in spite of the phenomenal price increment compared to standard offerings. I do not know what the pitch was - but one can safely assume that it was centred around durability - which would translate to lower running costs ; comfort, speed & storage space - translating to higher ticket prices & increased revenue. But the gap between a sales pitch and a purchase decision is often long and difficult to traverse and one must acknowledged Volvo's diligence in creating what has become a whole new long distance travel option.

Secondly the product itself which continues to meet expectations of end users who are willing to dish out a premium for its benefits. And considering the cost sensitive portion of volvo buyers & end users, which is bound to be a majority, its unlikely that the benefits are only perceived - i.e that operators and the travelling public are enticed by Volvos marketing wizardry and the products are not really as good as people think they are.

I can vouch for the fact that my trips on board Volvo buses (in the early 2000's when I had frequent overnight trips) were significantly more comfortable compared to other available options at the time.
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Old 28th August 2012, 11:39   #163
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Default Re: How Volvo changed the way we look at buses and bus travel

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Is it wrong to say that a bus ride in a Volvo even without the AC, is more comfortable than the one in AL/Tata ? It is only a truth, not a myth, what people have felt.
It's not wrong, and I agree to what you said. I was pointing out the flawed statement that only Volvo has a "true bus chassis", which they claim can be achieved only by having the engine at the rear. Volvo does make FE buses too.

OT:
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Why that great prejudice against a MBA ?
It's not prejudice, but based on observation. Look around, you will find many examples.
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Old 29th August 2012, 00:13   #164
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Before I answer many of your questions, let me understand from you about truck chassis used as a bus and a true bus chassis.
Sorry to disappoint you AshokLeyland2 sir, I have no qualification to say anything on that point. I can only speak from a customer point of view. The Ashley buses of lore, though they had a seating capacity of anything between 32 to 108, only the passengers that sat between 20-40 had a reasonable ride with a lot of engine noise (seems like a truck to me). The passengers sitting anywhere from on top of the rear wheel to the end of the bus were, sorry to say, even the chicken in the chicken carriers in the Ashley trucks had a less eventful ride. Nothing has changed till date, that is my perception, please feel free to enlighten everyone.

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Air bus is not a technology but the term popularly used by KPN. It may be Silliest now but not some 15 years ago. We need not speak of why they are charging premium. Its their business and they charge. If you feel you cant afford, you always have options.
Oh No, not just KPN, every other private operator used that term which was actually associated/belonged to an airplane manufacturer. Even in those 'Air Buses', it was impossible to sit in the last 4 rows. I still do not understand people introducing SILLY catch phrases and milking the public.


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I have not only spoke of Air suspension but also about introducing automatic transmission in their fleet. What's your call in this.
Yeah, wonderful, for the munuswamy and the kandaswamy and all the wonderful drivers out there. In what way does it affect me as a normal traveler whether the bus is auto or manual ? I am very sure KPN would have started jacking up the price of tickets saying that their bus is 'Auto Bus' now.
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Old 29th August 2012, 09:41   #165
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+1. IIRC, KPN introduced airsuspensions on their TVS build buses (rear only) in the late 90s when rest of India was moving the so called hi-tech bus bodies with regular suspension. These KPN buses as "Pneu-Ride" and *brake boosters/ABS - can't recollect exactly" stickers on their rear glass. The ride quality was very good. Not sure whether these suspension were an after market fitment or provided by AL.
AL bus chassis with factory-fitted air suspension systems were available in the late 90s. I am not sure when AL started manufacturing these, but they were certainly available in the market as far back as 1998.

They had pretty good ride quality too, even on the last seat. Not as good as the Volvos, but still way better than the older buses without air suspension. In some sense, these buses were the fore-runners of the Volvo boom.
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