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Old 10th January 2011, 09:31   #91
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Default Re: My suggestion

Quote:
Originally Posted by teamveevee View Post
Out of curiosity, is there any companies in India that leases fully built buses? CV Vehicle leasing has not caught up in India yet, which is a very common practice in developed countries.
Quite a few travel operators hire out their buses to STUs. More than half the MSRTC's "Shivneri" Fleet is take on hire. (IIRC, the provider is Eagle Travels).
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Old 10th January 2011, 09:47   #92
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Default Re: My suggestion

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Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
Quite a few travel operators hire out their buses to STUs. More than half the MSRTC's "Shivneri" Fleet is take on hire. (IIRC, the provider is Eagle Travels).
Thanks Binai, But lease and "hire" are different. While leasing, for all practical purpose, you own the vehicle..
Also does Eagle Travels rent to private operators also, or works with STCs only?
I think we are going off topic..sorry about that.
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Old 10th January 2011, 16:07   #93
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Default Re: My suggestion

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Originally Posted by teamveevee View Post
Thanks Binai, But lease and "hire" are different. While leasing, for all practical purpose, you own the vehicle..
Also does Eagle Travels rent to private operators also, or works with STCs only?
The buses given to MSRTC by Eagle are operated with "MSRTC" stickers, from MSRTC bus station. The buses are parked overnight at MSRTC depots. However, I guess drivers are provided by Eagle - I guess this comes under the definition of "Lease".

About private operators, one cannot really say.
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Old 15th January 2011, 11:45   #94
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Default Re: Contemplating a new intercity coach service! Need your valuable suggestions

Sorry Guys have been busy with some other stuff.
Quote:
Originally Posted by teamveevee View Post
There are way too many Volvos and ALs in interstate routes. Probably a TM bus could be a differentiator for you. There is good reviews about the Tata Hispano SRS in Chennai Bangalore route. With a 2 year AMC with TM (including the Body), no head aches, especially for a new operator like you. More than the bus, service should be the differentiator.
70 Lakh for a Tata bus, is it worth? In case of Hispano, do they offer various suspension options, or just one configuration?

Like Binai said, for a Night service, the entertainment is not a big factor. Most of the people would like to sleep. Seat comfort, leg space, A/C, blankets, pillow, water etc play much bigger role.
The main problem i see with bus travel is the booking agents. ...the seat number, date and time of travel etc. On the date of travel, send a reminder.

Another important factor is the punctuality. Always be on time. Another tendency i see is, lot of times, if the bus is not full, i have seen the buses take passengers on the way for short distances. Some times they sit inside the drivers cabin also.
My thoughts now are why not a volvo B7R if i am ready to spend 70 Lakhs for a tata..B7R's have definitely shown us what they are capable off...If maintained well they can be very reliable.

No doubt Tata Hispano is also a beautiful bus.I have not recieved the techinal details on the 285 HP bus..i think i need to contact the sale's man again...Tata would be at an advantage for me .if they offer the customization that i am looking for.For example volvo will not sell the bus with out seats!!!I dont need their seats.

Yes teamveevee , the factors that you talked about play a very very important role in the development of the buisness.I will look into the booking system as time goes by.

Quote:
Originally Posted by julupani View Post
70lakhs for the Hispano Globus seems like a lot, especially considering that the 235hp model was available at 15lakhs less. Take a good look at the bus beforre making a decision.
Yes , i will .But i guess they are hard to find. Where do i look for them??.Does anyone of you know any more details on the 285 hp tata hispano.Aware of any operators using them??

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheARUN View Post
I have two suggestions for you mate.
  1. Test the waters
  2. Get yourself an Education
Test the waters
Instead of plunging head long into the business, what you could do is buy the chassis, give it for Body building, which takes about 3 months. The point is, don't wait for your busses to hit the road before you start the business, hire two busses and start plying them. In 100 days you will have enough contacts and will know enough to be in a better position to run your brand new busses. Even if you are able to run the hired busses at a no profit no loss basis you would have still won

Get yourself an Education
Instead of getting 2 busses, get 1 bus and ply on a short route. Eg: Bangalore-Madras or Bangalore-Hubli where you can make 2 trips a day. That way, it wil help you get on your feet and then you can plan out the expansion you have in mind.

These bus owners have
  • Fixed petrol bunks where they get fuel on credit
  • Fixed tyre shops where they get tyres on credit
  • Fixed spare parts shops where they get tyres on credit
  • Monthly payments to the high and mighty
  • Loyal and long cultivated Drivers
A newbie against them needs all the pluck in the world to survive

Wish you all the best
Thanks for the suggestions Arun.

I know where you are coming from on your comments on Test the waters.Renting a bus and starting a bus operation will not solve my purpose.There are many established operators in the industry.
People will come if things are a bit different.I am confident about that!!

