Mercedes-Benz O405 (TIBS / SMRT)

Mercedes-Benz O405

SMRT Mercedes-Benz O405 OAC

Other names Merc, O405
Manufacturer Mercedes-Benz Buses
Bodywork Hispano Carrocera
Volgren
Year 1990–
Local Operators SMRT Buses
Technical Data
Length 12m
Width 2.55m
Entry High floor
Engine Mercedes-Benz OM447hA
Gearbox ZF 4HP 500
Emission Standard Euro I

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The Mercedes-Benz O405 is a rear-engined single-deck transit bus built by  Mercedes-Benz  from the mid-1980s to the early 2000s. As the successor of the Mercedes-Benz O305 chassis, it was highly successful, with many units operating in Europe, Australia and Singapore.

Both major public bus operators in Singapore, Singapore Bus Services (SBS) and Trans-Island Bus Services (TIBS), acquired a total of over 1000 units between 1990 and 2000 over many different variants of bodywork. 700 units obtained by SBS were of the Mark-I make, while the 323 units obtained by TIBS were of the Mark-II make.

Due to complexity of information, this article will only cover Mercedes-Benz O405s in TIBS and SMRT’s fleet only.

Technical Information:

The Mercedes-Benz O405 was the successor to the Mercedes-Benz O305, which stopped production in 1987. It was sold to many bus operators in Europe, Australia and Singapore. The O405G was produced in two generations, designated as O405 MkI and O405 MkII.

The O405G MkI (mid-1980s to early-1990s) featured a naturally aspirated Mercedes-Benz OM447h engine with either a 210-horsepower or 250-horsepower output, coupled with a Mercedes-Benz W3E110/2.2R or W3E112/2.2R gearbox. A compressed natural gas (CNG) 205-horsepower Mercedes-Benz M447hG engine was also offered. Gearbox options included other Voith, ZF or Allison gearboxes. All units acquired by SBS were of the Mk I type.

The O405G MkII (early-1990s to early-2000s)  featured a turbocharged 250-horsepower Mercedes-Benz OM447hA engine. Naturally aspirated engines, turbocharged+inter-cooled engines & CNG engine options were available . Gearbox options included other Voith or ZF gearboxes. All units acquired by TIBS were of the Mk II type.

Apart from providing an integral bodywork, the O405 is compatible with many other types of bodywork. An articulated version of this chassis was also produced, the Mercedes-Benz O405G. The low-floor version of the O405 was known as the O405N (or O 405 GN for articulated version). A low-entry variant, the O405NH, was also produced, targeted towards the Australia market.

The Mercedes-Benz O405 and O405N series was superseded by the Citaro, and the O405NH was superseded by the OC500LE.

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SMRT Mercedes-Benz O405 (Hispano Carrocera) OAC:

In 1993, Trans-Island Bus Services (TIBS) placed a large order of 235 Mercedes-Benz O405s of the Mark-II type, in contrast to the Mark-I type O405s acquired by SBS. They were registered between 7 Jul 1994 and 26 Sep 1997 as TIB425R – TIB561ETIB572Z – TIB634D and TIB798P – TIB832Z. To contrast them from the non-air-conditioned batch, this batch was known as the OAC, or original air-conditioned.

SMRT MBO405 - Lawo Luminator

SMRT MBO405 OAC – LAWO green flip-dot

Basic Specifications:

  • Mercedes-Benz OM447hA engine
    Turbocharged, 11.967-litre, 250bhp
  • ZF Ecomat 4HP500 gearbox
    Four-speed automatic .
  • Hispano Carrocera bodywork
    Chassis built in Germany, bodied by Hispano Carrocera in Spain
  • Hispacold underfloor air-conditioning
  • LAWO Electronic Display Signage (EDS)
    Green flip-dot matrix, standard size for future buses introduced by TIBS

TIB425R and TIB426M are demonstrator buses. TIB426M was intended to be a non-air-conditioned demonstrator unit but was eventually delivered with air-conditioning. It is the only O405 to have rounded-edge windows at the rear.

The large number of orders reflects the success of the model, and was the flagship bus model of the TIBS fleet during the 1990s, operating on virtually every bus service. From 2004, some buses were SPAD-registered to serve on cross-border routes. The gaps in the registration numbers reflect how TIBS chooses to register its buses in ascending numerical order.

