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Old 4th December 2010, 10:07   #211
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Well, in my opinion you have got the more modern and better engine. The non-electronic inline FIP engines are sold because there is a demand for them in the market. The problem with the rotary FIPs is one can rarely solve if there is any problem with them, considering all the electronic controls which cannot be solved by the crew or some roadside mechanic. Overall, in the long run, electronics are much more reliable than the mechanical fuel injection systems.

But as of now both ALL and TML boast of very good service, offering on-road assistance, so I dont think this should be much of a problem.

We should now wait for the superb performance of the common rail diesel engines in our commercial vehicles, in the Neptune and Cummins ISLe engines.
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Old 6th December 2010, 22:40   #212
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Guys, went to Prakash today & decided on the body details. Sadly, i could not click any pics of the chassis (sorry guys) as it was parked in some other garage of Prakash.

1) Body will be similar to the current P8000 BMR plus. The only other body style available was a Volvo gimmick but that costs a whopping Rs. 2.8 lakhs more, so we opt out of it. Also, it was meant for long inter city trips with full length under body luggage area & all.

2) Instead of the conventional 'Harita' seats, we are mostly opting for seating by Vectra. We had a look at the seats & they looked far better, had a good quality finishing & were much more comfortable. Yes, it costs 35k more which was bought down to 25k after negotiation!

3) The AC unit is most probably by Thermoking or Jingyi. Jingyi costs 70k less than Thermoking which costs Rs. 4.9 lakhs & have heard good reviews about it too. But of course, Thermoking is a more reputed brand. Service of both is available in cochin. The AC bracket & pulley AL provides is not usable in the front door coach style, so we have to buy a different AC pulley assembly which costs Rs. 13k extra.

4) We like subtle interiors & the luggage rack will be beige in colour in rexine material & the side panels & roof will be of ABS material, again beige.

5) Floor panelling is a special material, forgot its name! Costs some 8k extra.

6) All the other paid extras include flat bonnet, ABS dashboard, Pneumatic automatic doors, etc. For the flat bonnet, the gear lever has to be modified which costs Rs. 4000 extra.

7) For the AC louvers/vents, we were given two options - standard & imported. the imported one looks cool with car like AC vents (which can be completely shut off) & aircraft style reading lamps & small night lamps but they cost a whopping 70k extra, so we are still thinking about it.

I need your opinion on three things now-

1) AC : We have two options -

(a) Thermoking : 11.5 tons, 36KW. Rs. 4.9 lakhs
(b) Jingyi : 9.5 tons, 26KW. Rs. 3.2 lakhs

Which would be a better option?

2) AC vents : Imported or standard???

3) Vectra seats : Anybody with an experience to share about this company? They are relatively new but I had a look at their seats & it looked far better built, had good finishing & was much more comfortable than Harita's seats. But I am not sure about the longevity of their seats & their after sales as such. We would be investing 1.95 lakhs for the seats, so i want to be sure!

Last edited by raj_5004 : 6th December 2010 at 22:44.
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Old 7th December 2010, 01:11   #213
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My two cents as a passenger.

Since local service is available in Cochin, go with the Jingyi and use that money to give us passengers better vents which are a) better looking and give the flexibility to turn the air on or off and b) also read in peace with the help of spot lights etc.

As long as the ac works it does not matter to the passenger whether it is brand A or brand X. However what we will remember as passengers is the bus's interiors and the facilities that come with the rental package / trip ticket.

As for the seats in today's competitive environment a new entrant will usually not play foul. Infact the trend these days is for new upstarts to bring in better technology / products at a competitive price and raise the bar.

Last edited by khoj : 7th December 2010 at 01:17.
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Old 7th December 2010, 09:34   #214
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Thanks buddy. what you are saying makes sense. Infact the AC unit above the bus wont be even visible to the passengers but i am not sure about the long time reliability of Jingyi (its a chinese product). I am not defaming it in any way, but anyone with experience to share about jingyi or for that matter, about thermoking?

We have mostly finalized the Vectra seats & are waiting for an official quote from their side.

Things remaining now are-

1) Finalize the AC model & get it delivered to Prakash.

2) Finalize the seats & get it delivered.

3) Plan the ICE, infact IBE! We are planning the usual Samsung TV with 6+2 Pioneer speakers, two JBL subwoofers, DVD player, MP3 player, three Pioneer amps & an inverter.

4) Finalize the colour. My dad prefers the same colour of our other non AC buses (wine red + silver with black stripes).

