Team-BHP > BHP India > Commercial Vehicles


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 6th August 2019, 19:25   #1
BHPian
 
peterjim13's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Kochi/S.Bathery
Posts: 533
Thanked: 442 Times
Default 13+ Seater Van for my School - Force Traveller or any other?

Dear Mods, I have been scouting for the right thread to fit my requirements but without success. Feel free to link me to the right thread.

Fellow Bhpians and the commercial vehicle experts here,

Back in 2018, I have been scouting on Tbhp for a school van that could take about less than 8 - 10 preschool kids and without much confusion, we picked up a Suzuki Eeco. The Van is doing pretty fine and the petrol engine never gave any trouble as yet (Touchwood).

Now that we have run out of capacity, and owing to our urge to expand - we need to move to a larger vehicle and must say goodbye to our good friend Eeco.

However, w,hile scouting for alternatives, I do not have any reliable advisors except for fleet operators (who obviously may not understand my specific criterion - beyond operability).

This is what I am looking at :

1. Must have 13+ Seats
2. We are not looking for a factory-made school van (the yellow one), as we are not an affiliated school and we technically have a preschool and after school.
3. This would be a commercially registered vehicle with all the fitments required for the RTO approval to be run as a school van - we did the same with Eeco.
4. AC would be great.
5. We also intend to use them for personal usage during school off days (for staff and management) and hence Suspension, Travel Comfort etc would be expected.
6. Driveability would also be expected as we typically operate within 6 Km radius and roads are typically narrower so no room for long vehicles.

7. Budget: I can stretch my budget to around 15 L


A couple of pointers from my end based on my short study.

Force Traveller: This is here for obvious reasons. Simply love the Force Traveller range - we have Poomkudy force at about 2 Km from our school - so would be doing a visit to their place very soon. The challenge is, they have almost 9000 combinations of the vehicle and looks too confusing for me.

1. The best part about the vehicle is it is accepted as a regular school van by the parents/public.

2. Love the looks.
3. A lot of configurations that might suit my need.
4. The same routes my Eeco goes, I have seen the 17 seaters older travellers plying as well.

Tata Winger: A good looking van, but the seating configuration looks confusing - at one of the images of a 13 seater, I see that the seats have to be folded to move behind - a bit too much of chaos.

Do not see too many operators here in Kerala.

Any other options thoughts ? Please help

Thanks
peterjim13 is offline   (14) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 6th August 2019, 21:06   #2
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 20
Thanked: 41 Times
Default re: 13+ Seater Van for my School - Force Traveller or any other?

I am associated with schools and thought I would give you inputs on what I have.

Both your options shortlisted are decent but people do prefer force don't get overwhelmed by 1000 seat configurations that is from marketing view point.

You have following companies -
SML
Eicher
Force
Tata
Mahindra

I have had few clients who for smaller capacity have ordered force and happy compared to winger. It feels too roomy, they have good representation in rural areas as well when it comes to sales and support. They have configuration from 13 seater to 20 seater.

Do stay away from Mahindra, if you want trouble free ownership they are known for service issues/ niggles.

You also have non yellow colour, but in my opinion even if you have a non affiliated school you can use yellow bus for Pre Primary. I think you pay higher for insurance per seat when it is yellow bus. Call out for representatives from each companies to get more information and update on this thread.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 7th August 2019 at 22:25. Reason: Clubbing sentences into paras for better readability.
freak is online now   (9) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th August 2019, 06:55   #3
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 81
Thanked: 149 Times
Default re: 13+ Seater Van for my School - Force Traveller or any other?

At our NGO we have vehicles to transport small children to and from hospitals in various cities. We had a Winger and a Maruti Eeco in our Kolkata centers. Both vehicles hardly ran 600 KM in a month, yet both were high on maintenance, especially the Winger - recurrent suspension problems, doors and windows, steering breakages etc. We were fed up. Finally, after the stipulated 7 years we have sold both vehicles and bought a Traveller 26 seater bus and a Force Trax. Hopefully they will serve us better.

Elsewhere in India Eicher and Ashok Leyland vehicles are doing well.
benu9714 is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th August 2019, 07:28   #4
BHPian
 
Aditya_Bhp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Kochi
Posts: 210
Thanked: 443 Times
Default re: 13+ Seater Van for my School - Force Traveller or any other?

I suggest you to avoid any van with sliding doors, say the Tata Winger, because what I have seen is that kids tend to insert their fingers in between the doors, and would get injured while closing the door, and hence parents dislike the Omni and the Winger for the same reason.

