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raj_5004 11th September 2010 10:14 PM

New AC Bus this Time!
 
Guys, we have already bought three non-AC buses for our travel company. Thanks a ton for all your help, good wishes & support.

Now we plan to add one more bus to the fleet & this time it would be an AC bus. We had considered the Force Traveller but we dint like it. So we decided on a full fledged AC bus itself. Seating capacity is not yet decided but it can be anything from 25-45. Also, we would be making the bus with sliding side glasses so that it can be operated both as an AC or a non-AC when needed.

So, here are my queries-

1) Firstly, how many seats? Guys from kerela would be in a better position to answer this. In AC buses, how many seats are more in demand?

2) Secondly, which chassis? Since we already have 3 AL buses, we would be happy to purchase one more AL. Tata & Eicher is a big no-no as we also have to consider resale value & resale value of any bus down south is bad, if its not AL!

So, which chassis should i consider? Stag, Viking or Lynx? if possible, with pros & cons. Is there any new chassis recently launched by AL? if yes, what are its benefits?

3) Should i go in for a seperate AC engine or will the stock engine be enough? I would prefer the AC to run on the stock engine if its feasible, as it would be more economical.

4) Seats? Are pushback seats absolutely essential in a AC bus? since it reduces the seating capacity to a great extent, we need to know how important it is to have P/B seats in an AC bus. Also, what will be the seating capacity with P/B seats in Viking, Stag and Lynx?

5) Which coach builder? Our Vikings were built by Prakash & we are kind of satisfied with them. Our Stag was built by Sisira since prakash had a long waiting period then. We want the AC bus to be high on quality as well as economical. We want the interiors to be luxurious. So which coach builder is recommended?

What about Irizar TVS mentioned (AshokLeyland iT09)?

Our first priority would be Prakash. Any other builder better than them? If no, who is the next best option (if at all prakash is again not available)?

*Arkin_Young* 11th September 2010 10:23 PM

Good that you are going in for an A/c bus, at last.

AFAIK, 25 and 45 are common in A/c busses.And yes, push-back is a must in an AC bus, unless the bus will ply on commuter routes.

sriharsha 11th September 2010 10:28 PM

well. first of all, congrats on the new decision. you are expanding your travel agency business very wisely IMO. great going.
maybe i am not the right person to be answering all the questions above. but will try my best to share the limited knowledge which i've got.

1. sorry. not very sure

2. go in for an ashok leyland itself then
Luxury Tour Bus | Interstate Passenger Transportation
Luxury Bus | Intercity Bus| Panther BS-II

these are the ones which are good looking for an AC coach IMO.

3. but then won't the stock engine be strained too much with the AC?

4. i think PB seats are quite essential on long distance trips and would add to the AC comfort.

5. i would anyday recommend prakash. no personal experience but have seen some buses which belongs to close friends built by them.

another coach builder is by the name karur body works. one of my friends told me that their work is very much comparable to prakash's work.

*Arkin_Young* 11th September 2010 10:45 PM

The panther BSII looks similar to AL's 1st A/c bus that was launched in the 1990s.

mukeshus 12th September 2010 10:28 AM

Hi raj in Bangalore apart from Prakash, Another builder Veera Vahana udyog Ltd is famous for good interiors and exterior as well.
The most buses plying Bangalore-Mangalore are built by them.
They are known for good design of sleeper coach as well.
Even the volvos were customised by them.
One of their factory is in Hosur road highway.

Check this:http://veerabus.com/index.html

cooldhaya 12th September 2010 12:57 PM

Hey congrats Raj on this decision , it was time you added an AC bus to the fleet.


1.Generally i think must be somewhere around 30 if the seats are PB.

2. No experience here buddy , but since your happy with AL , why not go again with them since you mentioned re-sale value of AL is good.

3. I think my college AC bus runs on stock engine and it feels a bit strained when climbing slopes and bridges. So my driver switches OFF the AC for extra power which will be very annoying for the passengers especially in summers.

4.If the bus is going to do a lot of long-distance trips , PB seats are must! Imagine the state of tall guys like me if the seats are cramped for long trips![cry]

5.Again if your happy with Prakash why not go again with them as they must understanding your needs by now pretty well.

But hey why not go for a full-fledged AC bus as you already have 3 non-ac ones? I have never seen an AC bus with sliding glass till now. There are several things which must me considered here , some fools will open the sliding glass while the AC is ON to smoke , or for some other reasons too (like buying fruits and other snacks from road-side vendors) , these maybe uncomfortable for other passengers.

*Arkin_Young* 12th September 2010 01:05 PM

Well, when I used to live in Mysore, I used to avoid traveling by Mayura buses of the KSRTC, though they were A/c and had PB seats though they were cheaper than Volvos, because they had sliding glass, and I'd seen Mayuras plying on the highway with some windows open! I used Volvos with fixed glasses.

