The Dennis Dart is a rear-engined single-decker midibus chassis, introduced by Dennis Specialist Vehicles of Guildford, England in 1989, replacing the Dennis Domino. Built as a high-floor design, In 1996 the low-floor second generation Dennis Dart SLF was launched. In 2001, production of the Dart SLF passed to TransBus International, during which time it was sold as the TransBus Dart SLF. More than 11,000 Darts were produced in total during a 19-year production run. Most were purchased by United Kingdom operators, although examples were sold in North America, Hong Kong and Singapore. In the United States, the Dart SLF, with Alexander ALX200 bodywork, was built and sold by Thomas Built Buses as the Thomas-Dennis Dart SLF 200; the first generation Dart ceased production in 1998. Production of the Dart SLF continued until 2008, when it was replaced by the Alexander Dennis Enviro200; the Dennis Dart was conceived when Hestair Group decided to produce a bus between a minibus and a full-sized single-decker.
It was launched in 1988 and was offered with the Duple Dartline bodywork. It was 2.3m wide and was available in the length of 9.0m, but available in lengths of 8.5m and 9.8m. It was coupled to the Allison AT545 gearbox; this model was sold to some operators outside London. Soon after it was launched, Duple was sold to Plaxton and the Blackpool plant closed. Plaxton decided not to acquire the design rights of the Duple Dartline and it was sold to Carlyle Works, who continued producing the bodywork from 1991. Production passed to Marshall of Cambridge in 1992. In 1993, Marshall updated the design to the C36 and the C37. In 1990, Wadham Stringer became the next builder to body the Dart with a body called the Portsdown, but it was sold in small numbers and replaced by the UVG Urbanstar in 1995. In the same year, Wright bodied the Dart with the Handybus. In early 1991, Plaxton launched the Pointer. In 1991, East Lancs bodied the Dart with its EL2000. In the latter half of 1991, Alexander launched the Dash.
Another contender entering the market at the same time was the Northern Counties Paladin. It was built with a design of a barrel shaped windscreen with quarterlights models had a deep double-curvature two-piece windscreen, it was phased out when Plaxton bought Northern Counties in 1995. As the low-floor single-decker buses became more popular in late 1990s, orders for standard-floor Dart dropped and production ceased in 1998, with the final five delivered to Jersey Motor Transport. A total of 3,470 first generation Darts were produced. In 1996, Dennis launched a low-floor version of the Dart known as the Dart SLF, with the letters SLF standing for Super Low Floor in reference to the new low-floor design, it was 2.4m wide and offered in lengths of 9.2m, 10m and 10.6m, with air suspension introduced in place of the taper leaf used in the original design. The driveline of the step-entrance Dart was retained, although some early examples were fitted with Eaton manual transmission, it was offered with the low floor version of the Pointer bodywork, replaced by the updated Pointer 2 in 1997.
It was offered with a wide variety of bodies, namely the East Lancs Spryte, UVG Urbanstar, the Wright Crusader, Alexander ALX200, Marshall Capital, Caetano Nimbus and MCV Evolution. With the move to Euro III emissions in October 2001, the new Cummins ISBe engine was launched, with the 4-cylinder 3.9-litre model being used in all lengths except the 11.3m version, which uses the more powerful 6-cylinder, 5.9-litre version. The Cummins ISBe Euro IV engine became available on the Dart SLF chassis since late 2006. In 2007 the Dennis Dart SLF was superseded by the Alexander Dennis Enviro200; the last Alexander Dennis Dart SLF was delivered to Park Island Transport of Hong Kong in March 2008. A total f 9,191 Dart SLFs were produced. Cardiff Bus for instance was one operator that took order to many of low floor Dennis Darts and a few high-floor examples; these were numbered 23-28 301-320, 361-399, 144-199, 211-244. In 2015, S302 SHB was preserved as one of the first low-floor Darts preserved and goes to many rallies.