The Traveller is an ideal pre school van, you may configure it as per your wish as well, and because it only has a single door in the front, instead of 2 or 3, it can be monitored by the staff also, and prevent children from opening it.

The traveller is the preferred mass transport vehicle by nearly everyone and I am sure it will be ideal for your pre school.
Aditya_Bhp is online now   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th August 2019, 09:39   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Kochi
Posts: 2,258
Thanked: 232 Times
Default

Ah. So you have hit an empty space in the Indian market. I think police in Kerala insists on yellow colour for vehicles owned / operated by educational institutions. (That is, non- taxi).
Apart from the Traveller, is there a real choice in the Indian market? (Plonking a match box onto a ladder does not count). Especially if nanybody taller than 4ft needs to stand?

Also, "seat configuration" does not alter length and breadth of the vehicle. So, you really don't have a choice outside of the Traveller. Other vehicles listed by freak above are, IMHO, either too small, or big or ugly. Even the traveller is a tad too big, but looks make up for it.

Last edited by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR : 7th August 2019 at 09:44.
BaCkSeAtDrIVeR is online now   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th August 2019, 11:57   #6
Senior - BHPian
 
blackasta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: WB 26
Posts: 3,266
Thanked: 2,373 Times
Default re: 13+ Seater Van for my School - Force Traveller or any other?

Winger has sliding door and folding seats - places where even adults get into accidents.
So I would strongly advise against winger and anything that had sliding doors & folding seats.
Also , where would the attendant (if there is one) sit in a winger? front? then the rear sliding door is unmonitored. Rear by the sliding door? then obviously pres school kids have to sit in the front which is not advisable.
Traveller has fixed seats and only 1 door ( I know in smaller travellers there's a folding seat by the side of the passenger door which the attendant can take making the door virtually inaccessible to kids)
blackasta is online now   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th August 2019, 13:56   #7
Senior - BHPian
 
comfortablynumb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Pune
Posts: 1,483
Thanked: 1,290 Times
Default re: 13+ Seater Van for my School - Force Traveller or any other?

Quote:
Originally Posted by peterjim13 View Post
Any other options thoughts ? Please help

Force also has this vehicle in its stable, but doubt if it would suit your purpose as the seating config is 12 + D:

https://www.forcemotors.com/vehicle/...ser-school-van

Cheers,
Vikram

Last edited by comfortablynumb : 7th August 2019 at 13:58.
comfortablynumb is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th August 2019, 17:36   #8
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 20
Thanked: 41 Times
Default re: 13+ Seater Van for my School - Force Traveller or any other?

Traveller also has 2 doors in the back, that can be used for emergency exit. They have option to add GPS module & CCTV club it up with a data sim and you get live feed. These are all safety add ons which are now pocket friendly. It does depend on what services vs fees are you providing.
freak is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th August 2019, 19:40   #9
Senior - BHPian
 
silverado's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Mumbai-Pune
Posts: 1,176
Thanked: 891 Times
Default Re: 13+ Seater Van for my School - Force Traveller or any other?

If you like EECO so much, why not go ahead and buy another.
It has AC, airbag and ABS now, the only extra cost for you would be that of extra driver for 2nd van.

But woudnt that save you lot of money upfront?
It will also give you lot of flexibility IMO and faster pickups for all kids.

Last edited by silverado : 7th August 2019 at 19:54.
silverado is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th August 2019, 22:11   #10
BHPian
 
peterjim13's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Kochi/S.Bathery
Posts: 533
Thanked: 442 Times
Default Re: 13+ Seater Van for my School - Force Traveller or any other?

Thanks for the contribution and great thoughts everyone. Very happy to see your insights coming through - much appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freak View Post
Both your options shortlisted are decent but people do prefer force don't get overwhelmed by 1000 seat configurations that is from marketing view point.
In terms of make, manufacturer etc nothing beats Force, and I concur with your thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freak View Post
You have following companies -
SML
Eicher
Force
Tata
Mahindra
Thanks so much for this 'freak'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freak View Post
You also have non yellow colour, but in my opinion even if you have a non affiliated school you can use yellow bus for Pre Primary.
I see. This was not my understanding - none of the dealers told me about this as yet. Let me check - as a matter of fact, there are no clear RTO guidelines on this case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freak View Post
I think you pay higher for insurance per seat when it is yellow bus.
But we pay about 535 per seat every three months for the contract carriage ones for the permit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freak View Post
Call out for representatives from each companies to get more information and update on this thread.
Shall do that duly sir. Just visited Poomkudy Force today. Headed to Tata / Mahindra - tomorrow. Might also have to look at Force for the Trax again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by benu9714 View Post
At our NGO we have vehicles to transport small children to and from hospitals in various cities. We had a Winger and a Maruti Eeco in our Kolkata centers. Both vehicles hardly ran 600 KM in a month, yet both were high on maintenance, especially the Winger - recurrent suspension problems, doors and windows, steering breakages etc. We were fed up. Finally, after the stipulated 7 years we have sold both vehicles and bought a Traveller 26 seater bus and a Force Trax. Hopefully they will serve us better.
Thanks for this Benu. This is a pure case study for us. Shall keep this in mind - and anxiously looking forward to your update on the Force Trax

