25 Jun Marshall’s Bus & Coach Company Purchase 1st & Last SB50 School Bus Body on Mercedes-Benz XBC1626 Chassis!
Marshall’s Bus & Coach, a well-respected bus business based on the south coast of NSW, are one of the few family owned bus businesses still remaining in the industry.
Originally operating a local school bus near Lake Cargelligo, in 1976, Matriarch Helen Marshall and her husband, the late Ken Marshall decided it was time for a sea change and relocated to Tuross Head, where they purchased Tuross Bus Service.
Shortly after, Moruya Bus Service was put on the market, and was subsequently purchased by the family. In 2015, although their Bus fleet was well serviced and maintained, “almost immaculate”, it was aged, so the family embarked on a mission to replace the ageing fleet with new buses.
With TfNSW purchase approvals at hand, it was now time to make a decision on which bus to buy. After many family discussions it was finally decided that Mercedes-Benz would be the chassis of choice, with the next hurdle being, which body to best complement the Mercedes-Benz chassis. Finally, after some research, Custom Bus was selected as the body provider.
Leading into 2016, the Marshall’s were notified of a pending category 3 replacement and undertook discussions with Mercedes-Benz in regards to which options might be available to fulfil this requirement. At the time Mercedes-Benz were preparing for the addition of the XBC1626 to be added to their portal offerings as a Category 3 option, with Marshall’s Bus & Coach being the first Bus operator to purchase an XBC1626, and furthermore, the first to build the XBC1626 with a Custom SB50 Body.
Since then, Marshall’s Bus & Coach have purchased a further 10 x Mercedes-Benz O500RF’s with SB50 bodies, plus 2 x more XBC1626 chassis also with SB50 bodies.
4 years later, Marshall’s Bus & Coach are also the last to purchase the XBC / SB50 combination, the recent build coinciding with the last SB50 body ever to be built by Custom Bus Group.
Speaking to Peter Marshall, he had this to say:
Why we chose Custom Bus
At a time when Marshall’s Bus & Coach was replacing a large portion of our fleet Custom offered an attractive high-quality product and supporting Australian bus and coach manufacturing is important to Marshall’s as a family business. Additionally, having the manufacturer in close proximity offered us additional access during manufacturing and prompt after sales service.
Our experience with Custom Bus
Despite some challenges, Marshall’s has always maintained a positive relationship with Custom, their customer relations and after sales service has been excellent and they have displayed loyalty to us, despite the natural upheaval following the change of ownership which occurred during that time.
What we like about the current product and the company
The styling and build quality offered by Custom continues to be of the highest standard available. The fact that the product is Australian made and the company has a good knowledge of what local operators need has always been appreciated.
Thoughts on the last SB50 in production
Marshall’s was very excited to receive the first SB50 on a Mercedes XBC chassis in 2016 and four years on we remain excited to have the last. We continue to receive positive feedback on the striking nature of the SB50’s in our fleet.
Whilst we eagerly await a closer look at the design of the new Custom-Denning body, we are sad to see the SB50 go.
Over the years Marshall’s Bus & Coach have developed a reputation for being one of the most professionally operated bus businesses in the country.
With a state of the art depot, a team of well trained staff all working to the highest of standards, a new fleet of buses all thoroughly maintained and serviced, and with the greatest amount of attention paid to every little detail, it is easy to see why Marshall’s Bus & Coach have developed such a reputation.
Custom Bus Group thanks Marshall’s Bus & Coach, and the entire family, for showing Custom Bus Group faith and confidence in their continual supply of bus bodies, and for their ongoing support over the years, and we hope that this relationship continues for many more generations to come!