Celebrating our rich history
With all the politics and debate over negotiated versus tendered bus contracts, it’s good to see the industry still makes time to celebrate its successes, writes Randall Johnston
Former Denning employee of 12 years and 40-year bus industry veteran Dick White came up with the idea for the Denning 60-year reunion commemorative event, which was held in Brisbane last month.
ABC was lucky enough to be invited along. Correspondent Greg Keane was blown away by the passion and reverence with which the Denning brand is held, and his report goes a long way towards illustrating the reasons why this is so.
White says the reason why many people identify so strongly with – and are so fond of – Denning buses in Australia is simple.
“It comes down to the quality and reliability of the product,” White says. “Denning has spanned decades now, driven by a wonderful team of enthusiastic employees who made the product what it is. That is the main reason why the product is held in such high regard throughout Australia.”
While White finds it a real challenge to pick one, his personal favourite is the Den-Air model - with full air bag suspension.
“The Den-Air was a signi cant catalyst for the Denning product, having moved on from traditional leaf spring suspension.”
There was no shortage of striking examples of classic Denning buses on show at the event, with vehicles ranging from the Mono, Denair and Den ex through to the later Landseer and double- decker models. Couldn’t make it along? No sweat, you can read all about this event on page 20.
Technology, privatisation and regional representation were some of the hot topics as industry gures converged on South Australia for the 2017 Bus SA annual conference ( p.24). There was also a special Coach Connections summit – you can read about this in the next edition of ABC.
As contract renewals fast approach, the 2017 TasBus annual conference was packed with operators seeking the latest information on how they will be affected ( p. 30).
Elsewhere, technical writer Paul Aldridge headed to Accredited Heavy Vehicle Training (AHVT) in Sydney to sit his HR unrestricted licence and see how good his driving skills actually are ( p. 32).
Meanwhile, fourth-generation owner Trevor Heise continues to drive regional New South Wales school and charter operation Cooma Coaches towards growth ( p.54).
In a busy month for Paul, he also took a unique Coach Design/MercedesBenz Euro 6 luxury coach for a spin courtesy of Crowthers Coaches (p.56).
So that’s it: a healthy mix of hard and human interest industry news to keep you powering on into July.