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|Body and chassis|
|Class||Coach and intercity bus chassis|
|Floor type||Step entrance|
|Engine||9.6-litre horizontally mid-mounted I-6
Volvo THD100, THD101, THD102, THD103, THD104, DH10A
|Transmission||Voith DIWA 381.4
Voith DIWA 863.3
ZF 4HP 500
|Wheelbase||4.60, 5.00, 5.50, 6.00, 6.25, 6.50, 7.00 metres|
The Volvo B10M was a mid-engined bus and coach chassis manufactured by Volvo between 1978 and 2003. It succeeded the B58 and was equipped with the same 9.6-litre horizontally mounted Volvo diesel engine mounted under the floor behind the front axle. An articulated version under the model name Volvo B10MA was also offered, as was a semi-integral version known as the C10M, with the engine in the middle of the chassis.
The B10M was one of the best-selling chassis in the United Kingdom throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Having originally been produced only as a coach chassis, the B10M was made available as a bus, in which form it was also very popular.
It was available as B10M-46, B10M-50, B10M-55, B10M-60, B10M-62, B10M-65 and B10M-70, where the number represents the wheelbase in decimetres. Many bodybuilders did however shorten or extend the chassis to fit their needs. No later than 1981 a tri-axle chassis was introduced, available as B10M-50B, B10M-55B, B10M-60B, B10M-65B and B10M-70B, with some bodybuilders extending them up to 7.25 metres wheelbase.
A double-deck version of the B10M was developed for Strathclyde PTE in 1981. It was launched in early 1982, with a downrated engine from the coach, and was named Citybus (also known unofficially as B10MD or D10M). Most early examples were bodied by Alexander Coachbuilders, who provided a modified version - common to all Volvo double-deck chassis bodied by the company after 1980 - of their popular and attractive R type bodywork. Eastern Scottish and Fife Scottish bought many of these early versions in 1985-1987. Two were exported in 1984, one of them to Singapore Bus Service and the other to Kowloon Motor Bus, but was destroyed by fire in 1988. The Citybus lasted until the end of B10M production but fell out of favour after Volvo re-engineered the Leyland Olympian as the Volvo Olympian in 1993.
The B9M was launched in 1982 as a light-weight, stripped-down, budget version of the standard B10M. It was available as B9M-46, B9M-50, B9M-55 and B9M-60. Although technically not a successor to the B57, it found more or less the same place in the markets where it was available. The B9M had the same 9.6-litre engine as the B10M, but at lower outputs. It sold well in the Nordic countries, with the exception of Denmark, where only a few were sold. The model was available at least past 1996.
In the United Kingdom, the B9M-46 was sold as a shorter 9.5 to 9.7 metre version of the B10M from 1985.
B10M-T and B10T
C10M and B10M-C
In 1984, Swiss bodybuilder Ramseier & Jenzer collaborated with Volvo to unveil a semi-integral coach known as the C10M, with the engine in the middle of the chassis. Production of the C10M was ended in 1987, but the position of the engine was still available as an option and became known as B10M-C.
In the 1990s, Stagecoach standardised on the bus version of the B10M as their full-size single decker. Most received Alexander PS bodies but some received Northern Counties Paladin bodywork. Stagecoach also took numerous examples of the coach version with Plaxton's Interurban bodywork and Jonckheere's Modulo bodywork. South Yorkshire Transport and Kelvin Central Buses also purchased large numbers of the type with Alexander PS bodies.
The B10MA articulated variant was of limited popularity among bus operators in the UK. British Caledonian Airways took four in 1988, the next examples sold in Britain were supplied eight years later, with the delivery of four to Ulsterbus. Stagecoach was the biggest customer for the model in the UK, purchasing 18 in the mid- to late-1990s, with the last delivered in 1999.
