Dennis Lance

Dennis Lance
SMRT UMW-Dennis Lance 245
SMRT UMW-Dennis Lance
Manufacturer Dennis Specialist Vehicles
UMW-Dennis Malaysia
Bodywork Duple Metsec
Volgren
Years in operation 1998 – 2018
Former Operators Strides Transportation (formerly Bus-Plus)
SMRT Buses
Technical Data
Length 11.7 metre
Engine Cummins 6CT
Transmission ZF Ecomat 4HP 500
Accessibility High Floor
Emission Standard Euro II

The Dennis Lance is a rear-engined single-decker transit bus built by Dennis Specialist Vehicles. Like other Dennis buses, the chassis was manufactured in the UK, and available in high-floor or low-floor versions.

Trans-Island Bus Services (TIBS) acquired 72 of such buses between 1998 and 2000, in two different bodywork options. Some of these buses in the earlier batch were diverted to City Shuttle Service (CSS) or Strides Transportation Pte. Ltd., a wholly-owned bus chartering subsidiary of SMRT formerly known as Bus-Plus.

Technical Specifications:

The Dennis Lance was produced between 1991-2000. It was conceived as an economical full-size single-deck bus chassis, and the replacement for the Dennis Falcon, which ceased production in 1993. The Lance was first unveiled at the 1991 Coach & Bus Show, featuring a longitudinally-mounted 6-cylinder Cummins 6CT diesel engine and ZF Ecomat transmission. While the chassis featured a low floor line, it was still a step entry bus, until the low-floor Dennis Lance SLF was offered in 1993.

The Lance was available with several bodywork options, most commonly the Alexander PS-type from Walter Alexander and the Plaxton Verde from Plaxton, though several were bodied by Northern Counties.

Apart from domestic orders in the United Kingdom, the Lance was also exported to Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Poland, and Singapore. UMW-Dennis also built a number of Lance chassis (known as the UMW-Dennis Lance) in Malaysia for the South-east Asian market. The

All Dennis Lance buses in Singapore were retired by 2018.


UMW-Dennis Lance Malaysia (Duple Metsec)
(TIB906U – TIB946D, TIB1257C, PA-Plated)

Starting in 1995, the Malaysian company UMW Corporation entered a joint venture with Dennis Specialist Vehicles of the UK, to manufacture and assemble Dennis vehicles in Malaysia. Dennis Lance buses were procured by local bus companies, but due to overproduction, TIBS was able to acquire UMW-Dennis-manufactured Lances at a cheaper price, and a total of 52 chassis were bought.

Between 1998 and 1999, Trans-Island Bus Services (TIBS) took delivery of 50 UMW-Dennis Lances with the Duple Metsec bodywork (the remaining two, with Volgren bodywork and covered later). They were registered between 26 Oct 1998 and 17 Mar 1999 as TIB906U – TIB946D, with some CSS-plated and PA-plated variants.

Among these 50 buses, 6 were delivered with 211 hp engines, and 44 were delivered with 245hp engines (hereinafter called Dennis Lance 211 and Dennis Lance 245 respectively). All initially used plastic destination plates and later upgraded to flip-dot Electronic Display Signages (EDS).

Basic Technical Specifications
Engine Cummins 6CT, 8268 cc
6 units rated at 211 hp (157 kW) @ 2400 rpm / 795 Nm @ 1500 rpm
44 units rated at 245 hp (180 kW) @ 2200 rpm / 1025 Nm @ 1400 rpm
Transmission ZF Ecomat 4HP500 gearbox
Four-speed automatic
Bodywork Duple Metsec Bodywork
Chassis built by UMW-Dennis, in Malaysia, bodywork supplied by Duple Metsec and assembled by UMW-Dennis in Malaysia. Delivered completely-built-up (CBU) to Singapore.
EDS Transit Media Electronic Display Signage (EDS)
TwinVision LeDot model, green flip-dot design, installed several years after introduction.
Originally launched with plastic destination plates.
Passenger Capacity Original: 41 Seating + 34 Standing = 75 total
Modified: 35
Seating + 46 Standing = 81 total

The first bus to be delivered was registered as CSS310U and allocated to Singapore Shuttle Bus (SSB), a subsidiary of TIBS, for operation on City Shuttle routes. It also the signature orange livery of CSS. Nearing the end of the City Shuttle Service era, CSS310U was returned to TIBS. While other former CSS buses retained their registration plates, CSS310U was re-registered with the TIB prefix as TIB1257C. It is the last bus to ever be registered with the TIB prefix; the company merged with SMRT Trains shortly after and adopted the new SMB prefix.

