The Neath based operator runs an all-Volvo fleet but has always opted for second hand coaches until the all-Volvo 9700 proved impossible to resist.
“We just felt this was too good to miss,” explained Managing Director, Andrea Gibson. “It’s a great looking coach which represents excellent value for our investment. We’ve always been very happy with Volvo from a performance point of view and their after sales service is first class. Now we’ve got the wow-factor too!”
The 12.2m Volvo 9700 Prestige Plus is specified with Volvo’s fuel efficient DH12E 12.1 litre engine, rated at 420hp, and I-Shift gearbox combination. The chassis also benefits from independent front suspension, disc brakes and the latest generation of Electronic Braking System, facilitating smooth braking and excellent road holding for a comfortable, safe journey.
In addition, both driver and passengers benefit from the latest safety features including preventative measures such as all round electronic disc brakes and Electronic Stability Programme (ESP); and protective initiatives to minimise injuries like Front Under-run Protection System (FUPS) which prevents a car from becoming wedged under the coach in the event of a frontal collision, Front Impact Protection System (FIPS) and Knee Impact Protection System (KIPS).
Both the driver and the passengers benefit from the 9700’s design. The driveline and vehicle’s handling contribute to a pleasurable overall driving experience and the ergonomic driver’s area has been designed specifically to make the driver’s role more comfortable, easy and enjoyable too.
The coach’s theatre-style, gently sloping floor and large tinted windows provide excellent viewing for all 49 passengers. And with full climate control, toilet, servery and Volvo’s Sound and Vision entertainment package - which includes first class monitors and high quality sound system, every comfort for luxury travel is guaranteed.
“We really felt we were moving into new territory with the new vehicle but Volvo were great,” explained Andrea. “They came down here and provided on-site training so that our drivers felt confident when taking the new coach out – and now they love it.”
The 9700 is used mainly for corporate work, in particular the transport of a number of leading male voice choirs.
“The feedback has been fantastic,” said Andrea. “Customers tell us it’s like travelling in a road based aeroplane! Whether they are following their progress on the satnav or simply enjoying the view that the seating style provides, we’ve had nothing but positive reports. This may be our first new Volvo but I would definitely consider doing this again!”
Family run DJ Thomas was established in 1954. In addition to corporate work, the company handles a range of private hire from sports events and theatre trips to airport transfer and group outings as well as regular contract work for schools, colleges and local authorities.
23rd January 2008
Caption for photograph:
DJ Thomas of West Glamorgan have taken their first brand new coach after more than 50 years of operation – a Volvo 9700 Prestige Plus