Yellow convoy a-coming

It will be a sight like no other – a convoy of yellow buses hitting the highways of western NSW next week

Yellow convoy a-coming
Yellow convoy a-coming

By David Goeldner | June 19, 2012

By Wednesday next week there could be a sight to behold on the Hay plains in south western NSW as a convoy of ten shiny yellow, brand new school buses head south to Adelaide.

The convoy of Daewoo BH090 midi-coaches form part of an order of 16 school buses for South Australia’s Department for Education and Child Development (DECD), consigned for the second half of the 2012 school year.

According to Asia Motors Australia company director Bruce Campbell, the ten Daewoos arrive from Malaysia at Port Kembla near Wollongong on Sunday June 24, and will be released from the docks and ready to hit the road by next Wednesday.

Campbell says ten drivers, including Asia Motors Australia personnel, have been enlisted for the drive which travels the Hume Highway to Gundagai, and then west through Wagga Wagga and the Hay Plains on the Sturt Highway to Mildura for an overnight stop, then to Adelaide the following day.

The Daewoo BH090 supersedes Asia Motors Australia’s supply of Hyundai AT220s, with a smaller engine but greater torque than its Korean compatriot.

The BH090 also meets a DECD preference for Daewoos following the popular, yet larger, BH117L.

"We’ve been quite successful with the Daewoo BH117L, and the BH090 is a step up from the Hyundai AT220," says Campbell.

"The BH090 is basically the baby BH117L. We realised the need to continue with the Daewoo line and come down a step to a smaller bus than the BH117L."

Campbell and his senior sales manager Paul Weber approached DECD with the BH090 during 2011’s tender process.

"They (DECD) said they wanted this vehicle," Campbell says.

Asia Motors Australia approached its bus building partner Chiron with a request to build its CS100 body, previously dropped onto the Hyundai, and now re-engineered for the 45-seater Daewoo BH090.

"So Chiron developed the body," says Campbell.

"They had to change it to adapt the body to the bigger (Daewoo) chassis, up from the Hyundai spec."

Of the 15 DECD-ordered BH090s, five are already in Adelaide ready for deployment to South Australian school regions.

"When the vehicles arrive in South Australia we do the final pre-delivery service, registered one at a time and delivered to the regions," Campbell says.

"We will drive the bus to its final destination and drive the old ‘clunker’ it replaces back to Adelaide for DECD’s disposal."

Campbell says if asked to re-tender for DECD, his plan is to again offer the BH090.

Including the current order, Asia Motors Australia has so far supplied 31 school buses to the South Australian government in the past 18 months.

Campbell, who will be one of next week’s convoy drivers, also hopes to have a BH090 on display at the BusVic Maintenance Conference and Bus Expo at Moonee Valley in Melbourne from July 2.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive the ABC e-newsletter, digital magazine and other offers we choose to share with you straight to your inbox

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook