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BLK Auto prepares for heavy lift in 2024

BLK Auto will usher in 2024 with a number of new and innovative transport solutions ready for local operators as it takes the next step in evolving its technology

BLK Auto Bus & Coach Sales had a busy 2023 spent expanding its product range, evolving its wide suite of chassis and body options. Now, it’s primed to hit 2024 with plenty of new models coming out for Australian bus and coach operators.

“One such product that will be released early in 2024 is the new President 3 Dual Tyre Lazy coach,” BLK Auto executive David Jiear told ABC.

“When considering what operators are wanting, we sought industry feedback from operators who are accustomed to these types of vehicles.”

The dual tyre lazy project is a blast from the past, harking back to a feature once included on an old Denning range. The model is no longer built and sold in Australia, with BLK Auto deciding to reinvigorate the fan favourite.

The dual tyre lazy feature will allow the mass limit of the updated President 3 model to increase. BLK Auto has spent time ensuring that the updated model complies with Australian Design Rules (ADRs) and real-world passenger weights.

By using the luxury President 3 Coach as the model to include the dual tyre lazy feature on, engineers at BLK were able to find a solution which provides a standard 14.5m coach with a wheelchair and toilet onboard. Alongside this, BLK Auto was able to provide a product that has a low tare weight and a high GVM.

“As the needs of operators differ based on their individual circumstances, BLK has opted to go standard with an 800L fuel tank,” Jiear says.

“For operators with higher demands, we’ve integrated into the design the option for a secondary 600L tank if operators require it.”

Powered by a Cummins 11.8L, 480hp X12 Euro 6 engine, BLK has taken onboard operator recommendations for its latest model. It’s set to pay dividends, with one key benefit of the new model arriving in 2024 being its increased load capacity.

Jiear says the design configuration helps to distribute the weight of the bus more evenly, allowing for a greater load capacity. This suits operators wanting to accommodate both increased passengers and heavier cargo.

The Cummins Euro 6 engine provides a peak torque of 2,400Nm, with its optimised power curve making life easier for drivers courtesy of less gear changes being required and improved fuel efficiency.

BLK Auto national sales manager Mark Nichols says driver satisfaction will continue to soar with excellent low speed torque enabling faster acceleration and improved gradient climbing, while increased stability when driving on the road will be noticeable when travelling on undulating roads and when cornering.

“With a keen eye on improvement, the new 2024 BLK President 3 Dual Tyre Lazy coach comes standard with full laminated glass down the sides, except for safety glass at emergency exits,” Nichols told ABC.

“The new axle system has been designed and engineered in Australia by specialist engineers taking all factors into consideration.”

Nichols says a major benefit of the new coach model is that operators can cantilever more weight off the steer, providing an important step forward by solving a common problem that plagues other similar sized vehicles.

The idea behind the new model is to help the bus industry “put more bums on seats” by optimising both range and carrying capacity. Jiear says the dual tyre lazy option ticks the boxes, having already secured its first orders.

Coming in both a single and double-deck model option, the 2024 President 3 Dual Tyre Lazy option varies between 62 and 71 seats depending on final configuration.

The new coach will soon join the BLK fold that includes the Senator, ranging from 8 to 14, the wider President range, the Citystar suite, the evShuttle and battery electric and hydrogen fuel-cell options.

Nichols says this model is an exciting step forward for BLK Auto, who won’t waste time when it comes to introducing the President 3 Dual Tyre Lazy coach.

“We’ve opted to release this range immediately with the Euro 6 engine as it just made solid commercial sense,” Nichols says.

“The Euro 6 will come in 2024, so we wanted to ensure that this model had the reduced emissions required from the start.”

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