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Custom Bus Closes doors

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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby TA3001 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:01 pm

This is what I wrote at some point in time:

- The bell position for some seats is insanely high. I could only just reach it on one of the new ones the other night whilst standing up to do so, and I'm just under 5'10. I almost yelled out to the driver in lieu of stretching my arm so far to press it.

- The bells don't always work simply by pressing them. You have to make a loud tap noise at times to get them to work. I've seen passengers moving around on multiple occasions trying to find a button that works, particularly on CB80s.

- Their bodies seem to be very prone to rattles, as in not as sturdy as one would expect with developed designs. There is one in the Adelaide hills where a part of the roof rattles loudly.

- The destination display at the front on the left side by the door seems to overhang a bit on the new ones, which can be a bit glary, and they are so insanely bright compared to the dimmer ones on the CB60s which are fine. I'll admit though, the next stop display is dimmer on the inside compared to the CB60s.

- The newest ones seem to have this really stupid bell tone which sounds like that of somebody receiving a text message, albeit with a beep beforehand.

- There is no noise insulation. I'm about 50/50 with this, but it still prevents annoying loud mechanical noises on the 190+ Adelaide has, most of which are K series Scanias.

- Also, I've noticed that the indicators with both the Iveco and Scania versions are much brighter than on any other bus I've seen in Adelaide. I can see them from a kilometre away. Just a strange coincidence I guess....

The security screen is one feature that is an improvement in my opinion, although not all drivers prefer it, and perhaps there should be a way for the driver to lower/adjust it.

Should sum it up.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby Swift » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:20 pm

With cars, the last of a series are usually the best put together. Customs bucked the trend with the CB80.
Maybe it should have been called the CB76.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby PoweredByCNG » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:18 am

All I'll say is this. If you believe that the last of the Custom CB80 bodies rattle badly (which they don't, if my experiences in Sydney last October were anything to go by) or have the most severe flaws then you'll be shock at how badly put together the latest Volgren product is.

Bustech are hardly perfect either, again going by my recent experiences in Sydney.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby TA3001 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:55 am

I don't recall declaring the aforementioned company as being the worst body manufacturer of all time by any means. However, V2 CB80s are unpleasant to catch in my opinion, which is why I do everything I can to minimise time spent on them.

The latest Volgrens may not be perfect, but do they have side desto reflections, a near deafening next stop tone, and almost unreachable next stop buttons?
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby tonyp » Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:56 am

My only problems with Custom buses as a passenger - but significant ones - are the poor seat pitch (at 1.9 metres tall I'm in a good position to judge this, meaning I have to take up two seats in a Custom to spread my knees!) and stairs to the high-floor that are too steep. The latter are a real problem because they deter passengers (particularly elderly or less mobile ones) from moving down to the back, thus leading to overcrowding of the low-floor. If an operator can't bring themselves to order a bus with a fully low (stepless) gangway, then they should at least ensure that they order one where the steps/step heights are minimised. Volgren and Bustech are both good on the seat pitch and step issues, but Bustech spoils it for itself with the centre door step and the window-line issue.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby Swift » Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:08 pm

tonyp wrote: (at 1.9 metres tall I'm in a good position to judge this, meaning I have to take up two seats in a Custom to spread my knees!)

You'd have hated driving the STA Merccedes 0305s then. I used to think the driver's cab was tailored to the shorter half of the population. Any coincidence that a lot of women drivers proliferated when they came out?
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby PoweredByCNG » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:12 pm

TA3001 wrote:The latest Volgrens may not be perfect, but do they have side desto reflections, a near deafening next stop tone, and almost unreachable next stop buttons?


It's what the operator asked for, so that's what they got.

They're called "Custom" Coaches for a reason. The idea is that the customer could specify what they required and the company would build it for them within reason.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby boronia » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:32 pm

Any worthwhile bus manufacturer will alter production to suit the customers' requirements.

The company was originally called Cycle Components Manufacturing Company (CCMC), and when they decided to go into full time bus production they changed the name to match the same initials.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby Swift » Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:22 pm

Yeah, there was nothing particularly custom about them once they got the contract to build the gasipid buses for the STA. They essentially became Ansair's successor.
Volgren have even supplied their late model low entry buses to Punchbowl with split windscreens.
I used to assume the CCMC on the build plate of old Bedford buses stood for Custom Coaches Manufacturing Co. after I had noticed the later fully worded Custom Coaches name plates on others.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby Fleet Lists » Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:31 pm

Swift wrote:Yeah, there was nothing particularly custom about them once they got the contract to build the gasipid buses for the STA. They essentially became Ansair's successor.
.

