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Higer. At home From the outback to the city, more and more people are getting on-board with Higer With a wide range of 28-57 seat buses designed specifically for local conditions and an extensive dealer and service network, Higer is Australia’s fastest growing bus and coach brand. Best-in-class components are seamlessly merged with intelligent design to ensure maximum safety, comfort and class-leading reliability. Combine this with competitive pricing, locally supported componentry and a 5 year warranty* and it’s easy to see why more and more people are getting on-board with Higer. *Optional 3 year driveline warranty extension available (5 years total)

For more information and a free test drive call your nearest Higer dealer on 1300 850 206 or visit higer.com.au


in Australia.


Issue 011

Contents CONTACT DETAILS PO Box 3294 Erina, NSW 2250 www.truckandbus.net.au Enquiries Tel: 0411 099 091 Follow us on Twitter #truckandbusnews Managing Editor/Publisher Geoff Paradise gparadise@truckandbus.net.au Editor Fabian Cotter fabian@truckandbus.net.au Art Director Luke Melbourne www.groeningdesigns.com.au Advertising Sales Bruce Williams 0418 349 555 bruce@overdrivemedia.com.au Contributing Writers Chris Smith, David Meredith, Allen Matzel Contributing Photographers Mark Bean, Cristian Brunelli, David Meredith, Chris Smith Coach & Bus magazine is published under licence by the Truck Power Media Group Pty Ltd six times a year and is distributed to bus and coach operators, business professionals and the industry throughout Australia.

Regulars

04 06 08 16 61 63 64

Driver’s Seat The BusNSW Australian Bus + Coach Show 2013 was a real doozie and Editor Cotter reckons a bar has been set that others need to now match. Interesting times ahead, for sure.

Fare Go Publisher Paradise picks up where he left off last issue in outlining the pros and cons of one bus show per year – and he’s pretty blunt about it.

Up Front We wrap up the key local and international bus and coach news that affects us as a global industry and where we are heading.

Citaro Earns Euro6 Award HEADS UP!: It might not be here yet but it will happen. Daimler Buses is pushing boundaries with its Euro6 engine and kicking goals, big time. Fabian Cotter has a look.

Hot Stuff If you are past Lego and Meccano then these trick gadgets on the go are hard to resist. You may not need them, but you’ll certainly want them. Or is that vice-versa?

Working Wheels The new Ford Transit 2014 is a comin’ and it’s a good-looking commercial that is sure to please many eager for the next ‘Blue Oval’ workhorse . Geoff Paradise reports.

Money When a key member of your business dies it can be death for the company too, so insuring the key person involved is a good move, says our financial guru Paul Clitheroe.

Technical

38

Fuel For Thought FUTURE PROOF: Bio-DME is being heavily pursued by Volvo Trucks as a viable clean fuel, but does it have implications for buses? We ask the question. Check the response.

All material contained herein including text, photography, design elements and format are copyright and cannot be reproduced by any means without the written permission of the publisher. Truck Power Media Group is a member of the Copyright Agency Limited (1800 066 844). Editorial contributions are welcome for consideration. Contact the Editor or Publisher for guidelines, fees and level of interest. All unsolicited manuscripts must be accompanied by a stamp, addressed envelope for their return. We will not be held responsible for material supplied electronically. Proudly printed in Australia

Single copy price $6.60 incl. GST

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26

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coach&bus “...the Sydney Show was a constant flow of interest and tangible sales enquiries.”

26 Features

18 26 32 43

Brazilian Superstar COVERSTORY: Marcopolo is in the house! We get an exclusive first look and drive of the Audace school/charter bus. Stylish and on a European chassis, it’s all sorts of goodness.

Olympic Spark EVENT: BusNSW has put in a blinder with the Australian Bus + Coach Show 2013 in the new Sydney venue really putting the event on the bus-industry map. We check it out.

Mine Games OPERATOR: Northfleet in Western Australia is using an RAVconverted Hino chassis for its 4x4 bus application and it’s doing great things all around. We take a peek.

A Big Teaser FEATURE: Aficionados in the school/charter bus market usually, Asia Motors has gone for the cruise-ship tourists and got itself a nice day-tripping Daewoo Coach.

47

Slice Of Heaven

51

60 Minutes With…

56

Right On Track

OPERATOR: Scania’s got itself a stunning double-decker running around the top end of New Zealand and operator Ritchies is singing its praises. Let’s hop aboard and take a look … bro.

INTERVIEW: Geoff Paradise scored an exclusive interview with one of Volvo’s top people: Akash Passey – senior vice president, Business Region International. Interesting stuff to read!

INTERNATIONAL: Daimler’s Tourismo coach is a superb number and in its new Euro6, right-hand drive spec it’s destined for UK markets. Right-hand drive? Hey, aren’t we right-hand drive too? Just saying.


004Driver’s Seat

Fabian Cotter “...many of us in the bus fraternity are hopeful such agreements can be made.”

W

HAT A SHOW! Maybe it was the post-Federal Election

we constantly and consistently hear and is as we reported last issue - whether that goes

business positivity, or the brace of new bus models and technologies making their debut, or the well-laid-out use of space. Regardless of

anywhere near taking place will be up to more than a few mature heads in the scene and a stack of compromises all around. But we are all big boys and girls these days, or at

which one it was or a combination of it all, the BusNSW Australian Bus + Coach Show 2013 was just the shot in the industry’s arm that

least we hope so, so many of us in the bus fraternity are hopeful such agreements can be made. Only time, as the cliché goes, will tell.

in Sydney’s West, gave good insight into the company’s new marketing direction it’s trying, and also of its new-found and re-invigorated

was needed to set things back on course. It was a pleasure to walk around Sydney Olympic Park’s The Dome 25-26 September

Until then, all we can do as a discerning publication is continue to serve up scoop and exclusive stories, or the latest tech wizardry

dedication to customer ‘service readiness’, as the company stated. With V8 Supercar legend Craig Lowndes on

and catch up with a stack of people who genuinely had glowing reports of the event and offered constructive criticism if at all merely to improve upon what was already being regarded as Australia’s best bus show to date. And there it is... With all indications that ‘one show per year’ is the way forward – well, such is the feedback

that you need to know about. Speaking of which, one notable company with such wares but which chose not to exhibit at the Sydney Bus Show (Oooh! Shame – just kiddin’, folks) was German automotive giant ZF. Why? A recent invitation to a ZF open day at Arndell Park near Eastern Creek Raceway,

hand to represent the ZF Sachs suspension brand, ZF Services Australia was quick to reaffirm its commitment to supporting the local market with its major overhaul. This includes new warehouse and production systems pressed into service in Sydney, plus improvements in the management of bus warranty activities, dealer and partner service network development, warranties on re-manufactured and repaired transmissions, as well as the option of transmission oil sampling and subsequent reporting. Basically ZF Australia improved its flow of parts supply from Germany and even the layout and flow of the warehouse to ensure quality of repair in a timely manner. Other major improvements include a 24/7 technical service line, and an all-new mobile service unit, it says. We’ll see how that all goes. Now, within this issue of Coach & Bus

Ps. Pictured is a bus stop in Montreal, Canada, where people get to sit on swings while waiting for the bus. Sure it would be vandalised within 10 seconds in most other places in the world, but for those ‘busies’ out there who dare to dream...

you’ll find oodles of stuff to sink your teeth into, like an exclusive first look and drive of Marcopolo’s new Audace coach, plus we take a look at BCI’s Remote Access Vehicles offshoot and how it’s doing great things in the mining world for Northfleet in West Aussie, and we even have a quick squiz as that saucy Scania double-deck run by NZ’s Ritchies, which was at the Sydney Show. We’ve even scored and exclusive chat with Volvo senior vice president – Business Region International Akash Passey. Still on Volvo, a big cheerio to marketing and sales support coordinator Krista Melamies, who loved Oz so much after working here for 18 months she’s decided to jump ship already. Nah, bless her. She’s landed some plum communications job back at Volvo HQ in Sweden, so she’s heading off into the thick of it. We wish her well. Until the next thrilling instalment...


Marcopolo is here. Marcopolo, one of the world’s largest bus manufacturers has arrived in Australia.


006Fare Go

Geoff Paradise “One show every two years alternating between three cities may work … but then pigs may fly.”

I

have to say, things move far more quickly in the coach and bus industry than they

start in two years time and, if that were to happen, the BIC has achieved its goal: one

do in the truck industry. Both camps are overwhelmed by too many shows and both are keen to do something about it. As I wrote in the last issue of Coach & Bus

show a year alternating between NSW and Queensland. On that basis, things look grim for our southern friends who can certainly run

some of the truck and trailer manufacturers are pulling out of a show in Melbourne next year and those that are have been quite upfront

their Maintenance Conference, but without exhibitors to prop it up it will be a shadow of its former self both in volume and revenue.

about telling the world they are doing so. Other manufacturers would like to pull out, but for reasons best known by them they will

But it all comes down to dollars. The industry cannot afford - either individually or collectively – to have two big shows in the

go another round despite doubts about the crowds and this show’s overall worth. It’s a costly goodwill exercise, that’s for sure. Think $400,000+ just for a modest display. That’s big bucks in anyone’s book! The bus and coach industry, together with the peak body, the BIC, isn’t letting the grass grown under its tyres in its effort to have one show a year. As at the time of writing a huge number of BIC members and non-members have officially said they will not be attending BusVic’s Maintenance Conference in 2014 and have pledged their support for the BIC/QBIC Australasia Bus & Coach Conference and Expo on the Gold Coast next September 28/ October 1. That certainly does leave BusVic swinging in

same year and, in reality, I wonder how one show a year can be justified. The motor industry tried it and manufacturers rebelled, then they tried every two years alternating between Sydney and Melbourne and that didn’t even eventuate! After decades of continuous events there is no longer a Sydney or Melbourne motor show at all. So, if an industry that flogs up to one million vehicles a year can’t do it how does an industry that sells, maybe, 1500-2000 vehicles a year do it annually? It beats the hell out of me. Perhaps one show every two years alternating between three cities may work … but then pigs may fly. Bus shows are meant to benefit the manufacturers and importers first and foremost. That the state associations tumbled

the breeze and at this stage no statement has been issued by BusVic as to what it will do to

to a marketing opportunity is in their favour. The associations, acting as entrepreneurs,

instil some added value to the event.

stump up the money to host the show and

Putting the Victorian and Gold Coast event aside, where does that leave BusNSW and a

take the risk. The exhibitors pay their entry and hope to sell enough product and generate

return show in 2015? Given the brilliant event last month at Olympic Park it must surely be a walk-up

enough interest to justify the expense and keep the orders coming in. The only way to lessen the financial burden

would be for the BIC to take on the role as show organiser and owner with its members as stakeholders and, as a co-operative arrangement, it would be cost neutral save for a return of expenses to the BIC’s head office for administration costs. Yes, I know, that sounds like an idealistic communal farm or kibbutz and would financially skin the state associations, so I think we can safely kick that proposal out the door and down the street and go back to Plan A or B. Finally, a suggestion to all promoters... How about Day One of any show be restricted to the industry? Bus spotters (ie. enthusiasts), who will never buy a bus or coach, arrive en masse at sparrow fart on the first day and pillage everything they can to bolster their collections of brochures/pens/ foam footballs/coffee cups/anything-notnailed-down. If they are not stuffing their show bags they take up residence in the generous lounge areas exhibitors have created and paid for to do business, thinking all these armchairs have been provided for them to relax and inspect their booty. Let the industry have its day to talk and do business and let the marauding hordes in on subsequent days, at least then the valuable promotional items can be put away and selectively handed out or substituted for cheaper items.


hino.com.au

45 years on, still legendary Our legendary buses and coaches are custom made to your specifications and wear the HINO badge, so you know you’re getting quality engineering. So trust a brand with its roots in home soil, 45 years on and HINO is still producing legendary transport solutions.

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Roll with a legend


UpFront

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GREYHOUND ORDERS 30 VOLVOS VOLVO BUS AUSTRALIA has been awarded an order for 30 new Irizar-

Rich, general manager – Procurement of Greyhound Australia.

delivery of lower carbon emissions. “When choosing the supplier, we were

by providing reclining leather seats and USB charging for phones and tablets,

bodied coaches in Greyhound Australia’s national Express fleet. The new longdistance coaches will begin operations in December 2013.

Reaching the entire continent, Greyhound Australia’s network covers almost 20 million kilometres carrying, on average, more than three million

particularly interested in the balance between performance and fuel economy, so we trialled coaches in a range of short-haul and long-haul duties in our

as well as on-board Wi-Fi. We believe our coaches will offer our customers the most reliable and comfortable way to get out and see Australia.”

The order for the new Volvo B13R coaches comes as a result of the operator’s decision to upgrade its fleet to improve its offering to the market and

passengers each year. From mountains to open plains, the coaches are required to run in a range of different geographies and often harsh conditions.

Express network. In the end, it was the B13R coach that offered us the best combination of power and performance, while offering good fuel economy.”

So far, the first Volvo coaches are being used to train about 200 Greyhound drivers, covering most of the operator’s bases on the east coast of Australia.

meet its environmental standards by minimising emissions, it’s claimed. “Our coaches are some of the hardest

“Our coaches cover a lot of land and diverse terrain. The technology offered by the Volvo engine and chassis allows

The B13R uses the same vertically installed 13-litre engine (D13C) that has been used by Volvo Trucks for several

The rest of the order is expected to be running in the Express fleet by the first quarter of 2014.

working in the country, often covering more than 300,000 kilometres each year. We needed to partner with a supplier that could offer us a high quality and safe product, with proven reliability, all backed up with a national service network. Volvo was the supplier that could offer all of that to Greyhound,” said Melinda

us to significantly improve fuel efficiency and lower carbon emissions of our fleet, making it more sustainable.” The decision for the fleet upgrade is in line with Greyhound’s high commitment to environmentally friendly travel alternatives by ensuring continuous improvements in fuel efficiency and the

years. It is, thus, one of the world’s mostsold heavy diesel engines. “We expect our customers to love the reliability and comfort offered by the new coaches in our Express fleet. Beyond the obvious benefits of a reliable and efficient chassis from Volvo, we have also invested heavily in the body of the coach

“Volvo has supported us with a significant training programme for our drivers, which is important as, ultimately, it is our drivers who will ensure we get the best performance on the road out of the new coaches. Our drivers have been very excited about the new Volvos coming into our fleet over the next few months.”

