Pulham & Sons of Gloucestershire has just put a new Irizar Integral i6S coach into service.
The 12.9-metre vehicle is the first-ever Irizar in the 180-year-old company’s fleet, and also the company’s first-ever coach with a DAF engine.
Director Andy Pulham says: “We felt it was time to try something different, and I really like the look of the i6S coach. I’ve known Irizar salesman Stuart Smithson for many years, and he arranged for us to visit the factory in Spain, where I was very impressed with what we saw.”
Another plus point for Irizar was the company’s willingness to build a coach to Pulham’s requirements. Pulham undertakes a very wide variety of work with its 85-strong fleet of coaches and buses, ranging from incoming tourists from Asia and UK-based tours to club outings and home-to-school contracts. While the diverse Pulhams fleet spans everything from small people carriers to 100-seat double-deckers, the i6S has been specified so it can take on virtually any task.
To this end, it has a rear continental door and saloon-mounted toilet, to maximise luggage capacity. It is also specified to full PSVAR specification, with a Masats KS7 semi-automatic wheelchair lift and Hanover destination equipment.
Four of the 53 luxury i6Plus seats, which have iLeather laterals and piping and leather armrests, can be demounted using a Tecam quick-release system to make way for a wheelchair.
Further equipment includes USB charging sockets throughout the saloon, blue interior ‘mood’ lighting and powered lockers.
Andy explains: “We have purchased this coach outright, and it is a long-term investment for us. Originally, we anticipated using it on incoming tour work initially, but the Covid crisis obviously changed this. Irizar was kind enough to let us defer delivery, but we can now put the coach to work on rail replacement thanks to it being to PSVAR spec.
“As the schools return we are also experiencing a boom in demand for our bread-and-butter home-to-school work, which the coach is also capable of. It was always our intention to retain the coach for home-to-school once its life on the tourist fleet was over, and we anticipate it still being with us in 15 years’ time. Realistically PSVAR will probably be a requirement for schools work by then.”
Pulham’s i6S features a DAF MX-11 270 368 bhp engine, driving through a ZF EcoLife automatic transmission.
“We haven’t tried a DAF engine before, but have had very good experience with the ZF EcoLife on other vehicles,” Andy confides.
The new Irizar will be maintained in-house in Pulhams’ own workshop, which also includes an DVSA ATF testing lane, and employs nine staff.
“We are confident of being able to handle the Irizar even though the engine is new to us,” Andy states. “There was a very good handover process when we picked the coach up from Irizar’s UK headquarters in Worksop, and this is to be followed up by on-site training on the vehicle here for our workshop staff by Irizar technical support.”
The incredible history of Pulham & Sons is outlined on the company’s website. See https://www.pulhamscoaches.com/pulhams-coaches-history/
Irizar UK can offer new integral coaches to full factory PSVAR spec for rapid delivery. The equipment is covered by Irizar’s own two-year warranty, and the five-year structural warranty on the coach is not effected. irizar.co.uk