Additional Specifications:

SMRT MBO405 - Mobitec MobiLED

SMRT MBO405 OAC – Mobitec MobiLED

The Mercedes-Benz O405 is one of the most diverse group of buses, with many different interior installations and EDS upgrades across the fleet. It has a licensed capacity for 85 passengers, comprising of 41 seated and 44 standing passengers.

This bus originally came with green PVC seat covers, reflecting the interior color scheme of choice for TIBS. During subsequent refurbishments, some were fitted with purple and red PVC seat covers. The more recent refurbishments would have been fitted with red, purple and blue plastic seat covers, the interior colour scheme of choice for SMRT Buses. TIB612S has an additional two back-facing foldable seats at the standing area.

Aside from the original LAWO green flip-dot EDS, many existing buses received LED matrix EDS units, such as the LAWO BENEFIT and the Mobitec MobiLED. TIB596E uses a Transit Media EDS, TIB597C uses a CoolAir EDS, whereas TIB612S has a LAWO ALUMA EDS unit only for the front.

Aside from the original Hispacold underfloor air-conditioning unit, TIB488J received a Konvekta air-conditioning unit mounted to the roof, the only Mercedes-Benz O405 OAC to have such a feature. CAC buses all have external air-conditioning pods.

By 2013, all Mercedes-Benz O405 OACs would have completed their mid-life refurbishment. This would entitle them to a lifespan extension of 2 years. New ez-link card readers have been installed on all buses.

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SMRT Mercedes-Benz O405 (Hispano Carrocera) CAC:

In 1995, Trans-Island Bus Services (TIBS) placed an additional order of 73 Mercedes-Benz O405s of the Mark-II type, but this time they were non-air-conditioned. They were registered between 22 Nov 1995 and 29 Jan 1996 as TIB725A – TIB797S. To contrast them from the non-air-conditioned batch, this batch was known as the CAC, or converted air-conditioned.

SMRT MBO405 CAC - Hanover

SMRT MBO405 CAC – Hanover flip-dot

Basic Specifications:

  • Mercedes-Benz OM447hA engine
    Turbocharged, 11.967-litre, 250bhp
  • ZF Ecomat 4HP500 gearbox
    Four-speed automatic
  • Hispano Carrocera bodywork
    Chassis built in Germany, bodied by Hispano Carrocera in Spain
  • Hispacold roof-mounted air-conditioning
  • Hanover Electronic Display Signage (EDS)
    Green flip-dot matrix, standard size for future buses introduced by TIBS

Originally non-air-conditioned, they were introduced in an era where air-conditioned travel was a comfort and charged higher fares. Such non-air-conditioned (NAC) buses provided commuters with a choice between AC and NAC buses. Eventually, when AC buses were becoming standard, air-conditioning units were installed onto existing buses, giving them the converted air-con (CAC) designation. Air conditioning pods were provided by Denso and installed onto the roof of existing buses, and most buses had their sliding windows screwed shut. TIB741C & TIB779U, were instead fitted with underfloor air-conditioning similar to those on OAC O405s.

Additional Specifications:

SMRT MBO405 CAC - Mobitec MobiLED

SMRT MBO405 CAC – Mobitec MobiLED

The Mercedes-Benz O405 is one of the most diverse group of buses, with many different interior installations and EDS upgrades across the fleet. It has a licensed capacity for 85 passengers, comprising of 41 seated and 44 standing passengers.

This bus originally came with green PVC seat covers, reflecting the interior color scheme of choice for TIBS. During subsequent refurbishments, some were fitted with purple and red PVC seat covers. The more recent refurbishments would have been fitted with red, purple and blue plastic seat covers, the interior colour scheme of choice for SMRT Buses.

All Mercedes-Benz O405 CACs have undergone mid-life refurbishment, where apart from getting an interior makeover, the original sliding windows were replaced with yellow-tinted glass panes. TIB796U is the only O405 CAC retaining the original sliding windows even after refurbishment.

Aside from the original Hanover flip-dot EDS, many existing buses received LED matrix EDS units, such as the LAWO BENEFIT and the Mobitec MobiLED. TIB783G uses a LAWO ALUMA flip-dot EDS.