008 www.truckandbus.net.au


Gearless Electric Drive Wins Prize Germany company Ziehl-Abegg has successfully participated in the

Abegg, recently. The gearless, extremely quiet,

emission-reduction category of the Environmental Technology Prize with its electric city bus drive system Zawheel. The Künzelsau, Germany-based

energy-saving drive was only presented to the public last autumn at the International Motor Show (IAA) for Commercial Vehicles – and since then

company saw off competition from more than 100 entries to be shortlisted. In the final round, the gearless wheel hub drive won the judges over with its

the ‘ZAwheel’ has been successful among both national and international market participants. “The fact that the sixth-largest

efficiency and low noise level, and took third place. The Ministry for the Environment,

European bus manufacturer, VDL Bus & Coach, has been equipping new vehicles with our drive since

Climate and Energy (Ministerium für Umwelt, Klima und Energiewirtschaft) of Baden-Württemberg has been awarding the Environmental Technology Prize since 2009. It is awarded at two-year intervals to outstanding and innovative products in environmental technology. Any company with an office or headquarters in Baden-Württemberg is entitled to participate. The prize is designed to reward products that make a considerable contribution to efficient use of resources and environmental conservation and which are just about to be launched, or have been on the market for no longer than two years. “To be awarded a prize for our bus

May highlights its practical scope,” explained Fenkl. Despite the strong competition, the ZAplus fan system was nominated by the judges in the energy efficiency category. ZAplus is a fan system with ground-breaking efficiency. The quiet flight of the owl inspired the ZiehlAbegg engineers in their design of the fan blade. The results were great improvements in efficiency and the noise level. Together with the expert judges, the Environment Minister picked the prize winners and nominated companies from 118 applications. Ziehl-Abegg is one of the leading international companies in the field

drive system by the Ministry for the Environment in the land of automobile and engine manufacturers is great for

of ventilation and drive systems with adapted control technology, it’s claimed. More information is available

us,” said Peter Fenkl, CEO of Ziehl-

at www.ziehl-abegg.de.


Why despair about rising fuel costs? Just lighten up Dramatically rising fuel costs are driving operators to look for vehicles that deliver proven operational economy. It’s a well known fact that heavier vehicles use more fuel but Optare’s fully integral buses are designed from the outset to be incredibly strong and durable, but with significantly reduced overall weight. This, together with a selection of industry-renowned heavy duty driveline options, means that our vehicles consistently beat the competition to deliver class-leading fuel efficiency. Innovative designs, advanced engineering and precise balance of performance and economy ensure that every Optare bus looks as good on your bottom line as it does on the road.

Optare - good for the environment, good for the bottom line! For more information, call the manufacturer of choice

1300 OPTARE www.optarebus.com.au


UpFront

follow us online at: www.truckandbus.net.au

KING LONG GETS NEW MD IN OZ Heavy Vehicles Australia recently announced a new managing director

Ramsden, who was thanked for his past four years’ work by chairman

Phil all the best and have no doubts that he will be successful in future

NSW Second Round Bus Contracts Courts Controversy

for King Long buses here, with He Leilei to now look after management and distribution from the company’s Somerton, Victoria office.

Simon Cowan. “Phil has developed a fantastic team and has overseen the introduction of key additions and enhancements to

roles.” Cowen then added: “Lei has been with HVA from the company’s inception seven years ago. She has experience

MORE THAN 60 new buses and improved customer service with the second round of new bus contracts – that’s the message from Minister for Transport

Known within the local bus industry to many as just ‘Lei’, she replaces recently departed from HVA Phil

our product portfolio,” Cowen said.“He has set a tremendous foundation for the company to build upon, and I wish

in every part of the business and I am very confident of her ability to lead the business to further success.”

Gladys Berejiklian, recently, who says the highly competitive tendering process covered four Sydney metropolitan bus regions, with about 770 buses and more

ZF DEBUTS NEW REAR AXLE

than 17 million customer journeys every single year. The contracts are for five years, with

At the recent 2013 Busworld show in Kortrijk, Belgium, Germany suspension

claimed recently. These product innovations have

The new RL 82 EC supplements the ZF steering axle family and has

and steering expert ZF debuted its new innovative low-floor chassis technology with the AV 133 rear axle. It’s most outstanding feature is an aluminium spring carrier making the axle 45 kilograms, or about five per cent lighter than its proven predecessor AV 132. This new axle can compensate for part of the additional vehicle weight that is generated by the additional components required for the Euro6 emission standard. ZF plans to improve the AV 133 even further with regard to efficiency, noise emissions, and weight until the end of 2015. In Kortrijk, ZF also presented the volume-production version of its AVE

a long tradition at ZF, the company states. In 1983 – exactly 30 years ago – ZF launched the first portal axle. The company is thus one of the pioneers of the globally successful low-floor technology, it’s stated. This progress and ZF’s extensive expertise are also reflected in the modern low-floor front axles for city buses and coaches:

been designed for axle loads of up to 8.2 tons. This is an answer to the challenges of the Euro6 driveline. With the RL 55 EC, a ZF independent suspension conquers the midibus segment – it makes the turning circle smaller, increases comfort, and also reduces side tilt as well as unsprung masses.

improvements and stronger on-time running requirements, the new contracts will put 63 brand new buses on the road from the first day these operators take over their regions from mid-2014, it’s claimed. These new buses are over and above the more than 200 new buses recently announced for the 2013/14 financial year by the NSW Government. Ms Berejiklian said interest from the transport industry was strong, with almost 30 tenders received for the four contracts on offer. The Minister, though, had to defend claims government was lobbied leading up to the awarding of the major bus contracts, with two clients of consultancy

a three-year right of renewal subject to meeting performance standards. As well as customer service

130 portal axle for hybrid systems, or for purely electric bus drives. It contains two integrated electric

PremierState – co-founded by former NSW Cabinet Minister Michael Photios – winning two of the contracts, as reported

motors making the overall system 200-500kg lighter than all solutions

by news.com.au. Minister Berejiklian says all decisions

with a central electric motor, it’s

made by the government were made on merit.

SCHOOL BUSES AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE DELIVERY

www.truckandbus.net.au 051


UpFront Daimler Premiers Setra Topclass

THE WORLD PREMIERE of the new Setra TopClass 500 demonstrates the outstanding technological expertise of the European coach industry, according to Daimler Buses. From the Ulm brand lines, the design of the new luxury three-axle coach proves that once again Daimler AG has never catered to short-lived trends when designing new vehicle generations, the company says. A dynamically evolved Setra, the Topclass 500 is powerfully built and

head of Daimler Buses, is sure that the premium products of the TopClass 500 very soon will be an object of desire everywhere in Europe: “The TopClass 500 defines the premier league of coach building. The new Setra touring coaches are calling cards for any coach operator whose exclusive travel content sets them apart and who offer their guests only the best of the best in every respect.” The black top of the front with the highlighted panel gives the TopClass

dimensional, underscored, metallic Setra lettering a decorative strip creates a curving link with the LED direction indicators. The independent design of the new Setra face in combination with chrome trim elements emphasises value, functionality and reliability – the “floating” design elements convey lightness and dominance, it’s claimed. Like their predecessors, the TopClass 500 vehicles feature the distinctive ‘La Linea’, a divided three-dimensional

aerodynamically tweaked coach body and ends in an arrow-shaped lamp. The TopClass 500 combines luxury and efficiency in an unprecedented way. As was the case with the ComfortClass 500 presented in 2012, the aerodynamic shape of the new touring coaches was formed in a complex development process and extensive wind tunnel tests. The optimised transitions from front end to side wall, roof and rear end guarantee a much lower noise level in the

features clear lines. Hartmut Schick,

500 a dynamic look. Above the three-

character element which hugs the

TopClass 500 passenger compartment. The distinctive aerodynamic edge and other details help give the exclusive long-distance athletes a Cd value of 0.33 – enabling them to conquer top position in the European coach industry also in terms of economy and low life-cycle costs. The TopClass 500 is available in lengths 12.5m, 13.3m and 14.2m. The overall vehicle height is 3.88m. Under

For all your spare parts, repairs and refurbishment

the bonnet is the OM471 LA in-line six-cylinder engine making 350kW or 375kW, in combination with the GO

needs, trust the after-sales experts that care.

250-8 Powershift transmission. TopClass 500 also represents an intelligent lightweight construction concept, which reduces bodyshell weight by more than 150kg and guarantees greater strength despite

National Service

less weight, according to Daimler. For further information visit

QLD 07 5571 6655 NSW 02 9914 3855 VIC 0429 302 007 SA 08 8240 4166

customcare.com.au

www.setra.de


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SCANIA SCORES KEY ROLE IN ASIAN GAMES SOME 100 SCANIA Touring buses have been assigned the task of transporting nearly 1000 participating athletes during the 27th South East Asian Games in Myanmar (formerly Burma) this December. The Games are a forum for countries within the region to engage in Olympic-style competition across 33 different sports. Scania’s distributor in the country, Octagon, is owned by Shwe Taung Group, a large industrial corporation which is also a major sponsor of the games. The Group is providing all transport during the Games, in cooperation with bus operators and the Singapore Bank OCBC Bank. Chan Mya, CEO of Octagon, said: “All the buses have already been sold to customers who will take them over after the Games for transport operations between the largest cities in Myanmar.” Aung Zaw Naing, CEO of the Shwe Taung Group, added: “As a local company taking on responsibility for this, the Shwe Taung Group is pleased with the support from the OCBC Bank, Scania and the bus companies in using the 100 Scania buses during the sports event.”

ACT BUS INPUT – HURRY! THERE’S ONLY A FEW days left to have your say about the bus network in the Australian Capital Territory, which is designed to get more of the

MyWay system and feedback from bus passengers and drivers.” “The entire network has been reviewed with a focus on providing

needs of the community.” “I encourage the community to get involved in this consultation process to ensure a positive outcome for the

community using the service. Minister for Territory and Municipal Services Shane Rattenbury said: “The

more direct routes, better connections and increased frequency.” “The ACT Government is committed

service.” For further information visit www. timetotalk.act.gov.au. Consultation on

new network has been developed based on patronage data from the

to providing a more efficient bus network which meets the travel

proposed changes closes on October 14, 2013.

w w w. d a ewo o b u s e s . co m. a u BENCHMARK QUALITY – PROVEN RELIABILITY – SENSATIONAL VALUE

PROVEN QUALITY COMPONENTS Daewoo Buses has forged strong partnerships with its component suppliers to ensure maximum customer satisfaction and minimise operating costs. Global brands with the highest reputation such as Doosan engines, Allison transmission, Dana axles and Bosch engine management systems ensure you are guaranteed only the best quality components in your Daewoo.

TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT DAEWOO CALL (02) 9603 2900 TODAY. DW2487/1013


UpFront

follow us online at: www.truckandbus.net.au

NEW CUMMINS ENGINE – TRUCKS AND BUSES CUMMINS INC. HAS announced a new global heavy-duty engine

company states. A sculptured block retains

with roller valve train and high efficiency intake ports continue

platform that it has developed to complement its existing global product offering. The G Series platform is an in-line

high rigidity while removing unnecessary mass. The use of composite material for the oil pan and valve cover provides

the design theme of minimum complexity and maximum efficiency. The resulting low weight design allows more payload

six cylinder engine and will be available in 10.5- and 11.8-litre displacements to meet a variety of on-highway and off-highway

further weight savings. With this innovative approach, the G Series achieves a remarkably low engine weight of just 1900 pounds

to be delivered while requiring less energy to manufacture than competitive designs. For on-highway markets, the G

market requirements and emission standards. Initial engines are designed to run on diesel fuel.

(862kg) while retaining all the structural strength and durability expected of a Cummins heavy-duty

Series heavy-duty engine platform will be introduced as the Cummins ISG11 and Cummins ISG12. These

Design and development of the engine was led by a team in the United States and supported by global technical and marketing resources with deep knowledge of local market and customer needs. This global design approach utilises the latest advanced technologies to develop an adaptive architecture, with each engine designed to meet unique performance and cost of ownership expectations for its target market and region, it’s claimed. The G Series minimises engineering requirements for vehicle and equipment

engine. The G Series incorporates Cummins Xtra-High Pressure Injection (XPI) fuel system, derived from the larger and more powerful X Series engine. With multiple injection events driven by highprecision Cummins electronic controls, the XPI fuel system contributes to a very impressive peak torque for the G Series of 1700 lb-ft (2305Nm), together with a torque rise as high as 60 per cent available. These attributes enable the G Series to deliver exceptionally fast response to increasing load factors from low engine rpm, it’s claimed.

engines offer a power range from 290-512hp (213-382kW) in a compact and lightweight package. Engines will be available to meet global variations in emissions requirements. At launch in 2014, engines will meet Euro3, Euro4, and China NS4 emission requirements. Engines for Euro5, Euro6 and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are also in development. The ISG11 and ISG12 are ideal power solutions for heavy-duty trucks in long-haul, regional haul and vocational service, as well as buses, motor coaches, fire trucks, and recreational vehicles.

manufacturers with a common, compact installation envelope. A key design focus for the G Series

The G Series offers fuel efficiency through parasitic reducing technology without variable flow

The G Series will initially be manufactured in Beijing Foton Cummins Engine Company, serving

has been to achieve significant weight savings in order to increase the power-to-weight ratio, the

pumps that add unnecessary cost and reduce reliability. Its Single Cam In Head (SCIH) design

customers on a global basis. Production will start during the first half of 2014.