In 1997, the Dart SPD was launched with a length of 11.3m seating 40 to 44 passengers. The Dart SPD was launched to compete with full-size buses such as the Volvo B10BLE and Scania L94UB, while retaining the more lightweight construction of the basic Dart SLF; the Dart SPD has a more powerful engine and a more heavy duty Allison World Series B300R gearbox than the Dart SLF, but with an option of a Voith gearbox. Offered only with Plaxton Pointer 2 bodywork, this larger bus was offered with other bodywork such as the East Lancs Myllennium, the Alexander ALX200 and a few have been
The Volvo B10M is a mid-engined city bus and coach chassis manufactured by the Swedish automaker Volvo between 1978 and 2003. It succeeded the B58 and was equipped with the same 9.6-litre horizontally mounted Volvo diesel engine mounted under the floor behind the front axle. An articulated version under the model name Volvo B10MA was offered, as was a semi-integral version known as the C10M, with the engine in the middle of the chassis. Designed as a successor to the Volvo B58, a large portion of B10M chassis were built in Sweden, but some were built in other countries, like England and Brazil; the B10M was one of the best-selling chassis in the United Kingdom throughout the 1990s. Having been produced only as a coach chassis, the B10M was made available as a city bus, in which form it was very popular, it was available as B10M-46, B10M-50, B10M-55, B10M-60, B10M-62, B10M-65 and B10M-70, where the number represents the wheelbase in decimetres. Many bodybuilders did however extend the chassis to fit their needs.
No than 1981 a tri-axle chassis was introduced, available as B10M-50B, B10M-55B, B10M-60B, B10M-65B and B10M-70B, with some bodybuilders extending them up to 7.25 metres wheelbase. A double-decker version of the B10M was developed for Strathclyde PTE in 1981, it was launched in early 1982, with a downrated engine from the coach, was named Citybus. Most early examples were bodied by Alexander Coachbuilders, who provided a modified version - common to all Volvo double-deck chassis bodied by the company after 1980 - of their popular and attractive R type bodywork. Eastern Scottish and Fife Scottish bought many of these early versions in 1985-1987. Two were exported in 1984, one of them to Singapore Bus Service and the other to Kowloon Motor Bus, but was destroyed by fire in 1988; the Citybus lasted until the end of B10M production but fell out of favour after Volvo re-engineered the Leyland Olympian as the Volvo Olympian in 1993. The B9M was launched in 1982 as a light-weight, stripped-down, budget version of the standard B10M.
It was available as B9M-46, B9M-50, B9M-55 and B9M-60. Although technically not a successor to the B57, it found more or less the same place in the markets where it was available; the B9M at lower outputs. It sold well with the exception of Denmark, where only a few were sold; the model was available at least past 1996. In the United Kingdom, the B9M-46 was sold as a shorter 9.5 to 9.7 metre version of the B10M from 1985. From 1984, a RHD version of the B10M-55B was available as the B10MT also B10T. In 1984, Swiss bodybuilder Ramseier & Jenzer collaborated with Volvo to unveil a semi-integral coach known as the C10M, with the engine in the middle of the chassis. Production of the C10M was ended in 1987, but the position of the engine was still available as an option and became known as B10M-C. Coach operators National Express, Park's of Hamilton and Wallace Arnold all purchased large quantities of B10Ms. In the 1990s, Stagecoach standardised on the bus version of the B10M as their full-size single decker.
Most received Alexander PS bodies but some received Northern Counties Paladin bodywork. Stagecoach took numerous examples of the coach version with Plaxton's Interurban bodywork and Jonckheere's Modulo bodywork. South Yorkshire Transport and Kelvin Central Buses purchased large numbers of the type with Alexander PS bodies; the B10MA articulated variant was of limited popularity among bus operators in the UK. British Caledonian Airways took four in 1988, the next examples sold in Britain were supplied eight years with the delivery of four to Ulsterbus. Stagecoach was the biggest customer for the model in the UK, purchasing 18 in the mid- to late-1990s, with the last delivered in 1999. Singapore Bus Service would evaluate a mid-engine Volvo B10MD double-decker bus bodied by East Lancashire Coachbuilders registered as SBS4961B in 1984. No further double-deck B10MD units were acquired however. Singapore Bus Service purchased 977 units between 1988 and 2000, making up a large part of its single-decker bus fleet.
The Volvo B10M Mark IIs were the first to be used, with 200 delivered between March 1988 and April 1989. They were retired by May 2008 after fulfilling their 19-year lifespan, except one, sold to New Zealand; the Mark IIs were replaced by the Mark IIIs and IVs. 300 B10M Mark IIIs were delivered between November 1992 and June 1993. They were bodied by Duple Metsec, had received mid-life refurbishment. Most units received a two-year lifespan extension due to insufficient replacement buses, were all retired by June 2012. 475 B10M Mark IVs were delivered between June 1995 and December 2000. They were bodied by either Duple Walter Alexander Strider. Mid-life refurbishments extended their lifespan by two years, 30 DM3500-bodied buses received another one-year extension in 2017 due to insufficient replacement buses. All these buses have been retired as of 23 December 2018. A 14.5m B10M Superlong tri-axle bus, bodied by Duple Metsec, was purchased in 1995 and retired in October 2012. A 19m B10MA articulated bus bodied by Duple Metsec, was purchased in 1996.
