Category:Plaxton Pointer

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English: The Plaxton Pointer was a series of British built midibus bodies, built on both step entrance and then low floor bus chassis, from 1989 to 2007. It was largely known by the 'Plaxton Pointer' name after the manufacturer Plaxton, but was not badged as a Plaxton product for both the early and latter period of its life.

Designs & Manufacturers: The Pointer began life as the Reeve Burgess Pointer, manufactured as a Reeve Burgess product, who had been a Plaxton subsidiary since 1980. After two years, the Reeve Burgess operation was shut down, and production moved to Plaxton proper, with the bus becoming the Plaxton Pointer, but with an unchanged appearance. In 1995 Plaxton introduced a low floor version, still named the Plaxton Pointer. This low floor version was wider, and had a rounder appearance than the boxier step entrance design. Production of both continued until the low floor superseded the step entrance in 1998. The low floor Pointer was soon redesigned and became known as the Plaxton Pointer 2, with notable differences including metal headlight/indicator cluster and rear vent surrounds, and a loss of the saw tooth front detail, which had passed from the original step entrance into to the first low floor design. With the passing of Plaxton into the TransBus International group in 2001, the Pointer was renamed the TransBus Pointer, with the Plaxton badges eventually replaced with TransBus branding, but with the design unchanged. While in TransBus ownership, production of the Pointer moved to the site of its one time largest competitor, Alexander, which were also part of TransBus. When TransBus entered administration and was split between Plaxton and a new company, Alexander Dennis, with the Pointer now rebranded as the Alexander Dennis Pointer, but still unchanged in appearance as the second design of the low floor Pointer.

Length: The Pointer was conceived as a midibus, a lightweight design designed to bridge the gap between minibuses and heavy full size buses. As such it was offered in lengths from 8.5m to 9.8m long. The transition to low floor however, saw the range become closer to full size buses, moving up to a range of 9.2m to 10.6m long. In 1997 & 1998 the Dart SLF chassis was also offered in reduced and extended length to be bodied exclusively with Pointer bodies, as the 11.3m long Dart SPD & 8.8m long MPD (Super Pointer Dart & Mini Pointer Dart), meaning the lightweight Pointer now almost fully spanned the length between the shortest of the original step entrance Pointers, and most full size heavy buses.

Chassis: The step entrance versions of the Pointer were built on both the Dennis Dart or Volvo B6 chassis. The first low floor version was also offered on their low floor chassis equivalents, the Dennis Dart SLF & Volvo B6LE. With the bringing together of Dennis & Plaxton under common ownership as TransBus, the second design of the low floor version of the Pointer was from then on only bodied on the Dart SLF (which continued to be offered with other bodywork too).

Successor: Latterly an Alexander Dennis model bodied only on the Alexander Dennis Dart chassis, production of the Alexander Dennis Pointer finally came to an end with the launch of the Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Dart, which is a range of chassis only, body only, and integral (body & chassis) buses. Ironically, in the same year, Plaxton was purchased by Alexander Dennis, reuniting the former TransBus companies.

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