Priorities for operators of coaches and buses differ from those for other commercial vehicle types. While safety is important for all, these passenger vehicles must also be particularly quiet and comfortable. Acknowledging the coach segment’s unique requirements, Bridgestone has announced its first tyre fully dedicated to these vehicles, the Bridgestone Coach-AP 001.
The Conti Urban HA3 is the Continental commercial tyre of choice for city-based usage. The range has now been extended with the introduction of a tyre optimised for the weight requirements and torque delivery of electric city buses.
Bruce’s Coaches operates some of National Express’s longest routes between Scotland and the south of England, with 14 Scania Caetano Levante coaches, which cover more than 5.6 million kilometres each year. The company recently moved this fleet to Michelin tyres and has reported some startling statistics; it says the brand’s drive axle tyres last up to 130,000km further compared to the previously fitted competitor brand.
A new Continental drive axle tyre developed specifically for fitment on coaches aims to provide passengers with enhanced safety during the winter months. The tyre maker claims its HDW2 Coach “outperforms M+S tyres and exceeds the performance requirements of the 3PMSF certification.”
Prometeon Tyre Group has signed a tyre supply agreement with the SmartBUS project which is being developed by the Eco – Hev company, a spin-off of the Politecnico di Milano, active in the development of innovative electro mobility systems for the spread of sustainable mobility. The project involves the installation of an innovative fast charging system using a charging station located at the end of the urban line. This energy storage system, being tested on a bus circulating in the city of La Spezia, is based on the Ultracapacitor system developed by Eco – Hev in collaboration with the Politecnico di Milano. The system eliminates the need for batteries on board the vehicle, ensuring a considerable reduction in charging times (from 8 hours to 5 minutes).
Singapore-based Firenza’s truck and bus tyres are manufactured manufacturing facilities in both Vietnam and Thailand which incorporate “the very latest technological advancements in tyre building technology and design”, according to the company.
All Firenza commercial tyre patterns include a solid shoulder construction complete with a zero angled steel band that is designed to significantly reduce irregular wear whilst a unique tread groove arrangement effectively safeguards against casing damage and stone retention.
Back in June Bakers Dolphin Coach Travel – one of the longest established independent coach companies in the South West – announced that Michelin was a four-way trial that saw the French tyre manufacturer’s products pitched against fitments from three competitors.
Lothian will continue to roll on premium Michelin tyres after the largest municipal bus company in the UK renewed a three-year Effitires contract with Michelin solutions.
The new agreement will see Michelin solutions supply, fit and manage tyres across Lothian’s fleet of more than 800 single and double-deck buses, which is used to operate more than 70 services in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas of Midlothian and East Lothian.
Bridgestone UK has secured the company’s biggest ever commercial fleet partnership across Europe, after putting pen to paper on a five-year agreement with Stagecoach. The deal with the prestigious bus and coach operator, which serves more than 100 communities in the UK and up to three-million-passengers each day, encompasses 9,500 vehicles in total.
By all accounts the UK commercial vehicle tyre market remains a tough environment. low cost oversupply has been rife for years. In addition, a number of heavyweight players are using premium products and smart integrated service offers to compete for the largest truck and bus fleets. With this competitive context in mind, Tyres & Accessories spoke with Bridgestone North Europe region commercial sales director Greg Ward and found out more about how the company continues to grow.
With over 2 billion passenger journeys a year, bus usage is around double that of the London Underground. But bus passenger numbers are in decline. Between 2014/15 and 2016/17, the number of passenger journeys made on buses fell by six per cent. In its second piece of important work on the capital’s buses, the London Assembly Transport Committee report ‘London’s bus network’ (published 17 August 2017) tackles the this subject and recommends:
Stoke-based bus and coach operator Bakers Coaches has launched its first hybrid bus service, ahead of its 75th anniversary celebrations in November. The three hybrid buses, which use a Volvo B5 RLH chassis with Wrightbus Gemini bodywork, went into operation on 3 October and will operate under the bakerbus brand – owned by Bakers Coaches. The buses have been purchased primarily to carry students and are used on a dedicated contract with Staffordshire University and London Midland Trains. The low-floor, diesel-electric buses are the greenest, cleanest buses in the county.