AUCKLAND TRANSPORT BOOST According to Auckland’s annual transport report released recently, Transforming Auckland, almost $300m has been invested into the city’s public transport system, with $1.07b put into the entire infrastructure. Report chairman Dr Lester Levy says there were many highlights for the year including the Government supporting construction of the City Rail Link and for accelerating the Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative (AMETI) project including the East-West link. “Few cities in the world have worked harder or invested more in fundamental change to their transport system, in such a short time.” Other initiates introdcued during the the 2013 financial year included integrated ticketing, the $100m Wiri depot being built, and the first work on a radical redesign of the entire bus network. For further information check out: www.aucklandtransport.govt.nz/ about-us/publications/Reports/Pages/ annualreports.aspx

w w w. d a ewo o b u s e s . co m. a u BENCHMARK QUALITY – PROVEN RELIABILITY – SENSATIONAL VALUE

SERVICE YOU CAN COUNT ON Asia Motors knows buses like no other. This means we know which parts to keep in stock and how to get them to you fast. With 24/7 parts and technical support from factory-qualified technicians only a phone call away you know you have support when you need it. Our investment in a state of the art parts warehouse including fully computerised parts and inventory management systems means our commitment is guaranteed.

TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT DAEWOO CALL (02) 9603 2900 TODAY.

DW2488/1013


Hybrid Breakthrough in South America VOLVO BUS LATIN AMERICA has sold 200 hybrid buses to the Public

buses will be bodied by Busscar and Superpolo in Colombia.

Volvo’s hybrid bus runs entirely on electricity, quietly and emission-free,

generated during engine braking is stored in the on-board batteries and is

Transportation System of Bogotá, capital of Colombia. The buses will be operating the city’s BRT system TransMilêmio. The chassis will be

“Our hybrids are the best option on the market and this deal consolidates Volvo’s leadership in electromobility not only in Europe, but also in Latin

from standstill to a speed of 15-20 km/h, it’s claimed. At higher speeds the bus receives additional power from a small four-cylinder diesel engine

used to power the bus’s electric motor and auxiliary systems.

manufactured in Volvo Buses’ plant in Curitiba, Brazil. “With this acquisition, the city of Bogota definitively enters the age

America. Once again, we are breaking paradigms and offering the market a new solution in transportation. This is a breakthrough order for us and we

running on biodiesel. The energy

of electromobility and takes a major step in adopting a sustainable urban mass transit system, both from an

expect more orders to follow,” said Pimenta.

economical and an environmental stand point”, affirmed Luis Carlos Pimenta, president of Volvo Bus Latin America. The buyers are Consórcio Express, acquiring 156 vehicles; and GMovil, acquiring 44 vehicles. The deal includes, in addition to the chassis, a 12-year battery protection contract and a five-year service agreement. The

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Heads Up!

Citaro Earns Euro6 Award Daimler’s leading bus model shows the Euro6 way with an award win – and future innovation to come. It’s not here now, but that day approaches as the latest emissions standard slowly spreads...

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wo engine developments from Daimler recently in both passenger

and thus more environment-friendly. The Mercedes-Benz Citaro is the first

stored and subsequently used when the bus is in tractive mode to supply energy to auxiliary

cars and commercial vehicle areas have earned it two prestigious awards – and it all bodes well for the future of Euro6 engine advancement.

regular-service bus to be delivered with engines complying with the Euro6 emissions standard. Its fuel savings make an important contribution towards relieving the strain on

consumers, such as blowers and lighting. The new, more efficient and electronically controlled two-stage air compressor also contributes to the vehicle’s economic

For the first time, a company won the Goldener Öltropfen award for two developments: Daimler AG triumphed in the passenger cars segment with its

the environment: emissions from the Citaro with Euro6 emission control technology are 80 per cent below its predecessors’ levels, it’s claimed.

efficiency. This compressor also operates in recuperative mode on the overrun. The technology reduces the Citaro’s fuel consumption and, in turn, its CO2 emissions

NANOSLIDE® technology, while in the commercial vehicles segment the award went to the new Mercedes-Benz Citaro bus Euro6

As such, the buses play a key role in improving the quality of urban environments while transport companies’ fuel costs are

by more than three per cent, depending on the vehicle’s form of deployment. Battery and generator management also

with ‘recuperation’ module. The Kraftfahrer-Schutz e.V. (KS) Automobile Club awards the Goldener Öltropfen annually

also reduced, as the new urban buses get by on more than eight per cent less diesel fuel, states Daimler.

save fuel, while extending the components’ service lives. The doors of entrances two and three have been lowered, thus reducing

for technical developments or measures which promote economical and environmentfriendly driving. In order to be considered for the award, such innovations must be in practical use and purchasable on reasonable

“In developing the new Citaro, the onus was on combining fuel efficiency and economy with enhanced performance, safety and comfort,” stresses Hartmut Schick, head of Daimler Buses.

air consumption when passengers board at ground level (kneeling) and adding a further 0.4 to 0.5 per cent to fuel savings. The buses incorporate sophisticated emission control technology to meet the

terms, apparently. KS president Peter Dietrich Rath praised the decision of the neutral expert jury, noting that the two developments by Daimler represented a major contribution towards making passenger cars and buses more economical

An array of innovative measures were applied to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions: The regular service bus saves fuel by a recuperation module. Electricity generated without the use of fuel in overrun mode is

Euro6 standard, states Daimler. Together with the completely new engine generation, this technology lowers emissions to the limits of detectability, representing a further significant step in the ongoing development of diesel technology.

• Euro6 with ‘recuperation module’. – Citaro is the first regular-service bus with Euro6-compliant engines.

NANAOSLIDE FOR BUSES? NANOSLIDE® cylinder surface finishing technology developed by Daimler AG provides for more fuel-efficient engines, it’s claimed. Wires consisting of an iron-carbon alloy are melted in an electrically generated arc. An atomising gas sprays the molten droplets into the cylinders of the aluminium crankcase, where they solidify under the effect of rapid cooling to form a delicate

lamellar layer with an ultra-fine to nano-crystalline microstructure. Phew! The cylinder barrel coating then undergoes extreme smoothing, after which it has a thickness of only 0.1 to 0.15mm. Micro-pores are exposed as a result of the smoothing process, enabling the surface to absorb exceptionally large quantities of oil. This results in very low friction and

very high wear resistance. The technology additionally helps to reduce weight and to lower fuel consumption, thereby making an important contribution towards reducing CO2 emissions. The NANOSLIDE® technology incorporates numerous inventions and ideas and is protected by more than 40 patents. The process has been used in series production at

Daimler since 2006 for the 6.3L V8 engine produced by AMG GmbH. In the NANOSLIDE® technology Daimler has realised an effective system which, in addition to benefiting passenger car engines, also harbours potential for application in engines for commercial vehicles, including buses such as the Citaro, the www.truckandbus.net.au 017 company states.


Cover Story

Photography: Cristian Brunelli

Brazilian Superstar

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Perhaps inevitably after South American bus-building giant Marcopolo bought a 75 per cent stake in Australia’s Volgren late 2011, the Audace schoolcharter bus is the first of possibly many more to land here. Stylish and on a European chassis, it’s no bad thing. Fabian Cotter reports.


It’s quite an eye-catching rear on the new Brazilian, sure to enchant many a pair.

“...this is the same bus that you can buy in Brazil, South 1

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ne can’t help but think that the recently launched, stylishly

line that includes the Paradiso, Viaggio, and Ideale models.

European-look, 12.3-metre Marcopolo Audace (pronounced ‘Or da see’) is the first of many good-looking

It’s a bold design, with windshields and bonded glass panes that extend visibility for passengers and the driver, as well as head

buses and coaches to come here from the global Brazilian bus giant. “Well, it depends on future analysis,” explained Marcopolo Australia general manager Gabriel Tesser, speaking exclusively

and tail lights with LED turn signals and clearance lights, it’s claimed. In the rear, there are LED full-width back lights and exclusive markers, for increased safety. Internally, the Audace features an in-swing

to Coach & Bus magazine recently. “So at the moment we are launching this bus and then we are going to see the acceptance

door, which moves into the vehicle and offers increased security and functionality, while enhanced safety comes from well-positioned

and see how the market responds. And, of course, going forward if the opportunities come for us to have another bus into the

hand rails and LED lighting. The passenger’s compartment uses LED lighting, with indirect lights for added convenience, while also there

market then we don’t have any problems in looking at that.” “But at the moment that [the Audace] is the bus we are bringing,” he added. The Audace was part of Marcopolo’s

are LED reading light supports with individual outputs for air-conditioning. Another innovation of the Audace is the advanced natural ventilation system. The air-conditioning system cools the entire room

initiative to expand its intercity bus line, complementing an already prestigious coach

with claimed greater efficiency because of new ducts integrated into the roof with


NOT THE EXPLORER! Marcopolo essentially started in 1949, and was founded in Caxias do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul Province, Brazil, South America. It used to be called Nicola & Cia Ltda. In 1971, ‘Marcopolo’ started to be named Marcopolo SA.

Continuous, solid growth consolidated the organisation, which manufactures bus bodies in Brazil and abroad. Nearly 64 years after it started, it has made more than 360,000 buses and has a workforce of more than 20,000.

Marcopolo is a leader in the Brazilian bus sector and is positioned among the biggest manufacturers in the world, it’s claimed. It has an active presence in more than 100 countries on five continents. And the rest is history...

1 Plenty of access space underneath should

be a real winner. 2 If you are really good you can do your hair

and make-up in this while watching traffic menfolk included. 3 Front headlights with LED turn signals look pretty damned sweet, indeed. 4 Side vents help exhaust excess engine heat and keeps things nice and cool.

Africa, Egypt, Mexico – everywhere Marcopolo sells.” separate wiring harness. The dashboard incorporates all the

Curiously, given the close business relationship now between Volgen and

instruments, such as the reverse camera display, internal cameras and the Multiplex system (combined functions of the entire

Marcopolo, and with Volgren only recently updating its school-charter bus and naming it the facelifted Endura (see Coach & Bus

bus equipment), with controls designed for improved driver’s reach and reaction. So how much different is the one we get here in Oz to the ones sold elsewhere? “This is a bus that is developed in Brazil,

magazine 10 just previously), it’s only logical to think there’s going to be some massive conflict of sales areas in the product-range crossover point of different buyers’ needs. But Marcopolo is adamant there won’t be a

engineered in Brazil and manufactured in one of the Marcopolo factories overseas, so I can say this is the same bus that you can buy

problem, even given the Audace’s surprisingly more affordable pricetag and – ouch! arguably sexier looks.

in Brazil, that you can buy in South Africa, that you can buy in Egypt and you can buy in Mexico – everywhere in the world where

“This bus tends to play in a market where Volgren doesn’t play; it’s an imported schoolcharter market bus,” Tesser explained.

Marcopolo sells you can buy this bus,” Tesser explained. This current bus is on a Euro5 Volvo B7R chassis and it seems the next few others will be on Volvo chassis, too - but Tesser says in

“So Volgren plays in a market where they demand local manufacture, aluminium buses built in Australia, and this bus comes to this market to compete where imported buses are sold – and that’s our aim, to be able to

future Marcopolo might be talking to other chassis suppliers.

compete on that [import] market.” The Audace is making its national debut

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Welcome aboard! Audace certainly gives travellers good first impressions.

The 12.3 metres is just about right and looks the part, as well. Slanting pilar from windscreen to roof looks very cool, too.

at the BusNSW Australian Bus+Coach

point of difference to selecting the Volgren

Show, 25-26 September 2013 at the Sydney Showground at Olympic Park, and until now has been keep well under wraps with only a

product instead, where the extra premium paid there entitles customers to have greater optional specification choice whilst the bus is

few people knowing about it coming here. When doing the market research for the prototype Audace, Tesser says it was all

being built locally and, by definition, greater chance of Australian-made and sourced parts and options being utilised (for the body and

done in cooperation with Volgren (being the local arm, as it were), so for every idea or

interior). “On the other hand, we will have buses

specification required Marcopolo used the

on the ground that we can take to the

information, advice and expertise of Volgren to help the Brazilian bus company develop what

Volgren services centre and we can do some adjustments and adaptations to make sure we

is the best product for the Australian market. “So the idea of having this bus is having a bus using one of the best bus manufacturers

meet what the customer needs,” Tesser added. It is, indeed, a good-looking bus and Tesser is quick to point out the fine quality of its finish

in the world’s capabilities and Volgren’s knowledge and experience of the [local] market. So we’ve combined both things together. And that was always the idea: to combine the Volgren and Marcopolo experience into one product,” he said.

and the equipment list from factory that he says you don’t normally find on a bus in that (price) range, such as: parking sensor, reverse cameras, DVD player, Multiplex, daytime running lights on the headlights, fog lamps, electrically heated anti-fog mirrors, and ‘clean’

“...that was always the idea: to combine the Volgren

BUS SPECS MODEL: Marcopolo Audace ENGINE: Volvo Euro5 turbocharged and intercooled diesel D7E with SCR technology. Power - 290hp. CHASSIS: Volvo B7R lightweight bolted steel frame. BODY: 12.3m length, aluminium panels, LED exterior lights, RTA 146 Plug-style coach saloon entry door. INTERIOR: LED strip step lighting; 57 APM/Marcopolo seat-belted seats with armrests; full-size luggage bins; stainless steel bin floors; full-width ‘through bins’; multifunction radio system with DVD/CD/ radio/MP3 and camera input; four-camera CCTV; reverse camera and sensors; fulllength parcel racks; individual passenger A/C control lights and curtains; ISRI driver’s seat. MISC.: Spheros climate controlled A/C; 21-inch TV monitor; Multiplexed Electrical System (MEX).

