Irizar i6 Integrals reinforce Centurion Travel’s front-line fleet
Two Irizar i6 Integral coaches have gone into service with Somerset UK private-hire specialist Centurion Travel.
The Spiller family have been running coaches in the Midsomer Norton area since the 1920s, and Centurion Travel was started in 1989 by the father of director Steve Spiller. Current fleet strength is 22, and ranges from limousines to tri-axle touring coaches. “We offer vehicles with everything from 13 to 63 seats,” Mr Spiller says.
Mr Spiller explains that, after an initial purchase went very well, the company has been happy to choose DAF-engined Irizar Integral coaches.
“We now have four on the fleet. We are very happy dealing with the Irizar company, and the people who work for it, and that attitude is reflected in the performance of the product.
“The support we get from Irizar is actually more important than the product, but the Irizar Integral is incredible value for money.”
One of the coaches is a 12.2-metre 4×2 with 49 seats, while the other is a 61-seat 14.07-metre tri-axle. The 12.2-metre Integral has a centre toilet and seat-back tables, while both have drinks machines. The tri-axle was delivered with USB charging points, and these are being installed on the other vehicle. “There’s a customer expectation that coaches will have these fitted now,” Mr Spiller says.
While both vehicles will operate on private-hire, their specifications reflect subtle differences in the expectations of Centurion’s varied customer base.
“The 49-seater has more leg room, and is the type of vehicle that will usually be booked by older client groups who want a bit more space and comfort.” Mr Spiller explains. “The tri-axle is the type of vehicle that is aimed more at students and similar groups. However, it is as comfortable as can be: the spec includes i6S seats which have lateral displacement and multi-positional footrests.”
The tri-axle has the most powerful version of the respected DAF 11-litre engine fitted: the 435 hp MX-11 320. An economical 309 hp MX-11 271 engine powers the lighter 12.2-metre coach, and both drive through ZF’s sophisticated Ecolife transmissions.
Both coaches are fitted with three-point seat belts. Centurion is a BUSK-accredited operator and puts passenger safety at the forefront.
The investment in two coaches has been driven by the need to get as much of the fleet to Euro VI compliance as possible, Mr Spiller says: “We would normally replace one of our front-line coaches a year, but we are replacing our Euro V vehicles early because of the spread of Low Emissions Zones.”
The coaches will be maintained in-house, with support from Irizar mobile technicians during the warranty period, and the added peace-of-mind from DAFAid roadside assistance if needed. Centurion boasts a state-of-the-art workshop, including a DVSA Authorised Testing Facility, and, as Mr Spiller says, “If we need help, Irizar is always there at the end of the phone, but we can do most things ourselves, including electronic diagnosis.”