Trident in Trouble

It’s not often that you see a modern bus on my blog but I had to chuckle when a Stagecoach bus broke down on the hill right outside my office in Teignmouth.


Alexander bodied Dennis Trident 19106 (MX07HMF) expired yesterday on the main road into Teignmouth from Newton Abbot. I’m not sure what service it had been on because the display had already changed to ‘Sorry! I’m not in service’ by the time I saw it from the office window. The breakdown truck had just arrived. This picture shows the Trident jacked up on blocks in preparation for a suspended tow back to base.

Modern buses are very comfortable, safe and economical but at the same time, hugely complicated. I don’t know the reason for the breakdown but it may have been something like an engine management fault. Bristol half-cabs have engine management, did you know that? It’s called an accelerator pedal.

Apart from a worn out clutch last year, which very nearly brought out the breakdown truck, I haven’t been let down by a heritage bus at all. I love the basic mechanics of the old Bristol buses, they are so reliable. With workshop staff who are on top of their jobs and conversant with 1950s engineering, I feel well supported too.

I’m out and about this Saturday with a refurbished Bristol FLF so I hope that my only problem will be coping with the cold weather. The wedding duty will take me to Cheltenham and thence into the wild flatlands of Oxfordshire.

10 comments on “Trident in Trouble

  1. Dave Moore says:

    You should also realise that Bristols have an onboard computer system. It’s called The Driver!

    Good luck with your wedding duty on Saturday, I’m taking the Island lodekka down to Goathurst on Easter Monday. I’m also hoping the weather gets a bit warmer by then!

  2. Cherry Selby says:

    Don’t forget the thermals John.:-))

    Sent from my iPad

  3. heikoworld says:

    I bet that made your day John.
    There was an Optare the other day broken down in Taunton, it completely fouled the traffic.
    I have to say that when I was younger I never saw any of the old bus`s having to be towed to the garage.
    Enjoy your Easter Weekend in Cheltenham and Oxfordshire.

  4. Bill Stickers says:

    The snag with a Lodekka is you cannot have one person operation. I think it is extremely rare to see a bus failed even now. At one time rear engined types were extremely failure prone, but now they seem just as reliable, if not as fuel efficient, (strange that) as the former front engined types.

    • busmanjohn says:

      You are right about OPO on local bus services although we use our Lodekkas on mostly private hire work which, unless the bus has an open rear platform, we can operate with just a driver. On the occasions we use a Lodekka on service work in Weston-super-Mare we do of course have to carry a conductor.

  5. Simon Grant regular Crosville Conductor says:

    Just a small note the picture shows an Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 not a trident

    • busmanjohn says:

      Thanks, Simon. I admit that modern buses are not my strong point and there’s the evidence! Does that mean that I need to change the title of this post to ‘Enviro Emergency’?

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