022 www.truckandbus.net.au

Now in terms of how the bus is supplied and distributed into the Australian market, Volgren will not be the sales outlet for the Audace. “In this case, there is no distributor and you will buy it straight from Marcopolo (Australia), so when you buy this bus you are not dealing with the distributor you are basically dealing with the factory. “So in this first stage we have Completely Built Up (CBU) buses coming into the country

interior luggage racks so there’s much more storage space inside the bus, it’s claimed. Plus it’s what is behind the bus that’s most important; Marcopolo is one of the biggest bus-building companies in the world and has sold more than 360,000 buses in its history. And this means a lot of experience, knowledge and research behind the bus. The Audace body, like other Marcopolo buses, is made of galvanised steel with two

and they are with Volvo [chassis]; we will be delivering the buses to Volvo and Volvo will be selling the bus – though we will be helping

layers of anti-corrosion protection. And while that is the difference between steel and aluminium (usage), Tesser says Marcopolo

Volvo to sell the buses, as well. “Volgren will be helping with the services support, back-up and the spare parts sales, so we are importing a lot of spare parts into the country to go to the Volgren service centres

buses normally don’t have a problem with corrosion: “If you go to Brazil you can see buses running that are 20-30 years old and they still last. Hmm... Now that’s a big call given the

and all of the PDIs services and warrants will be using Volgren’s structure for servicing. The sales force will be a dedicated Marcopolo

notoriously tough Aussie driving conditions, particularly on typical country and outback roads where many of these Audace school-

team, Jason Eldred and I in the initial stage, so we will have two brands and two businesses. They are separate; however, anything we can

charter buses will be expected to perform faultlessly with aplomb, right? “I think the roads infrastructure in Brazil, to

use from Volgren we will to make sure we deliver a good product.” Tesser further explained that there will be a few options for customers to choose from

be honest, is not as good as in Australia, so if roads are worse [there] than in Australia and the Marcopolo buses last long in Brazil as well, we are very confident that our bus lasts [here],”

the factory before it lands in Australia during the lead time, but that essentially this is the

Tesser said confidentally. Sounds like a challenge? We’ll see.


and Marcopolo experience into one product.� Few drivers will be able to complain about such a nice looking workstation. All the mod-cons and good layout here.

www.truckandbus.net.au 023


First Drive

Photography: Cristian Brunelli

GLIDING DOWN THE HIGHWAY Driving the Marcopolo Audace is too comfortable and too easy, says Geoff Paradise.

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• Forward vision’s panoramic; deep glass, thinnish A-pillars and generous side widows. – Deep exterior antennae mirrors and reversing camera provide an excellent view behind.

T

he opportunity to have a drive of a Marcopolo Audace was too good to pass up. That it was the Brazilian company’s one and only example in the country at the time and the star of the Australian Bus + Coach Show 2013 in Sydney only caused me a ripple of anxiety. None of that mattered to Marcopolo’s small but experienced Australian team, who were far from protective of their charge, insisting I take it the day after the show was over.

acceleration in this rev range is what I would call ‘leisurely’. But that’s not news to those that drive B7Rs anyway. They are a solid performer and well established in the market. The ZF transmission houses six speeds and is seamless in its gear selection, which you select by way of an illuminated touch pad to the left of the driver on the dash. The variable-stage ZF engine retarder is undoubtedly one of the best around. An

Inside the bus proper, the fit and finish is above par and, while many are only too ready to bag Chinese-built bodies, Marcopolo has extremely high quality standards and it goes to great lengths with its own on-site engineers to ensure that quality is achieved and maintained at all times. On the road the bus steers straight and true and I have to admit to entering into a freeway on-ramp a little too quickly than I would have normally done, but it provided a good

A confession: I wasn’t long back from Europe where I had been driving soon-tobe-released Volvo trucks (FH, FM, FM/X,

alert and judicious driver will soon master its benefits and capabilities and realise how more pleasant it makes the driving task.

handling test and without using the brakes it steered through the rapidly decreasing radius of the ramp with negligible body roll, no doubt

FE and FL) and I didn’t consider how easy the transition from truck to bus would be, irrespective of how nice those Volvo trucks were to drive through Sweden. The Audace is built around a Volvo B7R

From the well-sprung driver’s seat forward vision is akin to a panoramic movie screen. Deep glass, thinnish A-pillars and generous side widows give the driver an unimpeded view of the world, manual sun blinds are within

assisted by the air suspension and front and rear stabilisers standard on the B7R. As someone who generally tests trucks I found this to be very reassuring and comforting. It wasn’t long into the drive through Sydney’s

chassis and running gear. The 7-litre in-line six makes a tidy 290bhp and 1200Nm, and while no powerhouse it manages to lope along the

easy reach and reflections on the ‘screen are all but non-existent when travelling directly into the sun. If I could fault one thing – and I’m

western and south western road system that I formed the opinion I could quite happily drive the Audace all the way back to its Dandenong base,

highway quite comfortably and I was happy to sit – on a well-sprung Isri seat - at a shade below the posted 90km/h with the engine

sure it could be remedied with an option – was the seat; while comfortable and supportive it lacked arm rests, or at least one on the left.

so easy and comfortable it was to operate. At under 300-grand the Audace seems like incredibly good value to me; a quality chassis

ticking over at around 1200rpm, no stress for driver or running gear. If I did need to make a move up the speed

Going forward is what a bus does best, but when you do need to reverse not only do the deep exterior antennae mirrors provide an

in the Volvo B7R and a good pedigree in the Marcopolo brand. Coupled with stringent quality controls at the

range – if only to round up grandma in the left lane (he’s kidding! - FC) - I needed to be

excellent view but the reversing camera and in-dash monitor provides a clear picture of

point of build and the service infrastructure that Marcopolo enjoys with Volgren and Volvo

aware of closing traffic in the right lane as

what’s going on directly behind the bus.

it represents good buying in anyone’s book.

www.truckandbus.net.au 025


Show Time

Photography: Geoff Paradise & Luke Melbourne

Olympic Spark 038 www.truckandbus.net.au


Moving BusNSW’s Australian Coach + Bus Show 2013 to Sydney Olympic Park didn’t just prove a masterstroke for the state-based organisation, it’s given everyone else around the country something to talk about indeed. Fabian Cotter reports.

The Players gals and guys kept everyone well entertained all through the night. Awesome stuff!

www.truckandbus.net.au 027


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he superlatives kept coming. “Simply wonderful!” said one.

“Absolutely fantastic”, said another. “Bloody marvellous”, someone else chimed. BusNSW’s Australian Bus + Coach Show 2013 was a resounding success by all

Australia. “With growing public transport networks across the country, both Australian and international suppliers see opportunities for

accounts and, in an industry grappling with the issue of either too many shows, or at least shows being too expensive to attend, suddenly the ‘Sydney Show’ has become the much talked-about elephant in the busindustry room - for all the right reasons. Perhaps through no other fault than serendipity itself, this year’s move to The Dome, at Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park 25-26 September proved a masterstroke for BusNSW, with exhibitors and delegates and even the average punter walking through gobsmacked by the grandeur and scale of it all. And happier for it. Walking around the place, the feeling of pride and professionalism for the industry as a whole was palpable, and few found faults big

their products and services,” Mellish said. “The show is designed to improve business confidence and ignite partnerships with government,” he said. The exhibition in The Dome and its halls featured more than 80 vehicles and 120 companies exhibiting across 15,600m2. We raised the question with a number of exhibitors if they would attend this same event in 2015, and to the man they said “yes!”. And why wouldn’t they? BCI claimed to have bagged a number of orders for its various models, Bluebird’s Australian distributor, Don Imrie, and Bluebird’s UK managing director, Rob Miller, were impressed with the number of enquiries - likewise Optare bus importer Patico Automotive’s Shannon Taylor remarked the level of interest in the Optare range exceeded expectations.

enough with the event that would see them not attend in future at The Dome. Whilst any critics we spoke to could only muster that things seemed ‘a little too spread out’ compared with the more open-air, tightly

1 “You’ve won a new car ... er, no, an air-conditioning system.” 2 Hino’s new stand was very impressive. Poncho and Melpha

got keen interest. 3 Iveco had some quality-looking kit on show. 4 Funny man Vince Sorrenti had everyone cacking themselves at the Thursday luncheon. 5 Bustech back on the show circuit.

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what constitutes a successful bus show and has arguably raised the bar for our industry in

packed scenario at Rosehill Racecourse last time, others blissfully celebrated it for just that reason. The extra space and well laid-out nature of the event gave it all structure and clarity, and many were quick to point out the ease of which on-site accommodation and pubs could be accessed - it not enough of the former, or prices not so forgiving. Still, there’s plenty of other joints in Sydney nearby to

In ‘Trade Alley’ - which essentially was the ‘backbone ‘ of the show running right down the middle of the Dome and its adjoining hall - business was brisk at various times of the day but never overwhelming. Those manning trade stands (Coach & Bus magazine included) report that there was a constant flow of interest that should become tangible sales enquiries. All manner of products were on show, from digital sign boards, wheels and tyres, an engine manufacturer, spare parts -

pitch up tent. The show overall attracted a record number

even a booth promoting tourism to Canberra! Variety is the spice of life. Mellish says BusNSW was pleased to have

of industry participants with BusNSW executive director Darryl Mellish saying the in excess of 1500 pre-registrations was a

Transport for NSW supporting this year’s show with a large interactive stand. Following a VIP cocktail party for exhibitors

strong endorsement for the move to Sydney Showground. Without doubt this Sydney exhibition

after bump-in on the Tuesday night, Tony Braxton-Smith, Transport for NSW deputy

authoritatively stamped out a blueprint for

officially opened the exhibition in The Dome

director general - Customer Experience


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6 Adams new Irizar i6 on

Volvo chassis looked stunning. 7 Dinner by ‘candlelight’? Or a cunning plan to force actual use of the free gift? (Kiddin’) 8 Coach & Bus editor Cotter hits the floor to get his groove on.

“...exhibitors and delegates and punters gobsmacked by the grandeur and scale of it all. And happier for it.”

Higer’s new Munro is here! With a range of improvements, the new Higer Munro offers an impressive array of standard features including: • Roof-mounted AC system and improved cabin ventilation with windscreen and side window cooling • Alloy wheels • Refined suspension with rear anti-roll bar • Largest seat capacity in it’s class • Upgraded driver’s environment • Noise reduction from redesigned engine hatch • Increased head room for passengers along with new reading and night lights • Tinted rear window and floor protection mats • Overhead electric mirrors (optional)

For more information and a free test drive call your nearest Higer dealer on 1300 850 206 or visit higer.com.au


Nothing wrong with a bit of V8 Supercar shennanigans. The Coach & Bus stand did a rip-roaring trade all show. New Daewoo goes ‘full tilt’ right at you. Transport for NSW had a massive display. Optare’s Shannon Taylor and Volgren’s Tony Kerr talking bus turkey. 6 Maropolo’s Audace launch got all the bells and whistles. And ticker tape. And smoke. And stuff. 7 Iveco-Autobus Tonto 4 had the mining folk talking. 1 2 3 4 5

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1 on the Wednesday, while NSW Minister for Transport, Gladys Berejiklian, addressed

Marcopolo’s Audace 1050 coach - as featured on our cover this issue - Daewoo’s in-bound

delegates and presented three prestigious industry awards at the BusNSW Industry Gala Dinner on that night. This was backed up by the wonderful night-time performance by a

tour Northcost/Gemilang coach, the IvecoAutobus Tonto 4 Euromidi 150, Bluebird’s Orion, BCI’s new Citirider 8, Hino’s Poncho, Optare’s Tempo, Solo and Bonito, plus new

band called The Players, which kept dinner delegates thoroughly entertained. At the lunch the next day, comedian Vince Sorrenti did just that too, cracking people up

techie stuff from Voith and Mix Telematics to name a few. Ultimately, though, the success of the BusNSW show is a credit to the organising

into crying fits of laughter. “Middle-Eastern Distributor” - Gold! “Shark!” - trust me, you had to be there.

team involved and to The Dome’s people, whose strict co-ordination of the logistics made attending the event an easy affair.

“We are excited about where we are taking the show, supported by industry suppliers building word-class stands to display the latest products and services,” Mellish said. Attendees got first glances of many vehicles making their Australian debut, such as

With show-goers as a whole feeling buoyed by how the event unfolded, it must be said the pressure is on for others to meet and beat the mark set. And if no-one else is actually in a position publically to say that, Coach & Bus can. And we have to. Until next time...

“...more than 80 vehicles and 120 companies exhibiting across 15,600 square metres.”

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SCANIA ReADy BuILT TRANSpoRT SoLuTIoNS Scania has a Ready Built solution to your school and charter bus requirements. Already in operation throughout Australia, the Scania-Higer A30 sets new standards for operating economy, driveability, handling and reliability. Features include:■

High quality body and interior

Available in 280hp – 320hp

Choice of six-speed automatic transmission or eight-speed two pedal Opticruise Built-in retarder

Giving fleet operators a virtual off-the-shelf solution means rapid order-to-delivery times come as standard.

For more information on the Scania-Higer A30 contact:QLD Chris Hunt: 0419 383 083 VIC/SA/TAS Dean Cash: 0478 310 518 Jamie Atkinson: 0408 059 501 WA Jim Lynn: 0407 931 362 NSW John Allen: 0407 006 366


Operator

Mine Games Depending on who you speak to, Australia’s mining boom has either plateaued or about to kick off once again. Either way, there’s still loads of staff to move quickly, comfortably and safely on the ground on site – and truckbus combos are looking like the way forward. James Brown reports.