Check out KSRTC's Sheetal buses that are air-conditioned, and have semi - openable windows, ie- the lower part of the windows slide. I think it is wiser to go in for sealed windows, like in Volvos.
http://ksrtc.in/images/busservice4.gif

ilango[speed thirst] 12th September 2010 01:11 PM

Build bus according to the need.

1. ac bus is a good option. have a seperate engine. 4 stroke gen are avail. can be used when the bus is parked. No need to run that much big engine. Less strain in bus engine , good life , good resale after 4 years. Almost same diesel is consumed.

So many benefit. ac system is placed separate - easy to maintain , any problem , the bus need not wait - you can make non ac trips.
Steady power supply to ac - ac system life enhanced like the bus engine
2. sliding or sealed glass depend upon your travel. If all your non ac are constantly in move , get this one also a sliding one. Sliding one , develop air leak soon , case in tempo traveller - also any one of the customer may open up the window , slightest gap may eat up diesel!!

3. Yeah in south it need to be traveller or al chassis for good resale.



Finally a 25 seater is enough - this is by my locality. check with yours


And push back - yeah its a must. people opt ac bus for comfort. if there is no push back seat they may be annoyed. a full seat comes around 5 to 7 K i think
MY advice

get a swaraj mazda ac coach. best one . chills soon. good milage . good resale too. and i hope maintenance is also less

mukeshus 12th September 2010 03:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cooldhaya (Post 49040)
Hey congrats Raj on this decision , it was time you added an AC bus to the fleet.

5.Again if your happy with Prakash why not go again with them as they must understanding your needs by now pretty well.

But hey why not go for a full-fledged AC bus as you already have 3 non-ac ones? I have never seen an AC bus with sliding glass till now. There are several things which must me considered here , some fools will open the sliding glass while the AC is ON to smoke , or for some other reasons too (like buying fruits and other snacks from road-side vendors) , these maybe uncomfortable for other passengers.

Hey dhaya how about providing them disposable plastic bags, to throw things in them & inform cleaner.
And customers should be well informed about the etiquettes they should follow in bus.
AC buses should be air tight.
Else more loss in fuel.

sriharsha 12th September 2010 04:50 PM

@arkin
those sheetal buses are built by karur bus body builders. sheetal is the only bus i choose to travel from davangere to bangalore(apart from volvo's ofcourse).

*Arkin_Young* 12th September 2010 04:57 PM

Oh, I see. Never got a chance to travel by Ambari, Sheetal and Mayura. Have travelled by all the other classes of KSRTC, extensively by Airavat.

Back to the topic, how is it in Sheetal? Like, do people open the half-windows, and did you notice any deficiency in cooling, thanks to these windows.?

raj_5004 12th September 2010 06:40 PM

Thanks for the response guys.

1) Mostly everyone prefer the AC to have a seperate engine. AL Vikings come with the following engine choices-
114 PS with 5 speed gearbox (our current buses)
132 PS with 5 speed gearbox
177 PS with 6 speed gearbox

We could buy the 177 PS engine & run the AC off the same engine as its powerful enough. But if the seperate engine is recommended, we could buy the same 114 PS bus & install a seperate engine for the AC.

2) Apart from the AC, an air suspension is required too. Mostly, we would opt for Wheels India as in our non-AC Vikings.

3) Now i am confused about the glasses- sealed or fixed. Whatever you all said makes sense, but the problem is, with sealed glass, the bus can take only AC trips which we get rarely. So, the bus would get very less trips round the year which will be unprofitable for us.

sriharsha 12th September 2010 08:36 PM

@arkin
well. sheetal has the seats of the normal bus+AC. that's it. not very comfortable seats though. but pretty managable for short distance travel say for about 6 hours. there are actually 4 small windows which are openable. but thankfully nowadays people have got that minimum common sense to keep the windows closed in an AC bus. and regarding the cooling effect, the AC is powerful enough to keep the bus cool enough even when its burning outside. i usually take the centre seats where the AC is present on the roof and the cooling effect is more. so maybe i can't comment much about the overall cooling at the rear seats.

raj, everything is fine. but the tricky thing lies with the windows. even i am not answerable now since you told that AC contracts are very less. hmmm. then i think you'll have to go for open windows itself. if that's the case i would suggest you to go for smaller windows like the ones in the sheetal bus (pic posted by arkin)

edit:which chassis did you choose?

AMG 12th September 2010 10:27 PM

@ raj

Kamaz Vectra trucks are now launched.

They are made by a joint venture between Kamaz of Russia and Vectra of India.

They seem to have some good deals.
Do check them out.

ilango[speed thirst] 13th September 2010 08:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by raj_5004 (Post 49100)

3) Now i am confused about the glasses- sealed or fixed. Whatever you all said makes sense, but the problem is, with sealed glass, the bus can take only AC trips which we get rarely. So, the bus would get very less trips round the year which will be unprofitable for us.


Get a sliding window , . make sure you replace the rubber beeding once in a year or two.
No harm in using the sliding window in ac bus.
but do not compromise on push back seat.


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