An AC bus this time! AL Viking BS-III Delivered-dsc_0042.jpg

But for an AC bus, i want something subtler. I prefer a grey bus with simple straight silver stripes running across the length of the bus. Reference pics below (the silver-blue-pink design in centre would be omitted).

An AC bus this time! AL Viking BS-III Delivered-img_0468.jpg
An AC bus this time! AL Viking BS-III Delivered-img_0480.jpg

My dad is okay with this design but he dint like the grey colour. He would prefer a silver bus with similar grey stripes.

Last edited by raj_5004 : 7th December 2010 at 09:36.
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Old 7th December 2010, 09:51   #215
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I've seen umpteen AC buses fitted with Thermoking systems, running on long distance routes as daily charters. Go to Chennai Omni Bus Stand, and take a look at the Leyland AC coaches. 7 out of 10 would have Thermoking, 2 would have Carrier, and the remaining 1 might not have a badging. Thermoking is being widely used - no doubt.

If you can find out about the reliability and serviceability of Jingyi, spend the 70k that you save, in better AC louvers. Customers would be happier. But beware of the less civilized kind who take pleasure in damaging them. Just realized that if Jingyi provides decent cooling, it'll be easier on the pocket too - 26kW against 36kW would mean less engine power diverted to the AC. I might not be completely right here, just my thought.

Raj, regarding the colour, I feel the AC bus should look more elegant than your other Vikings. So, go for the steel-grey or silver scheme.

One last point. Get better wheelcups. The one with P written in the center looks fugly IMO. I've seen a bus which has the Volvo-like wheelcup. It looked really nice. Unfortunately no pics. BTW, is it a 10-bolt wheel, or the regular 8-bolt setup? I'd seen it in a 10-bolt wheel. Guess it was an AL 12M.

Last edited by silversteed : 7th December 2010 at 10:02.
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Old 7th December 2010, 11:54   #216
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
I've seen umpteen AC buses fitted with Thermoking systems, running on long distance routes as daily charters. Go to Chennai Omni Bus Stand, and take a look at the Leyland AC coaches. 7 out of 10 would have Thermoking, 2 would have Carrier, and the remaining 1 might not have a badging. Thermoking is being widely used - no doubt.
Thanks, even we are keen on Thermoking.

Quote:
If you can find out about the reliability and serviceability of Jingyi, spend the 70k that you save, in better AC louvers. Customers would be happier. But beware of the less civilized kind who take pleasure in damaging them.
We have finalized on the better AC louvers.

Quote:
Just realized that if Jingyi provides decent cooling, it'll be easier on the pocket too - 26kW against 36kW would mean less engine power diverted to the AC. I might not be completely right here, just my thought.
Yes, this is what i thought initially. Even i am wondering how much difference would 10kW make to the fuel efficiency of the bus?

More than initial cost, fuel efficiency & long term reliability are priorities.

Quote:
Raj, regarding the colour, I feel the AC bus should look more elegant than your other Vikings. So, go for the steel-grey or silver scheme.
Thanks. I liked the grey colour as it looked subtle & not too shiny like silver.
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Old 7th December 2010, 12:37   #217
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
I liked the grey colour as it looked subtle & not too shiny like silver.
Wine red on your bus looks really great. But the silver lines, little bit over done. I would keep the wine red color, but follow a silver/ grey lines as in the "muggler" bus picture shown. Also statistics (of course cars) shows red color is less prone to collision accidents due to better visibility (Gray and Black are the worst).
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Old 7th December 2010, 13:38   #218
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The colour of your existing fleet is superb.

I would go along with your Dad on this and keep the same colour and pattern to further strengthen the 'Aishwarya' fleet identity.

To denote AC you could use blue stripes instead of the black. Strong and familiar visual reference for people to recognize an Aishwarya bus with a subtle variation to differentiate between AC and regular offering.

The black or grey would make the bus body appear dowdy/shorter unless it is also a double axle at the rear.

Last edited by khoj : 7th December 2010 at 13:42.
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Old 7th December 2010, 18:38   #219
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Hmm, so since everybody feel we should continue with the present design & colour, we would opt for the same colour & design.

BUT, i dont think this colour & pattern would represent 'Aishwarya' fleet for a long time to come. I am afraid this design & colour scheme has been copied by many fleet operators in kerela. We had painstakingly created this design & colour combo in Prakash. but we were surprised to see a bus looking exactly like ours twice in Kerela.

