Volvo B10M-60 (Mark IV)

Volvo B10M Mark IV
SBST Volvo B10M MkIV
SBST Volvo B10M MkIV (Strider)
Manufacturer Volvo Buses
Bodywork PSV International
Duple Metsec
Walter Alexander
Years in Operation 1995 – Present
Operators SBS Transit
Technical Data
Length 12 metre
Engine Volvo THD101GD
Volvo THD102KF
Transmission Voith DIWA 851.2
ZF 4HP 500
Accessibility High Floor
Emission Standard Euro I

The Volvo B10M-60 Mark IV is a mid-engined single-deck city bus built by Volvo Buses, as part of the Volvo B10M line of bus chassis. Commonly referred to as the “Mark 4”, it is the successor of the Volvo B58. The popular chassis also entered service around the world, notably in the United Kingdom, Australia and Singapore over multiple variants.

Singapore Bus Service (SBS) acquired 475 of such buses between 1994 and 1997, with four different variants of bodywork, namely the PSV, Duple Metsec, Walter Alexander ‘Strider’ and Duple Metsec ‘DM3500’. In addition, SBS trialled two demonstrators of this model in extended lengths, No further purchases of the Superlong and Articulated versions were made.

In addition, SBS trialled two demonstrators of this model in extended lengths, a 14.5-metre tri-axle ‘Superlong’ variant and a 19-metre Articulated variant. No further purchases of the Superlong and Articulated versions were made.

Design:

The Volvo B10M chassis was manufactured by Volvo between 1978 and 2003 as the successor of the Volvo B58. Initially offered as a coach chassis, it was later also offered as a city bus. Both variants of the chassis were very popular. 

The main design feature is the horizontally mounted 9.6-litre Volvo diesel engine just behind the front axles. Chassis were sold in a variety of wheelbase lengths, and both tri-axle and articulated (B10MA) variant were also produced.


Volvo B10M Mark IV – PSV / Soon Chow (SBS8019X – SBS8028U & PA-plated buses):

In 1993, Singapore Bus Service (SBS) acquired 20 units of the Volvo B10M Mark IV for their charter subsidiary, SBS Leisure. Registered as private buses (SH-plate), they were initially deployed on shuttle bus services to Sentosa Island, bearing yellow and green liveries and a Mobitec Flip-dot Electronic Display Signage (EDS).

The bodywork was supplied by PSV International and assembled by local bus bodybuilder Soon Chow Workshop Pte Ltd. Later on, 10 of these buses would be transferred into the SBS fleet, registered as SBS8019X – SBS8028U.

Basic Technical Specifications
Engine Volvo THD102KF, 9603 cc  (mid-mounted)
Power rating of 245 hp (180 kW) @ 2200 rpm
Torque rating of 1050 Nm @ 1250 rpm
Transmission Voith DIWA 851.2 gearbox, three-speed automatic
Bodywork PSV International Bodywork
Complete Knock-Down (CKD) kits supplied by PSV International and assembled locally by Soon Chow Workshop Pte Ltd.
EDS Mobitec Electronic Display Signage (EDS)
Green Flip-dot type, removed before entering SBS Transit fleet
Capacity 50 Seating + 32 Standing = 82 total

SBS Transit operations:

SBS Leisure operated the Sentosa shuttle routes with the Volvo B10M Mark IV (PSV / Soon Chow) buses until their contract with Sentosa terminated in 2004. Faced with an excess of buses, ten of these buses were re-registered as SBS8019X – SBS8028U, continuing in numerical order after the Dennis Darts. Their EDS units were removed, and re-stickered with the with normal SBS Transit livery and entered revenue service with plastic route destination plates.

SBST Volvo B10M MkIV "Soon Chow" (SBS8025C) - Training Bus
SBST Volvo B10M MkIV “Soon Chow” (SBS8025C) – Training Bus

While SBS8024E and SBS8025C were converted to training buses for Hougang Depot, the remaining eight PSV Mark IVs spent the remainder of their lifespan on Service 78 under Soon Lee Depot. With the entire fleet deployed on Service 78 on a regular basis, special deployments of these buses to other bus services were sought after by bus enthusiasts.

Nearing their 15-year lifespan, some PSV MkIVs received a refurbishment to extend their lifespan by two years, including the two training buses in Hougang Depot. Existing dark blue & green seat covers were replaced with either red & green seat covers (older design) or yellow & green ones (newer design), and the plastic air-conditioning ducts were changed from dark blue to purple. The last of these buses retired in 2011.

