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Old 17th May 2018, 16:06   #3931
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Saw this Neeta travels bus in Pune. 'SCANIY' Perfect copy of Scania. Could not click the photo from front. What if Neeta is charging the same ticket rate as original Scania/Volvo for this bus.
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Old 19th May 2018, 13:34   #3932
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Just returned from a trip to Kerala in KeSRTC non a/c (Bangalore to Thrissur and Calicut to Bangalore). Both legs of the journey were punctual and uneventful. A pleasant surprise was the fact that KeSRTC has adopted driver-cum-conductor arrangement, like KaSRTC. The driver and conductor switched places in the middle of the journey. Good thinking, finally.
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Old 29th May 2018, 11:50   #3933
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Among the intercity multi-axle/luxury coach options available, I would always recommend Scania, Mercedes Benz or Ashok Leyland (Sleeper). The Volvo B9Rs are horrible in terms of leg room, seat (or any kind of comfort) and hat-rack space.

The single most annoying attribute in a Volvo is the constant low-frequency roll and pitch motion that the bus is shaken into. How many times have we seen people clutch their heads and throw up on the side of the highways?

The B11Rs fare slightly better in terms of leg space but all the other issues remain.

In a recent trip between Chennai-Bangalore, I had booked a Scania with Hebron since all other options were full. To my utter dismay, the handler at Hebron tells me that this will be a Volvo B9R. They repeated this on a return journey a month later. I had raised a complaint with Redbus but to no avail.

In terms of customer service, Parveen fares much better than the rest. KPN has become the 'Hotel Saravana Bhavan' of the bus operator world. Extreme arrogance, delays with no explanations, and poor quality buses have become very common now.

I was once left stranded in the middle of the highway for four hours (from 2 AM to 6 AM) after an accident in a KPN vehicle. They didn't bother to send a spare bus nor did they make any other arrangements for food or refreshments. All they said was "you can collect your refund from our office later". A must-avoid kind of operator and so is their sister operator Rathimeena Travels.

The Scania buses are really comfortable in terms of leg space and overall ride comfort (if those minor road vibrations don't bother you). I don't know if the motion sickness issue in Volvo is overshadowed by the brand name itself.
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Old 29th May 2018, 14:26   #3934
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Quote:
Originally Posted by harikrishna.te View Post
...The single most annoying attribute in a Volvo is the constant low-frequency roll and pitch motion that the bus is shaken into. How many times have we seen people clutch their heads and throw up on the side of the highways?
========
I was once left stranded in the middle of the highway for four hours (from 2 AM to 6 AM) after an accident in a KPN vehicle. They didn't bother to send a spare bus nor did they make any other arrangements for food or refreshments. All they said was "you can collect your refund from our office later". A must-avoid kind of operator and so is their sister operator Rathimeena Travels....
I think that, yours is more of an Operator issue, as most of the points you have stated are in operators scope.

I find your statements about Volvo products quiet unique. Can you please elaborate on what do you exactly mean by 'low frequency' roll and pitch action?

Cheers,
AB

Last edited by khan_sultan : 23rd April 2019 at 09:48. Reason: trimmed quoted post
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Old 29th May 2018, 15:20   #3935
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Originally Posted by coriollis View Post
I think that, yours is more of an Operator issue, as most of the points you have stated are in operators scope.
Yes I thought I would mention them in the review since they form a part of the overall experience!

Quote:

I find your statements about Volvo products quiet unique. Can you please elaborate on what do you exactly mean by 'low frequency' roll and pitch action?

Cheers,
AB
The Volvo buses (B7R, B9R and B11R) are designed to ride as 'softly' as possible. Their suspensions are extremely soft and the vertical travel is quite high. Coupled with immaculately tuned shock absorbers, the suspension is as soft as you can see on any bus. This makes sure that the road inputs (like broken roads, bridge joints) are isolated by the suspension and not transmitted to the occupants. The soft suspension is also responsible for the 'floating' feel that you experience on highways.

However, they adversely affect the lateral roll and longitudinal pitch. If you happen to follow a Volvo from behind, just observe the motion of the bus body when it brakes or overtakes a vehicle. You can see the body sway dangerously (although it is perfectly within safe limits, controlled by anti-sway bars).

When this happens, the frequency of these swaying motions is quite low (less than 1.2 - 1.3 Hz). This is also seen visually through the slow and steady rocking movement of the bus body.

Now, the human body is not exactly comfortable with frequencies that range from 0.6 to 1.3 Hz (approximately). These frequencies induce a retching sensation in many people (not all) and they ultimately throw up. For people with acute motion sickness (like me), this is particularly unpleasant.

