Noel Matthews, Fleet Manager of Matthews Coach Hire explained, “There are a number of reasons for choosing Volvo products this time, not least because the Volvo name is associated with reliability. When we demonstrated the B12B tri-axle Plaxton Elite it returned excellent fuel figures, along with the outstanding driveability of the I-Shift. The fact that the B9R is lighter and the driveline incorporates the I-Shift will hopefully give us even better fuel returns.”
Noel continued, “Volvo coach products come with competition beating warranty terms – two years, plus third year driveline – and the products benefit from superb support through Volvo’s aftermarket, which, where we are based, means that we can utilise both Irish Commercials and Dennison Commercials.
“A quarter of our 24 vehicle fleet is now Volvo and we will be closely monitoring the six new vehicles’ performances, but from what we have seen from the B12B we are very optimistic for them all.”
The B9Rs are specified with Volvo’s 9.4 litre D9B engine rated at 380hp and I-Shift combination. In a theatre-style configuration, the 57 seats have leather headrests and three-point seat belts, climate control air conditioning, audio/visual system, a seven camera CCTV system, GPS tracking and fleet management system, Wi-Fi capability and are fitted with electronic destination equipment.
Matthews Coach Hire are proud of their 100% safety record. So committed are they to promoting road safety that they were the first operator in Ireland to introduce Alcolock starter inhibiters, which immobilise the vehicle on detection of alcohol, and they are now fitted across their entire fleet.
The Volvo B9R comes with safety as standard, with all round disc brakes, ABS with ASR and their latest generation of Electronic Braking System incorporates Hill Start Aid, Emergency Braking Assistance and Brake Blending, whilst Volvo’s VR3250 compact retarder offers very powerful auxiliary braking, resulting in considerably reduced brake wear too.
James Hyde, Regional Coach Sales Manager commented, “We’re delighted to have our first B9Rs in operation in Ireland. The product has obvious benefits such as the weight advantage and the clean and efficient driveline, making it a versatile option for operators for a number of applications.”
Matthews Coach Hire was founded in 1995 by Paddy and Mary Matthews and remains family owned and operated by them, their three sons – Noel, Paddy Jnr and Gerard – and a team of 45 employees. The company specialises in private hire, daily commuter services and their own tour programme throughout Ireland and Europe.
Caption for photograph:
Matthews Coach Hire have taken five Volvo B9R coaches with Plaxton Panther bodywork.
17th August 2009