Private operations:

The remaining 10 Volvo B10M Mark IV (PSV / Soon Chow) buses continued service with SBS Leisure, having returned to their red-white SBS Leisure livery. They were also re-registered as PA-plated buses rather than SH-plated buses. 

Seven units were later sold to A&S Transport Pte. Ltd., a private bus operator. They were scrapped in around Year 2015.


Volvo B10M Mark IV – Duple Metsec (SBS882Y – SBS996C)

In 1995, Singapore Bus Services (SBS) further purchased another 115 units of the Volvo B10M Mark IV. Registered as SBS882Y – SBS996C between Aug 1994 and Apr 1996, they were in direct numerical continuation after the Volvo B10M Mark III. These batch of buses come in two engine and two gearbox variants.

Basic Technical Specifications
Engine (1) Volvo THD102KF, 9603 cc  [107 units] Power/ Torque rating of 245 hp (180 kW) @ 2200 rpm / 1050 Nm @ 1250 rpm
Engine (2) Volvo THD101GD, 9600 cc  [8 units] Power/ Torque rating of 273 hp (204 kW) @ 2200 rpm / 1040 Nm @ 1400 rpm
Transmission ZF Ecomat 4HP 500 gearbox, four-speed automatic [100 units]
Voith DIWA 851.2
 gearbox, three-speed automatic [15 units]
Bodywork Duple Metsec Bodywork
Complete Knock-Down (CKD) kits supplied by Duple Metsec and assembled locally by SBS Engineering Pte Ltd.
Capacity 48 Seating + 40 Standing = 88 total
SBST Volvo B10M MkIV DM (SBS882Y) – Service 66
SBST Volvo B10M MkIV DM (SBS882Y) – Service 66

The Volvo B10M MkIV (DM) was part of a large fleet-wide expansion and renewal scheme by SBS. An improvement over the Mark III, most of these buses were fitted with the 245bhp Volvo THD102KF inter-cooled engines, meeting the Euro 1 emission regulations set by the European Union. A small number was fitted with the older 276bhp Volvo THD101GD engine, which was not inter-cooled.

The radiator of the bus was moved from the front to the side, just before the front wheel arch. This made it a distinguishing feature of the model. 

Some Volvo B10M MkIV (DM) buses received a refurbishment to extend their lifespan by two years. Existing dark blue & green seat covers were replaced with yellow & green ones, and the plastic air-conditioning ducts were changed from dark blue to purple. The last of 5 units of these buses (SBS992M – SBS996C) retired on 17 Apr 2015.

Additional features:

Some MarkIV DMs were fitted with external advertising boards, such as SBS885P, SBS896H, SBS906M, SBS919B, SBS921T and SBS957R. Known as “Skyliners”, they pop out of the bus and charge special advertising rates. These mobile billboards are maintained by Moove Media, the advertising arm of ComfortDelGro Corporation, SBS Transit’s parent company.

In addition, SBS910A has a modified seating configuration, with a long side-facing seat for three people at the nearside of the bus, in place of two front-facing seats for four people. An advantage of this design is more legroom for commuters, as the Mark IV DM has notoriously small legroom for some seats. SBS984L has grills on the offside of the bus, unlike most Mark IVs which have them on the nearside.

  • Buses with Volvo THD101GD: [8 units] SBS883U, SBS885P, SBS887J – SBS889D, SBS894M, SBS903X – SBS904T
  • Buses with Volvo THD102KF: [107 units] SBS882Y, SBS884S, SBS886L, SBS890Z, SBS891X – SBS893R, SBS895K – SBS902Z, SBS905R – SBS906M, SBS907K – SBS996C
    ——————————————————————-
  • Buses with Voith DIWA 381.4 gearbox [15 units] SBS883U – SBS889D, SBS891X – SBS894M, SBS903X – SBS906M
  • Buses with ZF 4HP 500 gearbox [100 units] SBS882Y, SBS890Z, SBS895K – SBS902Z, SBS907K – SBS996C

Volvo B10M Mark IV – Walter Alexander Strider (SBS1896B – SBS1999M, SBS2593T – SBS2688D)

In 1995, Singapore Bus Services (SBS) further purchased another 150 units of the Volvo B10M Mark IV. Registered as SBS1896B – SBS1999M, they were a direct continuation of the Volvo B10M Mark III. The remaining buses were registered as SBS2593T – SBS2688D, a numerical continuation after the Mercedes-Benz O305s. Buses were registered from 26 October 1995 to 24 Feburary 1997.

