Volvo B10M

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Volvo B10M
National Express old livery.jpg
Manufacturer Volvo
Production 1978–2003
Assembly Sweden (1978-2001)
England (1990-2000)
Brazil (1986-2003)
Body and chassis
Class Bus chassis
Body style Single-decker bus
Single-decker articulated bus
Single-decker intercity bus
Double-decker bus
Doors 1, 2 or 3
Floor type Step entrance
Engine 9.6-litre horizontally mid-mounted I-6
Volvo THD100, THD101, THD102, THD103, THD104, DH10A
Capacity 40 to 91 seated
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
Length varies
Height varies
Predecessor Volvo B58
Successor Volvo B12M

The Volvo B10M was a mid-engined city 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.


Stagecoach South Alexander PS bodied B10M in Horsham in September 2008
Preserved Grey-Green Alexander RV bodied Citybus in June 2003
Arriva Medway Towns Northern Counties Palatine bodied Volvo Citybus in schoolbus livery in Cliffe in August 2009
Veolia Transport Custom Coaches bodied B10M MkIII in Sydney in July 2013
Stagecoach New Zealand Motor Bodies VöV bodied B10M

Designed as a successor to the Volvo B58, a large portion of B10M chassis were built in Sweden, but some were built in other countries, like England[1][2] and Brazil.[3][4]

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 city 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.

Citybus (B10MD/D10M)[edit]

A double-decker 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.[5]


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.[6]

B10MT and B10T[edit]

From 1984, a RHD version of the B10M-55B was available as the B10MT, later also B10T.[7]

C10M and B10M-C[edit]

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.

United Kingdom[edit]

Coach operators National Express, Park's of Hamilton, Shearings and Wallace Arnold all purchased large quanties of B10Ms.[8]

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 single-decker bus fleet.

The first 200 Volvo B10M Mark 2s were delivered between March 1988 and April 1989. They were bodied by Duple Metsec and Walter Alexander. Some of them were converted to air-con buses in 1999. 1 bus was sold to New Zealand and 1 bus became "Heritage on the Move" bus in 2002, later was scrapped in January 2006. The remaining 197 buses were all de-registered between 1 March 2007 and 13 May 2008 after all completing 19 years lifespan. Upon de-registration, all of the buses were replaced by Volvo B10M Mark 3s and 4s. These were originally from Bedok North, Ang Mo Kio, Bukit Batok and Hougang bus depots.

The second batch of 300 Volvo B10M Mark 3s were delivered between November 1992 and June 1993. All units were bodied by Duple Metsec and had received mid life refurbishment. They were all retired between November 2009 and June 2012, as most units received a 2 year lifespan extension due to insufficient replacements.

The third batch of 475 Volvo B10M Mark 4s were delivered between June 1995 and December 2000. They were bodied by Duple Metsec and Walter Alexander Strider. As most buses have undergone mid life refurbishment, most buses had their lifespan extended by 2 years due to insufficient replacements. Buses registered from 1997 did not receive a lifespan extension owing to large numbers of replacements being registered. The last 50 units will retire on 25 December 2017.

A 14.5m B10M Superlong tri-axle bus bodied by Duple Metsec was purchased in 1995 (UITP Congress 1995). The bus was retired in October 2012 when it reached the end of its 17 year lifespan.

A 19m B10MA articulated bus bodied by Duple Metsec was also purchased in 1996 and it was called as "Asia's Longest Bus". In 2006, it was sold to Bayes Coachlines in New Zealand.


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.[9]

United States[edit]

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 B10MA articulated bus 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,[10][11] as well as private operators, with large fleets built up in Sydney by Busways and Westbus,[12][13] and in Melbourne by Grenda Corporation and Sita Buslines.[14][15]

Three-axle B10Ms were fitted with high and double decker coach bodies with AAT Kings, Ansett Pioneer, Australian Pacific Tours, Greyhound and Westbus among the buyers.

New Zealand[edit]

In New Zealand, two Volvo B10Ms with VöV bodies built by Coachwork International were ordered by Auckland Regional Council in 1985. These are the only Volvo buses to receive the VoV body.[16]


An articulated B10M in Patras, Greece

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.


  1. ^ Volvo B10M at Workington Commercial Motor 13 July 1989
  2. ^ British B10M makes debut Commercial Motor 28 June 1990
  3. ^ História - Anos 80 Grupo Volvo no Brasil
  4. ^ Evolução do Produto - Ônibus Volvo Buses Brasil
  5. ^ Volvo power for Olympian Commercial Motor 27 February 1992
  6. ^ Midi Volvo on sale Commercial Motor 24 August 1985
  7. ^ "Volvo". Archived from the original on 5 December 2014. 
  8. ^ Shearings builds up Commercial Motor 13 December 1990
  9. ^ "Tsukuba Expo Volvos in Australia" Australian Bus Panorama issue 6/1 July 1990 pages 3-8
  10. ^ Bus Fleet Lists Brisbane Transport Buses
  11. ^ Metro Tasmania Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  12. ^ Busways Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  13. ^ CDC Group NSW Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  14. ^ Ventura Group Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  15. ^ Sita Bus Lines Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  16. ^ Volvo B10M Buses & Coaches Omnibus Society of New Zealand

External links[edit]

Media related to Volvo B10M at Wikimedia Commons