And regarding the education part.We have been continuously owning buses for the past 25 years.As i stated earlier , we used to have bus service in kerala. But in parallel we have been owning and running buses in Hyderabad.We even have at few times bought buses from Kerala and brought them to Hyderabad.I know how difficult it was to own and operate those old leyland pump and line machines. Thing got little better now.We have 3 leylands now and 5 Swarj Mazdas.Sorry , I cannot tell you the nature of their operation.So in short i am well verse with the technical details and ground realities of maintaining a bus.But i thing the new machines have got so complicated that we need trained guys to work on it.To the advantage of Authorized service centers who can charge Rs 48000 for a oil change.

Contacts with tire shops and petrol pumps are not a problem.They need business from us!!!

We can arrange for agents who can take care/Please the official/Government / mighty.Not a problem..But yes we need some contacts.

Yes in the long run we need good cultivated drivers and associates who would be very crucial to the business..


Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
Sensible suggestion, IMO. But why wait for the "leased bus" option till a bus is booked?

Also, he is not looking for a custom built bus on a normal chassis. He is looking to provide a premium service, using premium buses. Vehicle booking to delivery would definitely take up to 3 months still, I feel.
What other options do i have apart from Volvo,TML , and AL Luxura?

Are any rear engine chasis availabe for building customized body? I have heard a lot about AL 12 M.

And another news is that , i was able to locate couple of seat manufactures and entertainment system makers for the coaches.Will have to talk to them more in detail about the requirements.
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Old 15th January 2011, 11:48   #95
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Default Re: Contemplating a new intercity coach service! Need your valuable suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
The buses given to MSRTC by Eagle are operated with "MSRTC" stickers, from MSRTC bus station. The buses are parked overnight at MSRTC depots. However, I guess drivers are provided by Eagle - I guess this comes under the definition of "Lease".

About private operators, one cannot really say.
Thanks for the suggestions Binai.

BY the way do you know any details on the AL Luxura?Saw some photographs posted by you.How is the travel like?Can they be position aside Tata Hispano atleast?Any details would be helpful..

Wanted to talk to the AL marketing today , but realized its holiday in India.
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Old 15th January 2011, 12:47   #96
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Default Re: Contemplating a new intercity coach service! Need your valuable suggestions

Not many further details, but the engine should be the latest 6-cyl ISBe Cummins engine, whose specs you should be able to pull off the Cummins website. Though there will be a slight drop in power to account for the bad fuel quality.

The only advantage of the Tata I think will be the lower maintainance costs compared to the Volvo, and also they are offering an AMC. Does Volvo offer AMC on their buses. Also with Tata you will end up being a top of the line customer for them, considering you are buying the pinnacle of their range, for Volvo, you will be just another small operator. Meaning the Tata guys will always tend to take care of you a bit more, than their average customer Joe.

Other than these, I dont think there will be much difference, or may be I can say the Tata bus looks better than the Volvo, to me at least. The Pininfarina shape is difficult to beat from the pure looks point of view.
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Old 15th January 2011, 13:29   #97
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Default Re: Contemplating a new intercity coach service! Need your valuable suggestions

I strongly suspect the usage of Hispano in the long run.
No better news. Same is the way with the travel comfort. Since you are operating the buses for more than 14 hrs be double sure about their comfort levels.
Though I was ok with the travel from Blore - Chennai but same felt extremely bad by Silversteed. He has given his reviews in Intercity Bus travel reviews.

I wish you enquire about the AL 12M with 230HP CRS engine. They are available with only chassis and you can customise as you wish.
But still they cannot equal Volvo but cost wise you can play around
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Old 15th January 2011, 14:21   #98
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Default Re: Contemplating a new intercity coach service! Need your valuable suggestions

SInce you already own buses, and Al to boot, I think you have already decided on:-

1. A factory built, branded body.
2. Rear engine, premium chassis.

How about a/c? I guess a/c is essential, right? (just clarifying).

Passenger comfort consists few factors . NVH (noise, vibration and harshness); suspension, leg room, seat width, and atmosphere (a/c).

Of these, NVH partly depends on the chassis, and the body. You will already know that TML is way behind in NVH caused by their chassis and engines, especially at idle and harmonics caused at certain speeds. I frankly do not about their latest breed - Hispano, Globus and whatever. Nothing short of a test drive at full load of passengers and luggage will tell us.

Badly built / maintained bodies too cause NVH.

Seat comfort, AFAIK, is fully customisable. I believe Volvo will allow you to choose seat leg room, width, and type of seating (2x2, 2x1, push back only, pushback + leg (calve) support,) etc. But will they allow customisation in areas like a/c vents, like individualised controls, etc?