Volvo has decided to prioritize vertical ride comfort ahead of roll and pitch, which is a perfectly understandable design decision. However, it is not comfortable for everyone. Scania and Mercedes Benz (if we compare the other multi-axle competitors) exhibit an almost equal distribution of ride, roll and pitch characteristics and hence don't induce motion sickness as much as Volvo does.

Hope that makes things clearer, a tad.
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Old 29th May 2018, 18:11   #3936
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tushky View Post
Saw this Neeta travels bus in Pune. 'SCANIY' Perfect copy of Scania. Could not click the photo from front. What if Neeta is charging the same ticket rate as original Scania/Volvo for this bus.
SCANIYA would have been a better spoof, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harikrishna.te View Post

Volvo has decided to prioritize vertical ride comfort ahead of roll and pitch, which is a perfectly understandable design decision. However, it is not comfortable for everyone. Scania and Mercedes Benz (if we compare the other multi-axle competitors) exhibit an almost equal distribution of ride, roll and pitch characteristics and hence don't induce motion sickness as much as Volvo does.

Hope that makes things clearer, a tad.
for the informative post.
Dont these buses come with adjustable mechanism in their air bellows for the ride height ? They are supposed to keep the height at lowest when on the highway, to counter the pitch and roll that you are talking about.

Last edited by Aditya : 31st May 2018 at 08:53. Reason: Back to back posts merged
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Old 30th May 2018, 08:05   #3937
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Originally Posted by venkyhere View Post
for the informative post.
Dont these buses come with adjustable mechanism in their air bellows for the ride height ? They are supposed to keep the height at lowest when on the highway, to counter the pitch and roll that you are talking about.
Yes, they do have a mechanism to adjust the ride height. But that's primarily for kneeling and weight based adjustment. It doesn't do much to the roll center of the suspension/vehicle. The suspension stiffness is the single most important parameter that controls roll and pitch in this case.
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Old 31st May 2018, 20:43   #3938
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harikrishna.te View Post
The Volvo buses (B7R, B9R and B11R) are designed to ride as 'softly' as possible. Their suspensions are extremely soft and the vertical travel is quite high. Coupled with immaculately tuned shock absorbers, the suspension is as soft as you can see on any bus. This makes sure that the road inputs (like broken roads, bridge joints) are isolated by the suspension and not transmitted to the occupants. The soft suspension is also responsible for the 'floating' feel that you experience on highways. ......
Brother, what you call is more of suspension architecture. Volvo's earlier models were all with a frame mounted bellows and the later designs are all with what we call as Banana (cow horn) suspension. This is very stiff and the bellows are located outside the frame. There is a distinct characteristics for each design and later is now more or less adopted by many.

Last edited by khan_sultan : 23rd April 2019 at 09:49. Reason: Trimmed quoted post
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Old 31st May 2018, 20:56   #3939
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Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
Brother, what you call is more of suspension architecture. Volvo's earlier models were all with a frame mounted bellows and the later designs are all with what we call as Banana (cow horn) suspension. This is very stiff and the bellows are located outside the frame. There is a distinct characteristics for each design and later is now more or less adopted by many.
The cow-horn suspension is now common to all manufacturers and that is not the primary contributor to suspension stiffness. If you look at the rear air suspensions of Volvo, Scania, Mercedes Benz, AL and Tata, they are all mounted on the cow-horn.

But the ride frequencies on the Volvo are far less than that of the others because of a lower stiffness in the air bellows.

The front suspension is not a cow-horn design and almost all manufacturers have a 5-link/4-link design. The architecture contributes more to the roll center movement and bump steer and very little to the ride frequencies.

I agree with your point on the location of the bellows. It increases the suspension track and results in a lower roll gradient. But that is outweighed by the contribution from the stiffness of the air bellows.
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Old 6th June 2018, 07:23   #3940
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Default Re: Intercity Bus travel reviews

Took Ksrtc for my Bengaluru - Hyderabad trip last week. Interesting conversation between conductor and a couple of passengers about the language in which the movie should be played.

All had settled down, AC vents pointing toward them, their favorite movie playing on their phones; when the conductor came to his seat for his dose of sleep.

Seeing a TV installed at the front, a passenger asked for a movie to be played. Conductor said that since most passenger buses these days have a good mix of people from different parts of India, almost always an argument about the choice of movie, language, volume and timing erupts. Due to which, this facility has been withdrawn. Also, as per government rules, songs/movies are not to be played post 10 PM.

Good one by KSRTC. You would think that the passengers of that bus slept well. Right up to 2 AM, passengers were playing songs/movies on their phones and that too on speaker. Those night owl's refused to sleep and the conductor refused to intervene.