It was known as "Asia's Longest Bus". In 2006, it was sold to Bayes Coachlines in New Zealand. For Expo'85 in Tsukuba, Fuji Heavy Industries bodied 100 B10MLs. Seventy-nine were exported to Australia in 1986 with Brisbane Transport, Grenda's Bus Service, Hornibrook Bus Lines, Invicta Bus Service, Kangaroo Bus Lines, Metro-link Bus Lines, Metropolitan Transit Authority, Premier Roadliners, Sunbury Bus Service and Surfside Buslines purchasing examples. From 1983 to 1986, a number of B10Ms was used in the United States; the A
The Volvo B8L is a 3-axle bus chassis manufactured by Volvo. In 2017, two pre-production Volvo B8Ls were completed; the B8L was launched in January 2018 as a replacement for the Volvo B9TL. A MCV EvoSeti bodied example of Kowloon Motor Bus completed Motor Vehicle Examination and tilt test in early 2018; the MCV bodied B8L was registered in March 2019 as WA756 with fleet number AVBML1. In October 2018, orders for 213 Wrightbus bodied examples for Hong Kong were announced, 46 for Citybus, 150 for KMB, 10 for Long Win Bus and seven for New World First Bus.. This was followed in November with an announcement of 42 Alexander Dennis Enviro400XLB-bodied vehicles for Lothian Buses, Scotland. Media related to Volvo B8L at Wikimedia Commons Specifications Volvo Buses Hong Kong
Volvo B7F and Volvo B7FA were a series of front-engined single-decker bus chassis manufactured by Volvo. While the B7FA was a more conventional front-engined chassis, the B7F had the engine mounted on top of the front axle, giving the buses little front overhang; the models are not known to have been available in Europe, but they could at least be found in Latin America, New Zealand and South Africa. There may not be a full continuity back to the old B7F models, but at the plant in Curitiba, Volvo are manufacturing the front-engined Volvo B270F for the Latin American market. A rather simple construction with leaf springs and a 7.2-litre engine from MWM International Motores. Media related to Volvo B7F at Wikimedia Commons Media related to Volvo B7F at Wikimedia Commons
The Volvo B9L was a low-floor single-decker bus chassis constructed by Volvo Buses from 2005 until 2013, replacing the Volvo B7L and Volvo B10L. An articulated model, known as the Volvo B9LA, is available, it was superseded by the Volvo B5LH in Europe. The engine is mounted vertically on the rear left overhang of the chassis to with the B7L, allowing B9Ls to be low-floor throughout the whole length of the bus due to a lack of underfloor equipment; the Volvo B9L is available as an integral bus bodied by Volvo or as a chassis only, with bodies by other manufacturers. Large orders for B9Ls were placed in Malmö, where they form the majority of the fleet, as well as in Stockholm, Örebro. Despite this overall sales of the B9L were poor outside of Sweden, with many operators instead preferring the existing B7RLE or new B9S. Outside of Europe, ComfortDelGro Bus of Singapore had purchased a fleet of SC Auto-bodied Volvo B9L buses in 2015 for its National University of Singapore internal shuttle service.
In Mainland China, Volvo B9L chassis is bodied with Volvo 7900 three-door bodywork manufactured by Shanghai SUNWIN Bus, a joint venture of SAIC Group and Volvo Bus, assembly named SWB6128V8LF. The D9B engine is replaced by Weichai WP7.270E50 or Shanghai Diesel Engine SC9DF260Q5 designed and manufactured domestically. In Greece in Thessaloniki, the local operator OASTH introduced 44 B9LAs in 2007 with 20 more coming in 2010, while 20 B9Ls were introduced in 2010, all constructed by ELVO
Volvo Super Olympian
The Volvo Super Olympian was a low-floor double-decker bus manufactured by Volvo. It replaced the 3-axle version of Volvo Olympian; the chassis had the designated manufacturer code B10TL. The Volvo Super Olympian was unveiled in 1998, with one chassis being sent to Hong Kong for a motor show held by International Union of Public Transport in the same year; the chassis was returned to the United Kingdom. The Super Olympian chassis was based on the Volvo Olympian; the front radiator was moved behind the front axle on the 12 metre version, or in front of the second axle for the 10.6 metre version. In order to lower the chassis further, the assisted steering function of the middle axle was cancelled; the suspension system has been modified so that it is electronically controlled instead of moving passively. One special feature is that after turning, the suspension unit does not return to normal, remaining tilted to either the left or right, until the bus becomes stationary. An option for 11.3 metre length of Super Olympian was available, but no orders were received.
