Yearly Archives: 2006


Body builders add muscle to Custom Mobile Care

Custom Mobile Care, the mobile support service offered by Custom Coaches, has doubled its fleet with the appointment of Paul and Jorge. With over 55 years of body building experience between them, this dynamic duo are welcome additions to the Sydney field service team.   But don’t be fooled by their smiles, these heavy hitters know their stuff, and are skilled in welding and panelling, as well as electrical and electronics.

Both Paul and Jorge take great pride in making sure their service vans are well looked after.   “You could eat off the floor of Jorge’s van”, joked Paul.   “It’s just a shame he can’t cook.”   It’s this combination of camaraderie and expertise that make Paul and Jorge perfect for Custom Care.

There are increasing demands being placed on today’s bus industry, bringing escalating pressures on operators and their fleets.   That’s where Custom Mobile Care comes in to play.

Operating out of the Smithfield site, each Custom Mobile Care service van is fitted out with all the necessary parts and equipment to complete all service jobs.   So whether it’s a minor repair, a full service, or a refurbishment, the bus industry can now enjoy all the benefits of the additional support and efficiencies offered by an outstanding mobile field service team.

SB30 Midi School Bus Front Engine

Iveco and Custom Coaches jointly launched the new Iveco Euro Midi MC100 chassis with a purpose built SB30 Custom body in Adelaide on 1 st September 2006.

The new SB30 is a front engined midi school bus designed for 43 seat belted passengers.

Various state Governments are calling for seat belted school buses (including the SA Government) and the SB30 launch is well timed to meet these new demands.

“The Iveco Euro Midi chassis is considered one of the safest school buses available”,   according to Steve Heanes from Iveco, “the chassis has front & rear disc brakes, ABS, front and rear air bag suspension with ECAS (Electronically controlled air suspension), front underrun protection, front & rear stabiliser bars”. Read more »

Dynamic Line for Custom Coaches Production

To mark a major investment by Custom Coaches, Minister for Transport John Watkins recently opened a dynamic production line at the bodybuilder’s Smithfield plant.

The introduction of the dynamic line heralds a substantial shift in production processes for Custom Coaches.

Speaking at the launch, Custom Coaches CEO Mark Burgess spoke of the long term investment the company is undertaking.

“Custom Coaches is moving from what was an honorable but older style of production methodology to a more efficient and measurable system,” said Burgess.

“This new production line represents a significant change in the way we build buses. We completed a global benchmarking campaign, where we sought from around the world the best production models,” Burgess added.

The restructuring of production procedures is the first major step in an ongoing improvement program to better meet customer demands. It forms the platform for Custom Coaches to further improve delivery precisions, capacity and quality control.

The dynamic line sees the introduction of more effective production processes with greater compartmentalisation, through designated bays, allowing the concentration of skills and encouraging more ownership in the work.

While guiding clients around the new production facility, Mark Burgess spoke of the importance in this shift of procedures.

“We are proud of our 50 year history, proud of our long standing relationships with clients and proud of the popularity of our vehicles. However, we must continually focus on the on-going demands of our clients,” said Burgess.

This focus has seen an unprecedented investment in product development in recent times. Custom Coaches offers Australia’s most comprehensive DDA compliant vehicle range, from their recently released low floor articulated bus all the way to the wheelchair minibus.

The high capacity CB60 route bus and CB50 lowfloor/luggage compartment combo are also innovative responses to the changing needs of operators.

With focus now shifting to production, Custom Coaches has the long term needs of the industry firmly in its sights.

Once up and running at optimum level it is Custom Coaches intention to introduce the dynamic line in their production plants across Australia, including Adelaide and the Gold Coast.

Minister Watkins congratulated Custom Coaches on its continued support of the NSW bus industry and on winning the recent contract that will deliver 255 natural gas powered buses and 250 diesel buses for Sydney and Newcastle commuters.

“The security of a long term contract such as this, as well as the security provided to the industry through the Metropolitan Bus Service Contracts, has allowed Custom Coaches to invest in the future and build their new production facility,” said Minister Watkins.

“The contract for the new buses will help secure the long term prospects for Custom’s employees and suppliers – and generate new jobs for Western Sydney school leavers,” Minister Watkins added.

Watkins visits Custom Coaches’ new facility

Acting Premier and Minister for Transport John Watkins today toured the new production line at Custom Coaches Western Sydney facility where all of State Transit’s 505 new buses will be built.

Mr Watkins congratulated the Smithfield company on the new facility.

“Custom Coaches won the Iemma Government’s contract for 505-new buses – the biggest ever investment in new buses in NSW history,” Mr Watkins said

“The contract is the biggest investment by any one operator in Australian history, and underpins Custom’s push to develop a more globally competitive bus production facility here in Western Sydney,” he said.

“The security of a long term contract such as this, as well as the security provided to the industry, including bus builders, through the Metropolitan Bus Service Contracts, has allowed Custom Coaches to invest in the future and build their new production facility.

“The contract for the new buses will help secure the long term prospects for Custom’s employees and suppliers – and generate new jobs for Western Sydney school leavers.”

Mr Watkins said the company advised him that some of the benefits of this contract were:

  • Increased apprenticeship opportunities of 10 per year, which means 50 new skilled tradesmen during the contract period;
  • Security of employment for all 185 staff at the company’s Smithfield site; • More than 200 jobs for local sub-suppliers worth more than $70 million;
  • Further increases in capital investment in the Smithfield plant and equipment, on top of the $1 million already committed;
  • Custom Coaches investing in training for approximately 25 people a week and using TAFE courses to enhance skills and qualifications; and
  • Allowing Custom Coaches to increase their commitment to a range of local community service activities including schools, sports teams and charities.

Mr Watkins again congratulated Custom Coaches on winning the contract that will deliver 255 natural gas powered buses and 250 diesel buses for Sydney and Newcastle commuters.