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Old 15th January 2011, 23:15   #106
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Default Re: Contemplating a new intercity coach service! Need your valuable suggestions

I feel...
If you think of going for an Tata Hispano, keep in mind, there is a lot of room for bargain...right from AMC rates, mobile service support, to customization etc. This bus is a result of TML serious efforts to address the gap in its product range in premium segment and they are pretty serious about it.

If you would like to explore AL Luxura, well you can be sure of its built quality, but do get assurance from AL about the service support (including body parts).

If you are thinking about Volvo (B7R / B9R), well, expect your bus to be on road by the end of this year. The order book of Volvo is almost FULL! Leading operators like Kallada is waiting for 5-6 months to take delivery.

What about MAN bus, only if you can wait for 3 months!

Otherwise, i would like to suggest you to go for...
1. AL 12M, 230CRS Front engined model with front & rear air suspension + a fully customized body either by IrizarTVS or Prakash.

2. AL Panther, only with 230Hp CRS Rear engine (if avaliable) + main engine driven A/c + Volvo type customized body by AZAD. (pls do not go for 160Hp version).
Sell premium facilities, punctuality & comfort....and not Volvo!

3. An Isuzu or a Sutluj Lexia as per you configurations.
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Old 16th January 2011, 13:10   #107
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Default Re: Contemplating a new intercity coach service! Need your valuable suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
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.
Yes i would prefer a RE bus. I think .
1. RE bus have much better ride quality
2. Less Vibration and noise
3. Low floor design
4. Better luggage space.

It is discussed here http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/commer...ine-buses.html

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Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
AL Panther is available.
But no idea about the engine options available
Ashley , who would be the best body manufactures whom i can consider , if i need to explore this option?

Has any operator taken this route?

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Originally Posted by Transsenger View Post
I feel...
If you think of going for an Tata Hispano, keep in mind, there is a lot of room for bargain...right from AMC rates, mobile service support, to customization etc. This bus is a result of TML serious efforts to address the gap in its product range in premium segment and they are pretty serious about it.
Yes true.

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Originally Posted by Transsenger View Post
If you would like to explore AL Luxura, well you can be sure of its built quality, but do get assurance from AL about the service support (including body parts).
OK. I think its much easier to maintain a AL bus.Just from experience.Dont know the case about luxura.because most of these drive trains are imported?

By the way does any one what drives the luxura?

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Originally Posted by Transsenger View Post
If you are thinking about Volvo (B7R / B9R), well, expect your bus to be on road by the end of this year. The order book of Volvo is almost FULL! Leading operators like Kallada is waiting for 5-6 months to take delivery.
Thats good news.Shows demand for luxury travel is high!!!But aren't local manufactures realizing this opportunity??

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Originally Posted by Transsenger View Post
What about MAN bus, only if you can wait for 3 months!
When is this going to be released? Any details.But i am pretty sure would be positioned along with Volvo's and mercs!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Transsenger View Post
Otherwise, i would like to suggest you to go for...
1. AL 12M, 230CRS Front engined model with front & rear air suspension + a fully customized body either by IrizarTVS or Prakash.
Is the ride atleast as good as a volvo / can it be positioned as premium luxury?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Transsenger View Post
2. AL Panther, only with 230Hp CRS Rear engine (if avaliable) + main engine driven A/c + Volvo type customized body by AZAD. (pls do not go for 160Hp version).
Sell premium facilities, punctuality & comfort....and not Volvo!
Ya , this can be an option.Any reason why you mentioned AZAD. Do you have any approximation on cost involved?I checked out azad website , they have their own built buses for sale.

Can some one please provide some more insight into this option?What would be the pros and cons?

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Originally Posted by Transsenger View Post
...and not Volvo!
Transsenger , you were not sarcastic when you said that..were you??

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Originally Posted by Transsenger View Post
3. An Isuzu or a Sutluj Lexia as per you configurations.
Checked out the Isuzu prestige.Dont have any details on Sutlej Lexia.

Guys can some one shed some insight into the suspension systems on buses?
What the difference in suspension systems in Volvo compared to other models.Some details on the different options available in the market can be helpful.
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Old 16th January 2011, 14:17   #108
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Default Re: Contemplating a new intercity coach service! Need your valuable suggestions

Since when did AZAD start building buses of their own?

Though among all the bus builders that I have experienced, Azad are in my opinion the best. Also the one thing that I have seen in Azad built buses is that they seem to be more compliant with the high amount of abuse that our buses have to endure.

The MAN bus, I had read in a particular post here is going to be a FE chassis, which I think you should avoid. Stick to RE buses only.

