Volgren Vic tops 4000

Volgren’s Victorian factory rolls out 4000th bus and celebrates with a fitting tribute to staff

Volgren Vic tops 4000
Volgren chief executive Peter Dale, Buslink NT managing director David Hannon, Volgren chairman Geoff Grenda and Volgren founder Ken Grenda celebrate the 4000th bus built at Volgren's Dandenong plant

Volgren has rolled-out the 4000th bus built at its Dandenong plant in Victoria.

The 4000th happened to be an Optimus Low-Floor route bus, the keys handed to long-standing Northern Territory customer Buslink NT at a ceremony at the factory on July 13.

Looking resplendent in Buslink’s ochre-and-white livery, the bus was handed over to Buslink NT managing director David Hannon by Volgren chairman Geoff Grenda.

The 4000th bus, or VG4000, looked a picture beside VG001 – the first bus ever built by Volgren almost 38 years ago.

Volgren chief executive Peter Dale says both vehicles are the physical manifestation of the dedication of Volgren’s past and present employees and the ceremony was about recognising their loyalty and achievements.

"We’re immensely proud of you guys, you do a terrific job, you build a fantastic product and we want to say thank you," he says.

Volgren started producing bus bodies in 1977 and is now Australia’s largest bus body manufacturing company, serving all states and territories.

The organisation is delighted that that the 4000th bus is for its long-term and loyal customer Buslink, Dale says.

"Both Buslink and our founding company Grenda are long-established family businesses, and the Hannons and Grendas have grown those into very substantial bus-operating businesses across a number of states.

"The close relationship built many years ago endures very strongly to this day."

Hannon says Buslink had purchased buses from Volgren for 25 years and the vehicles stood up well to the harsh conditions in the Northern Territory.

Volgren has supplied Buslink virtually from its beginnings in 1988 and has delivered a total of 244 buses to the company, with another 11 in production.

One-hundred-and-eighty of them were built at Dandenong and 64 at its Eagle Farm factory outside Brisbane.

Hannon says the oldest Volgren vehicle in its fleet was VG505.

"That’s a bus that’s 22 years old, it has done 1.3 million kilometres and it’s still running strong.

"They stand the test of the territory, which is why we keep buying them."

Volgren engineering manager Michael Kearney says the long association with Buslink in the Northern Territory led to vehicle design improvements.

"The extreme weather conditions in hot and humid Darwin are challenging for any vehicle," he says.

"Feedback from Buslink helped us better understand issues with humidity and now aluminium ducts and composite floorings are now standard on all our route buses."

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