Originally Posted by devnull
The problem is that is a public body, Bus Eireann must tender for new vehicles and the problem often with tendering for new vehicles is that it's not so simple to just order with what you want, you set out criteria, people make bids and whoever gives the best one on the criteria gets to provide the vehicles. The problem with the VDL stuff is that it's often built to a price to win a tender, which just encourages corners to be cut, since tenders are normally very much heavily weighted in favour of price.
VDL is a strange company, they bought a fair few other companies, Berkhof, Bova, Jonckheere etc and all of them existed in their own right for a good while under the VDL umbrella. Slowly the companies lost their identity and became just plain VDL and were all merged together. Bova and Berkhof had a reputation for building cheap but functional vehicles, normally intgrals, but nothing amazing. Jonckheere was always a name that was well known with good, solid reliable vehicles, normally based on Volvo Chassis and they had a rather good reputation and still do and are nice coaches.
The problem is that the vehicles that Bus Eireann have are pretty much all derivatives of the Berkhof vehicles that started with the LC and LD. Sure they've had a couple of facelifts and name changes through the years, but essentially they're the same vehicle with the same problems. A lot of the Bus Eireann ones have problems with corrosion as well and had to have repairs for these reason, they really are a poor coach. As stated earlier, the only VDL product worth buying is a Jonckheere.
I am very aware of their tendering for these vehicles and also like to point that the NTA actually tendered for these vehicles from 2015 onwards afaik
I am also aware of the rust issue on the older vehicles which were sorted out for the 2015+ fleet
However , the issues I've experienced with the VDL fleet from 2015+ is electronics failing, gearbox failures and engine overheating ,breakdowns and airbags bursting.
And most of those faults have left myself and collouges on the side of the road only for the vehicle to be recovered later by the low loader or tow truck.
These are what I mean by reliability and unfortunately these vehicles are not reliable mechanically and electronically. And unfortunately VDL have made a very bad name for themselves with bus eireann with the drivers, mechanics, procurement and management.
I do believe management have a disliking to these vehicles too and have also explained this to the NTA, because everytime a vehicle breakdown it goes towards lost milage, dropped services and they get reported back to the NTA and with the reason why
I also have however heard recently through the grapevine that the NTA have had a sort of falling out with VDL and they won't be ordering anymore coaches with them in future that appearently theyve gone to Volvo UK for PSO coaches. (Not to be confused with buses from Ballymena)
So hopefully something decent to come along !