Isuzu’s Africa-beating buses
What do you get if you add an Isuzu chassis to a Busmark 2000 bus body? A bus that’s rough, tough and ready to handle any terrain the African continent throws at it. FOCUS takes a look at this winning combination.
Isuzu’s custom-built buses – created in collaboration with body builder Busmark 2000 – have been designed to fit Isuzu’s N- and F-Series truck chassis, allowing the company to provide two different buses aimed at various market segments.
With minor modifications, the N-Series truck chassis has allowed for 28- or 33-seater buses, while the F-Series has made the construction of a 60-seater possible. Suitable for standard commuter transport services, Isuzu SA is targeting this new range at mines, schools and public transport operators.
The front-engine units are ideal for the hot and humid African climate, and only a few modifications were necessary to make the truck chassis suitable for application as a bus.
The people carriers are powered by a 110 kW, 404 Nm 4HK1 TCN engine for the N-Series chassis, and a 176 kW, 706 Nm 6HK1 TC engine for the F-Series. Busmark has been able to build a front-engine body with a low floor height because Isuzu has cleverly positioned the engine low in the chassis.
Busmark 2000 is able to spec up the buses at any stage, but the base model is aimed at standard commuter transport. The buses are available and ready for delivery from Isuzu Trucks SA dealers, and carry the manufacturer’s standard 24-month unlimited mileage warranty. The buses are also registered through eNatis and are SABS-compliant.
Because the same chassis that Isuzu has in its trucks is used, servicing has been made easier and there’s no risk of not having spares available. This enables the buses to have 20 000 km between service intervals, as is standard with all Isuzu trucks, with servicing easily managed through Isuzu’s established dealer network.
Isuzu Trucks SA could have gone the import route and brought in fully built-up buses, but decided to assemble everything locally, contributing to the South African economy. The buses also have a high local content, with 80 percent of the components locally manufactured, showing that local is “lekker”.
Powerful, strong and perfect for African conditions, Isuzu’s bus range is undoubtedly as complete as its range of trucks, and is sure to provide long-term satisfaction and reliability.