Sisira has our bus's pics with them. we had given them the pics as we wanted our mini bus (built by them) to be painted in the same colour. They once told us that EIGHT customers have copied our bus colour & design!

We cant do anything about it but then I do feel bad. All our efforts to make our bus look a little bit distinct has been futile!

Anyways, as you all say, we will keep the same colour & design. Thanks.

Also, the new bus wont be with the safari headlight as Prakash has slightly modified the front end of the P8000 which means that only twin round headlights are available which i hate!

Last edited by raj_5004 : 7th December 2010 at 18:51.
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Old 7th December 2010, 19:13   #220
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I have a choice -
You can have the same design with grey shade too. ie replace pink with grey
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Old 7th December 2010, 19:20   #221
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
BUT, i dont think this colour & pattern would represent 'Aishwarya' fleet for a long time to come. I am afraid this design & colour scheme has been copied by many fleet operators in kerela. We had painstakingly created this design & colour combo in Prakash. but we were surprised to see a bus looking exactly like ours twice in Kerela.

Sisira has our bus's pics with them. we had given them the pics as we wanted our mini bus (built by them) to be painted in the same colour. They once told us that EIGHT customers have copied our bus colour & design!

We cant do anything about it but then I do feel bad. All our efforts to make our bus look a little bit distinct has been futile!
That is unprofessional on the part of Sisira, I feel for you.

Next time make the vendor sign an agreement on say a INR 100 stamp paper exclusively to the effect that 1. They will not display your bus's photos in their product album and 2. In case they offer the same design to any other operator they would be held liable for the same and would have to paint your entire fleet in a new design. I know it will be difficult to implement but the thought of the written agreement alone would be enough to make them think ten times.

Infact next time when you create a new design copyright it. It will be an added expense but compared to the frustration apart from the wasted time and effort it will be money well spent.
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Old 7th December 2010, 19:24   #222
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Raj ,

Thats a nice A/C Bus you got there.

Good points that i can tell you are

1) Nice design
2) Volvo type front wheels. looks nice
3) Design is not copied from any maker
4) Headlights are well adapted

Bad points as per me

1) The color would have been a bit different
2) Get rid of those rear wheel caps
3) That Monogram in the front looks bad, get rid of it.
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Old 7th December 2010, 19:41   #223
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teamveevee View Post
Wine red on your bus looks really great. But the silver lines, little bit over done. I would keep the wine red color, but follow a silver/ grey lines as in the "muggler" bus picture shown.
I second this. The wine red looks aewsome. Full grey will look dull.
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Old 7th December 2010, 21:14   #224
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
BUT, i dont think this colour & pattern would represent 'Aishwarya' fleet for a long time to come. I am afraid this design & colour scheme has been copied by many fleet operators in kerela. We had painstakingly created this design & colour combo in Prakash. but we were surprised to see a bus looking exactly like ours twice in Kerela.
Even I saw a couple of buses with the same design as your - and interestingly, all were built by Prakash.

Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
Sisira has our bus's pics with them. we had given them the pics as we wanted our mini bus (built by them) to be painted in the same colour. They once told us that EIGHT customers have copied our bus colour & design!
I don't think Sisira is to be blamed here. Our people have this mentality of blatant copying - in your case, the pics of your bus were available in the net, plus anybody on the road side can copy it. So, its not just Sisira having pics of you bus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
Also, the new bus wont be with the safari headlight as Prakash has slightly modified the front end of the P8000 which means that only twin round headlights are available which i hate!
I think you should be happy on this. The round headlamps are much cheaper than the Safari headlamps - in case one of them get damaged, it would be cheaper for you to replace it if it were round headlamps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by khoj View Post
Next time make the vendor sign an agreement on say a INR 100 stamp paper exclusively to the effect that 1. They will not display your bus's photos in their product album and 2. In case they offer the same design to any other operator they would be held liable for the same and would have to paint your entire fleet in a new design. I know it will be difficult to implement but the thought of the written agreement alone would be enough to make them think ten times.
This is not practical. The bus runs on public roads - anybody can take photographs, and copy the design. How exactly can the body builder prevent this? I've seen buses with the same design as the Kallada B9R. There are lots of buses with the same livery as the MSRTC Volvos - the light blue livery.

Although such an agreement can prevent the particular body builder from not using it on other buses, the agreement cannot prevent a third party from using it.
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Old 7th December 2010, 21:22   #225
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You choose prakash for keeping the buses look identical. Why are you considering a different schem now?

"An A/c bus this is" not justification enough.
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