Combination bus

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ZIL-131 shift bus
Tambov OMON units in Nizhny Novgorod with a "truck-bus" on a ZIL-130.

A combination bus, also called a truck bus or shift bus (Russian вахтовый автобус,"вахтовка",Eng."vakhtovka") - is a purpose-built truck with a "passenger container" fulfilling the role of a bus. Such vehicles used to be common in Communist Bloc countries and in developing countries. Alternative combination buses can be a passenger/cargo module/container mounted on a truck chassis or a bus with a large open or closed in cargo area.

Truck buses were mainly used by the military, the police anti-riot units, as school buses, and by state owned companies on short routes for employees.

The concept and functions of combination bus differs significantly from brucks (< bus + truck) used by Great Northern Railway in Montana 1951–1971 as well as from "passenger-freighters" introduced by Western Australian Government Railway in 1949.[1][2] These vehicles were built to combine goods and passenger transport in circumstances where passenger transport was required but couldn't be profitable as such. These approaches are also known in the Nordic countries (as "seka-auto" in Finnish, as "kombibuss" in Norwegian and as "godsbuss" or "skvader" in Swedish). They were used as flatbeds on some countryside routes until the early 1970s.[3] These days they have a closed cargo box with a cantilever tail lift and most of them are built as the Volvo 9700.

Construction[edit]

Combination buses are built by installing a complete box body equipped for transporting people onto a truck chassis. The body is independent and separate from the driver. There is usually no passage between the cab and box body but there is usually an intercom system. The body is equipped with windows, a separate internal lighting and heating and/or air conditioning systems. Related bodies are different types of mobile workshops or specialized military superstructure. Passenger comfort is generally minimal.

Some companies such as Ha'argaz [1] manufacture combination buses by installing a partial bus body on an all-wheel-drive truck chassis.

Usage[edit]

Due to the minimum of comfort provided by the combination bus, they are suitable for transport over short distances only. Specifically, the distribution of workers in large workplaces under the open sky such as a large construction site, agricultural labor, quarries or surface mines. Often these vehicles built on off-road vehicle chassis. These vehicles are also used as police intervention units, commandos and anti-terrorism units.

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