Monthly Archives: January 2007

Year of the Product Range, 2007

The recent delivery of the CB60 Evo II Artic to Forest Coach Lines marks a new stage in product delivery for Custom Coaches.

2007 sees further developments to the body builder’s already extensive range of products and service offerings.

At the delivery of the latest CB60 Evo II artic, Custom Coaches’ Marketing Director, Stephen Jackson, spoke of the positive times ahead.

“2007 looks promising for the NSW industry. We are committed to providing a comprehensive range of vehicles and services that support the growing operational certainty the reform processes are bringing to NSW”, Jackson stated.

We have been working hard to improve production processes, with the new dynamic line at our Smithfield plant bringing substantial improvements to product quality and output.

Led by Custom Coaches’ new National Production Manager, John Goode, the dynamic line encompasses new manufacturing methods, faster build times and enhanced production quality. In fact the Smithfield plant has recently increased production output by 25% providing a substantial increase in capacity for the NSW market.

The range

Custom Coaches is proud to offer the NSW industry the most comprehensive vehicle range available. From mass transit solutions, such as the new CB60 Evo II, to the recently introduced SB30 midi school bus, Custom Coaches provides unrivalled diversity for today’s bus operator.

Custom Coaches’ 2007 vehicle range incorporates the following DDA compliant vehicles:

  • CB60 Evo II low floor rigid and artic;
  • CB50 HCL low floor with luggage bins;
  • CB30 low floor midi; and
  • CB20 low floor mini.

School vehicles include:

  • SB40 flat screen model;
  • SB400 luxury series; and
  • SB30 Midi.

In addition to their extensive product line, it is pertinent to note that the team at Custom Coaches build with both stainless and galvanised steel on a long list of chassis, including MAN, Scania, Volvo, Daimler-Chrysler, Asia Motors, Iveco, Denning and Hino, both for diesel and CNG applications.

The CB60 Evo II is the most recent addition to the product range, with the Volvo artic operated by Forest Coach Lines the latest example. The Evo II carries over all of the favoured design features of its predecessor, including outstanding driver visibility, plus vehicle serviceability, with hinged and removable panels inside and out. Finished in a contemporary design, the Evo II brings improved finish and functionality, with more passenger space, enhanced interior ducting and lighting, new lightweight components and practical rear section.

Also in the 2007 line-up is the CB50 HCL. It’s an innovative solution, providing operators with a high capacity DDA compliant wheelchair accessible route bus, with underfloor luggage capacity for charter work.

“Awarded Bus of the show in 2004, the CB50 HCL has proved popular amongst our regional operators requiring a flexible solution for their town, school and charter requirements”, Jackson added.

Going down in size, but not substance is Custom Coaches low floor CB30 midibus, providing wheelchair accessible transport in an attractive and cost effective package.

Jackson stated that the real beauty of the CB30 lies in its versatility and practicality. “While offering all the features of a big bus, the midi stands alone when it comes to restrictive traffic conditions, such as tight streets and traffic calming devises, plus has the added benefit of low fuel economy”.

Finishing off the list of low floors is the CB20, a unique wheelchair accessible 8.5m minibus designed with 29 seats plus one wheelchair, built to last from stainless steel and fibreglass.

Complimenting their low floor vehicles, Custom Coaches is also offering the most diverse school bus range in the marketplace. The multipurpose SB40 bus body is ideal for operators that need to cover a number of applications, without compromising on quality. The body is designed for the operator in mind, with large service hatches, removable panels for easy access and flat windscreens.

The SB400, is the prestige version of the popular school bus, with an eye catching coach style exterior and a range of quality features.

While the new SB30 Midi school bus is designed for 39 passengers with a front engine chassis. The features include large rear boot, seat belted seating with wide aisle and air conditioning.

“We are proud of our product range. It represents Custom Coaches’ commitment to an industry we have served for over 50 years.”

“It is our investment in the future of the industry – our contribution to strengthen the industry”, Jackson added.

Custom Coaches understands that today’s operators don’t always need one type of bus. By listening to their long-standing clients, the body builder has ensured there are particular vehicles to meet particular needs.

“It is not about economics, as it would no doubt be more cost effective for us to build one type of bus and try and convince operators into operating that vehicle. We value our customers and in return for their loyalty we want to offer them specific vehicles for specific applications” added Jackson.

The benefits

“It is encouraging to hear that many of our clients appreciate the diverse approach we have taken. They benefit from having one point of contact for their entire vehicle needs. One body builder, one after sales service channel and one parts supplier.”

“For example Norm Stott continues to support the NSW bus industry with over 40 years of knowledge and experience. When it comes to body building you have to go a long way to beat Norm’s experience and integrity.”

“The benefit of our mobile service team providing onsite support has also been a welcome addition to our Custom Care after-sales network. With time becoming more and more scarce, operators are finding that supply and service continuity both reassuring and time rewarding”, said Stephen Jackson.

Whilst not all orders are for mass transit vehicles like the CB60 Evo II artic, all Custom Coaches models benefit from the extensive research and development that have gone into these high-end vehicles.

“Even a basic school bus benefits from our commitment to engineering and construction. What other school bus has the backing of a 490 nationwide workforce, with a dedicated team of design engineers and support staff.”

“Advancements in composite materials and building practices see their way through the entire Custom Coaches range” added Jackson.

To support such a diverse product range is a similarly extensive network of production and service centres located across Australia. One may expect Custom Coaches’ Smithfield site, housing manufacturing and after-sales service, to be ideally placed to meet the needs of NSW operators, however, what might not be so well known is the additional support other sites provide, particularly the Gold Coast plant, offering direct service to northern NSW operators.

“None of this is possible without the effort of over 490 staff, many of whom have been part of the team for over three decades. On behalf of everyone at Custom Coaches, from the factory floor to the familiar voices over the phone, I would like to offer our total commitment to the challenges that lie ahead and wish the NSW bus industry a prosperous 2007”, Stephen Jackson concluded.