I think that was as much the fault of the operator as they did not necessarily specify exactly what they wanted but just accepted what was given to them. And certainly not Ansair successor as there were various other body builders which finished the Ansair orders.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby Swift » Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:48 pm

Fleet Lists wrote:
Swift wrote:Yeah, there was nothing particularly custom about them once they got the contract to build the gasipid buses for the STA. They essentially became Ansair's successor.
.

I think that was as much the fault of the operator as they did not necessarily specify exactly what they wanted but just accepted what was given to them. And certainly not Ansair successor as there were various other body builders which finished the Ansair orders.

I grouped Ansair, Austral -Pacific and Phoenix Bus as one in the case of fulfilling the order of buses with the Orana style body.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby tonyp » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:25 am

Here is a photo previously posted on this board of Custom/CCMC as I like to remember them in the good old days - Hunters Hill Bus Co MO 4694, sister of 4644 and 017:

Hunters Hill coaches REO MO-4694.jpg
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby Swift » Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:49 am

My memories with Custom Coaches and Hunters Hill were their Albion Vikings from early 70s and their mid engine Bedford with Allison automatic from 1975, among the last new buses before Ken changed it all in 78.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby TA3001 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:30 am

tonyp wrote:Here is a photo previously posted on this board of Custom/CCMC as I like to remember them in the good old days - Hunters Hill Bus Co MO 4694, sister of 4644 and 017:

Hunters Hill coaches REO MO-4694.jpg


Sorry if this sounds like a stupid question, but what chassis was this body built on?
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby tonyp » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:44 am

TA3001 wrote:
Sorry if this sounds like a stupid question, but what chassis was this body built on?

It's a REO, one of the mainstays for private operators until the 1960s. This one would have been one of the last in Australia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/REO_Motor_Car_Company
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby Swift » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:54 pm

tonyp wrote:

It's a REO, one of the mainstays for private operators until the 1960s. This one would have been one of the last...

It looks like it! That's the most modern looking body I have seen on a local Reo so far.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby TA3001 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:36 pm

Never heard of it, hence why I didn't recognise the logo in the photo. According to Wikipedia, they went out of business in 1967.

Which cities operated buses designed by this company? Were they front or rear engined? And when did they build their last bus?
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby tonyp » Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:15 pm

Reo was a division of General Motors (Oldsmobile was the car) and the chassis and front-mounted engine (petrol) were imported into Australia since I think the 1920s. They also produced truck chassis. Someone else who knows better will have to advise on their distribution through Australia, but they were pretty popular among privates in NSW. They came as normal control, forward control and options of front door in front of or behind the front wheel.

They were supremely nice buses to travel in but a bit underpowered I hear from feedback. Nevertheless they hauled some prodigious loads of people in Sydney. They were commonly bodied by Syd Wood but these last three lovely 1963 examples got CCMC bodies after Syd Wood closed. These three buses (beautifully finished in those days!) had carpet-protected luggage racks above the seats to get school bags etc out of the way.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby boronia » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:04 pm

R E Olds did start the Oldsmobile company which he sold to GM, but REO Motors was a later venture completely independent. In 1957 it was taken over by White and then merged with Diamond-T to give us the Diamond-Reo.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby burrumbus » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:24 pm

boronia wrote:Any worthwhile bus manufacturer will alter production to suit the customers' requirements.

The company was originally called Cycle Components Manufacturing Company (CCMC), and when they decided to go into full time bus production they changed the name to match the same initials.

Around 1955 that occurred Boronia.The first bus customer was none other than Dick Rowe-founder of what is now Busways
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby tonyp » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:50 pm

The builders plates on the above mentioned Reos in the 60s read "Cycle Components Manufacturing Company". I think the CC bit became Custom Coaches in the 70s and the Manufacturing Co bit disappeared in the 80s.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby Swift » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:03 pm

And coaches disappeared once they started doing large STA orders instead of catering to family run concerns.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby Fleet Lists » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:15 am

The coaches disappeared when it changed ownership.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby Tim Williams » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:34 pm

I just like to comment on the small size of the Australian bus market. Thanks to the wonderful table of deliveries the ABC Magazine publishes monthly, here are the most recent figures:

Bus & Coach deliveries January 2018 - 65 units of which 24 were imports. January 2017 - 92 units, I think that year was something of an anomaly as previous January's were more or less like this year. December 2017 - 113 units.
We all know January is normally quiet.

It would be interesting to follow back over the years to see how imports have grown and how much the local production has decreased. I just hope there is sufficient ongoing demand for local vehicles to support the current coach builders, unfortunately probably excluding Custom.
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Re: Custom Bus Closes doors

Postby Swift » Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:50 pm

Losing our bus builders and car makers is a direct result of dropping import tariffs. What a great policy, dropping protection against overseas makers that have an impossible advantage over us in virtual slave labour. Don't our politicians realise that auto workers spend money too? We are are royally screwed once we become a nation importing all our man made things.
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