I will be sure to carry my ear plugs next time.
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Old 6th June 2018, 08:19   #3941
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Originally Posted by vinu_h View Post
Conductor said that since most passenger buses these days have a good mix of people from different parts of India, almost always an argument about the choice of movie, language, volume and timing erupts.
I had seen this as an issue on Thrissur / Cochin ~ Bangalore route, especially if it is a Cochin ~ Hyderabad evening service. A malayalam movie will be played first while in Kerala and the next one would be a Tamil flick being an evening service there will be many pickups between Coimbatore and Salem.
But then this isn't an issue on Chennai ~ Cochin or Bangalore ~ Cochin evening service though it goes three states Malayalm will be the default one.

But then even if the TV is switched off the folks with eyes glued to their phone screen is increasing alarmingly irrespective of the age. On the other hand if I read / watch anything on phone for more than two minutes in a bus / car I'll get motion sickness

Cheers!
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Old 25th June 2018, 07:16   #3942
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With my first option for travelling Evacay travels waylaid due to issues. I had to choose another travels for my Palakkad Chennai commute. I had booked the 8 PM AC Semi Sleeper from Cochin assuming it was the Scania. Look like Scania has been replaced by Volvo 9400 in this. Looks like the Scania has been replaced by Volvo since the 10th of June 2018. Ride was decent compared to the old Volvos. Primarily because of the i shift being much more seamless than the manual transmission. Was casually inquiring with the driver what happened to the Scania. The bus had successfully completed over a million kilometres which is commendable. But the driver seemed to indicate the costly spare parts and lack of it as an issue.
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Old 13th July 2018, 13:58   #3943
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harikrishna.te View Post
The Volvo buses (B7R, B9R and B11R) are designed to ride as 'softly' as possible. Their suspensions are extremely soft and the vertical travel is quite high. Coupled with immaculately tuned shock absorbers, the suspension is as soft as you can see on any bus. This makes sure that the road inputs (like broken roads, bridge joints) are isolated by the suspension and not transmitted to the occupants. The soft suspension is also responsible for the 'floating' feel that you experience on highways.

=======

Hope that makes things clearer, a tad.
I completely agree with harikrishna.te. The Volvo buses have soft suspensions designed to absorb as many bumps as possible. This makes for an amazingly smooth ride, though even the smallest bump makes the bus rock in all directions.

As harikrishna mentioned, this doesn't agree with all people. However, for me, that's the best part of the Volvo ride. It is for this reason that the other Mercedes Benz/Scania/Hino buses never appealed to me, although they are just as luxurious. Nothing like the bouncy Volvos, according to me

Last edited by khan_sultan : 23rd April 2019 at 09:49. Reason: trimmed quoted post
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Old 13th July 2018, 14:19   #3944
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Traveled by Shivshahi AC bus from Chinchwad (Pune) to Mumbai. Surprisingly ticket fare is almost half of what Shivneri charges - Rs. 270 upto Dadar (compared to Rs. 520 in Shivneri). I was trying to understand what is the difference between the two services, as the Bus was a Volvo as well, took Express highway, and almost took the same time as compared to Shivneri !!

Have been travelling by road (intermittently) between Mumbai Pune for almost 6 years now and must say the AC buses operated by MSRTC on Mumbai Pune route are most punctual, including the 15 minutes break at Lonavala which they adhered to strictly.. Private players cant match their professionalism (in terms of time) even after so many years. When I was waiting for bus at the Chinchwad Bus stand, it took almost 45 minutes for the bus to come as it was raining heavily. A couple of private Taxi guys did approach offering AC Share cab ride in Ertiga, which I politely declined because I am little skeptical about the way they drive on Expressway. The bus came and I boarded after almost 45 minutes, but reached Vashi (Navi Mumbai) in exactly 2:45 hrs.
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Old 13th July 2018, 14:37   #3945
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Originally Posted by Prafful_Rathod View Post
Traveled by Shivshahi AC bus from Chinchwad (Pune) to Mumbai. Surprisingly ticket fare is almost half of what Shivneri charges - Rs. 270 upto Dadar (compared to Rs. 520 in Shivneri). I was trying to understand what is the difference between the two services, as the Bus was a Volvo as well, took Express highway, and almost took the same time as compared to Shivneri !!
Shivshahi service has AC buses built Indian coach builders on front-engined chassis. Are you sure it was a Volvo? I haven't spotted a Volvo Shivshahi yet.

That apart, the biggest difference between Shivneri and Shivshahi is that while Shivneri is operated by MSRTC, Shivshahi operations are sub-contracted. My experience with Shivshahi has been mixed. When it works, it is perfect and very cheap. However, when things go bad, there is no limit. I have traveled in Shivshahi service running several hours delayed with no estimated arrival, bus being filled to brim with passengers sleeping on floor, AC malfunctioning / non-functioning, driver switching off AC every 10 minutes to save fuel.
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