FAW Truck Manufacturers South Africa and Busmark have developed a bus that will provide a low cost of operation combined with a comfortable and safe ride for commuters.
Brian Joss – Since the opening of its Coega-based plant in 2014 FAW SA which has been in the country for 20 years has been racking up numerous records. With an investment cost in excess of $100 million for establishing the production plant, the body-building facility, and training and skilling employees, the company has become respected locally as a leading automotive company which can rightly claim – Built in South Africa, for Africa.
The new 33-seater bus from FAW is built on the same chassis and uses the same drivetrain as FAW’s proven 8.140FL range which has been their best-selling range of trucks, in 2015 and 2016.
The parallel chassis frame and smooth top flange chassis construction have a distinct low-weight advantage, especially when mounting a steel sub-frame bus body. The locally built chassis passes through a special paint station to enhance the chassis’ dust and dirt endurance and longevity – a unique South African addition.
The suspension is of the straight ladder-type with semi-elliptical leaf springs, together with front double acting shock absorbers and rear auxiliary springs – all contributing to driver and passenger comfort.
The pedigreed chassis and drivetrain of the 33-seater commuter bus starts at the powerhouse Euro 3 Cummins ISF 3,8-litre engine.
The ZF 6 S 500 TO Ecoline six-speed manual gearbox is a great match to the engine as it provides the transfer of power to the road, adding easy driveability and full driver control.
Torque is a healthy 450N.m at between 1 200 and 2 200rpm, while a solid output of 105kW is on tap at 2 600rpm.
For more than 40 years, Busmark has been supplying a comprehensive range of top-quality, price-competitive buses, bus services and products to the southern African market and beyond.
To date, more than 7 500 buses have rolled off their production lines, each manufactured to comply with and exceed the highest international quality and safety standards.
Busmark’s ISO-certified production facilities in Johannesburg and the Western Cape produce a combined 80 units a month for right- and left hand drive markets using more than 80% local content (independently verified) for bodywork on all their buses.
Busmark is the preferred body builder for many of the major automotive manufacturers in South Africa. Their vehicles are designed and manufactured to specification ranging from economy units for short commuting buses including inner-city Rapid Bus Transport to luxury units for long distance travel.
The windows include the panoramic windscreen which is of tinted, laminated safety glass, while the side windows are tinted, toughened safety glass set in sliding type front to back aluminium frames.
Busmark provides as standard fitment, a number of comfort features such as a handrail the length of the bus and LED strip lights and illuminated entrance steps.
For passenger convenience there are easily accessible parcel shelves in vinyl. The floor is covered with a durable PVC-based flexible sheeting designed for critical high wear applications. This flooring is of a non-slip variety adding to commuter safety and all seams are ‘welded’ to stop ingress of water.
The individual seats are of steel tubular construction which is powder-coated, combined with split-back vinyl seats. A further addition is the lap-type safety belts on all seats encouraging safety on the FAW bus.
The FAW drivetrain and chassis warranty is 2 years/200 000 kilometres, with on-road service intervals at 15 000km and off-road service intervals at 10 000kms.