Basic Technical Specifications
Engine Volvo THD102KF, 9603 cc  (mid-mounted)
Power rating of 245 hp (180 kW) @ 2200 rpm
Torque rating of 1050 Nm @ 1250 rpm
Transmission ZF Ecomat 4HP 500 gearbox, three-speed automatic
Bodywork Walter Alexander AF-type Bodywork
Complete Knock-Down (CKD) kits supplied by Walter Alexander Coachbuilders of Scotland and assembled locally by SBS Engineering Pte Ltd.
Capacity 48 Seating + 36 Standing = 84 total
SBS Transit Volvo B10M MkIV Strider (SBS2601D) - Chinatown Direct CT18
SBS Transit Volvo B10M MkIV Strider (SBS2601D) – Chinatown Direct CT18

The iconic AF-type “Strider” bodywork earned them the popular nickname “Striders“. The difference in registration numbers do not represent a different batch; SBS simply did not want to continue the registration after 1999M in conflict with their retired Albion Vikings and OF1413 using the numbers in the past.

Due their high seating capacity, these buses were a popular choice for Premium service deployments, where standing is prohibited, or for Basic-Plus services, where most passengers would prefer a seat for long journeys.

Some Volvo B10M MkIV (Strider) buses received a refurbishment to extend their lifespan by two years. Existing dark blue & green seat covers were replaced with yellow & green ones, and the plastic air-conditioning ducts were changed from dark blue to purple. The last of of these buses retired in August 2016.

Additional features:

Some MkIV Striders were fitted with external advertising boards, such as SBS1908B, SBS1985C, SBS1988U, SBS2608K and SBS2619D. Known as “skyliners”, they pop out of the bus and charge special advertising rates. These mobile billboards are maintained by Moove Media, the advertising arm of ComfortDelGro Corporation, SBS Transit’s parent company.

In addition, SBS1973L had CCTV cameras installed at the rear for safer reversing, and SBS2652G had solar panels installed on the roof. SBS1992G was sold to National Library Board and converted to a mobile library nicknamed “Molly”, registered as XD5296A. Pictures are attached at the bottom of this article.

The last four registered Striders, SBS2685L to SBS2688D, were JB-registered to replace the retiring Volvo B10M MkIIIs on cross-border routes.


Volvo B10M Mark IV – Duple Metsec DM3500 (SBS2689B – SBS2838M)

In 1996, Singapore Bus Services (SBS) purchased 150 more units in its final batch of the Volvo B10M Mark IV orders. Registered as SBS2689B – SBS2838M from 12 August 1997 to 26 December 2000, they were a direct continuation of the Volvo B10M Mark IV Striders.

Basic Technical Specifications
Engine Volvo THD102KF, 9603 cc  (mid-mounted)
Power rating of 245 hp (180 kW) @ 2200 rpm
Torque rating of 1050 Nm @ 1250 rpm
Transmission Voith DIWA 851.3 gearbox, three-speed automatic
Bodywork Duple Metsec DM3500 Bodywork
Complete Knock-Down (CKD) kits supplied by Duple Metsec of UK and assembled locally by SBS Engineering Pte Ltd.
Capacity 46 Seating + 41 Standing = 87 total
SBS Transit Volvo B10M Mark IV DM3500 (SBS2748P) - Service 160
SBS Transit Volvo B10M Mark IV DM3500 (SBS2748P) – Service 160

The last batch of Volvo B10M MkIV buses were supplied with bodywork from Duple Metsec of the DM3500 make. It was also the only local Volvo B10M type to not feature an emergency exit at the rear. Registration of these buses also took unusually long; the first 100 buses were registered between 12 August 1997 to 21 October 1999, while the last 50 buses were registered on 26 December 2000.

Due their high seating capacity, these buses were a popular choice for Premium service deployments, where standing is prohibited, or for Basic-Plus services, where most passengers would prefer a seat for long journeys.

Volvo B10M MkIV (DM3500) buses received a refurbishment to extend their lifespan by two years. Existing red & green seat covers were replaced with yellow & green ones, and the plastic air-conditioning ducts were changed from dark blue to purple. The last of these buses retired in December 2017.

Additional features:

Some MkIV DM3500s were fitted with external advertising boards, such as SBS2691T, SBS2722M and SBS2826Y Known as “skyliners”, they pop out of the bus and charge special advertising rates. These mobile billboards are maintained by Moove Media, the advertising arm of ComfortDelGro Corporation, SBS Transit’s parent company.

In addition, SBS2754X had out-swinging plug doors for the exit doors, instead of the traditional in-swinging leaf doors. SBS2779A was equipped with an orange Transit Media Electronic Display Signage (EDS), which was removed sometime in 2010.