The Super Olympian was powered with a maximum power of 285 hp. Its somewhat insufficient engine power has earned some mildly derisive nicknames in Hong Kong; the most common are "豬", "扒" and "豬扒". The Super Olympian chassis were built in Volvo's factory in Irvine, Scotland. After the closure of the factory in mid-2000, production was moved to Poland. Kowloon Motor Bus ordered the first batch of 61 Alexander ALX500 bodied B10TL Super Olympians with ZF 4HP590 transmission, roller shuttle route displays in 1998; these entered service in 1998/99. All except the prototype 3ASV3 had narrow 2+2 seats on the upper deck; the first buses were retired in November 2017. A further 80 Super Olympians entered service in 2000/01; these buses have ZF 5HP590 transmission. 3ASV78 was the 3,000th Alexander bodied bus supplied to KMB, 3ASV141 was the first KMB bus to meet Euro III emission standards. The last 351 Super Olympians, including 21 which were fitted with Australian Volgren CR223LD bodywork, entered service in 2001/02.
All of these buses had their chassis built in Poland. Their D10A285 engines were built to meet Euro III emission standards and had aluminium alloy front wheels supplied by Alcoa. 3ASV297 was coated with special metallic paint, which shows different colours, depending on the angle of light reflection. Kowloon Motor Bus was the only buyer of 10.6 metre Super Olympians. The first 49 10.6m Alexander ALX500 bodied Super Olympians were introduced in 2001. They had Alcoa front wheels. ASV50, put into service in 2002, is a prototype short-wheelbase Super Olympian, the only short-wheelbase Super Olympian built in Scotland, it is equipped with a Euro III D10A285 engine and ZF 4HP590 transmission rather than the previous 5HP590 as fitted to older ASVs. ASV51-100 were equipped with the Euro III D10A285 engines, they are identical with ASV1-49, except for minor interior differences. Only the first 24 were put into service in 2003; the remaining 26 were stored for more than a year, they were put into service between September 2004 and March 2005.
In January 2003, Kowloon Motor Bus received the first Wright-bodied Super Olympian with a 2.55 metre-wide body. Like the Alexander Dennis Enviro500, it featured a straight plug exit door, it was numbered AVW1 and was registered on 20 March 2003. The next 49 buses with a different design followed shortly after AVW1, they entered service in 2003/04; the last 50 buses, which are identical, entered service in 2004/05, These were the last batch of Volvo Super Olympian ordered by KMB. New World First Bus bought 103 Super Olympians in five batches, all are 12 metres long and were fitted with Alexander ALX500 bodies; the first 40, fitted with electronic route displays, were introduced in 1999. The next 20, with their side route number boxes moved to a lower position, entered service in 2000/01; the chassis of 5060 was the first to be built in Poland. New World First Bus began de-registering the buses on 21 November 2017; the next 19 Super Olympians, with Euro III D10A285 engines and Alcoa front wheels, entered service in 2001.
To mark the occasion of meeting the Euro III emission standard, New World First Bus designed a full body advertisement for one of them to state that they were environmentally friendly. They were followed by 10 similar examples that year. Among these buses, 5080-5086 had their registration numbers originated from ex China Motor Bus buses and service cars; the last batch of 14 Super Olympians, entered service in 2002, had their rear electronic route number displays raised above the emergency window to form a box, the design being unique among all similar vehicles in Hong Kong. Super Olympians were purchased by Singapore Bus Service. In late 1999, Volvo delivered one Volgren CR222LD-bodied Super Olympian as a demonstrator, it was the first wheelchair-accessible transition bus in Singapore. The bus was introduced on 16 January 2000 and deployed into the then-SBS Service 502 shortened on 27 July 2003. SBS Service 502 was the first wheelchair-accessible bus service, it was burnt in Ang Mo Kio Bus Depot fire on 7 March 2010 along with five other double-decker buses.
