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April 24 2019
By The routeone team

The routeone team is dedicated to bringing you the latest bus & coach industry news, views, jobs and more.

'Heritage test drive recalls the
‘career for life’ days'

Thanks for that interesting road test of the Bova Europa last week. Never driven one, but it looked less dated than the Futura, which started looking very old-fashioned after about 10 years in production in my opinion.

Also, I really don't understand why anyone would prefer constantly having to intervene with brake pedal application, rather than maintaining progress and checking it through being in the right gear at all times, with a nice simple and foolproof manual transmission set-up – except possibly in London congestion.

However, I felt that I should explain that an exhauster is actually a vacuum pump to exhaust air from a vacuum storage reservoir. I presume the Bova had air brakes not vacuum, so the foot-button next to the left foot would have been an exhaust brake switch.

Anyway, these coaches were normally piloted by professional drivers who took pride in smooth gear-changing and avoiding brake fade. It was a career for life in those days.

Now everything has become ‘idiot-proof’, we are designing special purpose vehicles for a very precious cargo, but assuming that idiots are going to be driving them. No wonder nobody wants to be a PSV driver these days – it doesn't attract highly-skilled driving enthusiasts any more.

Back in the ‘70s, most good HGV and PSV drivers had been motorcycle enthusiasts and a lot of those skills and challenges are easily transferrable. It was much harder to stay alive on a motorbike in those days, constantly checking for any and every possible threat to safe progress. Exactly like piloting a heavy and expensive hunk of metal and glass.

I guess now young people can afford cars, this type of biker has all but disappeared?

More nostalgia please!

Hugh Franklin,

Revel Minibus/Cross County Coaches,

Rugby, Warwickshire

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