Isnt the Isuzu Prestige a Irizar bodied, Isuzu engined bus sold by Swaraj Mazda. How good is Swaraj's after sales experience??

The Sutlej Lexia, AFAIK, is the top bus body model from Sutlej, another very good bus builder.

As of now, I think the best would be an AL Panther chassis if it is available with the 230hp engine. Though it is still a bit underpowered in my opinion, but taking everything into account, it is the best option as of now.

If that does not work out, go in for either the Volvo B7R or the Tata Hispano Globus 285hp, depending on the kind of customisation and cost factors involved.
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Old 16th January 2011, 14:25   #109
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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
Since when did AZAD start building buses of their own?
AFAIK Azad is now owned by Volvo.
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Old 16th January 2011, 18:03   #110
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Default Re: Contemplating a new intercity coach service! Need your valuable suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by julupani View Post
The MAN bus, I had read in a particular post here is going to be a FE chassis, which I think you should avoid. Stick to RE buses only.
My friend still says there is an RE MAN bus in the offing - the FE bus is perhaps intended to hit the likes of TATA and AshLey directly.

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Originally Posted by julupani View Post
Isnt the Isuzu Prestige a Irizar bodied, Isuzu engined bus sold by Swaraj Mazda. How good is Swaraj's after sales experience??
Isuzu buses are built at a dedicated unit of SML Isuzu Limited somewhere in Punjab. The bus body seems like an imitation of an Irizar model (perhaps a licensed work), but is surely not built in India by Irizar. The buses have been selling like hotcakes these days.

Isuzu is selling 41/45 seater buses as well as sleeper buses in India now.

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Originally Posted by julupani View Post
The Sutlej Lexia, AFAIK, is the top bus body model from Sutlej, another very good bus builder.
Lexia is now no more. Sutlej stopped selling Lexia buses following their tieup with Merc. I learn that Sutlej was contractually required to stop selling Lexia along with the Merc.

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Originally Posted by volkman10 View Post
AFAIK Azad is now owned by Volvo.
AZAD is very much alive. Volvo only took over the company that was building bodies for Volvo buses (which was a tie up between Volvo and Azad). Azad has quit that company, and is now operating solo. Azad recently tied up with MAN as their body manufacturer.

AZAD already has a tie-up with Eicher for manufacturing their FBVs.
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Old 16th January 2011, 22:26   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by julupani View Post
Since when did AZAD start building buses of their own?
They were around for several years; and Volvo choose them because of their proven track record.

george, my first vote, if you go for a custom body, is TVS, Madurai. Raj_5004, who booked a body at Prakash, had contacted them for a body within past 2-3 months, and apparently, their quote is a good 5-6 lakh above rest of the gang. Worth, IMHO. And I repeat the caveat, I have not seen their recent bodies.

Regarding your suspension query - apparently, 3 types of suspensions are available - the first is traditional shackle - perch type. The second is normal one, with Weveller type shackles; and the third is air suspension. This is also the order of comfort.

I am not sure why people call Volvos more comfortable than others. Their city a/c buses in Kochi (JNURRM ones) are very unimpressive, at least to me, when I travelled on one of them. Will need to hitch a ride on a contract carriage someday.
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Old 17th January 2011, 10:19   #112
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Default Re: Contemplating a new intercity coach service! Need your valuable suggestions

@georgekj:

Let me tell you some of my observations:
A FE bus body can be built with the driver cabin separated from the passenger area. This would mean a quieter passenger space. I can vouch for this because I know the comfort levels provided by ARC Tours' buses. They run a fleet of only AL 12M with engine driven AC. Guess they have a 205hp engine. They always reach on time, seats are very comfy, NVH inside the passenger cabin is very very less, even lesser than Volvo 9400s. The soundproofing is quite good. Unless the door to the driver cabin is open you won't know the engine is running.

Comparing a RE Volvo or Isuzu (both from Conti travels) with this AL 12M, I would always vote for the latter. Both the RE buses have some amount of engine noise in the passenger cabin.

About the ride quality, of course what you said is right. Having the engine at the rear would mean a softer ride for the passengers when the bus goes over a rough patch at a high speed. But like backseatdriver said, it's more about the driver than the bus. If the driver is sensible enough to take into consideration what is below the wheels, the ride would be equally good in a FE bus too.

One more reason for favouring a FE bus is, IF you are not going for a FBV, you will go for a custom body from SMK, Veera, Irizar-TVS, Azad, etc; they're all more experienced in building a body for a FE bus than RE bus. We can leave Azad out perhaps.