Singapore Bus Service ordered a further 51 Volvo Super Olympian chassis
Plaxton is an English builder of bus and coach vehicle bodies based in Scarborough. Founded in 1907 by Frederick William Plaxton, it became a subsidiary of Alexander Dennis in May 2007; the business was founded as a joinery workshop, expanded into building contracting. As a building contractor, Plaxtons built a number of notable buildings in Scarborough. Soon after World War I Plaxtons diversified and began to build charabanc bodies on Ford Model T chassis. Of more importance at the time was the construction of automobile bodywork; this included bodywork for Rolls-Royce and Daimler, but principally for Crossley car chassis. This activity continued through the 1920s, but the depression of 1929-1933 created difficulties for manufacture of luxury automobiles; as a result, the manufacture of charabanc, coach bodies became more important through the late 1920s and early 1930s. Customers during this time tended to be local to the Scarborough area, Scarborough being a popular seaside resort. By 1936 the company felt justified in constructing a large new manufacturing facility in Seamer Road, Scarborough.
This allowed increased production, Plaxtons became popular with many independent operators throughout Northern England. Many of these operators purchased their vehicles through independent dealers, rather than directly from the factory. In this regard, Plaxton's sales were through Lancashire Motor Traders Ltd of Manchester and Arlington Motor Co Ltd of London; the company became known as FW Plaxton & Son by 1937, as the founder's son named Frederick William joined the company at the age of 18. FW Plaxton junior was to be known as Eric to avoid confusion with his father. Plaxtons built a number of different coach designs through the 1930s, until settling on a distinctive house style; the style consisted of a rounded front profile at the windscreen area with side windows that sloped backwards at the front, were upright at the centre, sloped forward at the back. Bodywork for the Bedford WTB chassis was distinctive, sloping severally from the bottom of the front wheel arch to the roofline, leaving the "bullnose" radiator grille protruding.
The rear sloped prominently. The WTB chassis was popular choice for operators at that time, together with the Dodge RBF and SBF. Leyland and AEC chassis were popular for larger coaches, notably the Leyland Tiger and AEC Regal. On the outbreak of World War II in 1939, coach production halted and the factory was turned into a munitions factory under the control of the Ministry of Aircraft Production. Many records from the early years were lost when an incendiary bomb set fire to the Seamer Road factory in 1943, causing much damage; as the factory was under control of the Ministry of Works, production continued in the open air whilst a replacement was constructed. Some adjacent land was loaned by a market gardener. Production restarted at the end of 1945, in 1951 the business was registered for the first time as a private company, Plaxtons Limited. Two new models were exhibited at the 1950 Commercial Motor Show, with names instead of model codes for the first time; the Envoy was for traditional front-engined chassis, featured a full-front cab with a vee-pattern windscreen, aluminium trim across the lower part of the radiator grill extending around squared-off front corners to the wheel arches.
The Crusader, which could be built on the traditional front-engined chassis or the new underfloor-engined chassis, had a more upright front profile, with curved glass panels at the windscreen corners, in most cases an enlarged side window with sloping pillars between this and the entrance. With the front-engined chassis, the Crusader employed the Envoy's front trim. Both the Envoy and Crusader were produced to the new maximum dimensions of 30 ft by 8 ft, many examples were fitted with rear wheel spats; the Envoy was short-lived partly because of the obsolescence of most of the chassis types for which it was intended, while the Crusader was overtaken by a further new underfloor-engined model – the Venturer. The Venturer combined the front of the Crusader with more restrained and conservative styling, proved so popular that it was not long before a version was produced for front-engined chassis with a rather more raked frontal appearance. By the time the Mark II version appeared at the 1952 show, the Venturer was Plaxton's standard model.
The Venturer II had a common front profile for all models, together with a standard dash panel featuring a four-part radiator grille with a central cross within an oval outline which embraced the headlamps. A rear-end revision marked the launch of the Venturer III in 1954, the following year a version was produced for underfloor-engined chassis with the entrance ahead of the front axle; this required a return to a more vertical front profile, meant that there were now three variants of the Venturer – front engined, underfloor-engined with a centre entrance and underfloor-engined with a front entrance. This three-variant approach, established with the Venturer, continued throughout the life of the succeeding Consort model and into the Embassy era, although the relative importance of the three versions varied over the years; the Consort was first shown at the 1956 Commercial Motor Show. It was a development of the Venturer, but in place of the previous oval the four-part grill was now enclosed by a near-trapezoidal outline, wider at the top than the bottom, with the headlamps outside.
Trim was revised to be much squarer in outline, featuring ribbed brightwork, the curved rear quarter lights, first standardised on the Venturer III, were now inc