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SMRT Mercedes-Benz O405 (Volgren):

In 1999, Trans-Island Bus Services (TIBS) placed orders for a final batch of 15 Mercedes-Benz O405s of the Mark-II type, with bodywork by Volgren. They were registered between 7 Dec 1999 and 28 Feb 2000 as TIB958U – TIB972C, the last O405s to be introduced into Singapore.

SMRT MBO405 Volgren - Lawo Luminator

SMRT MBO405 Volgren – LAWO green flip-dot

Basic Specifications:

  • Mercedes-Benz OM447hA engine
    Turbocharged, 11.967-litre, 250bhp
  • ZF Ecomat 4HP500 gearbox
    Four-speed automatic .
  • Volgren bodywork
    Chassis built in Germany, bodied by Volgren in Australia
  • Denso roof-mounted air-conditioning
  • LAWO Electronic Display Signage (EDS)
    LAWO Green flip-dot matrix, standard size for future buses introduced by TIBS

Seats were of a thicker green leather cover as compared to other OAC O405s and O405Gs which used fabric seat covers.

Additional Specifications:

SMRT MBO405 Volgren - Mobitec MobiLED

SMRT MBO405 Volgren – Mobitec MobiLED

The bus has a licensed capacity for 84 passengers, comprising of 39 seated and 45 standing passengers.

Aside from the original LAWO green flip-dot EDS, several existing buses received LED matrix EDS units, such as the LAWO BENEFIT (TIB958U only) and the Mobitec MobiLED.

In 2011, some Volgren O405s were JB-registered to serve on cross-border route 950. They were subsequently replaced by Mercedes-Benz OC500LEs.

As of yet, none of the Volgren O405s have undergone mid-life refurbishment.

Mercedes-Benz O405 (SBS/SBST + TIBS/SMRT)
Registration Engine Gearbox Introduced Retired Bodywork
SBS82P – SBS281G Mercedes-Benz OM447h Mercedes-Benz W3E110/2.2R,Voith DIWA D381.4 1989 – 1991 2011 Walter Alexander OAC
SBS282D – SBS581R Duple Metsec OAC
SBS3723D – SBS3922X Mercedes-Benz W3E110/2.2R Duple Metsec NAC/CAC
TIB425R – TIB561E
TIB572Z – TIB634D
Mercedes-Benz OM447hA ZF 4HP 500 1994 – 1995 2015 Hispano Carrocera OAC
TIB725A – TIB797S 1995 – 1996 2015 Hispano Carrocera NAC/CAC
TIB798P – TIB832Z 1995 – 1997 Hispano Carrocera OAC
TIB958U – TIB972C 1999 – 2000 Volgren

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Gallery: (click for larger image)

SMRT Mercedes-Benz O405 Hispano OAC

SMRT MBO405 OAC - Transit Media

TIB596C – Transit Media EDS

TIB597C - CoolAIr EDS

TIB597C – CoolAir EDS

TIB612S - LAWO ALUMA Front EDS

TIB612S – LAWO ALUMA Front EDS

TIB612S – LAWO ALUMA Front EDS

SMRT Mercedes-Benz O405 Hispano CAC

TIB757H - LAWO BENEFIT EDS

TIB757H – LAWO BENEFIT EDS

TIB783G - Lawo Luminator

TIB783G – Old Hanover EDS. Now fitted with a LAWO ALUMA EDS unit.

SMRT Mercedes-Benz O405 Volgren

TIB958U - LAWO BENEFIT

TIB958U – LAWO BENEFIT EDS

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References:

Back to Bus Models
Back to Bus Articles

7 thoughts on “Mercedes-Benz O405 (TIBS / SMRT)

  1. Some changes you have to make across a couple of pages:
    1. Lawo “Luminator” is not the model name for all ordinary flip-dot EDS models which are lighted up using fluorescent light bulbs and supplied by LAWO. “Lawo Luminator Europa” (or LLE) is the full and previous name of LAWO. (See http://www.sgbuses.com/v/smb/daf-sb220/DAF-Ext-EDS-B.JPG.html) The model name is probably something else, I saw something in the older technical documents but they need to be translated as they are in German.

    2. All Volgren-bodied rigids (O405, Lance, Hino except TIB905Y) as well as TIB612S and TIB783G use Lawo Luminator Europa ‘ALUMA’ flip-dot EDS (or now simply LAWO ‘ALUMA’). It can be distinguished by the individual LED flip-dots which clearly illuminate at night.

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