The Volvo B10M was launched in Australia in 1984, designed as the successor to the original Volvo B58. The heavy duty chassis with its mid positioned 10L engine became an instant hit in the Australian market, utilised for city route, charter and school operations. Many remain in operation today, even after 20 years and millions of kilometres, with a number even taking on second lives and purposes. For example, a Volvo B10M motor home is not a rare sight.
With 21 Volvo B10M’s remaining in their fleet, Forest Coach Lines are no strangers to the much loved vehicle. Still operating today for route and charter services, their oldest vehicle in operation is nearing 30 years old and favoured for the in-frame engine. David Royle Managing Director, Forest Coach Lines has given one Volvo B10M a new life, converting the heavy duty vehicle into a personal motor home.
Port Stephens Coaches is one such operator who has been running the now legendary Volvo B10Ms for more than 30 years. Purchasing their first Volvo B10M in 1985 for route and charter services, the company still has twelve Volvo B10M buses remaining in their fleet.
Chris Fogg Managing Director, Port Stephens Coaches explained the real connection to the Volvo B10M for him and his company is the reliability, cost of operation and great driver acceptance over the years.
Port Stephens were among the last operators in Australia to purchase a Volvo B10M, placing two special orders in 2001 and 2002 due to the model’s looming end of production date.
“We started buying Volvo B10M’s in 1984 as well as purchasing Volvo B6M’s. In 1984, I said to my father we need to buy the heavier duty Volvo B10Ms for the future, and as it turns out for the next 17 years the Volvo B10M was the backbone of our fleet going forward,” said Fogg.
One of these remaining B10Ms has clocked over in excess of two million kilometres on the odometer and continues to deliver for the company.
Another operator in Australia holding onto their Volvo B10Ms is CDC Victoria, who has twenty-nine in their fleet, with the oldest standing at twenty-five years old with more than 1.2 million kilometres on its clock.
Even after more than twenty years of heavy duty operation, CDC saw that a number of their B10Ms still had a number of years left for their wheels to turn. As a result, CDC recently donated one of their Volvo B10Ms to the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) to be utilised in a community outreach program to be launched in Melbourne in September.
“We will be converting the bus at the rear to a mobile shower and an area of computers where people in need can access information and support when required,” said Rebecca Auriant, Director of Adventist Development and Relief Agency.
The bus will also be utilised for a ‘Meals on Wheels’ program, delivering meals to more than 200 people every week. The re-purposed bus can be seen at the Queen Victoria Markets in Melbourne city every Friday night, and on Surrey Road West, Croydon every Thursday.
With a number of on-going community initiative programs, CDC has also converted a number of their own Volvo B10M buses into one-of-a-kind promotional buses designed for a range of community programs including the Positive Bus Behaviour and Ridership initiative that focuses on encouraging and restoring respect for bus drivers through positive engagement.
“The project started in late 2015 and was originally developed as a ‘safe space’ for disengaged and less fortunate youth. Throughout 2016, this unique vehicle was transformed in-house by CDC mechanics into a communal space to engage and connect with different communities – young, old, disadvantaged, or disengaged,” said Michelle Ho McKersey Community Engagement Manager at CDC Victoria.
CDC have also uniquely transformed one of their Volvo B10M buses into a ‘Museum Bus’ designed for display purposes and a small meeting area for guests.
“Not many conferences go by without the topic of the legendary Volvo B10M being raised. It is always nice to hear so many stories about the extremely positive role the legendary Volvo B10M played for so many bus operators across the country,” said Lauren Downs, General Manager Volvo Bus Australia.
“As we celebrate our 90th year of innovation and see a number of new products launched into the market this year, it is the ideal time to highlight that reliability, uptime and durability are nothing new for Volvo Buses and remain today as core pillars of our product design.”
The Volvo B10 M is no longer in production, but modern Volvo buses rolling off our assembly lines today share the same DNA.
For further information, please contact:
Darian Conradie, Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Phone: +61 (2) 8713 8246