Bus-Plus Dennis Lance (PA716Z) - Tampines Retail Park Shuttle (Tampines Route)
Bus-Plus Dennis Lance (PA716Z) – Tampines Retail Park Shuttle (Tampines Route)

Eight more Dennis Lances were registered as PA-plated private buses for use on charter services. All seven Dennis Lance 211s and one Dennis Lance 245 were painted with the plain TIBS livery, without the corporate logo. After the TIBS-SMRT merger, these buses were repainted with the plain SMRT livery, again without the SMRT corporate logo. PA639M, PA648Z, PA649J, PA669B, PA715B and PA716Z had 211-horsepower engines, while PA644Y and PA4076K used the 245-horsepower engine. PA4076K was the last lance ever registered, on 29 May 2003.

The remaining 41 buses entered revenue service with TIBS and were registered as TIB906U – TIB946D.

Additional Specifications:

In the original design, UMW-Dennis Lance buses had a seating capacity of 41. They were later modified with three pairs of seats removed from the right side of the bus (opposite the exit door), reducing the seating capacity to 35. However, the total bus capacity was raised from 75 to 81 in view of more standing area.

A few years after their introduction, the Lances received a set of TwinVision LeDot Electronic Display Signage (EDS) from Transit Media.

SMRT Dennis Lance (TIB928G) - Service 811E
SMRT Dennis Lance (TIB928G) – Service 811E (Modified front)

TIB928G had a modified front and a wider EDS unit, making it of similar appearance to the UK Lances. Several other UMW-Lances have modified fronts that resemble UK Lances but retain the original EDS unit.

TIB939A was briefly fitted with a Hispano Carrocera front after it met with an accident. It was later changed back to the normal UMW-Dennis front.

TIB916R is fitted with a Carrier air-conditioning unit while TIB943L is fitted with a Denso air-conditioning unit. The remaining buses were fitted with Sutrak air-conditioning units.

PA4076K¬†was¬†the only¬†bus to have never received an EDS unit. It carries a “CHARTERED” blue plastic destination sign.

Retirement and Refurbishment:

SMRT retired its TIB-plated Dennis Lance UMWs early, in the year 2013, while leaving its PA-plated buses operating in the Bus-Plus fleet. They were gradually refurbished in 2014 and by 2015, all units were refurbished and stickered with the beige Bus-Plus livery.

All PA-plated buses were retired by the end of 2018, with PA715B being the last unit to be de-registered in October 2018.

Dennis Lance (UMW Malaysia)
Operator Registration (245 hp) Registration (211 hp) Quantity
SMRT TIB906U – TIB946D 41
Bus Plus
(now Strides)
PA644Y, PA4076K PA639M, PA648L, PA649J, PA669B, PA715B, PA716Z 8
SSB CSS310U
(Later TIB1257C)
1
Total 44 6 50 units

Dennis Lance UK (Duple Metsec) (TIB1002X – TIB1016G, PA-Plated)

In 2000, Trans-Island Bus Services (TIBS) took delivery of an additional 20 Dennis Lances with the Duple Metsec bodywork. These 20 chassis were the last ever Lances to have been built. They were originally kitted at Guildford and destined initially for UMW-Dennis assembly, but following the demise of that operation, they were sold to TIBS for local manufacture. They were eventually assembled in Malaysia by Supportrans.

Unlike the previous batch of Lances built on UMW-Dennis chassis (produced in Malaysia), these buses had chassis built by Dennis Specialist Vehicles in the United Kingdom, and hence were referred to as “UK Lances”. They were registered between 28 Mar 2000 and 11 Oct 2000 as TIB1002X – TIB1016G, with some PA-plated variants.

Basic Technical Specifications
Engine Cummins 6CT, 8268 cc
Rated at 245 hp (180 kW) @ 2200 rpm / 1025 Nm @ 1400 rpm
Transmission ZF Ecomat 4HP500 gearbox
Four-speed automatic
Bodywork Duple Metsec Bodywork
Chassis built by Dennis in the United Kingdom, bodywork supplied by Duple Metsec and assembled by Supportrans in Malaysia. Delivered completely-built-up (CBU) to Singapore.
EDS Transit Media Electronic Display Signage (EDS)
TwinVision LeDot model, green flip-dot design, longer than initial units on UMW-Dennis Lance buses.
LAWO BENEFIT (orange LED design) – TIB1010Y only
Passenger Capacity 37 Seating + 46 Standing = 83 total

Originally, all units were destined for revenue service with TIBS. However, out of these 20 buses, 5 were registered as PA-plated private buses for use on charter services. Unlike the PA-plated UMW-Dennis Lances, these batch of PA-plated Dennis Lances made their debut with full corporate livery. The company logo was removed after they were later repainted with the SMRT Buses livery.