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W

ith all the talk about the shrinking Australian mining

simultaneously improving safety by reducing the number of light vehicles moving around. Plus

industry thanks to things going on in the Chinese economy, it’s easy to believe the worst. Yet if you scratch the surface you’ll find many businesses are doing

when mine operators have the option of hiring them only as needed the savings really start to add up. Karratha, Western Australia-based Northfleet

what they always have – rationalising to achieve the best bottom line. There’s still a lot of money to be made and a lot of workers to transport, with the quest for the former driving growth in

Bus and Vehicle Hire recently took delivery of custom Remote Access Vehicles (RAV) fourwheel drive ‘buses’ built on a Hino GT chassis. RAV was launched late 2012 by Bus and Coach

servicing the latter. And that’s where tough, off-road buses come in. Capable of driving all the way from the

International (BCI) founder Ron Nazzari’s sonin-law Josh McKenzie. Northfleet managing director Michael Simm

airstrip to the crib room, they simplify transport and save money across mine sites, while

says, in his experience, the demand for capable mass transport has grown rapidly during the

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past 10 years at least. “We’ve been servicing mines since 2002.

buses; 21-seat Toyota Coasters; 33-seat luxury BCI Proma mini coaches; 33-seat RAV

So when it came to choosing a tough transport option for its in-demand fleet,

There’s been a huge increase in demand since then,” he said. “We have a fleet of 140 buses at the moment. We run Hinos for our four-wheel

4x4 Hino vehicles; 45-seat Nissan coaches; 48-seat Scania luxury coaches; 55-seat BCI Fleetmaster coaches and a 53-seat BCI luxury coach.

it sought the services of West Australian coachbuilder RAV, which recently converted a Hino 500 Series GT 1322 4x4 truck to a 34seat off-road bus.

drive units because they’re great to drive and have a better ride than the competition.” As a former mechanic Simm is familiar with the benefits of using Hino trucks. “I’m a truck

Northfleet also has the largest mechanical workshop in the Pilbara region and offers a solid range of other mining-related mechanical services on offer. These include: access to the

RAV manager McKenzie says the Hino 500 Series GT provides an excellent base to build on and is one that ensures driveability and reliability throughout its service life.

mechanic by trade and I’ve found that Hinos are the easiest to work on; they’re the most reliable and have the easiest access to parts,”

latest tools and equipment; a panel and paint division comprising a dedicated spray booth large enough to fit any truck or bus; and highly

Hino’s 500 Series GT 1322 offers the driver cruise control and an easy-to-operate selectable 4x4, six-speed manual system with

he explained. Northfleet specialises in bus and vehicle hire for: dry hire; wet hire; airport and camp pick-up and drop-offs; short-term/long-term hire; daily wet hire transfers from camp to site; mine-site transfers; daily pick-ups; hen’s and buck’s nights; sporting groups; trailer hire; labour hire and school camps. Its fleet includes: 12-seat Toyota commuter

trained technicians. It also covers: auto electrical; diesel mechanic work (light and heavy vehicles); rebuilds for engines and other drive train components; panel beating and spray painting; windscreen repairs and replacement; air-conditioning repairs, maintenance and replacement; plus servicing and vehicle detailing.

low range with 2.224:1 ratio. First gear ratio is 13.5:1. The engine is a 158kW, intercooled turbodiesel 7.7-litre in-line six-cylinder Hino J08E VE with 637Nm@1500rpm thanks to electronic direct-injection and a single-overhead camshaft. Compression ratio is 17:1. The fuel tank holds 200 litres of diesel. To keep the environment clean and

About RAV Remote Access Vehicles specialises in custom-built 4x4 and 4x2 ‘truck modules’ to suit the mining industry, off-road tour specialists and other remote-access operators. The durable modules are engineered with excellent accessibility for ease of

maintenance, it’s claimed. An Australian family owned business, there’s more than 40 years’ experience in the bus and truck industry built into every RAV module, according to the company. RAV prides itself on strength, durability and

reliability in design and manufacturing and boasts ISO 9001 accreditation. It can customise its vehicles with a range of options to meet customer requirements, it states. The modules are built for a range of truck chassis brands including Hino,

MAN, Isuzu, Fuso and MercedesBenz. They vary in size from 15 to 49 seats and with options such as: walk-in storage, on-board toilet, fresh water tanks, mine-spec upgrades, LCD screen and DVD for passenger entertainment.

4 5

034 www.truckandbus.net.au


1 Converted Hino 500 GT loves roughing it. 2 Plenty of space in the RAV-built cabin. 3 Jumping through into driver’s cabin not

6

recommended. Could be fun, though. 4 Northfleet managing director Michael

Simm.

“...they simplify transport and save money across mine sites.” 7 5 Beach boy? It goes almost anywhere. 6 Perfect for moving mining staff

around on site safely. 7 Hino cabin on this one perfect for the

job. Nice layout.

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BUS SPECS MODEL: RAV-Hino 500 Series GT 1322 4x4 ENGINE: Hino J08E VE intercooled turbo-diesel, 7.7-litre, in-line six-cylinder with electronic direct-injection and a single-overhead camshaft. Transmission - (Manual) six-speed synchromesh, (Automatic) Five-speed Allison 2500 transfer case with Hi and Lo. Compression ratio - 17:1.Power - 158kW@2400rpm. Torque - 637Nm@1500rpm SUSPENSION: Front - semi-elliptic leaf springs with double-acting shock absorbers, Size - 1400x80mm. Rear - semi-elliptic main and auxiliary leaf springs, Size – (main springs) 1600x 80mm, (auxiliary) 1050x80mm BRAKES: Hydraulic system with two leading shoes for front and rear acting on all wheels; air over hydraulic, dual circuits; Front - 400x120mm, Rear -400x155mm. Air dryer equipped, ABS (Not available with No-spin diff) WHEELS/TYRES: Eight-stud tubeless disc wheel (JIS type) PCD 285, 7.5x22.5-inch (offset 162mm). Tyres - 11R 22.5 16-ply BODY: Three-door custom bus module INTERIOR: 15-49 seats, three-point safety-belt TST seats complying with ADR 68, luggage bins and overhead racks MISC.: Fuel tank – 200L (diesel), Kingtec KT-II-DR air conditioning, 19-inch LCD TV, JVC CD/DVD player, reversing camera, two in-cabin cameras

036 www.truckandbus.net.au

bystanders’ lungs cleaner, there’s an integrated exhaust-gas recirculation and

the Hino 4x4 is knowing that his customers are familiar with the brand and feel very

diesel particulate filter. Standard safety features include a driver’s SRS airbag, heated and electrically operated external mirrors and a multi-adjustable

comfortable using Hino’s four-wheel-drive products. Increasing demand from local mine sites and mining contractors prompted Remote Access

Isringhausen (ISRI) 6800 driver’s seat with an integrated safety belt, providing prolonged comfort and maximum protection for the driver in the event of a collision. Plus there’s

Vehicles to begin building truck-based buses. “There is a definite move to these vehicles for safety improvements and cost reductions on mine sites and in mining applications,”

central locking with keyless entry, heated and power-operated external rear-view mirrors and Hino’s DAB-equipped touchscreen multimedia

McKenzie explained. “There has been a big demand in the past six years especially; there are a lot of mining

unit, where the feed from the reversing cameras is displayed. “We identified the Hino as a good-value,

staff who need to get around.” Improving safety on site is one of the key considerations, he says.

reliable base for our designs compared with other products on the market,” McKenzie said. “The GT drives extremely well and the high 13,000kg GVM definitely works in our favour

“If there are too many light vehicles on site it creates a hazard; this is where a sturdy off-road bus really comes into its own. Reducing the number of vehicles on the road by transporting workers in one vehicle really

when fitting the cabin.” McKenzie adds that another advantage of

makes sense, and the Hino GT-based bus is perfectly suited to this purpose.”

“...converted a Hino 500 Series GT 1322 4x4 truck to a 34-seat off-road bus.”


Future Proof

038 www.truckandbus.net.au


FUEL FOR THOUGHT Volvo arguably leads the way in developing, trialling and implementing alternative fuel technologies in its buses, coaches and trucks. From hybrid to electric vehicle, it seems to have it nailed. Now, in the USA, Volvo is poised to release trucks powered by di-methyl ether (DME). Can the same fuel be applied to buses in future? Fabian Cotter looks at the DME issue.

www.truckandbus.net.au 039


I

t all sounds quite wonderful, really, this electric bus technology thingamajiggy

people use (read: pay for) it, with often those time frames needing to pass to achieve any

for their own future use. And if the bum falls out of the whole

and the implications for commuters and the environment by adopting the stuff, but there’s a consistent theme from those manufacturers and experts involved

kind of cost effectiveness being yonks away. Yet that’s just the way it is, there are no easier ways to implement something properly or more expediently. Unfortunately it seems.

electric propulsion systems on buses idea for whatever reasons, things like bio-fuel can never be ruled out if it essentially means playing a key role in improved diesel-reliant

in spreading the news of that direction and that’s the logistics involved is the problem. An expensive problem.

Thus whether it is developing lighter, more improved longer-lasting bus batteries or setting up the re-charge points on a city

systems. Recently, Volvo Trucks took another important step forward with vehicles running

The difficulty with any new technology, especially one that’s pursued to ‘fix’ a certain problem – in this case cleaner-running

grid system, or even making roads that can actually recharge buses as they drive along it – as reported in issue 10 of Coach & Bus

on alternative fuels. Within a couple of years, trucks running on DME – an energy-efficient fuel with low environmental impact – will be

bus propulsion systems to reduce carbon footprints per bus and for the industry – is that the R&D involved costs mega bucks, and then the testing is time-consuming and expensive, and then comes the fun part of

magazine – they’re all often ‘good in theory, bad in practice’. At least in the shorter term anyway. That is why when alternative ideas or fuels come out or are improved for realistic

introduced into the North American market. “It’s clear that DME technology shows great potential for North America and allows Volvo to further its commitment to both our customers and the environment,” said Göran

actually rolling it out – not cheap. That is if a new development even gets that far. And this is all in the context that it will theoretically get cheaper the longer more

commercial use, regardless of where they were intended to be used, it doesn’t hurt for different industries and market segments to have a squiz at them and keep things in mind

Nyberg, president of Volvo Trucks North American Sales and Marketing. There are two things above all others that make DME highly interesting as a

1

3 1 Happy about DME? He’s

cheerin’! 2 It might not be pretty, but it

hits the spot. 3 DME from bio-renewable

raw materials is known as bio-DME. 4 It’s certainly being all keenly watched in the truck world.

4

040 www.truckandbus.net.au

2


vehicle fuel, according to Volvo. First, it is energy efficient. Secondly, emissions of air

said Lars Mårtensson, director Environmental Affairs at Volvo Trucks.

pollutants are extremely low. It is currently produced and used all over the world, but for other purposes than as a fuel for vehicles. What is more, DME can be produced

So while exclusively for Trucks now at Volvo, but with hybrid buses still using a diesel component and hybrid buses still offering greater mileage per refill against current

from both fossil energy sources and from renewable sources (biomass). Behind Volvo Trucks’ decision to start commercial production of DME trucks in the

fully electric buses average recharge times, perhaps there’s still scope for biofuels to find a home in the bus market. Especially as the technology and materials is available to

USA lies many years of development work, cooperation with scientists and fuel producers and excellent results from field tests in

so many other manufacturers in their own science labs etc. So just what is DME, you might ask?

Sweden and North America. “With high energy efficiency and good environmental properties, DME is one of the

Well, we are glad you asked. Sincerely. Undoubtedly you are still paying attention. DME (dimethyl ether) can be made either

most promising alternatives to today’s diesel fuel. By offering trucks running on DME we also hope to hasten the expansion of DME production and distribution - essential in order to establish a presence on other markets too,”

from fossil energy, such as natural gas, or from biologically renewable raw materials such as forestry industry waste. DME is currently produced all over the world, but is used for other purposes than as fuel

DIVVY OUT! According to the University of Minnesota’s Mechanical Engineering department: “Dimethyl ether (DME) production is expanding worldwide, but in the U.S. there is limited interest in DME because of technical and economic concerns. As a diesel fuel DME exhibits excellent fuel properties. The physical properties of DME are quite similar to propane, so the distribution and dispensing infrastructure will be similar. Propane dispensing equipment for on-the-lot refuelling is one quarter the cost of E85 and one order of magnitude less than CNG.”

It can be used to power trucks involved in heavy transport roles, no worries.

“...bio-fuel can never be ruled out if it plays a key role in improved dieselreliant systems.”

www.truckandbus.net.au 041


1 Field tests and monitoring is still ongoing for DME. 2 Volvo’s US-based VN series will offer DME in ‘14 3 Looks pretty complicated, but someone out there

1

2

3

knows what’s going on for sure. Maybe.

for vehicles. Today the most common use of DME is for domestic use, such as a

the tests began in early 2013. Both field tests are still on-going.

propellant in spray-cans and as a fuel for cookers and ovens. DME from bio-renewable raw materials (biomass) is known as bio-DME. Irrespective

The development of DME trucks is part of Volvo Trucks’ long-term strategy of conducting research into alternative fuels. Volvo Trucks’ work with vehicles running on

of the source material, DME provides a high degree of energy and low emissions of particulates, says Volvo. What is more, bioDME gives up to 95 per cent lower climate

alternative fuels and alternative drivelines also encompasses methane gas and bio-based synthetic diesel, as well as electric hybrids. So any real chance for buses? Never say

impact than conventional diesel fuel. DME is a gas at room temperature and normal pressure, but becomes a liquid at low pressure (5 bar

never they say, but at this stage from Volvo at least it’s: “The Volvo group is very active in this area in the truck segment and there

or 72.5 psi), which facilitates handling and transport, it’s claimed. Apparently, Volvo Trucks has worked with

are no technical obstacles for the fuel being used also on buses and coaches. However, as you might know, Volvo Buses is very focused

DME since the early 1990s. In cooperation with customers, fuel producers and distributors, the company conducted field tests with DME in Sweden and the USA. In Sweden, 10 such trucks have been in regular operation since 2011, in a project partly financed by the Swedish Energy Agency and the European Union. These trucks have now covered more than 1,000,000km. In the USA,

on electrified vehicles especially in the city segment, hybrids, plug-in hybrids and fully electric buses,” said Helena Lind, manager Volvo Media Relations. And fair enough... It’s fuel for thought, though. FYI, Volvo’s DME technology in the USA will be available in a Volvo VNL powered by a D13 engine.