Last edited by silversteed : 17th January 2011 at 10:28.
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Old 17th January 2011, 10:21   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
I am clueless about technical reasons why a RE engine bus is more comfortable than front engined ones....
Major factor is NVH levels and nothing much to compare.
Even the luggage storing capacity have come to level close.
RE - 11Cu.M
FE - 8 Cu.M

Quote:
Originally Posted by Transsenger View Post
What about MAN bus, only if you can wait for 3 months!
It will hit roads less than 3 months.
The trials will be in Rajasthan and body is built by Azad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Transsenger View Post
Sell premium facilities, punctuality & comfort....and not Volvo!
I agree 200%.
A strict no no to Volvo alone as a premium service.Premium service should be with services offered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by george_kj View Post
Ashley , who would be the best body manufactures whom i can consider , if i need to explore this option?
Has any operator taken this route?
I have seen panthers built by SMK run by Sri Vijayalakshmi Travels.
I think its between Chennai - Hyderabad. You can check with them directly if you have contacts.
But still Irizar or Veera should help you out for RE bus bodies.
Quote:
Originally Posted by george_kj View Post
Dont know the case about luxura.because most of these drive trains are imported?
By the way does any one what drives the luxura?
No more imported power trains in Luxura.
Its 230 HP CRS engine made in India only.
Did you happen to check with AL reps for the availability of product.

Quote:
Originally Posted by george_kj View Post
Guys can some one shed some insight into the suspension systems on buses? What the difference in suspension systems in Volvo compared to other models.
Both the axles are air suspended.
This is the common mode in all RE buses.
To be frank and IMHO a FE bus with both axles air suspended offers a similar comfort but for NVH levels.
But only very few operators choose both axles as air suspended wrt FE buses.
The weveller suspension in front with air suspension at rear is the most popular model as it offers a better cost to value proportion

Quote:
Originally Posted by binaiks View Post
My friend still says there is an RE MAN bus in the offing - the FE bus is perhaps intended to hit the likes of TATA and AshLey directly.
RE buses are still some time away.
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Old 17th January 2011, 10:36   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
george, my first vote, if you go for a custom body, is TVS, Madurai.
Hope you meant Irizar-TVS? If so, they are in Viralimalai, near Trichy.
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Old 19th January 2011, 10:26   #115
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Default Re: Contemplating a new intercity coach service! Need your valuable suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
They were around for several years; and Volvo choose them because of their proven track record.

george, my first vote, if you go for a custom body, is TVS, Madurai. Raj_5004, who booked a body at Prakash, had contacted them for a body within past 2-3 months, and apparently, their quote is a good 5-6 lakh above rest of the gang. Worth, IMHO. And I repeat the caveat, I have not seen their recent bodies. .
OK. But i am less inclined towards this route now.Will definitly consider if i am building a body.


Quote:
Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
@georgekj:

Let me tell you some of my observations:
A FE bus body can be built with the driver cabin separated from the passenger area. This would mean a quieter passenger space. I can vouch for this because I know the comfort levels provided by ARC Tours' buses. They run a fleet of only AL 12M with engine driven AC. Guess they have a 205hp engine. They always reach on time, seats are very comfy, NVH inside the passenger cabin is very very less, even lesser than Volvo 9400s. The soundproofing is quite good. Unless the door to the driver cabin is open you won't know the engine is running..
Thanks for the observations.Really helpful.Where are these ARC buses built?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
Major factor is NVH levels and nothing much to compare.

It will hit roads less than 3 months.
The trials will be in Rajasthan and body is built by Azad.

I agree 200%.
A strict no no to Volvo alone as a premium service.Premium service should be with services offered.

No more imported power trains in Luxura.
Its 230 HP CRS engine made in India only.
Did you happen to check with AL reps for the availability of product.

.
Isn't NVH levels the most important factor in the premium segment category?

I don't want to say that i want to position only a Volvo as a premium service. But i think to provide a premium service you need a premium / a quality product.I know if Volvo's maintained well is a quality product.

There is absolutely no point in a Volvo if an AL Luxura which is half the value of Volvo is a premium product and can hold its value for atleast the first two years of operation.

So thats where my confusion is!! Will AL Luxura / A globus hold its value? I hope it does. So if i add a custom build FE bus to my list it would further confuse me!!

By the way , AshLey , talked to Irizar-Tvs , Luxura BS-3 with 230 Hp engine will be available from April. They actually derated it from 260HP. Why the heck did they do that. Cost expect around 55 Lakhs.

Is 230 Hp Sufficient? What do you guys think?

George.
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Old 19th January 2011, 11:33   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by george_kj View Post
Thanks for the observations.Really helpful.Where are these ARC buses built?
ARC's buses are all built by Prakash.


