moving the air brake pedal

General discussion about conversions. New products, problems, ideas, etc.

moving the air brake pedal

Postby bansil » Wed May 23, 2012 5:49 am

So I admit I have only drivin the bus twice, i can not stand the brake pedal beside the throttle.
Maybe I am not used to it,but I find myself having to "think" when I apply the brake,mostly because of muscle conditioning from pressing the throttle pedal down and then releasing and moving foot to the brake and ease it down(or you will launch through the window if you stab the brakes).

I am thinking of moving the pedal assy to the left side so I use my "relaxed" left foot to apply the brakes.
Whatcha all think?

Why would they put the two pedals side by side?

Moving the pedal will also help reaction time if a quick brake app is needed
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Re: moving the air brake pedal

Postby somewhereinusa » Wed May 23, 2012 7:01 am

Why would they put the two pedals side by side?

Three reasons come quickly to mind.
!. In a panic situation you can't push both pedals at once if you have to release one to apply the other.
2. You can't rest you left foot (ride) on the brake pedal.
3. When you have three pedals, when you stop, you have to push the clutch and the brake at the same time.

I'll admit I learned to drive a long time ago, but I was taught that number 2 above is a bad thing for a number of reasons.
After 58 years of driving, and a million accident free miles in a semi, I can't recall one time that I had th "think" about releasing the
fuel so that I could apply the brake.

I'm probably showing my age, but I forget that there are probably a lot of people out there who have never driven a straight transmission. :D
Do they now teach that you should use your left foot on the brake? :?
I don't think that I could force myself to do that. Besides, how would you operate the dimmer switch, if your left foot was on the brake?????? :lol:
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Re: moving the air brake pedal

Postby bansil » Wed May 23, 2012 7:24 am

somewhereinusa wrote:
Why would they put the two pedals side by side?

Three reasons come quickly to mind.
!. In a panic situation you can't push both pedals at once if you have to release one to apply the other.
2. You can't rest you left foot (ride) on the brake pedal.
3. When you have three pedals, when you stop, you have to push the clutch and the brake at the same time.

I'll admit I learned to drive a long time ago, but I was taught that number 2 above is a bad thing for a number of reasons.
After 58 years of driving, and a million accident free miles in a semi, I can't recall one time that I had th "think" about releasing the
fuel so that I could apply the brake.

I'm probably showing my age, but I forget that there are probably a lot of people out there who have never driven a straight transmission. :D
Do they now teach that you should use your left foot on the brake? :?
I don't think that I could force myself to do that. Besides, how would you operate the dimmer switch, if your left foot was on the brake?????? :lol:

I hear you,I learned to drive a 3 spd on the tree many moons ago,I prefer a manual 90% of the time

In all the panic situations I have been in I have never hit both pedals at once,actually cant picture anyone doing that...but I know it happens all the time you hear about it in the news

I drive with all my feet :) depending on situation off road vs on road

So OTR trucks are the same setup?

I guess thinking back maybe I wasn't thinking about the brake as much as i made it sound(in my own mind,probably due to not being used to the brakes...so I need more seat time to fix that :wink:

oh..and about the dimmer switch...it's on the column :lol:
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Re: moving the air brake pedal

Postby chev49 » Wed May 23, 2012 9:18 am

depending on your preferences, i see no reason not to move the brake pedal if you so wish. and even the gas petal over if you so desire.. it't your bus.
the petals don't know where they are at, only the person who uses them. :D after all, if ya can drive machinery like excavators, cats, etc., the controls arent the same as a vehicle, and they can be managed...
on one of my street rods i built, l put an accelerator petal on the left side as well as the right, so i could drive it with my left foot, and that worked fine. i should do that with my bus as i have a right leg injury.
that would be easy in my bus as it is an air throttle...
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Re: moving the air brake pedal

Postby roach711 » Wed May 23, 2012 9:23 am

somewhereinusa wrote:
Three reasons come quickly to mind.
!. In a panic situation you can't push both pedals at once if you have to release one to apply the other.
2. You can't rest you left foot (ride) on the brake pedal.
3. When you have three pedals, when you stop, you have to push the clutch and the brake at the same time.