“...produced and used all over the world, but for other purposes than as a fuel for vehicles.” Bio-DME gives up to 95 per cent lower climate impact than conventional diesel fuel.

042 www.truckandbus.net.au


New Product

Photography: Mark Bean

A BIG TEASER If only this Daewoo coach was around in the day The Beatles penned their famous song Day Tripper, they might not have been so disappointed at such short journeys. This one aims to do comfy quick hops with aplomb. Fabian Cotter reports.

www.truckandbus.net.au 043


• Great stowage and maintenance access. And almost ready for take-off.

“...stylish enough to provide seamless vehicular transition of

I

044 www.truckandbus.net.au

t’s pretty much open to interpretation what John, Paul, George and Ringo were banging on about back in the day about day tripping in their song, but “Taking the easy way out”, “One-way tickets”, “She’s a big teaser” - sounds like they just got off

Minto, NSW – who were keen to tap into the emerging market of the cruise ship industry. The pick-up of passengers disembarking from ships at major ports such as Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne keen to take a quick day trip somewhere was nothing to be sniffed at, so a

a cruise ship and were greeted by some disappointingly horrible transport to take them around sight-seeing that day. Okay,

vehicle to suit was needed. After picking the brains of Jim Hawkesford, a well-known Sydney inbound tour operator,

probably not, but you can just imagine being in that situation yourself with straw hat covering a sunburnt head, flowery lei around

about what day tripping touristy types wanted in their transport, a reliable and comfortable coach with a bit of style – nothing too over

the neck and suitably garish Hawaiian shirt on blinding nearby folk. Sounds like some sight-seeing to be had, right? And if so you kind of want to be doing it in some comfort and style.

the top – would prove ideal. And with the company ofey with Aussie designs and components being pieced together in Korea onto a Daewoo chassis, a special type of day coach was targetted.

That straight away conjures up some extravagant image of a plush long-distance tourist coach that treks you around from week

The result is as shown here. Indeed, the Daewoo BH117L is a good-looking coach without being pretentiously overbearing, yet

to sometimes months on end – but what about on shorter trips? That was kind of the thinking of Ian and

stylish enough to provide seamless vehicular transition of passengers from cruise ship to surrounding tourist hot spots and back again,

Bruce Campbell of Asia Motors – Australian importer and distributor of Daewoo bus chassis and Doosan engines, based in

no doubt. Though, that stated, the coach is eminently more versatile and can be used for other such trips anywhere inland, of course.


1

2

1 Contoured lines hallmark the rear end; circular lights look smart. 2 Ample room and comfort for any tourist day trips. 3 ISRI 6000/735 driver’s seat with fold-down armrests felt comfy.

3

passengers from cruise ship to surrounding tourist hot spots.” It’s an interesting target market for Asia Motors, which has previously focussed its energies on mining and school/charter buses – as featured on the cover of Coach & Bus magazine Issue No. 7. It’s done quite well with that, too, having sold 50 school buses during the past three years to the South Australian Government. But coaches? With the type of resources at their fingertips it was a challenge readily accepted by Asia Motors. Having chosen a Daewoo BH117L standard two-axle chassis with height-rise capability, a body was commissioned as a joint project between Queensland’s Northcoast Enterprises and Gemilang in Malaysia. “This vehicle package has all of the necessary comforts for inbound work and is keenly priced for its intended market,” said Bruce Campbell, director of Asia Motors. “It’s specifically aimed at the inbound tour market to service cruise ship day tours,” he added. “The body’s designated model name is the ‘Enterprise’ 12.3-metre coach with 1450mm floor height to maximise luggage apace. Two large doors access through bins.”

www.truckandbus.net.au 045


“...all of the necessary comforts for inbound work and is keenly priced.” Further details include a Festo operated swing-out plug-type saloon door with a wide entry to a studded rubber floor up to saloon level, where you are greeted by, on this example anyway, 57 fixed (53 reclining or 53 fixed with toilet available also) coach Styleride ADR68

below there is aircraft style aisle and centre strip high-low saloon lighting. Bruce adds that although one is not fitted to the current demonstration vehicle in Australia, provision has been made for a tour director seat behind the driver. This position will incorporate

seats with good legroom for passengers and an ISRI 6000/735 driver’s seat with fold-down armrests. And whoever is driving this coach

power outlets to supply a mobile phone and laptop computer, plus there will be a fold-down table and tour director document and brochure

gets fitted electric driver’s blinds, driver’s document holder, drink holder, fan and phone outlet to play with.

holder installed. By all accounts, the 250kW 7.6-litre Doosan DL08K Euro5 six-cylinder engine is

It is equipped with AM/FM Radio, PA/CD/ DVD with a large TV screen in the front header and four drop-down small screens in the saloon. Add in the forward-facing camera that can relay the forward vision to passengers

up to the mark, with a rated torque figure of 1423Nm@1200rpm. It’s matched well to an Allison six-speed T375R transmission with sixstage integrated retarder. There’s also ABS brakes and Anti-Slip

and it enhances another aspect of the tourist experience. Inside, the saloon is carpeted with cloth trim to

Regulation, and air-bag suspension all around. And thanks to a polymer-coated galvanised steel tube frame, there’s a 10-year warranty for

the side walls and ceiling, and curtains are fitted, while keeping occupants cool in summer and warm in winter is Spheros air-conditioning with

the body and a 100,000km or two-year one for the gearbox and chassis. All up, one of these new Daewoo coaches

- almost mandatory these days for this style of coach - individual outlets to each seat from an overhead console with individual reading lights.

is going to cost you around $350,000 plus GST, which should work out just fine as long as those cruise ships keep rolling in and those

Up above, day-trip carry bags should easily fit in the overhead parcel racks provided and

tourists keep wanting to nip out for a cheeky day trip somewhere.

046 www.truckandbus.net.au

BUS SPECS MODEL: Daewoo BH117L Enterprise Coach ENGINE: Doosan DL08K Euro5 7.6-litre six-cylinder, watercooled, turbocharged and intercooled. Power - 250kW@2200rpm. Torque – 1423Nm@1200rpm TRANSMISSION: Allison T375R (integrated retarder) SUSPENSION: Airbag front and rear with telescopic double-acting shocks and stabilising bar BRAKES: Full air ‘S’ cam dual circuit, drums front and rear, ABS, ASR INTERIOR: 57 fixed (53 reclining or 53 fixed with toilet) Styleride ADR68 seats, ISRI 6000/735 driver’s seat, fitted electric driver’s blinds, driver’s document holder, drink holder, fan and phone outlet, AM/FM Radio, PA/CD/DVD with large TV screen, four drop-down small screens, forward-facing camera MISC.: Spheros air-conditioning


Operator

Slice of Heaven

When in the Land of the Long White Cloud the only way to get closer to it is to get as high up as you can. And in bus terms that means a Scania double decker owned by long-standing Kiwi operator Ritchies, who made it to the Australian Bus+Coach 2013 Show. Fabian Cotter reports.

www.truckandbus.net.au 047


I

t’s always reassuring when certain transport solutions make their ways into

fuel than ever. And often the only way to tackle the first priority is to go upwards.

groups, sports teams, cultural groups and church events.

different city-transit uses because it goes some way to prove that as a solution it’s probably right. Well, if not right then it’s greatly doing its best to address an issue or

Kiwi bus operator Ritchies Transport Holdings, which was established in 1972, is claimed to be the largest privately owned bus and coach transport operator in New Zealand,

Also with part ownership in the Newmans and Intercity coach lines, it is said to have been formed more than 70 years ago by John Ritchie Senior in the small South Canterbury

at least trying to make things work better for commuters. Double-deckers are no new thing, but increasingly around the world their use in

having more than 900 vehicles in its fleet across the nation – that means both islands in local speak. It’s services include: long-distance, tourism,

town of Temuka, on the South Island’s Canterbury Plains. Still owned by the Ritchie family, its head office moved from Timaru to Christchurch

modern times is illustrating the common need for transit authorities and bus operators to move more people within less space in the

packages for several tour operators and urban runs, school and charter, cruise ship excursion transportation, plus transport for

early 2003 and it expanded into the North Island 20 years ago, establishing a large part of itself in Auckland, plus outlets in Ruakaka,

most convenient way – and usually for less

conferences, incentive groups, corporate

Helensville, Daraville and Rotorua.

“...transit authorities and bus operators to move more

1

1 Ritchies went the Scania route. 2 Such a good-looking bus from the rear;

colour scheme and graphics work great. 3 Another day in the office; drivers love it. 4 Commuters quite fancy hopping on board

this one.

2 3

ABOUT RITCHIES

Ritchies Transport Holdings - still a family owned and 100 per cent Kiwi business - has contracts with a number of regional authorities for urban commuter services and provides transport for more than 200 schools throughout New Zealand. Its Intercity brand provides regular scheduled services between cities and towns across New Zealand. The company is said to have more locations than any other operator throughout New Zealand, and has received awards such as the ECO City Award and New Zealand Tourist Award for Scheduled Transport.


These days, the company’s main urban bus operations are based in Auckland, on the

buses being used. In Dunedin, Turnbull Motors, Peninsular

commuter services, launched on the Northern Busway.

North Island, with depots in Swanson and Albany servicing West Auckland, Helensville and the North Shore, plus it also operates high-speed services on Auckland’s North

Motor Services and Southern Services were amalgamated in 1975 and since that time Ritchies has operated urban services in the city. It has operated the Opoho-Shiel Hill and

Powering this tasty-looking beast is a Scania DC9 32 320 EEV 9-litre, fivecylinder, in-line, direct-injection diesel engine with EGR. It’s also turbocharged and

Shore, as well. Ritchies also bought a number of routes in the Christchurch area thanks to deregulation, such as Timaru City Transport, New Plymouth

Pine Hill-Lookout Point routes ever since 1 July, 2011. In terms of vehicles, more recently the NZ transport company has invested in a low-floor,

intercooled with EMS and XPI unit injectors. Power’s rated at 235kW@1900rpm and 1600Nm@1100-1200rpm. It all runs through a six-speed automatic gearbox with Neutral

City Buses, the ARA, and Invercargill City Transport. In January 1997 Ritchies sold its Christchurch urban contracts to Christchurch

three-axle Scania double-decker, bringing it to Sydney for the show. It was the first double-decker bus

Bus Stop function. Auckland Mayor Len Brown hitched a ride on its first service, along with representatives

Transport Ltd, but kept ownership of the

specifically designed for Auckland’s

of Auckland Transport, Ritchies itself, invited

people within less space in the most convenient way.” 4


BUS SPECS MODEL: Scania Double Decker ENGINE: DC9 32 320 with EEV; 9-litre, fivecylinder in-line direct-injection diesel, EGR, variable-geometry turbo and intercooled with EMS and XPI unit injectors. EEV emission standard. Electronically controlled cooling fan. Power - 320hp (235kW)@1900rpm, Torque – 1600Nm@1100-1200rpm. Exhaust brake output @ 2400rpm: 181kW, speed limited to 90km/h and noise suppressed to 80dBA. Transmission - ZF 6HP604C N/5 sixspeed automatic gearbox with neutral bus stop function, Topodyn gearshift program and D-N-R horizontal gear selector type (gearbox prepared with connections for external oil cooler) CHASSIS: K320 UD 6X2 SUSPENSION: Front Scania full air suspension with two-lobe airbags and double-acting hydraulic shock absorbers, rear Scania air suspension with four-lobe airbags and double-acting hydraulic shock absorbers. BRAKES: Twin-circuit, direct-acting electronic (EBS) brake system with disc brakes is provided on all three axles. Independent brake circuits front, rear and parking. Auxiliary Brake - automatically activated engine exhaust brake and ZF retarder integrated, bus-specific stop brake, automatic hill hold. WHEELS/TYRES:10-stud, ISO-pattern, painted steel rims with stainless steel wheel nut covers, front – 11.25x22.5, rear – 7.25x22, tag axle – 11.25x22.5; Tyres - Front and Tag 355/50R22.5 LHS, Drive 275/70R22.5 LHD MISC.: BWS bodywork system FMS interface preparation, CAN communication electrical system, Halogen H4 headlamps

050 www.truckandbus.net.au

guests and some lucky commuters. Brown said, “Aucklanders are demanding

The new double-decker bus was a trial, but Ritchies’ director Andrew Ritchie expected it

a world-class integrated transport system. Double decker buses mean we can maximise our existing route structure and they will play their part in unclogging Auckland along with

would be a success and Aucklanders should see more double deckers on the Northern Busway in future. “The double-decker is a pleasant experience

other initiatives being introduced…” Auckland Transport chairman Lester Levy added, “This is a welcome addition to Auckland’s public transport landscape.

for passengers, people like riding them and the bus drivers also like them,” Ritchie said. The impression has been so good it’s rumoured other bus companies in Auckland

Double decker buses have the potential to increase capacity on some of our busiest routes without putting extra buses on our

are lining up various routes for double decker trials; NZ Bus and Howick and Eastern have been assessing various routes in Auckland

already busy roads.” The 6x2 Scania chassis’d double-decker bus was built in Malaysia for Ritchies and can

for double deckers to meet increased demand and to replace ageing ‘bendy’ articulated buses.

seat 86 passengers compared to the 51 seats in other buses on the Northern Busway route. It is 4.25 metres high and 12.1 metres long, compared with an articulated bus’s length of about 22 metres.