Quote:
Originally Posted by benu9714 View Post
Elsewhere in India Eicher and Ashok Leyland vehicles are doing well.
I have seen many, but they are too boxy, some are really tall - nothing imbibes confidence. Especially for the number of seats I am looking at.

Quote:
Originally Posted by benu9714 View Post
I suggest you to avoid any van with sliding doors, say the Tata Winger, because what I have seen is that kids tend to insert their fingers in between the doors, and would get injured while closing the door, and hence parents dislike the Omni and the Winger for the same reason.
True. The Eeco also comes with sliding doors, thank fully nothing has happened as yet except for one instance last year. (touchwood)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aditya_Bhp View Post
The Traveller is an ideal pre school van, you may configure it as per your wish as well, and because it only has a single door in the front, instead of 2 or 3, it can be monitored by the staff also, and prevent children from opening it.
Right, now the challenge would be to find the right package. 13 seater, 15 seater, 17 seater

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aditya_Bhp View Post
The traveller is the preferred mass transport vehicle by nearly everyone and I am sure it will be ideal for your pre school.
Thanks for your suggestion Aditya, as a matter of fact it is a yes. But we are slotting another challenge for a operational cost for shorter trips with lesser number of kids as we typically have 4 trips a day - while one of the trips we just have about 3 kids in about 9 Km radius. This is one debate asking us to think for something smaller than or in less than 13 seat one.

That's another headache to be sorted. I always wanted to have the Eeco and another car as for short trips or may be with less number of kids - nothing beats its easy operability.

I shall keep updating on the progress of the pursuit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
Ah. So you have hit an empty space in the Indian market. I think police in Kerala insists on yellow colour for vehicles owned / operated by educational institutions. (That is, non- taxi).
That's the biggest challenge here. Its the RTO who designs the guidelines - and walking into the RTO office most of them are clueless. The rules at the RTO near my school does need us to go for yellow coloured ones. Now need to check with Police guidelines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
Apart from the Traveller, is there a real choice in the Indian market? (Plonking a match box onto a ladder does not count). Especially if anybody taller than 4ft needs to stand?

Also, "seat configuration" does not alter length and breadth of the vehicle. So, you really don't have a choice outside of the Traveller. Other vehicles listed by freak above are, IMHO, either too small, or big or ugly. Even the traveller is a tad too big, but looks make up for it.
How we wish we had cars like Hiace The winger would have been ideal for my case - but the feedback from operators and just look at the maintenance issues people have posted in this thread itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackasta View Post
Winger has sliding door and folding seats - places where even adults get into accidents.
So I would strongly advise against winger and anything that had sliding doors & folding seats.
Also , where would the attendant (if there is one) sit in a winger? front? then the rear sliding door is unmonitored. Rear by the sliding door? then obviously pres school kids have to sit in the front which is not advisable.
Thanks for pointing this out, I shall keep this in mind while I check out winger tomorrow. Appreciate it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by comfortablynumb View Post
Force also has this vehicle in its stable, but doubt if it would suit your purpose as the seating config is 12 + D:

https://www.forcemotors.com/vehicle/...ser-school-van

Cheers,
Vikram
Yes. Never seen one in skin - looks good and might suit our purpose precisely. However the dealer here never had this and he was not keen on providing info - I might have to look at other force dealers to figure this out. I have seen a lot of Trax coming out on the road near Malapuram, Calicut area in Kerala - but no school van configured ones as yet.

Thanks for this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freak View Post
Traveller also has 2 doors in the back, that can be used for emergency exit. They have option to add GPS module & CCTV club it up with a data sim and you get live feed. These are all safety add ons which are now pocket friendly. It does depend on what services vs fees are you providing.
Yes, they have the mandatory - Speed Governor, FastTag, GPS of the showroom.

True the ROI would be totally around the Services and Fees - we may have to look at how the repayment of the loan would be funded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silverado View Post
If you like EECO so much, why not go ahead and buy another.
It has AC, airbag and ABS now, the only extra cost for you would be that of extra driver for 2nd van.


