Busy meeting demand for custom-made buses

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Ashburton bespoke bus builder BT Coachbuilders has packed 16 weeks of work into just nine to roll out two of its latest bespoke buses.
The 9m ski shuttle buses for client NZ Ski have been delivered to The Remarkables skifield.
Three have now been built for the skifield operator and two more are likely to follow next year.
The 23-seater, four wheel drive buses were completed on time despite a delay in receiving the truck chassis from Japan.
BT Coachbuilders owner Brendon Thomson and his team worked long hours to complete both buses in nine weeks.
‘‘We usually schedule eight weeks for each bus, but delays meant we were up against it, but also keen to deliver on time,’’ said Mr Thomson.
His team built the buses from the chassis up, crafted a steel body, fitted them out and upholstered them.
Specialist glazing and painting jobs at this stage were contracted out to Mid Canterbury and Canterbury businesses, he said.
Mr Thomson said the future was looking bright for his 14-month-old business.
Word of mouth advertising promoted the bespoke service and secured orders would keep his team busy into next year.
The order book included another big 39 seater coach, two school buses and a truck bus.
NZ Ski would look at its financials at the end of the year, before more orders were likely confirmed, said Mr Thomson.
Mr Thomson has a staff of four and also his semi retired father Blair to call upon.
His current customer base is South Island based and he is keen ‘‘not to grow the business too quickly’’.
Mr Thomson continues an Ashburton bus building tradition that stems back to Designline, a company he plied his trade at for nearly 30 years.