Specifying a new Irizar Integral i6 to the latest PSVAR standard proved a wise investment for Robbie Prentice, the third generation managing director of West Lothian operator Prentice Westwood Ltd.
Its high specification means the coach can serve education contracts that have continued in operation through the covid crisis.
Irizar UK was able to respond to the demands of the crisis by installing screens to the front and side of the driver’s position prior to delivery.
Robbie Prentice says that, although this 12.2 metre i6 Integral is his first new Irizar, he has experience with the marque that goes back to the 1990s, and “we have three i6 Integrals already, which we purchased second-hand.”
The current fleet numbers of 60 vehicles and covers a wide range of coaching work.
“In normal times, around 70 per cent of our work was with incoming tourists,” he says. “However, we also do a lot of work relating to sport, and education, with the PSVAR spec being particularly important for the latter.
“We serve a number of schools where PSVAR is already a requirement,” he explains “and the new i6 was specified with this work in mind.
“The internal tour work is obviously at a standstill at the moment, but we can keep this new coach running on schools work because of the spec.”
A Masats KS7 wheelchair lift has been installed, together with a quick-release seat fixation system.“If a wheelchair is to be carried, we can quickly remove two pairs of seats, reducing the seating capacity to 49 from 53,” Robbie says.
Other equipment on the coach includes a central sunken toilet, destination signage to the front, side and rear, USB charging points, and a drinks machine.
A twin-monitor Actia video and Bosch audio system provide passenger entertainment.
Mechanically, the coach is fitted with safety equipment including AEBS, LDWS and ACC systems, while the driveline is an economical 367 hp DAF MX-11 270 engine driving a ZF EcoLife gearbox.
“We are very happy with the performance of the Irizar Integral product,” Robbie Prentice confirms, “and very much like the DAF/ZF running gear.
“The drivers are big fans of the EcoLife transmission as it offers instant familiarity, while from a workshop point of view it rarely goes wrong and is quick and easy to fix if it does.
“We have no problem putting a vehicle of this quality onto school work,” he adds.
“We genuinely find that the better the quality of coach provided, the better the behaviour on it. Plus, we have a CCTV system installed, and the children can actually see they are being monitored on the internal screens.”