Adelaide's Overwidth STA Buses.

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Denv12
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Adelaide's Overwidth STA Buses.

Post by Denv12 »

Buses of both MTT and STA Adelaide at the time were overwidth by 1 and a 1/2 inches.Each side needed to be reduced to get the width down to the 2500mm legal width. Leyland Worldmasters,AEC and the Volvo B59s were overwidth. Some vehicles were narrowed down including Phil Denton's fleet,1 bus converted for ABC by Edwardstown company Smiths and at least 1 was converted by Smiths again that was sold to Smekel's on the Gold Coast. How many other buses were narrowed? Thanks.

Here's an earlier post showing Volvo B59s.
http://www.busaustralia.com/forum/viewt ... 45&t=82851
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ABC-AECa (686 x 604).jpg
ABC-AECa (686 x 604).jpg (79.7 KiB) Viewed 17931 times
This vehicle was sold as is by STA.
This vehicle was sold as is by STA.
6.215 (786 x 510).jpg (93.57 KiB) Viewed 17933 times
ABC1a (701 x 551).jpg
ABC1a (701 x 551).jpg (81.77 KiB) Viewed 17933 times
6.223a (759 x 536).jpg
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leyland4ever
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Re: Adelaide's Overwidth STA Buses.

Post by leyland4ever »

MTT buses built between 1954 and 1963, essentially to replace trams and trolley buses, were built to a width of 8feet 6 inches.

These were the 140 AEC Regal 1Vs, 169 Leyland Worldmasters, and 30 AEC Regal V1s.

At this time, the legal width of a motor vehicle in SA was 8 feet, so these buses, at that time, were 6 inches overwidth.


In the mid 1960s (1967 springs to mind, but don't hold me to it!), the legal width was altered to 8 feet two and a half inches (I think this was the legal width in other states), so they became only 3 and a half inches overwidth.

Incidentally, the two underfloor prototypes (the AEC Real 1V 240, later rnumbered 600, and the Daimler Freeline, 166) were built to 8 feet 2 inches, so they were 2 inches overwidth for most of thei lives, but becamed legakl width in the mid 1960s!


Subsequent MTT/STA buses up until 1983 - namely the Daimler Roadliners of 1969, the first and second series AEC Swifts, 1970-1978, the Volvo B59s, and the first 70 MAN Sl200s (1801-1870) were also built overwidth.


Most of the Leyland Worldmasters were narrowed upon sale to interstate bus companies between 1972 and 1979, along with many 700 series AEC Regal 1Vs, a smaller number of 600 Regal 1Vs, and several of the Regal V1s

Buses from these groups which remained in SA were generally given permits to run overwidth, particularly for MTT licensed operators.

Other operators in SA were at the whim of the Transport Department - at times, they would issue permits for use on a specific route only (such as a school run), at other times, to operate within the metropolitan area only, and various other restrictions.

I contemplated purchasing some verwidth buses, and applying for a permit, but felt the risk of being stranded at short notice with a vehicle that could be used only under restricted circumstances, or even not at all, was too great. I eventually purchased buses which had already been narrowed for interstate operators, and brought them back to Adelaide.

The earlier batches of three-door vehicles had particularly strongly built bodies, and the processing of narrowing them was quite involved.

The later AEC Swifts, particularly the 400-600 series, were able to be narrowed much more easily. This was also helped by Queensland being prepared to allow them to run in the overwidth form, the same applied to the Volvo B59s.

I don't think many, if any, of the Daimler Roadliners were narrowed, as they had a poor reputation for mechanical reliability.

I am not aware of any MTT/STA buses which were one and a half inches overwidth.

Cheers, Trevor

Denv12
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Re: Adelaide's Overwidth STA Buses.

Post by Denv12 »

leyland4ever wrote:
I am not aware of any MTT/STA buses which were one and a half inches overwidth.

Cheers, Trevor
Thanks Trevor for the reply. Thats a lot of research there.I'm thankful for your reply.Its good to see those buses did get see service as is.

Sorry.I think I meant the total overwidth of 3 inches.

Regards Chris.

Tim Williams
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Re: Adelaide's Overwidth STA Buses.

Post by Tim Williams »

For some reason, I have just noticed this topic and the wonderful history provided by Trevor!!

I approached the authority in NSW with a request to purchase and operate ex STA over-width Volvo B59's on the Broken Hill Town Service - I asked if permits could be provided for these buses to operate on the Town Service only, i.e. along specific roads and during daylight hours only. I advised that the roads in Broken Hill are very wide and the traffic is very light. The answer was an emphatic NO - rules are rules are that was it.

This was a great disappointment to us because the Volvo B59 was a great chassis and PMC's body was as strong as a rock and the buses were well fitted out. The ex NSW private operator Leyland Leopards we purchased instead were good buses, but were not in the same league as these B59's - they were basic by comparison. The sophisticated air suspension of the B59's would have coped far better (and provided a smoother ride) than the leaf spring equipped Leopards.

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Re: Adelaide's Overwidth STA Buses.

Post by The Phonj »

Was narrowing the B59's not an option?
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TA3001
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Re: Adelaide's Overwidth STA Buses.

Post by TA3001 »

For the uninformed, what was the reason for the B59s and the first 70 MAN SL200s being delivered as overwidth in the first place?

Tim Williams
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Re: Adelaide's Overwidth STA Buses.

Post by Tim Williams »

Narrowing the B59's would have been expensive and I wonder if that would have compromised the strength of the whole unit (bus).

My understanding of Adelaide's over-width buses goes back to a very colonial gentleman called Bunny Aust, who was the MTT's Chief Engineer - he or his office calculated the additional standee passengers that could be carried on the buses, by increasing the width. I think it was purely a volume thing - Trevor Tate, I am sure, would know a lot more about this than me.

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system improver
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Re: Adelaide's Overwidth STA Buses.

Post by system improver »

At the time, the MTT buses of the 1950s, the AEC Regals and the Leyland Worldmasters, were the "ultimate" in heavy duty city bus design. In Melbourne, body builder Ansair was very much influenced by what was happening in the USA, and Reg Ansett entered battle with regulatory authorities over many years to build longer and wider buses that were seen in the USA rather then the shorter and narrower buses that were common in Britain. In the USA, city buses were commonly 102 inches wide (8 feet 6 inches) - they still are. Versions of coaches are also made to this width. This reflects the wider roads in the USA compared to Britain where 7 feet 6 inches wide buses was the norm until the 50s and were still too wide for many country lanes and local roads. It never ceases to amaze me how two such vehicles can pass each other on these roads - it seems to be a violation of science.

Anyway, perhaps Bunny Aust (was that his real name and was he associated with Bunny Brothers?) took a trip to the USA, like many Australian bus decision makers did. In Victoria, the MMTB was able to run over-width buses (the 25 Freighter bodied AEC Regal Mk IV and the 100 Freighter bodied AEC Regal Mk VI buses which, although short, were 8 feet 6 inches wide) because, apparently, the TRB regulations did not apply to government operators. It would appear that a similar situation applied in SA.

Any yes, we are indebted to Trevor for his wealth of knowledge on all of these matters. It's always a joy to read his posts. I hope he is travelling OK.

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The Inspector
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Re: Adelaide's Overwidth STA Buses.

Post by The Inspector »

any ex MTT bus that went to Victoria or NSW had to be narrowed, in QLD they were allowed to remain as they were.
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Re: Adelaide's Overwidth STA Buses.

Post by boronia »

I recall reading many years ago that the wide buses, at least the later models, were designed so that they could easily be narrowed at a later date.
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