Quote:
Originally Posted by george_kj View Post
Isn't NVH levels the most important factor in the premium segment category?
Absolutely right. Next in line is Punctuality and staff behaviour

Quote:
Originally Posted by george_kj View Post
I don't want to say that i want to position only a Volvo as a premium service. But i think to provide a premium service you need a premium / a quality product.I know if Volvo's maintained well is a quality product.

There is absolutely no point in a Volvo if an AL Luxura which is half the value of Volvo is a premium product and can hold its value for atleast the first two years of operation.
That's rational thinking. Many operators to prove that.

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Originally Posted by george_kj View Post
... talked to Irizar-Tvs , Luxura BS-3 with 230 Hp engine will be available from April. They actually derated it from 260HP. Why the heck did they do that. Cost expect around 55 Lakhs.
Derating might have been done for emission control purposes. Perhaps they'll launch another version that uses the actual 260hp engine with EGR and other technologies. Anyway you cannot register the BS-III version in metros.

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Originally Posted by george_kj View Post
Is 230 Hp Sufficient? What do you guys think?
I feel 230hp is sufficient, unless you plan to carry 40+ passengers plus a truck-like parcel service

Last edited by silversteed : 19th January 2011 at 11:36.
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Old 19th January 2011, 12:07   #117
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Default Re: Contemplating a new intercity coach service! Need your valuable suggestions

What do you mean they derated it from 260hp?? Is the engine sourced from some other manufacturer?? If they developed it themselves, there is no point in saying its derated. Every engine design can produce a pretty varied power and torque curves, but you choose the one that suits you.

230hp is okay, wouldn't exactly call it underpowered but closer to 300 would be nicer.

In my experience not much difference in NVH levels is there between FE and RE buses. As for saving on a bit of space for the air-conditioner, 1st of all I think the driver too deserves an AC, and the cost differential is not substantial enough in my opinion to deny him that comfort.

Also having travelled in FE Air-suspension buses quite a lot recently, and in fact one that had Air-suspension on both axles, I will still say it is no match for a Volvo on bad roads. There isn't any-perceptible difference on the smooth highways with minor bumps, but on the bad roads the Volvo still scores.

Other than that a Volvo still holds a brand value that is difficult to match with any chassis built bus, though the difference in terms of comfort, power etc are nowhere near what they were when Volvo buses were introduced.

Also having experienced a Hispano Globus, they do have better brand value than a standard Leyland or Tata to the slightly more premium feel of the bus. Never seen an AL Luxura so cant say. Also a caveat is the Globus was a Govt tourist bus, thus impeccably maintained, from OTDC, who run B9Rs, B7Rs and Hispano Globuses on the same level.
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Old 20th January 2011, 09:50   #118
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Default Re: Contemplating a new intercity coach service! Need your valuable suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by george_kj View Post
By the way , AshLey , talked to Irizar-Tvs , Luxura BS-3 with 230 Hp engine will be available from April. They actually derated it from 260HP. ....
The earlier 260Hp engine was a from J series and they were BSII.The 230Hp models are from H series BSIII.


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Is 230 Hp Sufficient? What do you guys think?
Its definetely sufficient btw what is the route you have finalised. How much is the one way distance
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Old 20th January 2011, 10:04   #119
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The earlier 260Hp engine was a from J series and they were BSII.The 230Hp models are from H series BSIII.



Its definetely sufficient btw what is the route you have finalised. How much is the one way distance
Whats the difference between J and H series. I am not aware of the AL engine configurations? You had mentioned that its a CRS engine?The guy at TVS could not give me the technical details of the engine. Is it a smaller size (CC) engine to get better fuel efficiency?

Yes, i am working on Hyd-Bglr now.Its approximately 570 Kms.
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Old 20th January 2011, 11:06   #120
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Originally Posted by george_kj View Post
Whats the difference between J and H series. I am not aware of the AL engine configurations? You had mentioned that its a CRS engine?The guy at TVS could not give me the technical details of the engine. Is it a smaller size (CC) engine to get better fuel efficiency?
Basic differance is H series had 6 litre engine and J series had 8 litre engine and lot more technicals it had. More prominently J series is pitched as the high power engines.
Though this was planned to manufacture in India by ALL, this did not took off as the engine was prooving to be costlier and the market was not ready for such high power in 2004-2005 and more importantly engine was not much reliable and prone to problems. This is cited as a important reason for the failire of Luxura.
But with CRS engine they are extremely soft and vibration less.
I am very excited to see their performance in the FE buses ordered by VRL - 100 numbers
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