The remaining 15 buses entered revenue service with TIBS, and was painted with full corporate livery.

The UK Lance can be easily differentiated from its UMW counterparts with their EDS unit. UK Lances have a much wider EDS unit compared to the smaller UMW-Lance; however, one UMW-Lance, TIB928G, has a modified front and larger EDS unit that resembles a UK Lance.

SMRT Dennis Lance (TIB1010Y) - Service 961
SMRT Dennis Lance (TIB1010Y) – Service 961
Additional Specifications:

TIB1010Y was refitted with an orange LAWO BENEFIT EDS unit.

These buses never underwent mid-life refurbishment during their revenue service lifespan. All TIB-plated UK Lances were retired early by 2013 and scrapped, several years short of their statutory 17-year lifespan. While the exact reason for their early retirement remains unknown, their sub-par maintenance standards could be a cause.

The PA-plated units, all of which were registered on 11 Oct 2000, are underwent mid-life refurbishment and continue to operate in the Bus-Plus (later renamed to Strides Transportation) fleet, until taken out of service in 2018 and finally de-registered in February 2019.

Dennis Lance (UK)
Operator Registration (245 hp) Registration (211 hp) Quantity
SMRT TIB1002X – TIB1016G 15
Bus Plus
(now Strides)
PA2020J, PA2022D, PA2054L, PA2058B, PA2063K 5
Total 20 units

Dennis Lance UMW (Volgren) (TIB1017D & TIB1018B)

As part of the short-lived UMW Corporation-Dennis Specialist Vehicles joint venture to manufacture and assemble Dennis buses in Malaysia, Trans-Island Bus Services (TIBS) acquired 52 Dennis Lance chassis, 50 of which were bodied with the Duple Metsec bodywork. However, the last two units were fitted with the Volgren CR221 bodywork, and were registered on 21 Oct 2000 as TIB1017D & TIB1018B.

Basic Technical Specifications
Engine Cummins 6CT, 8268 cc
Rated at 245 hp (180 kW) @ 2200 rpm / 1025 Nm @ 1400 rpm
Transmission ZF Ecomat 4HP500 gearbox
Four-speed automatic
Bodywork Volgren CR221 Bodywork
Chassis built by UMW-Dennis, in Malaysia, bodywork supplied by Duple Metsec and assembled by Supportrans in Malaysia. Delivered completely-built-up (CBU) to Singapore.
EDS LAWO Electronic Display Signage (EDS)
Green flip-dot design
Passenger Capacity 39 Seating + 42 Standing = 81 total

The bus featured the standard Volgren CR221 bodywork which was assembled in Malaysia by SupporTrans, using complete-knock-down (CKD) kits supplied by Volgren of Australia. This design was previously used on the Hino HS3KRK and Mercedes-Benz O405, as well as the later Mercedes-Benz O405G buses, all featuring identical exterior bodywork designs and also assembled by SupporTrans using Volgren body kits.

It is not certain as to why these final two units were fitted with Volgren bodywork given that the other 20 buses were fitted with Duple Metsec bodies, but the demise of the UMW-Dennis venture might have been a contributing cause. At the same time, TIBS was familiar with the Volgren bodywork, having previously taken delivery of Hino HS3KRK and Mercedes-Benz O405 buses with this exact same bodywork. No further Volgren-bodied Dennis Lance buses were acquired by TIBS.

Additional Specifications:

Both Volgren Lances were under the care of Ang Mo Kio Depot for their entire lifespan. These buses never underwent mid-life refurbishment and were scrapped in 2013, several years short of their statutory 17-year lifespan.

Dennis Lance (Volgren)
Operator Registration (245 hp) Registration (211 hp) Quantity
SMRT TIB1017D & TIB1018B 2
Total 2 units

Dennis Lance at a glance
Registration Engine Gearbox Introduced Retired Bodywork
PA639M, PA648L, PA649J, PA669B, PA715B, PA716Z Cummins 6CT (211hp) ZF Ecomat 4HP 500 1999 2018 Duple Metsec
(Assembled by UMW Malaysia)
TIB906U – TIB946D, TIB1257C*, PA644Y, PA4076K Cummins 6CT (245hp) 1998-1999
*2003
2013 (except PA plate)
TIB1002X – TIB1016G, PA2020J, PA2022D, PA2054L, PA2058B, PA2063K 2000 2013
(except PA plate)
Duple Metsec
(Assembled by Supportrans)
TIB1017D & TIB1018B 2000 2013 Volgren CR221
(Assembled by Supportrans)

Gallery:

UMW-Dennis Lance:

External Links & References:

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