The Scania’s appearance at the Australian Bus+Coach Show 2013, in Sydney, gives government transport authorities and other operators food for thought for their doubledecker needs and options.

“This is a welcome addition to Auckland’s public transport landscape.”


Spotlight On

60mins with...

Akash Passey Senior vice president - Business Region International, Volvo Buses

Akash Passey’s patch covers a large area. With the exception of Europe and North America he presides over the rest of the world. Australia plays a large part in his job description and electro-mobility is the buzz word at Volvo HQ. Geoff Paradise met with him in Gothenburg, Sweden recently. www.truckandbus.net.au 051


Q

Thank you for taking the time from your busy schedule and

Q. Are you getting good feedback from the West Australian Govt on the Volvo hybrid?

meeting with us. AP: A pleasure.

Q. With the proliferation of Australian

AP: “There’s no official feedback as yet, but we will have by the end of the year, but what we are hearing is a quite positive response from the customers.”

aftermarket body builders on European chassis, do you think the time will come when Volvo will import fully built-up buses into the Australian market?

Q. With the rapidly changing face of the industry, the international players coming in absorb the smaller, independent bus

AP: “I think, firstly, we have a long history there (Australia) and it’s a good business we have there. We have strong

operators and gain more control over what product they’ll take into their fleets... AP: “As I said earlier, Australia is undergoing

relationships in place with customers, our team is doing a great job in keeping those customers with us in the segments we

change. We have been thinking about it for many years. We’ve been very happy it’s stayed the way it’s stayed, but now the

operate in. When it comes to our position in the market the industry is undergoing change, such as traditional routes are opening up to international operators – I know that has already happened in some markets in Australia.”

change has started, you are right, it will not stop. We have an organisation that is highly responsive and that is what I hear from customers and they like the quality we deliver, so the challenge on our side is to keep it.”

Q. Melbourne, in particular? AP: “Yes, and I think to some extent in Sydney, so I think the whole market is going through a change and we have worked very closely with our local partners and Volgren is one of them. That relationship continues even after the change from the previous owner to the new one. I think there are a large number of Chinese players – not in the specific segments we are in but in segments below us - are bringing in buses from the outside, so I guess as time goes by local body builders will remain strong in certain

Q. How long can body suppliers continue to do a good job? AP: “It depends on the customers needs.”

segments and the other segments will be opened up to complete buses from outside.

mobility and that, as you know, is one of our three core values: quality, safety and care for

What will we do is very difficult to say; of course, we are always there for our customers [end-user] and if our customers

the environment. I will be very happy to see that develop further in other parts of Asia.”

desire us to make certain products or changes to satisfy their needs we are always there for them.”

Q. Has it been a slow take-up rate in Europe for hybrid buses and was their much resistance from operators when you

Q. What is your view of the standard of local production of buses in Australia?

announced the hybrid only bus from 2014? AP: “Well, I guess not being responsible for Europe I should not comment on that,

AP: “My official and unofficial view is the same: the standard is quite high. You can see that our products last quite a while – 18 to 20 years, but operators want to keep

but we strongly believe that this is the right move and the message we get from our key customers is this is the right direction. If you look at any of the big cities and that

them for 25 years. The standard has been pretty high and the product lasts that period of time. I believe the customers are quite satisfied.”

does not have to be Europe necessarily, environment is on top of the agenda. I think what we are very happy to see is the level of saving – that is something our customers

Q. Can you tell us about Volvo’s position on alternative fuels? AP: “As you know, Volvo hybrid low-floor city buses have been running on our roads for a couple of years now. By the end of the year we will have almost a 1000 hybrids across 15 to 20 cities throughout Europe. I think hybrid is a good story for Volvo; we have taken the initiative, a leading position, it points us very much towards electro-

really appreciate.”

052 www.truckandbus.net.au


Q. What is your position on fully electric buses? AP: “Our story is not restricted to hybrid. We

of no plans and am probably not the right person to answer that. But as we discussed

believe in electro-mobility. There are radical changes taking place in the industry; we see in China a move to more electric buses and I guess that trend will continue. It’s a

you look at governments subsidising electric buses, that is exactly what is happening in China. If you are manufacturing in China the government subsidises you, some cities and

matter of time and very dependent on battery technology. As battery technology improves the ability of a bus to carry people greater distances will improve. For me, that is the

towns are getting subsidised (for re-charging stations) and power stations are getting subsidised.”

defining factor with electric buses.” Q. Will that decision merge into the

Q. Do you think fully built-up Chinese buses pose a threat to western bus manufacturers? AP: “I think they do. First of all, if you put

international area you preside over? AP: “My area is everywhere other than North America and Europe and we are already the

China and India together 60 per cent of the bus volume goes into those two places and when you have companies growing there, and

largest supplier of electric buses in China.”

we know there are a large number of Chinese players – especially the top five who have large volumes – and they are improving their skill sets every year.”

Q. Do you see all markets only offering hybrid buses? AP: “No, there are markets that are still running on Euro 1 and Euro 2. But it will catch on (hybrids) in the key international cities.” Q. How do Chinese-built electric buses made in China compare to other electric buses built elsewhere and could you sell an electric bus built in China into Australia? AP: “The Chinese electric Volvo buses are a result of a joint venture we have there and they are restricted very much to China. There are no plans as yet to take it anywhere else. When it comes to electric technology it is also dependent on government initiatives of the charging stations et cetera. The one reason electric buses are so popular in China is the Government has heavily invested through

Q. How does a man in your high position combat that? AP: “That’s a good question and that is my job and where I spend a lot of my time. Volvo Buses is very well spread across the globe and has strong manufacturing footprints – not only marketing foot prints – in places like China and India. We do about 3500 buses a year in China through our joint venture and about 700-800 buses in India. We have a strong footprint in terms of market needs in South-East Asia. I am not grossly worried about other players. I think the challenge they have is to build up their brand name and most importantly to build up their support systems. At Volvo that

power companies in recharging stations. That is not yet the case in Australia or other places.

is what we have been able to do in Europe, Asia and Oceania and other parts of the

I think when that kind of infrastructure is available I guess then it is possible to look at that solution.”

world, so that will hold us in good stead. But we will always have the opportunity to use our manufacturing bases out of Asia, but

Q. Can you take DME (dimethyl ether) technology from the truck division and

not at the level of our competitors - but with better quality and maybe a higher price.”

transfer it to Volvo buses? AP: “Three or four years back we showed about seven or eight different alternative fuel

Q. Who are your joint venture partners in China? AP: “It is the Sunwin Group, a well-known

technologies – including hybrid and DME - so we have the solutions available, but there will need to be a demand and it needs to make business sense, but at this stage there is no

group that is into everything.”

plan for DME in Volvo buses.” Q. But it’s always good to have a fall back position.

city buses that have been supplied over the past eight or nine years. We transfer our technology for Volvo branded buses, but am I fully equipped? No, but I guess I am more

AP: “Yes, of course, but at this stage I know

equipped than the others.”

Q. Do they brand them as a Volvo bus? AP: “In Shanghai we have about 6500 Volvo

www.truckandbus.net.au 053


Q. What is the price difference between a Volvo bus and a Sunwin bus in China? AP: “That is a very difficult question to answer, but you could say the Volvo product is a premium product while anything from a small bus, medium bus to a large bus is a Sunwin product. The volume comes from Sunwin, the premium product from Volvo.” Q. Do they come out of the same factory? AP: “Yes, they do. Two different production lines depending on the product.” Q. There is a swing in Australia towards smaller buses to avoid using a 50+ seater to take two passengers to the shopping centre in the middle of the day. Are there buses of

AP: “Not in the short term, no. If it makes business sense for us and the customer then I’m sure we would be open to it, but there are no such plans at this moment. We are very focussed as a company on large buses.”

AP: “We are in the range of 10 to 12,000, - that’s the premium segment, we don’t count most of our joint ventures. Those are additional volume. Having said that, if you look at China it’s a complete-bus market, Mexico, India are

Q. Is it ever discussed? AP: “I could say every day; Australia is

complete-bus markets. A number of countries in Europe are complete-bus markets, but then if you look

not the only place, there are other places. Traditionally, small and medium buses in the premium segment are not very beneficial for

at the Middle East, South-East Asia, Eastern Europe and Oceania they are very much chassis markets, so it depends where you are

the customer given the cost structures on the drivers and operating conditions. That is our assessment at the moment, so presently there is plans to go into those segments.”

and what are the needs, but the trend for the future very much seems to be for a complete bus - that is where the market is going.” Q. Truck operators fall asleep when hybrids

that size in the Volvo product line-up? AP: “No, we are focussed on large buses. They are more efficient and create more

Q. Is the risk that by not going into that smaller market it will give other players a head-start?

are discussed, do your customers?. AP: “In a way you can’t blame them (truck operators), they are carrying a load and

value for the customer. We don’t play in the market for 18 to 24 seat buses.”

AP: “That is one way to look at it, but our view is the volume in large buses is good enough for us.”

their requirements are a lot more harsher. You could say buses are a more enclosed environment and that is the advantage we

Q. If you saw the market evolving where larger bus fleets required buses in that mid20 seat range would you be in a position to

Q. What is the yearly production of Volvo bus product globally, including CBU and

have. Electro-mobility will catch on with the rest of the Volvo group, but it starts with buses, that’s where a customer can see the

accommodate that?

chassis?

benefit, I believe.”

054 www.truckandbus.net.au


DW3003/1013_FPC

Benchmark Quality Proven reliaBility S e n S at i o n a l v a lu e www.daewoobuses.com.au


We Want

Right On Track

056 www.truckandbus.net.au


The stylish Tourismo coach gets a new range of Euro6 engines in Europe, but more interestingly for the UK market it comes out in right-hand drive. Could this be yet another Daimler bus to one day get to Oz? Fabian Cotter reports.

www.truckandbus.net.au 057


1

BUS SPECS MODEL: Daimler Tourismo RHD ENGINE: Euro6-compliant 10.7-litre Mercedes-Benz OM470 engine; Two overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, common-rail injection with X-PULSE system and pressure booster. Power - 265kW (360hp) or 290kW (394hp); Torque - 1700Nm, or 1900Nm. TRANSMISSION: Either a six-speed manual with cockpit joystick, the automated eight-speed Mercedes PowerShift, or the ZF Ecolife six-speed automatic. SUSPENSION/CHASSIS: Front axle – ZF RL 75 E, independent suspension; rear – MB RO 440, ratio 3.154:1 BRAKES: ESP including acceleration skid control (ASR) and Brake Assist (BA). MISC.: DVD player with 19-inch screen above the centre entrance.

“...its popularity and versatility has earned it the right

A

t Coach & Bus HQ we’ve looked

and newly developed Tourismo, one that has

at a range of stuff that arguably could, and we think should, get here onto the roads of Oz, if only

only its name in common with its predecessor. The new model stood out “by virtue of its perfect balance of outstanding economy,

would be suitable for a broad spectrum of applications in the wide-ranging segment covering touring, transfers and excursions. It

for some pesky regulations amendment, market demand for new stuff and variety, plus our own bus-fantasy imaginations kicking into

comfort and safety”, according to Daimler at the time, making its world premiere at the 61st IAA Commercial Vehicle Show 2006, in

was said to set new standards for safety in its class, offered a modern design typical of its brand and, most of all, “provided the proven

overdrive. Yet with no harm done in looking but not touching, a Daimler bus has just been tailored to the UK market – and that spells right-hand drive. And, as you never know with where these things end up, we just had to

Hanover, Germany. It signified a trend that continues to this day from a range of manufacturers, where a sense of ‘streamlining’ became a logical cost-reducing strategy, thereby multi-skilling

quality of Mercedes-Benz”. Fast forward to 2013 and the Tourismo’s popularity and versatility in mainland Europe – albeit in left-hook form - has earned it the right to venture into wider, right-hand drive

take a quick look-see. The Tourismo is yet another long-standing brand of the Daimler Bus group, with the

the vehicle and preparing it for a range of bus operator needs and roles. Why make five buses to do five different jobs when you can

markets and so a recent announcement in Stuttgart, Germany, means Mercedes-Benz is adapting the right-hand-drive version of

original being touted as the most successful European high-deck touring coach of recent years up until 2006. But that was only to make

design one to do them all kind of thing. And with this the new Mercedes-Benz Tourismo covered a range of different

the Tourismo high-decker to comply with the Euro6 emissions standard, and is intended for the UK.

way for its successor, the model of which essentially continues to this day. After more than 12,000 Mercedes-Benz

segments. It was the successor to the previous Tourismo and, at the same time, thanks to its versatility, the replacement for

The changes involve fitting the coach with a completely new engine from the BlueEfficiency Power family: the new Euro6-

Tourismos of the outgoing generation, the post2006 format was now an entirely redesigned

the previous models Integro H and Travego RH, according to Daimler.

compliant Mercedes-Benz OM470 engine. This new driveline for the Mercedes-Benz

058 www.truckandbus.net.au

As an economical all-round coach it


1 Latest rear-end treatment looks

2 3 4

5

different from the norm, and looks quite striking. You can’t go too wrong with saucy interiors like this. See! Just ask this bloke. He’s got sauciness written all over his face. Not trick photography here, it’s right-hand drive for the UK market. Gorgeous seat backs are very learjet in styling - no bad thing at all.

