Avtotranskali (ATK), the motor transport division of Uralkali, goes on with the planned renewal of the vehicle fleet. By 2003, the ATK bus fleet alone was depreciated by 75 percent. This year, the motor transport division of the company has already received thirty two new vehicles, including three buses manufactured by the Minsk Auto Works (MAZ). In the first quarter of the next year, Uralkali will receive another seven MAZ buses accommodating up to 160 passengers. The new buses are equipped with Mercedes engines and an automatic gearbox. The engine life in terms of kilometrage is a million kilometers, i.e., three times that of Ikarus buses. At the same time, MAZ buses are cheaper by half than imported buses. The bus saloon has six heaters and its ceiling is covered by a foam-polyurethane film for heat insulation The double bottom of the bus has an anti-corrosion coating.
"The imported engine is a higher guarantee that the company workers will come to work on time," says Oleg Mikheenko, Director of Avtotranskali. "ATK does not intend to use MAZ buses for several decades until they run a million kilometers. Buses, like other machinery, must be operated as much as possible, preferably 24 hours a day. Then, after the established depreciation period of seven years expires they must be replaced. It is not wise to spend money on endless repairs and suffer losses because of downtime.?
By the end of the year Avtotranskali will receive one MAZ bus of the luxury class, a laureate of the program "100 best products of Russia." This bus will be used for business trips of Uralkali delegations. It will be equipped with additional heaters, reclining seats, an air conditioner, a bio toilet and a musical system.