|Volvo B10M Mk III|
|Years in operation||1992 – 2012|
|Transmission||Voith DIWA 381.4
|Emission Standard||Not Applicable|
The Volvo B10M-61 Mark III is a mid-engined single-decker city bus built by Volvo Buses, as part of the Volvo B10M line of bus chassis. Commonly referred to as the “Mark 3”, 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 300 of these Mark III buses between 1992 and 1993, with bodywork supplied by Duple Metsec. Like other Volvo buses, the chassis was manufactured in Sweeden. After rebranding to SBS Transit, the buses continued operations, all of which were retired by June 2012.
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.
SBS / SBS Transit Volvo B10M Mark III (SBS582M – SBS881A):
In 1992, Singapore Bus Services (SBS) purchased 300 units of the Volvo B10M Mark III, intended as a replacement for the ageing Volvo B57 and Mercedes-Benz OF1413 buses. Equipped with air-conditioning, they represented an improvement in comfort over the previous batch of Volvo B10M Mark II buses, and a large increase in SBS’ then-limited air-conditioned bus fleet.
Registered between 6 Nov 1992 – 8 Jun 1993, they bore the registration numbers SBS582M to SBS881A, continuing in numerical order after the Mercedes-Benz O405 buses which ended at SBS581R.
|Basic Technical Specifications|
|Engine||Volvo THD101GC, 9603 cc (mid-mounted)
Power rating of 242 hp (178 kW) @ 2200 rpm
Torque rating of 890 Nm @ 1400 rpm
|Transmission||Voith DIWA 851.2 gearbox, three-speed automatic
All units except SBS876R & SBS877M (ZF Ecomat 4HP 500) – 4 speed automatic
|Bodywork||Duple Metsec Bodywork
Complete Knock-Down (CKD) kits supplied by Duple Metsec of United Kingdom and assembled locally by SBS Engineering Pte Ltd.
|Capacity||50 Seating + 31 Standing = 81 total
|Air conditioning||Fuji and Sütrak|
Like similar buses of the era, SBS purchased these buses with bodywork kits to be assembled locally. Its subsidiary, SBS Engineering Pte Ltd, undertook assembly work at Hougang Bus Depot. All buses were fitted with the Voith DIWA 851.2 transmission, except for SBS876R & SBS877M, which was fitted with the ZF Ecomat 4HP 500 transmission instead.
The Mark III was also the last model of bus to use the “square desto”, a route destination plate mounted on the side of the bus, next to the front door. It was printed on both sides with route details and could be flipped when plying different directions of a particular service. Later, buses would use the rectangular acrylic destination plate, which could be back-illuminated at night.
SBS Leisure Services:
Before the arrival of the Volvo B10M MkIV Soon Chows, twenty MkIII buses were deployed to Sentosa for internal shuttle services, which was then contracted to its charter subsidiary SBS Leisure. SBS616A – SBS635U bore the Sentosa livery for a short period of time before they were repainted back to the original SBS livery.
Starting in 2001, Volvo B10M MkIII buses underwent mid-life refurbishment. Blue seat covers were replaced with purple ones, and the plastic air-conditioning ducts were changed from dark blue to purple.
In 2001, cross-border Service 170 was converted to full air-conditioned operations, replacing the retiring non-air-conditioned Volvo B57s. Many Volvo B10M MkIIIs were redeployed to Service 170 (a.k.a. JB-registered). When cross-border Service 160 was introduced in 2004, more Mark IIIs were redeployed from Hougang Depot to the cross-border service, which had spare buses after the 2003 North East Line bus route rationalisation exercises.
In all, a total of 80 Volvo B10M Mark IIIs were registered with the Land Public Transport Commission of Malaysia (SPAD) for use on cross-border routes, far more than the actual daily fleet usage (to allow for deployment flexibility). They were replaced by the Volvo B10M MkIVs on cross-border routes as they were slowly retired in 2011.
Refurbished Volvo B10M Mark IIIs had their statutory lifespan extended from 17 to 19 years.
As the Volvo B10M Mark IIIs approached their retirement, a new batch of 300 Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses were procured as their replacement, making their debut in June 2011.