75 buses of this batch were SPAD-registered in 2011 to replace the retiring Volvo B10M MkIIIs buses on cross-border routes. They have since been replaced by SPAD-registered Scania K230UBs in 2014.

Two DM3500s also had complete interior makeovers. These ‘concept buses’ were fully refurbished with special interior layouts as part of long-term advertising. SBS2696E was converted into Nokia Music Mobile buses, with side facing seats, armchairs and a mock-up bar (SBS2779A and SBS2812L only bore the advert). SBS2837R was converted into a HP concept bus featuring seats with headrests, and various HP products displayed in the interior. 


Volvo B10M-60 Mark IV
Registration Engine Gearbox Introduced Retired Bodywork
SBS8019X – SBS8028U Volvo THD102KF Voith DIWA 381.4 1993 2011 PSV International
SBS882Y – SBS996C Volvo THD101GD (8),
Volvo THD102KF (107)
Voith DIWA 381.4 (15),
ZF 4HP 500 (100)
1994-1996 2015 Duple Metsec
SBS1896B – SBS1999M; SBS2593T – SBS2688D Volvo THD102KF ZF 4HP 500 1995-1997 2015 Walter Alexander Strider
SBS2689B – SBS2838M Voith DIWA 863.3 1996-1997 Duple Metsec DM3500
Volvo B10M-70 Mark IV
SBS997A Volvo THD102KF ZF 4HP 590 1995 2012 Duple Metsec
Volvo B10MA-60 Mark IV (Articulated)
SBS998Y Volvo THD102KF ZF 4HP 590 1996 2006 Duple Metsec

Additional section: Volvo B10M-70 Mark IV – Duple Metsec Superlong 14.5m (SBS997A)

In 1995, with the delivery of Volvo B10Ms under way, SBS also introduced a three-axle version of the same chassis. Registered on 14 Oct 1995 as SBS997A, it was 14.5 metres long, the longest rigid bus in Singapore.

SBST Volvo MkIV Superlong – Service 83

Like its other Mark IV cousins, the bus was fitted with the similar 245hp Volvo THD102KF engine, but coupled to a ZF 4HP 590 gearbox. The bodywork was built by Duple Metsec, arranged for 62 seated and 48 standing passengers. It was unique in having a tapered rear end which reduced risk of accident while turning around corners. As such, the rear row was reduced to four seats across. At introduction, the bus was equipped with an Electronic Display Signage (EDS) from Mobitec, of the green flip-dot kind.

The bus made its debut on 19th October 1995, operating on Service 76 on a six-month trial which also covered Servces 107 and 174. The bus was later retained and settled on Service 62 for much of its lifespan, before being redeployed to Service 83 for its last few years. The bus was de-registered on 13 October 2012, scrapped after its 17-year lifespan.


Additional section: Volvo B10MA-60 Mark IV – Duple Metsec Articulated (SBS998Y)

Following SBS997A, SBS introduced another Volvo B10M demonstrator, now even longer. Registered on 02 Apr 1996 as SBS998Y, the 19-metre long articulated bus was labelled as ‘Asia’s Longest Bus’.

Like its other Mark IV cousins, the bus was fitted with the similar 245hp Volvo THD102KF engine, but coupled to a ZF 4HP 590 gearbox. The bodywork was built by Duple Metsec, arranged for 54 seated and 93 standing passengers. Like SBS997A, the bus had a tapered rear end which reduced risk of accident while turning around corners. As such, the rear row was reduced to four seats across. Like SBS997A, the bus was equipped with flip-dot EDS from Mobitec.

SBS998Y was a trailer bendy, meaning that the mid-underfloor engine delivered driving power to the middle axle, and not the rear axle as most commonly used most articulated buses in Singapore (especially the Mercedes-Benz O405G pusher bendy). With the rear axle available for steering, the trailer section could more closely follow the front section while turning; however, this design had its flaws. Like all trailer bendies, SBS998Y was very difficult to reverse park and had to have special easily-accessible parking lots drawn out for the bus at interchanges. It remains today as the only trailer bendy to be deployed in Singapore.

Throughout its lifespan, the bus was delegated to Bedok North Depot, serving Services 18 and 290. It was de-registered and sold to Bayes Coachlines (New Zealand) in 2006, with SBS Transit’s other bendy, SBS999U.


Gallery:

NLB Mobile Library “Molly” – Offside
NLB Mobile Library “Molly” – Rear

SBS2754X – Plug exit doors

External Links & References:

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