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Old 05-23-2012, 12:24 AM   #51
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Re: Sara & Andy's Bus

Well, hot ziggety. What a nifty bus -- specially the roof raise.
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:37 PM   #52
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Re: Sara & Andy's Bus

I was unaware of the problems with a Carpenter Body bus rolling in Florida in 2003.

I found one image on the internet for people who are wondering:


Quote:
The scene is Alachua County near Gainsville, Fla on March 20, 2003. A school bus rolls over and the roof caves in. The driver is injured. Fortunately there are no students on board. The accident is shocking because a school bus roof should be able to withstand the force of a rollover accident.

Word of it went all the way to Washington, D.C. Federal investigators discovered a major defect: cracks in the welding at the part that supports the roof. They decided bad welding caused the roof to collapse all the way down to the seats. And investigators believe hundreds of other school buses have the same defect

Carpenter made the buses at its plant in Mitchell, Indiana. The government sent this advisory to school districts nationwide: Check your fleet for Carpenter buses and inspect them for cracks. Hillsborough County, Fla. has 64 of these carpenter buses and discovered cracks on nine.

http://media.myfoxtampabay.com/investigates/bus2.html
Some more info and the advisory: http://ed.sc.gov/agency/news/?nid=327

I am not meaning to hijack this thread - but it was mentioned here.

Ed

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Old 05-28-2012, 05:47 PM   #53
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Re: Sara & Andy's Bus

Before I bought my 1995 Carpenter I found this advisory and brought it up with my dealer, here is part of his response;

Quote:
First of all, most of the Carpenters were alright. Not nearly all were bad (due to poor, inefficient, or missing welds).
Nearly EVERY Carpenter bus kept in service in this country ended up going through a 'recertification' process. Most states required it. AND, if these units were sold without recertification, the school was supposed to scrap them and write 'scrap' on the titles. Unfortunately, very few schools abided by this recommendation from the NHTSA. So, there are MANY Carpenter buses out there that should not be.
The best way to make sure the bus you are getting does not have weld issues is to purchase one that has been in service for years after the original problem near Gainesville, FL. If a school kept the Carpenter bus in service, they had to make sure it was a safe one. They could not take the risk of having a bus on the road that was knowingly bad. The lawyers would have eaten them alive in a court case!
Some states required ALL Carpenters to be taken apart, rewelded, and recertified, before they go back on the road. Even if they were properly welded from the factory, they had to be rewelded in order to be used. Delawave, New Jersey, and Ohio made it mandatory.
Other states required the unwelded buses to be taken apart and redone, but did not require the ones that were properly welded from the factory to be disassembled and redone. MOST states fell into this catagory.
Other states required the schools to get rid of the Carpenters as soon as possible. Florida was one of these states. There are no Mitchell-built Carpenters running in Florida, any longer. MANY good buses ended up scrapped because of the fear of being sued. Florida Carpenter buses ended up with SCRAP on their titles.
The buses from the Richmond plant were not involved the rewelding issues, but we have still seen some that had the problem. Amtran built many more buses with a weld problem than Carpenter, but because they are still in business and can reweld the buses when the problem is found, they were given a pass. Many Bluebirds and Thomas buses also had weld and broken frame issues. They, too, get fixed on warranty, since those companies are still in business.
The Carpenter buses built in Richmond (the old Wayne plant that was bought by Carpenter) were labeled Crown. Most Carpenters, no matter where they were built, were properly welded.
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Old 05-28-2012, 06:58 PM   #54
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Re: Sara & Andy's Bus

I posted a very detailed post to this,the relevant details are noted in "findings"...this is good inof that needs to be out there but is "only" relavent to buses in a specic plant that did not use 1pc bows
.....went back and looked at page 4...this shows the "multipc" rub rail....mmm...but you need to look at build date and plant...the bows do "look" like multi pc ones....you'al be safe!!
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:04 PM   #55
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Re: Sara & Andy's Bus

Missing bolts & bad welding were what long ago prompted Blue Bird to only use one-piece bows in their roofs. Each is a continuous single piece from below the floor on one side, over the top and below the floor on the other side. All tied together via the stressed, riveted skin and bodacious end caps. Far & away the strongest roofs & bodies in the industry.

Years ago I worked with a brilliant inventor chap who did a lot of engineering work & special development for Blue Bird. He told me about a factory film he was shown (no CD's back then) of a heads up test between a Bird, a Carpenter & a Thomas as I recall. They were apparently pitching some big school district big shots to buy Birds. All three brand new buses were lined up along the edge of an incline that was about 45 degrees steep and about 150-200' down to the bottom. One by one a big front-loader tipped them up on one side until they rolled down the grade sideways. The Carpenter & Thomas literally came apart before they reached bottom. One had very little of the body, let alone the roof still attached. On one, the engine separated from the chassis as well. Finally they tipped the Bird over. It rolled and slammed like the others but stayed almost completely intact. The emergency windows popped out...the windshield fractured but stayed in place, and the roof, while hammered and dented heavily on the outside was completely secure. But what must have closed the deal was when they righted the Bird...cranked it up and drove it back up the incline! Very impressive info & from a very "Trusted Source". I eventually bought a Bird based on his req's and raised the roof only after consulting with another Blue Bird engineer.

The moral of this story is...All Skoolies were not created equal.
Do some investigative homework and start with the best chassis & body you can afford...then...get a thorough understanding of why it's put together the way it is before you go hacking chunks out here and there.
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:37 PM   #56
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Re: Sara & Andy's Bus

Hello,

I was not trying to hijack the very nice bus design thread. I read teh comments about the accident and being obsessive, I had to look up what I could about it. Sorry for the distraction.

Ed
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:39 AM   #57
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Re: Sara & Andy's Bus

No need to apologize. Very good info that should be shared with any & all considering building a Skoolie. Thank you.
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Old 07-16-2012, 01:49 PM   #58
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Re: Sara & Andy's Bus

hope your not over 13.6 high ,or u be put a new top on again... it looks good
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:20 PM   #59
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Re: Sara & Andy's Bus

very good job on the roof deck.
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:25 PM   #60
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Re: Sara & Andy's Bus

is it really that tall?
you only raised the roof like 17 inches I thought
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