My dad used to "two foot" the gas and brake at the same time. One day he got in a panic situation and floored them both. Luckily, the brakes overpowered the engine but it could have been very bad had he been driving something powerful. His brakes always wore out fast because of #2.
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Re: moving the air brake pedal

Postby Stuff » Wed May 23, 2012 3:58 pm

id look into the legality of that as well.
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Re: moving the air brake pedal

Postby ol trunt » Wed May 23, 2012 11:02 pm

I'm one of those right handed--should have been left handed guys so I changed the left and right brake caliper handles on my mtn bike to suit me. It worked fine---however, the bike mechanic at the bike shop who was tuning up my bike wasn't happy with the change as he sailed over the handle bars on his test ride! Just a thought re next owner/driver.
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Re: moving the air brake pedal

Postby chev49 » Thu May 24, 2012 1:30 am

that is their problem... :D
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Re: moving the air brake pedal

Postby bansil » Thu May 24, 2012 4:08 am

chev49 wrote:that is their problem... :D

:lol:
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Re: moving the air brake pedal

Postby bansil » Thu May 24, 2012 4:17 pm

I "think" most of it has to do with a very stiff return spring on gas pedal,I can't just slide my foot off the gas pedal,it actually gets moved up and then I have to pickup my foot and move it to the brake pedal and press down to find the pedal and then apply quick even pressure to stop(or go thru windshield :lol: )

The couple tractors(OTR) I have driven had the gas and brake pedals on the same "plane"
where as the bus has an angled gas pedal like a car and the brake is more flat on the floor like old bumper cars

So I guess I just need more time using them,heck the school bus folks who drive every day don't have a problem with it....maybe since I'm a guy they where designed for women :shock: ...J/K..
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Re: moving the air brake pedal

Postby chev49 » Thu May 24, 2012 6:51 pm

i removed the spring under the accelerator petal which makes it much easier on my foot, and doesnt affect operation or idle a bit.. so when i wear boots, i don't have to put much pressure on my leg at all. i have not done this yet, but if i get the right length weak accelerator spring, i am going to see what happens when i hook it up to the air throttle. may be good, may be bad, but there is always the engine shut off beside the engine on a re bus.
one thing no one has mentioned is hand controls.. large one ton dualie trucks with a van body can come with them.. one of my classmates in high school had one made up for him... (it took the builders a few times to get the steering and brake pressures right so the thing drove right) so the point is, a bus could be converted for that as well, esp a short one.
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Re: moving the air brake pedal

Postby Bullwhacker007 » Fri May 25, 2012 12:26 am

I wouldn't move the peddles and leave them where they were put by the manufacturer.
I mention this is the case if you are involved in an accident and start to get torn apart by a lawyer.

Some people have a problem of the angle of the "gas" peddle.
Sometimes that is why you see truckers wearing "cowboy" boots; the high heel.

You can try a block of wood like a piece of 2x4 and see how that fits with your heel on the block and toe on the "gas" peddle?
The brake is lower due to if you have to get on it fast you just slide your foot to the left.

I drove truck for over 20 years and ran into the "peddle" issue from other people talking about it.

Also if you move the brake peddle to the left side what do you think is going to happen if you slip off the clutch and jamb your foot down on the brakes or the clutch linkage is sloppy and the peddle goes to the floor and you also hit the brake peddle?

Reaction time is not everything; it is control during that reaction time; If your going for outright speed you will lockup the brakes every time.

Practicing "defensive" driving leaving adequate vehicle spacing and looking ahead as far as you can see to watch the road and traffic before you get there is allot more important..
YOU CAN NOT DRIVE YOUR BUS like you drive your car; you need ALLOT more vehicle spacing to safely stop in..

I could always stop my car 4000 lbs far far faster and in allot shorter distance than my rig loaded at 40-50 tons.
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Re: moving the air brake pedal

Postby chev49 » Fri May 25, 2012 8:47 am

my clutch petal wasnt with the bus when i got it. musta been a mfg defect. :D
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Re: moving the air brake pedal

Postby bansil » Fri May 25, 2012 9:10 am

chev49 wrote:my clutch petal wasnt with the bus when i got it. musta been a mfg defect. :D

I have the same defect :shock:

I think I will try different shoes/boots, it makes since if the heel area was built up some...mmmmmm...now where are my wifes shoes at :lol:
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