But woudnt that save you lot of money upfront?
It will also give you lot of flexibility IMO and faster pickups for all kids.
This has been there in my mind for sometime - operationally nothing beats this thought.

Operationally, its whatever the current cost X 2. And the fuel costs may not be right double as it would be a marginal increase.

Great one Silverado - might have to go back to the drawing boards and relook at the total search as such. But shall still pursue the research and gain more clarity on what is in the market.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 7th August 2019 at 22:24. Reason: Fixing broken quotes + removing unwanted spaces.
peterjim13 is offline   (7) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th August 2019, 06:47   #11
BHPian
 
Alfresco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: RJ-UK
Posts: 81
Thanked: 234 Times
Default Re: 13+ Seater Van for my School - Force Traveller or any other?

The Trax school van is targeted towards rural areas.

Stay away from Winger. It's very high maintenance and even the dealers have a problem procuring parts.

For school, you can get a 9 seater Traveller. It can be registered in 'T' category and does not require per seat tax on a quarterly basis that a vehicle registered in 'P' category does.

For schools, Bal Vahini rules allow you to have 1.5 times the registered capacity of the vehicle. Check in your state. So a 9 seater allows you to carry 13 students.
Alfresco is offline   (8) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th August 2019, 13:15   #12
BHPian
 
dicor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Pune
Posts: 28
Thanked: 83 Times
Default Re: 13+ Seater Van for my School - Force Traveller or any other?

Of-course after meeting basic requirements like seating capacity, the next objective is to minimize the down time.

The bus will need to go to the garage sometimes, if not for accidental repairs yet periodic maintenance will be there.

If ASS is close to you, you can get it serviced on weekend and get it same day. Also watch out for popularity of other buses in your vicinity. If there are plenty of Force Travellers in your area, then the availability of parts will also be easy.

As a school bus, you can not afford bus to be off duty for long period unless you have a back-up plan.
dicor is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th August 2019, 22:49   #13
Senior - BHPian
 
PrasannaDhana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: TN
Posts: 1,198
Thanked: 3,969 Times
Default Re: 13+ Seater Van for my School - Force Traveller or any other?

I have Eicher, Force traveller, Tata, Mahindra and Ashok Leyland in my school. I would rate Eicher and Mahindra best among the lot.

If you need a small carrier, nothing beats Force traveller, specially the 120 bhp version. It's very fuel efficient and pretty easy to drive.

One more tip, you can bargain on ex showroom prices for buses unlike cars. They would quote 19 lakhs, but you can close the deal at 16, even 15.5 if you can bargain.

Please avoid eeco. It's unsafe. And more the seating capacity, more is the insurance you will have to pay. I pay 80k insurance for a 60 seater bus every year, and also be prepared to spend for annual FC(we have to repaint and replace stickers and fire extinguisher every year before FC) if you are planning a school bus. Or else you can just buy a 15 seater Traveller and register it as T board.

Last edited by PrasannaDhana : 11th August 2019 at 22:57.
PrasannaDhana is online now   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th August 2019, 08:46   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madras
Posts: 1,560
Thanked: 1,179 Times
Default Re: 13+ Seater Van for my School - Force Traveller or any other?

My kids' school uses Mahindra Supro for KG and Force Traveller for primary and beyond. Every day the Force Traveller gets stuck atleast in 4 places in our street alone due to street parking and smaller vehicles trying to act smart. All this at 730am in the morning. The Supro breezes through all of them. If your primary commute is on smaller streets, then I wouldn't bother Force Traveller. Any later start, would mean it more difficult for vans in small streets.

Being a pre-school, the attendance year on year may not be constant unlike a regular school. So this is something you might have to think about.
narayans80 is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th August 2019, 13:51   #15
BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 36
Thanked: 59 Times
Default Re: 13+ Seater Van for my School - Force Traveller or any other?

Tempo Traveller is your best option.Lot of international schools in Bangalore use them,and of course they are fitted with AC as well .
autohead666 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Force Motors launches 33/41 seater Traveller Monobus TusharK Commercial Vehicles 0 29th August 2018 19:20
Force Motors Launched Force Trip Mini Van KMohanan Commercial Vehicles 13 1st September 2011 10:19
School van Mishap sandhurs1 Street Experiences 8 25th October 2007 20:46
Call center cab jumps light, hits school van, one dead tsk1979 Street Experiences 23 29th November 2006 11:42
6 seater luxury van jesal The Indian Car Scene 8 18th August 2004 12:56


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 22:18.

Copyright 2000 - 2019, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks