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Old 14th September 2010, 21:07   #46
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Raj,

How long do you actually plan to keep the bus? Could you also provide the FE ratings for the 114 hp and 177 hp engines?

I'd also suggest you look at the decision on a long term basis. It'd be a disaster if you go for a slave engined bus and then find that it doesn't deliver. Better safe than sorry!
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Old 14th September 2010, 21:34   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
Raj,
I have attached 12M product brouchers.
Wrt to Push back seats 12M can accomodate upto 44 seats and 222" Viking can accomodate upto 40 seats.
My recommendation is go for 12M and not VIking as they can take additional set of seats.
Dont opt for slave engine as its not that easy to maintain and may yield problems over sometime. Better stick to stock engine as they are already fitted with required pulleys, Compressor fitment brackets etc.
There is no second thought that they are powered sufficiently.
Also go for Air - Weveller option. That will be sufficient. If you require more luxury then go for Air - Air with semi sleeper ( seating capacity - 36 not recommended). I understand from your requirements Air - Weveller will be sufficient.
Go for ALPSV 4/114 - 205 HP or ALPSV 4/86 - 177 HP. Both are equally good though the earlier will have some marginal impact in FE.
The one used in ABT / ARC are ALPSV 4/114 - 205 HP, as they are mostly operated in Intercity operations where faster TOT is very crucial.
Again from your requirements you can narrow down to ALPSV 4/86 - 177 HP model with Air - Weveller options.

Coach - I am also getting bored with too many SMK's( Prakash) on road. Check with Irizar -TVS. IMO their bodies are equally good and rugged.
In the coach - iT09 there is no roof hatch in driver compartment area. plz add this as a point when you build the body. No idea about cost though.

( though I am following this thread I am not able to reply you in time)

Attachment 423807

Attachment 423808
Thanks a lot ashley. that was a lot of help. Yes, even i am bored of seeing too many prakash buses on the road. someone said they have launched a new model - P9000, what do you suggest regarding that? we are giving first priority to Irizar, i hope their pricing is not over the top.

i have a few queries:

1) Is the 12M 164 hp actually available? its not mentioned in their website.

2) i understand that the slave engine is difficult to maintain. how is the ALPSV 4/107 164 hp? isnt the 164 hp enough to take the load of the AC? in the brochure, its mentioned that it can take the load of engine driven AC. so is 177 hp necessary? the 205 hp engine will be too much for our usage.

3) the 177 & 205 hp models have air suspension written on the brochure. is this standard or optional?

4) if i go for the 12M 164 hp model, i can get rear air suspension & front weveller option fitted, wont that be better?

5) finally, suppose the price difference between 12M & Viking turns out to be significant, and if we dont need more than 40 seats, isnt it better to go for 132 hp Viking chassis?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smashnerd View Post
Raj,

How long do you actually plan to keep the bus? Could you also provide the FE ratings for the 114 hp and 177 hp engines?

I'd also suggest you look at the decision on a long term basis. It'd be a disaster if you go for a slave engined bus and then find that it doesn't deliver. Better safe than sorry!
Say for around 4-5 years, depends on the condition of the bus. we have almost decided that the AC would be driven off the main engine as many are saying that the slave engine are prone to issues.




So the options before me are:

1) 132 hp Viking 40 P/B seats
2) 164 hp 12M 44 P/B seats
3) 177 hp 12M 44 P/B seats

All will have AC run on main engine. I think option (1) is better, economically. but i am fine with option (2) if necessary.
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Old 14th September 2010, 21:46   #48
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Since you think your new A/c bus would mainly ply on non a/c trips, cant you think about converting the existing bus to a A/ mode by fixing a slave engine.
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Old 14th September 2010, 22:02   #49
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The existing bus cannot be easily converted to an AC bus as that would be redoing the entire interior, provision for AC ducts, etc. Also, our older bus has non-P/B seats. also, we anyways do need another bus.

So this bus would run both for AC as well as non-AC trips. Thats is the reason, i am reluctant to go for a very powerful engine as it would turn out to be unprofitable for a non-AC trip.
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Old 15th September 2010, 05:11   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
Say for around 4-5 years, depends on the condition of the bus. we have almost decided that the AC would be driven off the main engine as many are saying that the slave engine are prone to issues.

So the options before me are:

1) 132 hp Viking 40 P/B seats
2) 164 hp 12M 44 P/B seats
3) 177 hp 12M 44 P/B seats

All will have AC run on main engine. I think option (1) is better, economically. but i am fine with option (2) if necessary.
Have you had any test rides on similarly equipped A/C buses to see if they felt underpowered? I'm talking about the 132 hp Viking chassis. Which chassis is prevalent on the market?
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Old 15th September 2010, 08:09   #51
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I believe you can select from the following options;

1. AL Viking 222" - 165HP BS3 chassis or
2. AL 12M 244" - 177HP chassis


Presently most of the leading tourist a/c bus operators in central kerala is going for Viking BS3 222" (165Hp) chassis. The latest buses launched are by Ganga Travels, Rani Travels etc.

I would like to suggest you to checkout "SAXS COACHES" here in Ernakulam for A/c buses. AFAIK more than 70% of a/c buses here in cochin is built by them. The latest one being the Volvo9400 (exact copy) body on AL viking222" BS3 chassis by Ganga Travels. Also there are building a semilowfloor bus for Emanual Tours for operating at Cochin airport.
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Old 15th September 2010, 09:54   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smashnerd View Post
Have you had any test rides on similarly equipped A/C buses to see if they felt underpowered? I'm talking about the 132 hp Viking chassis. Which chassis is prevalent on the market?
Sadly no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Transsenger View Post
I believe you can select from the following options;

1. AL Viking 222" - 165HP BS3 chassis or
Are BS3 models even available in kerela? the last time we bought our Vikings, BS3 models were not available.

Also, i am looking for a chassis with minimum possible power which is just sufficient to carry the load of the AC, since the bus would have lot of non-AC trips.

and i was keen on the Viking by compromising on 4 seats since it has a 132 hp engine which the 12 M does not have. So, if at all i have to buy a 163 hp Viking, isnt it better to go for a 164 hp 12M? i would get 4 extra seats.

Quote:
2. AL 12M 244" - 177HP chassis
my query still remains-

1) is the 177 hp necessary in 12M? the brochure mentions the 164 hp 12M chassis has the option of engine driven AC.

2) is the 12M chassis known for any issues? how is the Viking 163 hp better than the 12M chassis, except that the Viking is BS3?

Quote:
Presently most of the leading tourist a/c bus operators in central kerala is going for Viking BS3 222" (165Hp) chassis. The latest buses launched are by Ganga Travels, Rani Travels etc.
do they have 40 P/B seats?

Quote:
I would like to suggest you to checkout "SAXS COACHES" here in Ernakulam for A/c buses. AFAIK more than 70% of a/c buses here in cochin is built by them. The latest one being the Volvo9400 (exact copy) body on AL viking222" BS3 chassis by Ganga Travels. Also there are building a semilowfloor bus for Emanual Tours for operating at Cochin airport.
Yes, even i have heard a lot about Saxs coaches. how is the durability & quality of these buses when compared to Prakash & Irizar? most importantly, what about resale value?
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Old 15th September 2010, 14:29   #53
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Friends, had contacted AL for the quotations. they informed me that BS2 models would be discontinued by the end of this month.

As far as i can see from their webiste, only Viking 165 hp is BS3, rest all are BS2. We have decided that we are not going for a BS2 model, since its anyways going to be discontinued.

So, when will the 12M models be availabe with BS3 engines? i need to enquire this with AL. Else the only option left to us is 165 hp Viking.

We also enquired with prakash on the various seating options. they say for 40-45 P/B seats, consider 12M chassis. they say if the AC is to be run off the main engine, consider it's BS3 engine. they have not specified anything else like power figures. does the 12M even come with BS3 engines? even the 12M brochure says that it has only BS2 engines.
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Old 15th September 2010, 18:40   #54
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Raj, All the manufactures including TML are migrating their existing BS2 models to BS3. Right now there is one model in 12M - ALPSV 4/117 with 181 HP. May be you may not prefer this owing to higher HP. But I request you to liaise with dealers as they can guide you correctly when the other models will be launched.
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Old 15th September 2010, 21:17   #55
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Raj,

1.BS3 models of AL is already avaliable in Kerala.
2. You cannot compare a Viking(MCV) & 12M(HCV) based on engine power. B'cos the 12M aggregates like axle, brake drums, chassis frame, engine mounting, suspension etc all are different from Viking. The chassis frame is bigger than usual viking.
3.There is not much 12M buses in non-a/c segment here in kerala.
4. If its 12M then go for BS3181Hp as Ashley2 said.
If its Viking then go for BS3 165Hp 222"WB chassis.
5. You cannot compare Saxs with either Prakash or Irizar. But they (Saxs) make buses are mostly in A/c segment. They build buses based on the design/dimensions taken from Volvo B7R. And for resale value, get feedback from leading a/c bus operators here in cochin (most of them have saxs built bus).
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Old 15th September 2010, 22:55   #56
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Thanks Ashley & Transsenger.

So the two available BS3 models are 12M 181 hp & Viking 165 hp. I think the Viking 165 hp would make better sense as it would be marginally more fuel efficient that the 181 hp & also in 12M brochure, it is written that the 165 hp can have an engine driven AC.
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Old 15th September 2010, 23:14   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
Thanks Ashley & Transsenger.

So the two available BS3 models are 12M 181 hp & Viking 165 hp. I think the Viking 165 hp would make better sense as it would be marginally more fuel efficient that the 181 hp & also in 12M brochure, it is written that the 165 hp can have an engine driven AC.
Also unlike the Intercity buses, your bus may need to travel thru the narrow interior roads say to pickup a wedding group, The length(overall size) of the bus should be a criterion for selection too, not just the no of seats. Look at the JNNURM AL buses in Kochi, most of them got scratches at the rear side.

Last edited by teamveevee : 15th September 2010 at 23:17.
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Old 16th September 2010, 09:27   #58
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@ teamveevee: we have found a solution to that. On the back of our order form, we have clearly mentioned that the bus would not go into narrow or bad roads. and our drivers are very adamant on that (since we are adamant on "no scratches"!). hence, touch wood, no scratches on our Vikings till now!
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Old 16th September 2010, 19:15   #59
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Raj,

A certain travel bus operator has got a new Prakash built A/C bus with a roof mounted A/C unit. I think it's the same model as ABTX buses on a Viking 222' chassis. It had the sliding glasses that you mentioned. I'm not sure on the horsepower rating of the bus though.

Seems there is ample demand for such a bus. I am understanding your point on getting a more fuel efficient engine while fitting a slave motor for the A/C.

It's a safe bet.
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Old 16th September 2010, 21:47   #60
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Raj, just saw this thread.

Frankly, I am a bit surprised. I trust that heavy vehicle operation is mostly a matter of mix and match, from the various chassis, engine, body and seating configurations available.

1. Seating capacity:-

I am most confused by your talk on seating capacity. Have you decided on the configuration? You can have non-push back seats in the 2 x 2 seating configuration. Some of the Ernakulam - Bangalore buses also have 1 x 2 seating configuration.

You can easily adjust the leg room to accomodate the extra seats. But, the question is, do you really want to do that? Will your tour operator guy accept 2x3 configuration buses, even if A/C?

Most coach builders source their seats from Harita Grammer. I guess you already know that.

I strongly suggest you pay a visit to the Madurai Irizar TVS factory. ( believe is they are based in Madurai). They will have better information on the chassis configurations available. I feel that 7-8 year old Irizar TVS built KeSRTC buses are less rackety than even the latest builds from KeSRTC's own yards; and even 3-4 year old luxury buses. Irizar or no Irizar, TVS coach has good build quality.

I have glanced through AL web site, and find that 12 M chassis offers longer chassis options than Vikings. The longest viking 10816 MM, shortest 12M is 11800 mm. The still longer 12 M is 12000 mm - which is 12 meters. Take the longest chassis.

2. Engine:-

Since you intend the bus to be on marriage runs, stick to smaller engines. Remember that BSIII means slightly less power from engine, unless there is some major miraculous tune up. This also means better FE.

3. A/C.

I believe that there are multiple brands available. Whether the a/c works off the main engine or separate engine is something dependent on the brand? Even if a separate engine is required, surely, you have some control over which engine is used? For marriage parties, etc, plenty of idling would be involved - 20 minutes to 30 minutes at each end. I would prefer a 25HP one or two cylinder baby engine do the idling rather than 180+ HP running off six cylinders doing the job. Maintenance? Do preventive maintenance.

Regarding "sabarimala tourists do not want a/c" - is exactly what they used to say before the LF / SLF JNURRM buses were launched. Just stand on the road side of any highway in KL during sabarimala season, and count the number of a/c cars plying the route.

BTW, have the existing buses achieved cash break even? Are you paying the HP / finance installments on time?
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