With a 19 strong fleet made up entirely of Volvo coaches, Dudley’s are no strangers to the Volvo chassis, but this purchase marks their first ever 9700 Prestige Plus.
“When we decided to purchase a new vehicle it was always the 9700 Prestige Plus we wanted, so we were delighted to secure the coach, but to then go on and win the Volvo Trophy was a tremendous honour,” explained Dudley’s Owner Chris Dudley.
The Volvo Trophy award is presented annually to the top all round vehicle supplied by Volvo Coach Sales. This year it was presented to Dudley’s at the recent 56th UK Coach Rally at the East of England Showground, Peterborough.
Dudley’s can trace its origins back to 1954 when current owner Chris Dudley’s father Henry ‘Ernie’ Dudley purchased his first vehicle for use on a school contract. Having gone through numerous changes, acquisitions and transformations over the years, today the business continues with a range of school contracts, as well as private hire trips and tours.
The company’s new 12.3 metre coach is specified with a Volvo DH12E 420hp engine, stainless steel exhaust and Volvo I-Shift transmission. There are 51 TS2000 Comfort Plus superior reclining seats, with leather headrests, cushion adjustment, three point seat belts and seatback tables.
It has an 8 cubic metre luggage capacity and aircraft style luggage racks. Other features include retractable 17” front and 15” rear TFT monitors and internal LED floor lighting. The top of the range vehicle is also specified with inbuilt GPS satellite navigation and reversing camera, as well as handy individual passenger and driver sound selection settings.
“I’ve driven the coach and been a passenger,” continued Chris Dudley “and I have to say the ride quality is superb. We like the theatre style sloping floor, as it provides the passengers with better all round vision, which is obviously important for a vehicle being used on private hire tours”.
Utilising the traditional company vehicle livery of green/cream the new coach has been named ‘Tanworth Tourer 2’. “We try to name all of our vehicles using the names of nearby villages,” explained Chris Dudley. “However, this one is particularly special to me as Tanworth is where my father ‘Ernie’ Dudley was born”.
Having already been abroad in its short operational life and having received some excellent passenger feedback, as well as the Volvo Trophy, Dudley’s new 9700 Prestige Plus is proving to be an instant success.
“We have an excellent, long standing relationship with Dudley’s Coaches and its testament to them that after having purchased a lovely new 9700 Prestige Plus that they were able to go on and win the prestigious Volvo Trophy,” explained David Stevenson, Volvo Bus Area Coach Sales Manager.
Caption Image: Dudley’s Coaches of Radford in Worcestershire has secured the prestigious Volvo Trophy for their brand new Volvo 9700 Prestige Plus Coach.