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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Why Volvo is offering adjustable air suspension on the new buses

There is a reason why Volvo is now offering adjustable air suspension on the newer 9400 series B7R and B9R. I saw this feature first hand recently on the Mumbai-Bangalore KSRTC B7R. The lane leading into the pick-up point in Pune (camp) is very tricky : the dirt road is 6-8 inches lower than the main road. The driver made full use of the air-suspension, lifted the whole bus by a few inches and had no trouble whatsoever negotiating this obstacle. It looks pretty cool as well!

Here is another example. Recently one of KSRTC's old Volvo B7R had a tough time negotiation a small lane in Mangalore's 'Chilimbi' area.

The blocked bus also resulted in a traffic jam!

The repaired underbelly

The main highway was blocked and hence the bus was forced to use a narrow lane which had a very inclined join-up with the main highway. As a result, the bus' underbelly touched down and the mamooth B7R was literally resting on its chassis! A tow-truck had to be used to lift the rear of the bus.

Pics and info from -

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sharma Transports' Volvo Bangalore-Mumbai B9R experience

Pic: jkv from

While I took the KSRTC Volvo to Davangere from Pune (READ), on the way back, i booked myself on the Bangalore-Mumbai Sharma Volvo. The one that leaves Bangalore by 3-3:30pm is the new Multi-axle B9R Volvo. It reaches Davanagere from Bangalore by around 9pm but then also halts in the city for Dinner. My seat no was 1 - directly behind the driver. The front row also means that you can lift ur legs and keep it on the support in front of you.
We left Davanagere city by 10pm and it was a non-stop journey till the outskirts of Pune. The road has lot of bad patches / diversions till Haveri after which is very good. The driver kept the bus around the 90-95km/h mark again - it seems on this long route (between Mumbai - Bangalore), most Volvos are run at these speeds, mainly to save on fuel costs.
The B9R runs a touch more smoothly better than the B7R. Though Volvo supplies the B9R in a 53 seater config, Sharma's B9R volvo has 49 seats, thus improving leg space a lot.

We halted for breakfast around 30min before Pune at around 6:15am. This is very irritating for Pune passengers. Sharma guys should reach Pune directly, drop Pune passengers and then stop for breakfast for the rest of the Mumbai guys.

Apart from this, the journey was very very comfortable.

Pune to Bangalore KSRTC Volvo experience

Left to Right: My Shirdi-Bangalore KSRTC, Mumbai-Bangalore Vishal volvo, Mumbai-Mangalore KSRTC Volvo

For past experiences, you the LABELS features in the right column on this page.

On 16th October, I took the Shirdi to Bangalore KSRTC Volvo for my Pune - Davanagere trip. My seat no was 26. This bus leaves Shirdi at 1pm and reporting time at the Pune camp office is 6pm. The bus was a little late and due to peak season, it seemed there was some overbooking by agents which led to a commotion and hence we could only leave by 6:40pm.

It took around 20 mins to hit the Katraj bypass after which it was smooth sailing till the dinner stop. According to my GPS enabled speedometer in the phone, the bus was doing around 85-90km/h (true speed or around 90-95 on the speedometer) constantly. Dinner was somewhere after Satara where other - KSRTC, Vishal and Canara Pinto Volvos, joined us. After a 40min, it was a non-stop drive to Davanagere. The driver it seemed was keeping the bus around the 95km/h mark constantly.

I was dropped off at Davanagere bypass, around 580km from the starting point at 3:45am. The journey took 9hrs including a dinner break. Being a peak season, i had to shell out the whole Pune - Bangalore fare of Rs 1100 (off season Bangalore fare is 900 and Davanagere fare is 800 from Pune). It was an ok ride experience. the problem with KSRTC buses is that they have 11 rows of seats as compared to 10 rows for most long distance operators and hence it becomes difficult for tall people like me to travel long distances.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Flying vs taking a Volvo : tempting cheap air tickets doing the trick

Although Volvo buses have really revolutionized the way we looked at bus travel in India but the fact is cheaper air tickets in the recent past has helped a lot of travelers. If booked in advance, you can almost fly to your destination in under two hours than take an 18 hour Volvo bus ride, that too at less than twice the amount!!

Here is an example. If you book a flight from Mumbai to Bangalore around 12-14 days in advance, you will get a ticket for around Rs 2100 only - source-! Whereas, the fare on a Mumbai to Bangalore Volvo is around Rs 1100 to Rs 1150 nowadays - and this is an 18 hour journey mind you!

So, if you are planning to visit Delhi from Jammu, or Ahmedabad from Pune, or Mangalore from Mumbai, just visit ANY AIR TICKET SITE.

There are good ticketing websites like YATRA, that can really help you arrange your travel in a faster way...


Fatal KPN Volvo B9R crash : the first in India


Here are a few accidents involving Volvo B7R and Mercedes buses that we have shared with you on this blog.

On 5th October, another horrific fatal crash involving the new multi-axle Volvo B9R happened in south India near Dharmapuri.

Picture : : one of the better automotive blogs in India

According to reports, five persons were killed in the collision involving the KPN Volvo and a lorry. The accident took place near Kundalpatti on National Highway 7. The KPN Volvo B9R was on its way to Madurai from Bangalore. The lorry was proceeding to Krishnagiri from Sangagiri.