Singapore Bus Service purchased 977 units between 1988 and 2000, making up a large part of its bus fleet. First delivered in 1988, they were bodied by Duple Metsec and Walter Alexander. It consists of 200 B10M Mark 2s (all de-registered in 2008), 300 B10M Mark 3s (all de-registered in 2012) and 475 B10M Mark 4s (all de-registered in 2015-16 except the 50 Volvo B10M Mark IV DM3500s). Except for the 50 Volvo B10M Mark IV DM3500s, all the B10M Mark IV DM3500s were not extended due to the Low Emission Zone (LEZ Phase II) regulations, and conditions.
A 14.5m B10M Superlong bus bodied by Duple Metsec was purchased in 1995 (UITP Congress 1995) however it was scrapped in 2012.
A 19m B10MA articulated bus bodied by Duple Metsec was also purchased in 1996 and it was called as Asia's Longest Bus however it was sold to Bayes Coachlines in New Zealand. This bus got into an accident in Auckland, New Zealand on 2 February 2015 and it was deregistered, and was making to 19 years lifespan.
For Expo '85 in Tsukuba, Fuji Heavy Industries bodied 100 B10MLs. Seventy-nine were exported to Australia in 1986 with Brisbane Transport, Busways, Grenda's Bus Service, Hornibrook Bus Lines, Invicta Bus Service, Kangaroo Bus Lines, Metro-link Bus Lines, Metropolitan Transit Authority, Premier Roadliners, Sunbury Bus Service and Surfside Buslines purchasing examples.
From 1983 to 1986, a number of B10Ms was built and used in the United States. The American B10M was manufactured mostly in its articulated form (which was purchased by SEPTA, SamTrans, and New Jersey Transit) though a standard length B10M model was made for the RIPTA with one example going to SEPTA as compensation for delays. Canadian production of the B10M articulated under licence to Ontario Bus Industries nearly took place, however it fell through when that company negotiated a more favorable deal with Ikarus Bus.
In Australia, the B10M was purchased by government operators Adelaide Metro, Brisbane Transport and Metro Tasmania, as well as private operators, with large fleets built up in Sydney by Busways and Westbus, and in Melbourne by Grenda Corporation and Sita Buslines.
The articulated version of the B10M (constructed by Saracakis in 1993, 1995 and 1997) was also used in Thessaloniki, Greece by Thessaloniki Urban Transport Organization (ΟΑΣΘ). Later on, they were sold to Astiko Ktel Patron (the transport organization of Patras), and are still (Q3 2015) in use in the city of Patras, Greece. They operate routes connecting the outskirts of Patras to the city center and the city center to the University of Patras in Rion. In 2015, all the Astiko Ktel Patron buses were fitted with GPS tracking systems for use with modern real time bus arrival boards at the bus stops and a mobile application.
The B10M as a single-deck bus was complemented (and was largely replaced) by the low-floor rear-engined B10L and B10BLE chassis in some markets in the late 1990s. In 2001 the B10M was replaced by the B12M, sporting a larger 12.1-litre engine and the engine position of the C10M/B10M-C.
- Volvo B10M at Workington Commercial Motor 13 July 1989
- British B10M makes debut Commercial Motor 28 June 1990
- História - Anos 80 Grupo Volvo no Brasil
- Evolução do Produto - Ônibus Volvo Buses Brasil
- Volvo power for Olympian Commercial Motor 27 February 1992
- Midi Volvo on sale Commercial Motor 24 August 1985
- Shearings builds up Commercial Motor 13 December 1990
- "Tsukuba Expo Volvos in Australia" Australian Bus Panorama issue 6/1 July 1990 pages 3-8
- Bus Fleet Lists Brisbane Transport Buses
- Metro Tasmania Australian Bus Fleet Lists
- Busways Australian Bus Fleet Lists
- CDC Group NSW Australian Bus Fleet Lists
- Ventura Group Australian Bus Fleet Lists
- Sita Bus Lines Australian Bus Fleet Lists
- Volvo B10M Buses & Coaches Omnibus Society of New Zealand
Media related to Volvo B10M at Wikimedia Commons