Will they install seats you provide them? Do you get to choose seat covers and vehicle paint scheme?

Is the a/c integrated into the engine, or do you get to choose the a/c plant?

IMHO, the passengers will be happy with (a) comfortable seats, and minimal NVH. And IMHO, a simple AL chassis with Irizar = TVS built (NOT prakash or Azad) body and air suspension all around will achieve that. (warning - I have not travelled in recently built TVS built bodies). Even 10 year old TVS built bodies in KeSRTC have less NVH than 2 year old inhouse bodies.

(b) Reasonable speeds - achievable with a better / more powerful engine.

(c) a/c controls at the passengers' finger tips.
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Old 15th January 2011, 16:25   #99
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Default Re: Contemplating a new intercity coach service! Need your valuable suggestions

Anybody know if the Tata offers the RE 1623 as a chassis only option? They do offer the FE 1623 I think, but what about an RE chassis.

Because, with the level of customisation you want going in for a chassis will be the cost effective option for you.

Otherwise, go in for the AL12M with the 230hp engine. Dont think you want to go in for the Tata in FE form. But RE buses are almost always more comfortable than FE ones.
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Old 15th January 2011, 17:55   #100
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Default Re: Contemplating a new intercity coach service! Need your valuable suggestions

Sorry to hijack...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
Seat comfort, AFAIK, is fully customisable. I believe Volvo will allow you to choose seat leg room, width, and type of seating (2x2, 2x1, push back only, pushback + leg (calve) support,) etc. But will they allow customisation in areas like a/c vents, like individualised controls, etc?
I believe Volvo offers the option of choosing the type of seating - 2x2 or 2x1, "executive" or "semi-sleeper".

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
Will they install seats you provide them? Do you get to choose seat covers and vehicle paint scheme?
I believe this too is allowed. Have seen operators choosing a particular design as their standard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
Is the a/c integrated into the engine, or do you get to choose the a/c plant?
Here, again, I believe customization is allowed. I've seen Volvo buses with Carrier, Denso and Thermoking ACs!
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Old 15th January 2011, 18:40   #101
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Default Re: Contemplating a new intercity coach service! Need your valuable suggestions

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Originally Posted by julupani View Post
Anybody know if the Tata offers the RE 1623 as a chassis only option? They do offer the FE 1623 I think, but what about an RE chassis.
...
I dont think TML is offering the chassis with FE 1623.

I agree with Backseatdriver in many terms - A FE bus with a good body with a better ergonomics in seat should bring people.

Last edited by Technocrat : 16th January 2011 at 10:00. Reason: fixed quotes
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Old 15th January 2011, 20:19   #102
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Default Re: Contemplating a new intercity coach service! Need your valuable suggestions

You sure FE1623 is not provided in chassis form?? Because that engine has been used on export buses.

Are any RE bus chassis available in India.

What about those Corona RE 235hp Cummins engined buses? Do they fabricate the whole chassis or buy it from someone? How do they compare with the premium buses?
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Old 15th January 2011, 21:20   #103
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Default Re: Contemplating a new intercity coach service! Need your valuable suggestions

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Originally Posted by julupani View Post
What about those Corona RE 235hp Cummins engined buses? Do they fabricate the whole chassis or buy it from someone? How do they compare with the premium buses?
Corona uses a 160hp Cummins motor - not a 235hp one. They fabricate the chassis - the bus is actually a true monocoque - themselves. The engine is too underpowered for the purpose, and you can actually feel the bus struggling at places. But the suspension is TOP CLASS. NVH levels are on the higher side, but the ride is awesome.
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Old 15th January 2011, 21:30   #104
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Originally Posted by julupani View Post
...
Are any RE bus chassis available in India.
..
AL Panther is available.
But no idea about the engine options available
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Old 15th January 2011, 22:23   #105
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Default Re: Contemplating a new intercity coach service! Need your valuable suggestions

From a marketing / branding POV, I feel that given the intended positioning George should go for a RE engine bus, as far as possible.

I am clueless about technical reasons why a RE engine bus is more comfortable than front engined ones. But, for me, this is about human factor. The driver is seated above, or ahead of the front wheels, and would feel the roughness of the roads below the front wheel. But, he rarely gets to "know" what is going on below the rear wheels. Most sensible drivers take this into consideration, but a significant number do not, resulting in uncomfortable ride for the passengers.

In this context, I am quite happy to find that several chassis - including those for city and non-luxury buses come with longer than what was usual front overhang, and reduced rear overhang. This means the driver gets better feel about a bigger proportion of the bus.

Additionally, the heavier weight in the rear means the passengers in RE buses are less likely to be thrown around, since the engine's weight acts asa counter balance.

Edit:- and finally, the NVH caused by the propeller shaft is reduced or virtually eliminated.
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