Third Irizar arrives at Sim’s Travel

Third Irizar arrives at Sim’s Travel

Long-established Cumbrian coach operator William Sim & Son has just taken delivery of a new Irizar i6S Integral as it moves to bring its entire large coach fleet to Euro VI compliance.

The company undertakes a wide range of coaching tasks from its base near Holmrook, running a fleet of 18 vehicles including six full-size coaches.

Director Andrew Sim is the third generation to run the Lake District company, which he does with his brother and fellow director Peter.

“This is our third new Irizar Integral in three years,” he reports.

“We particularly like the DAF-ZF powertrain. We took our first modern DAF-powered coach in 2007, and have a very good relationship with local dealer Solway DAF, which also undertakes our service work and inspections.

“The newest generation of DAF engines also seem to have the edge on fuel over the competition.”

Sim’s I6S Integral has been carefully specified to suit the company’s need for a versatile vehicle that will give good service for up to 10 years, initially undertaking the company’s own domestic and continental tour programme, plus third-party holidays and incoming tourist work, before moving onto schools’ contracts.

The 12.9-metre coach has 53 i6+ seats with footrests, and a centre toilet with electric hand-dryer.

Other passenger amenities include aircraft-style overhead luggage lockers, a drinks machine, USB charging points, and seatback tables with magazine holders. The coach has a Bosch Smart Series audio system and twin-monitor Actia DVD player.

Driver and guide seats are upholstered in leather, and the coach is fitted with Active and Predictive Cruise Control systems.

The driveline itself is the most modern available: a powerful DAF MX-11 300 408 hp diesel engine driving a ZF TraXon automated manual gearbox.

“We are on our third generation of ZF automated gearboxes,” Andrew reports. “The TraXon is a big improvement over previous versions. Together with the latest DAF engine, it’s a huge advance. When I drove the new coach back up from Irizar (UK)’s premises in Worksop it was recording between 11 and 12 mpg on the hills of the M62. It never dropped below 11 mpg: that’s the best we’ve ever seen, and was on a tight engine too. That’s a huge saving over the life of the vehicle.

“Fuel economy is of vital importance to us. We want the economic benefit, but we also need to minimise our carbon footprint and harmful emissions.

“It’s not just about London: Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh are all regular destinations for us, and all have plans for emissions zones. There is even a suggestion that the Lake District and other National Parks could become Low Emissions Zones.

“We are pre-empting this by making sure that we have the correct kit in place.”

  • Trading as Sim’s Travel, William Sim & Son has been established for over 100 years, and operates from Eskdale in the shadow of Scarfell Pike. Besides its own programme of national and international tours and excursions, it also operates incoming group tourism services for German and Asian clients, and private hire and contact coaching.