21/02/2014

Bayside takes delivery of 50th Volvo



by Christina Cortese

Day tourists in Victoria have been receiving a right royal treatment since Bayside Coaches took delivery of its 50th Volvo bus from Volvo Buses Australia. The 5-star coach company commemorated the occasion by decorating the luxury two-door Volvo B9R coach in metallic silver livery, a departure from Bayside’s distinctive blue and white graphics.

Co-owner of Bayside Coaches, Geoff Vickers, says they’ll leave the coach in its special livery for at least 12 months before returning it to the standard fleet colours.

Bayside Coaches commenced operation back in 1995, and has purchased all its new coaches from Volvo Buses Australia, through its long time Victorian dealer CMV Truck and Bus, for the past 15 years. The owners, Geoff Vickers and Andrew Czarnecki, originally supplied coaches to other operators but over the years, the business has expanded to provide school bus and all school charter requirements under the Nuline brand and high quality coaches and drivers for long distance charters, as well as contracting to Trekset Tours and day tour operators, like AAT Kings, under the Bayside brand.

“The 50th silver coach does the odd interstate trip, but its mostly used for day tours out of Melbourne and short-extended tours with senior groups,” Geoff says.

“It’s very much a luxury two-door coach—fully carpeted with leather seats—like our other top end coaches, and we’ve built up a solid demand for luxury coach work.”

In a fleet of 65 coaches and buses, 50 are Volvos bought new from the factory, and 12 of those are B9Rs. The Volvo B9R is built on a robust and dependable 2-axle coach chassis, with a 9-litre rear mounted diesel engine.

“We’ve had heaps of success with the B9Rs. The fuel efficiency and reliability of our 9-litre coaches has been sensational. Their fuel savings are 2–3 litres per 100 km better than the 7-litre coaches,” Geoff says.

Bayside Coaches prefers to buy its new buses and coaches from Volvo Bus Australia because the engines are so reliable and the company delivers excellent service, even when away on the road.

“We prefer to buy from Volvo. We started dealing with Volvo and CMV in 1999, and it’s the only company that we’ve ever bought new buses from,” Geoff says.

“We find the product fantastic, and whenever we’ve had an issue with a product, we find the people fantastic to deal with. It makes all the difference.”

Over the years, Bayside Coaches has developed a close working relationship with Volvo Buses Australia. The company frequently provides feedback on new Volvo products, to improve coaches and buses for Australian operators.

“We have a great relationship with Volvo, so we’re happy to try new products for the coach market and see how they do.”

Bayside’s most recent acquisition is the first 2-axle Volvo B11R, which looks identical to the B9R coach. Geoff says the 11-litre engine should deliver an easier drive and similar fuel economy to the B9Rs. The B11R has been put to work in the day tour operation, and Bayside Coaches will evaluate it over the next month.

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