2

3

4

5

to venture into wider, right-hand drive markets.” Tourismo is “precision-tailored to the needs

290kW (394hp) and 1900Nm. There is a

also recirculated. As a result, emissions of

of British coach operators”, claims Daimler Buses. The new in-line six-cylinder OM470 engine has a displacement of 10.7 litres and is

choice of transmissions: a six-speed manual transmission with cockpit joystick, the automated eight-speed Mercedes PowerShift

particulates and nitrogen oxides are reduced to a point where they are barely detectable, according to Daimler.

installed vertically in the rear. The new engine, part of the BlueEfficiency Power generation, features two overhead

transmission, or the ZF Ecolife six-speed automatic transmission. Daimler is also quick to point out that one

The engine not only operates cleanly but economically too, as the fuel consumption figures and the dramatically reduced AdBlue

camshafts, four valves per cylinder and common-rail injection with the flexible X-PULSE injection system with pressure booster. Weighing just 990kg and with compact dimensions, the engine is ideal

noteworthy new feature is the positioning of the components in the rear: the cooler and fan are installed on the right, alongside the vertical engine, separated by a bulkhead. The generous ventilation of the

and engine oil consumption figures testify, it’s claimed. In addition operators can expect long service intervals and impressive durability, the company adds. And finally, and perhaps most interestingly,

for weight-sensitive buses/coaches and for restricted installation spaces, it’s claimed. The new engine operates very smoothly

engine compartment is also new. The two symmetrically positioned grilles on the new engine flap are a distinguishing characteristic

this latest Tourismo has a passenger door on each side. Thus, with a passenger door at the front left on the kerb side, the two-

and quietly and all versions are impressively responsive and agile, according to Daimler. It offers a high output at very low revs: at around

of the Tourismo with Euro6 drive system. And, it must be said, they look kind of funky, too. For lower emissions, fuel use and exhaust

axle Tourismo is precisely tailored to British requirements. And, at the same time, the centre door on the right-hand side makes it

800rpm the engine is already able to deliver 95 per cent of the full engine torque. Awesome! For the two-axle Tourismo the new

gas ‘aftertreatment’, Mercedes-Benz has opted for BlueTec6 technology in all variants: a closed particulate filter combined with the

suitable for use in left-hand-drive countries on the Continent. So, yes, perhaps another foreign right-

engine is available with an output rating of 265kW (360hp) and 1700Nm, or with

Mercedes-Benz SCR system and an oxidising catalytic converter. Cooled exhaust gases are

hander that may never get here to OZ, but no harm done in having a bit of a look.

www.truckandbus.net.au 059


volvo hybrid technology for greener cities The new Volvo B5RLE Hybrid is not only the most fuel-efficient Volvo city chassis, thanks to the ability of running with the diesel engine shut off, but it’s also reliable regardless of driveline technology. Add to that silent and emission-free boarding and take off, it’s a winner. Are you ready to team up for green efficiency?

To find out more, visit our website www.volvobuses.com.au

volvo buses. driving quality of life www.volvobuses.com.au


Hot Stuff

By Fabian Cotter

Gadgets on the go

We’ve scoured the globe for all the latest gadgets and gizmos for when you are on the go.

Sony Xperia Z1 The battle of the big guns continues with Sony’s new Xperia Z1 cameraphone harbouring 20.7MP of shot-making capability and water-proofing that would have made Jacques Costeau happy. Maybe. And all in sexy-looking package. The Quad-band GSM/ WHAT? WHO? HOW MUCH? CONTACT?

mode. ‘Awesomeness’! Add in Bluetooth 4.0, microSD USB, a sealed 3000mAh battery and IP58 dust-protected and water resistant certification with shatter proof and scratchresistant glass front and the back – well, sounds like a winner.

GPRS/EDGE, penta-band UMTS/HSPA, 100 Mbps LTE cameraphone has a 5-inch 16M-color 1080p (441ppi) TFT capacitive touchscreen and Triluminous display with X-Reality and OptiContrast. It’s an Android environment plus its video camera does 1080p in HDR Xperia Z1 Sony AUD$779 www.sony.com.au

iTwin Connect No more worrying about unsecured connections at public WiFi hotspots because the iTwin Connect gives you a zero-config Public VPN and Private VPN USB capability in a sweet-looking USB device. Basically, it allows you to remotely access your home computer while out and about WHAT? WHO? HOW MUCH? CONTACT?

using your portable computer, as long as each part of the iTwin device is plugged into a USB port on either computer. And that means you are using your ‘home’ computer’s secure internet access to surf the web instead of the hotspot’s – though it seems you need the hotspot to make the original connection.

Access to your own files anywhere means you can also use them while at a work spot – coming in handy for work purposes anyway, or for non-work purposes if you so please. This thing is essential for professionals on the go, designed by security experts themselves, it’s claimed. For Mac and PC.

iTwin Connect iTwin USD$199 www.iTwin.com

Samsung Galaxy Gear Samsung’s Galaxy Gear ‘smart watch’ is very Dick Tracy like in ideology, enabling the wearer to to make calls, receive texts and emails and take photos. Users call without taking their phone out of their pocket. They just hold their wrist up to their ear and use the built-in speaker and microphone. Samsung’s obviously trying WHAT? WHO? HOW MUCH? CONTACT?

to make them the universal fashion statement, the Galaxy Gear coming out with a range of six coloured wristbands and brushed-steel face mount, but let’s hope it’s not too gimmicky and ends up as cool as beltholding mobile phones on hips back in the day. Still, these as stylish ‘normal’ looking watches would arguably facilitate greater

Google Chromecast Google, USA USD$35 www.google.com/chromecast

corporate everyday wear-ability. Smart watches are the way forward with Samsung pipping releases by Apple of its much anticipated iWatch and there’ll probably be versions out by Google and Microsoft in time, too, as is the way of such things. Nissan even has the Nismo Smartwatch for car connection only, but it looks way hot.


Working Wheels

In Transit

Yes, it's in transit and according to Ford Australia it will be here early next year. Geoff Paradise reports.

F

ord says the new Transit – well, new for us, it’s been on sale in Europe

Australian customers will be able to get behind the wheel of the Ford Transit Custom

as a unique integrated roof rack system and an ingenious load-through hatch in the

for yonks – has been designed to be the most stylish and safest Transit range ever. It says the all-new Ford Transit Custom and

and Ford Transit Cargo early next year. The Ford Transit Cargo adds the flexibility of multiple combinations for customers, which will include multiple roof heights, single

bulkhead for extra-long items. In the cab, there is a modern, driver-focused cockpit, which features a sculpted instrument panel that combines stylish looks with smart

Ford Transit Cargo have bold and expressive new looks and are packed with the latest safety technologies.

and double cab chassis models and even a 12-seater bus. The SWB model has an overall length of

stowage solutions for bottles, phones and papers. Once behind the wheel, the driver can

“These two cargo carriers are designed to meet the most demanding needs of van users, small and large,” Ford Motor

4.97m and six cubic meters of cargo space while the LWB is 5.34m in length and offers 6.8 cubes of cargo space. Payloads run from

call upon a range of driver-assistance technologies shared with Ford’s latest passenger cars, including the Ford SYNC

Company chief operating officer Mark Fields said recently. “We are bringing Australians a full family of stylish, innovative, safe, high-quality, fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive vehicles,” Ford Australia president and CEO Bob Graziano also added.

600 to 1400kg, depending on the model. The Ford Transit Custom will feature Ford’s latest 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel engine and offers ratings of 100-, 125- and 155kW, again depending on the model. Ford claims the new model offers a number of innovative new load-space features, such

voice-activated connectivity system. Ford says the all-new Ford Transit Custom has been developed to offer exceptional costof-ownership and durability. Full specification and features of both the Ford Transit Custom and Ford Transit Cargo will be revealed closer to launch.

1

2

3

1 Quite a stylish interior for a

daily driven commercial.

2 Side loading offers good

access and plenty of space. 3 Comfy and stowage capacity - nice one.

VAN SPECS MODEL: 2014 Ford Transit ENGINE: 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel. Power - 100kW, 125kW, or 155kW BODY: Multiple roof heights, single and double cab chassis models and a 12-seater bus; SWB – 4.97m, LWB - 5.34m MISC.: Integrated roof rack system, load-through bulkhead hatch Bold and expressive new looks set the latest Ford Transit apart.

062 www.truckandbus.net.au


Game Changer. Daimler Buses is changing the bus industry to create a new level of product and service for our customers. There will be more choice, greater flexibility and access to technologically advanced vehicles. Change is coming.

www.truckandbus.net.au 063


064Money Matters

Paul Clitheroe Key Man Insurance - Worth Unlocking

T

here are more than 2.1 million active businesses operating in Australia

compulsory insurance costs including workers’ compensation.

and, according to government figures, almost 9000 new ventures sprang into life last year. Clearly, running our own show remains a

Nonetheless it’s worth thinking about whether your business relies on a key person - and how well the venture would cope if anything happened to them.

popular option for many people, but along with the general pitfalls all businesses face there is one risk that poses a particular threat to small

You may feel that having life insurance for family members working in your business is sufficient, though this may not be the case.

ventures. It’s estimated that 70 per cent of all businesses in Australia are family-run enterprises. For those who run the ventures they can be an excellent investment, providing jobs for trusted family members and generating the funds to build wealth across several generations. However, many small businesses are especially vulnerable to the loss of a key person through injury, illness or death. In many family businesses – and, indeed,

Business can chew through cash very quickly and, besides, it always makes sense for a venture to keep personal and business matters entirely separate. As business insurances are generally tailored to your particular enterprise it’s almost impossible to provide an indicative guide as to what you could expect to pay in premiums. The cost of ‘key man cover’ will vary according to the nature of your business, how much cover you choose and the insurance

Commission (ASIC) into how CCI claims have been handled showed a very mixed bag of experiences among borrowers who took out CCI. To be fair, some consumers had their claims dealt with promptly while other consumers, who had paid for CCI, were shocked to find their claims were dismissed. This happened for a variety of reasons including the presence of a pre-existing medical condition, the consumer’s age, or because they were a contract worker or had been in casual employment, which was excluded by their policy. I should point out that statistics from the

“Key people can be insured for death, trauma and/or total and permanent disablement.” plenty of small-to-medium enterprises - one person can be central to the success of the business. They can be a great strategist, a finance whizz, a great sales person, or have some other key ability. Whatever the case, if anything were to

company you use. When you’re in business, time is money, so it can be a good idea to speak with your accountant or solicitor to get some referrals to a reputable insurance broker. And while we are on the subject of insurance

happen to this key person it’s a fair bet the activities of the business would be severely

the next time you apply for a personal loan, mortgage or credit card there’s a good chance

interrupted. In the worst-case scenario the

you’ll be offered what’s termed ‘consumer

venture may never recover entirely, or fold. Worryingly, as many small enterprises rely on

credit insurance’. It’s designed to help you repay the debt if you

funding secured by the family home, the loss of a key person could jeopardise the roof over your head.

can no longer work due to illness or injury, or if you lose your job or die. This type of insurance can be worthwhile,

While assets like plant and equipment can be easily replaced this certainly isn’t the case with human assets. Yet it’s possible to protect the

but a recent industry review found there is significant room for improvement when it comes to the way claims are handled.

business - and possibly your family’s welfare with ‘key person’ insurance. This type of insurance is designed to protect businesses if anything happens to the key

Consumer credit insurance (CCI) is marketed under a variety of product names. The common thread is that it’s designed to provide policyholders with a payout if something

person. Key people can be insured for death, trauma and/or total and permanent disablement. Yes, the premiums are an extra expense

happens that affects their ability to meet credit repayments - typically involuntary unemployment, sickness, injury or death.

and I’m aware that when you’re in business it’s important to keep a lid on costs. As it stands, businesses already face several

For consumers, this type of cover calls for some thorough research. Recent research by the Australian Securities and Investments

064 www.truckandbus.net.au

Financial Ombudsman Service show almost 12 per cent of claims made on CCI policies are denied. This is a high rate of denial compared to most other general insurance products, which generally see between 1-5 per cent of claims denied. The message for anyone being offered CCI is to take the time to consider whether this type of cover is right for you. And, most importantly, read the policy document. In fact, I would urge you to do that with any type of insurance. The last thing you want with insurance is to be ‘fine printed’ - and it does happen. In particular, look at what events you’ll be covered for, how much you’ll pay in premiums, whether you are eligible for cover in the first place, and whether you have a pre-existing medical condition that could exclude you from making a claim. Bear in mind, if you have income protection insurance in place, which I recommend to most people, you probably won’t need insurance that applies for one particular type of debt. Paul Clitheroe is a founding director of financial planning firm ipac, chairman of the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board and chief commentator for Money magazine. Visit www.paulsmoney.com.au for more information.


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130-132 Freight Drive Somerton VIC Australia 3062 t. (03) 9305 2299 f. (03) 8339 0265 e. info@hvagroup.com.au


AUSTRALIA’S BEST SELLING BUS IS NOW EVEN BETTER

With Up to

Top Selling Bus in its class for

9 years*

25 Seats

Including the driver’s, Rosa has up to

4 more than Coaster

Sat nav 12 Months and Reverse Comprehensive Insurance Camera^ Now Included At STandard From september 1st

No Extra Cost †

To find out why more people choose Rosa, call 1300 429 134 or visit fuso.com.au *Rosa is Australia’s top-selling bus in its class for the last nine years based on Vfacts sales volumes 2004-2012. ^ Sat Nav and Reverse Camera available on new vehicles plated after 1 September 2013. † This offer is available from participating Fuso dealers on new orders for new buses placed between 1 May and 31 December 2013. Excludes national fleets, government and rental buyers. Insurance arranged by Fuso Financial, a registered business name licensed by Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corporation to Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Australia Pty Ltd ABN 73 074 134 517 AFSL 247271 as an agent of the underwriter QBE Insurance (Australia) Limited ABN 78 003 191 035 AFSL 239545. Please see the PDS for full terms and conditions. Insurance cover cannot be exchanged for cash or a discount off the purchase price of the vehicle. Full terms and conditions available from participating Fuso dealers or www.fuso.com.au. Fuso is distributed by Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific Pty Ltd ACN 004 411 410.


Coach & Bus Issue 11