Citybus Special Hino HS3KRKA

Buslovers – Hino citybus HS3KRKA akan di bahas di buslover dan banyak yang akan di kupas di buslovers kawan seperti trans island bus service dan hino engine serta hino motor. and berikut ulasan tentang bus in malaysia and singapore . . . 

During the mid-1990s, Trans-Island Bus Services (TIBS and now known as SMRT Buses) brought in European buses in large numbers, as opposed to their Japanese fleet which has been the flagship since they began operations in 1983. However, in early 1998, TIBS unexpectedly introduced a demonstrator unit from Hino Motors – the Hino HS3KRKA.Hino HS3KRKA for sale 300x200 Citybus Special Hino HS3KRKA

In 1998, Hino Motors launched a campaign to attract orders for their new HS3KRKA rear-engined citybus chassis. As part of their marketing campaign, Hino opted for Volgren Australia’s CR221 bodywork to be fitted on 2 demonstrator units. The assembly works were contracted to Malaysia’s Gemilang Coachwork, a licensee of Volgren Australia. One unit was destined for TIBS of Singapore, whereas the other unit will be delivered to Intrakota of Kuala Lumpur, the predecessor of RapidKL. The TIBS unit was to be the first such bus to be assembled by Gemilang Coachwork for Singapore.

The Malaysian example entered service with Intrakota sometime in late-1998. Although it was eventually purchased by the operator, Hino did not receive any follow-up orders from Malaysia. The bus, registered WGH980, continued operating for Nadi Putra for nearly a decade long, until it was sold to Penang-based Milan Travel sometime in 2007-2008. After a brief stint with Milan Travel, it was stored at an undisclosed location, purportedly due to maintenance issues with the bus. It was again spotted on the roads in 2009, only to be permanently withdrawn from revenue service shortly after, citing high operating costs and extensive maintenance issues. WGH980 remains the only HS3KRKA chassis to be registered in Malaysia till today.

Back in Singapore, the TIBS example was registered as TIB905Y on 21st January 1998. The bus was the first Volgren-bodied unit for TIBS and the third Volgren-bodied example in Singapore, after the Volvo B10BLE demonstrator SBS1688K and the Mercedes-Benz O405G articulated bus demonstrator SBS999U. It features the signature CR221 front design and like other buses in TIBS fleet then, the airconditioning unit was located beneath the bus. This arrangement is opposed to the Nadi Putra’s example whose airconditioning unit was placed on the roof. It has a seating capacity for 41 passengers and standing space for another 39. Seats were procured from Vogel-Sitze and the airconditioning was provided by Konvekta.

Derived from the domestic Blue Ribbon model from Japan, the Hino HS3KRKA is a rear-engined bus chassis. The design of the chassis allows a lower-than-usual floor height when compared to other Japanese buses in the 1990s. However, with the airconditioning unit located underfloor, the overall floor height in the saloon was significantly higher than WGH980. Apart from being the first low-floor citybus chassis with air suspension by Hino for Singapore, it was also the most powerful diesel-powered bus then. It’s engine capacity – a whopping 13-litres! Powered by the Hino K13U engine, it meets the Euro-2 exhaust emission standards, effectively becoming the greenest Japanese bus in Singapore back then. The engine produces a maximum power output of 270 PS, with maximum torque output at 932 Nm. The bus is fitted with the 4-speed ZF4HP500 automatic gearbox.

In its early days, TIB905Y was deployed on Service 854. It was to be transferred to Kranji Depot and remained a permanent fleet of Feeder Service 941 at Bukit Batok. Hino enjoyed small success with the trial unit as TIBS placed orders for a further 11 units of the bus. The production examples were of the modified HS3K chassis, coded as HS3KRKK and fitted with similar Volgren Australia’s CR221 bodywork featuring a modified ‘smiley’ front. TIB905Y itself was re-fitted with new multi-coloured seats which is now a common feature in SMRT Buses.

Special thanks to for the opportunity to document this unique bus, during the Hino HS3KRKA tour organised by them last week.

Technical Specifications (provided by and Terence Au)

  • Make: Hino Motors
  • Model: HS3KRKA (Japanese Domestic Model – Blue Ribbon)
  • Bodywork: Volgren Australia CR221 (Assembled by Gemilang Coachwork)
  • Length: 11.8m
  • Width: 2.5m
  • Height: 3.2m
  • Wheelbase: 5.2m
  • Unladen Weight: 10,960kg
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 16,000kg
  • Engine: 13-litres K13U, Euro-2 diesel engine
  • Power: 270 PS @ 199 kW
  • Transmission: ZF 4HP500 4-speed automatic
  • Airconditioning: Konvekta
  • Passenger Capacity: 41 seated, 39 standees
  • Registration: TIB905Y

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