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Old 10-15-2016, 08:31 AM   #1
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Skoolies for sale in WA state

Hey guys and gals. I just got a notification that WA state is selling some 1990's Bluebird buses. It looks like they have 10 for sale. Anyone in the area might want to look into them. From the pics they look pretty decent. Here's the link:
Public Surplus: Surplus Auctions for State of Washington Surplus Operations

Trav.
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Old 10-15-2016, 09:01 PM   #2
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I am not saying every one of those buses is a piece of junk.

What I am saying is those buses are all about 20-years old with well over 200K miles--about what would be expected for a bus that old.

Bethel School District has struggled next to forever when it comes to funding. The district is a bedroom community with most of the community working at the nearby Joint Base Lewis McCord--an Army/Air Force joint military base. They do the best they can but they have a really hard time passing special levies to fund anything and the state allocation doesn't go far enough towards paying for everything. The Federal payment in lieu of property taxes helps but is not the same as if there was a Boeing aircraft plant in the middle of the district.

I suppose what I am saying is go and kick the tires and talk to the district people to find out which buses are the good buses and which ones were the garage queens.

Good luck!
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Old 10-15-2016, 11:18 PM   #3
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I have to agree with Cowlitzcoach on this, they have been underfunded for years.
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Old 10-16-2016, 04:02 AM   #4
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This is wear I got my bus. I thought they were over funded. My bus has a re-manufactured Allison 643 in it and new long block in it about 10k miles back. Plus they do 2500 mile oil changes which seems crazy to me. I wondered why they did this two years before they auctioned the bus. Also they put new tires on the rear it looks like just a few miles ago.

I thought maybe there was maximum year they had before they must stop using a bus. Or maybe the feds or state required them to have so many miles before TBO on parts like a aircraft.

Or its just Goverment doing its best to help spend our money.
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Old 10-16-2016, 04:27 AM   #5
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Geo Jeff--I would tend to think your bus was the recipient of government spending gone amuck.

If a bus was past the age of replacement I wouldn't put another dime into it. If it flat out died dead for any reason I would have it towed back to the shop to be used for parts or trade in.

School districts can purchase used buses from other districts or from a dealer and put them into service as long as they meet the minimum spe'c's. To my way of thinking it would be better to purchase a $4,000.00 bus than to put $20K into a bus that is worth only $4,000.00 no matter how nice the bus might be.

Both of our church buses came out of the Toppenish SD. They keep their buses up and spend the $$$ to keep them nice. Even so, when we got our second bus from them I swear they went through the fleet and put six of the absolute worst tires on our bus. There wasn't one that wasn't legal but none had much usable tread left.

In regards to the school in question, you did see I mentioned Bethel SD didn't you?
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Old 10-16-2016, 05:04 AM   #6
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Tacoma, SD almost the same place. I missed that.

I would never dump cash into a old fleet either.

Honestly I spent 5 hours going over the bus from front to rear. I checked over every thing and stumbled across the replaced transmission and engine. At first I though it was just pressure washed. So much rust on line watching buses. this had zero rust. exhaust looked new air bags in great shape. In fact all I found was above the driver there was red light mounted that when i ran the bus it was flashing and i could not figure out how to reset it. I assumed it was part of the emergency doors system. Even the wiring harness looked very clean in the drivers side outer hatch. Also I did not try the sanders. I'm not even sure I will use them. Over all i think I cam make this project look and work very well. 227k on the odometer is all that scares me as i keep seeing engines and transmission on buses that are broken or replaced at 150k to 200k. I;'m good for a life time i hope but i just don't get why a bus would not go so much farther. here I come screaming down the highway at 55 mph!
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Old 10-16-2016, 11:25 AM   #7
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why do schools get rid of fully functional non-severely rusted busses at all?

the one i just got from texas... large district.. maybe theres something im missing but ive just run 2200 trouble free miles on it .. it has small wheels but that was by design.. the seats arent split, the inspection tag was current... maybe some schools dont allow a couple drops of oil on the ground in the morning?

heck even the air-conditioner works...

with all schools crying about budgets, i have to wonder why dont they run all their busses till they drop dead or fail inspection due to major repair requirements..? but we see lots of people buying nice busses that could easily still be running kids every day..

do some districts have age statutes that state busses must be retired after certain age?

or is is districts spending money just to spend money they claim they dont have?

-Christopher
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Old 10-16-2016, 01:26 PM   #8
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Every state is different but I think there's a shelf life on buses.... just as an example they can run a regular route for 10 years, then can be held as a reserve bus for another 5... after that they have to be retired.

Is there anyone on here who actually works for a school district who can chime in on this?
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Old 10-16-2016, 03:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlleyCat67 View Post
Every state is different but I think there's a shelf life on buses.... just as an example they can run a regular route for 10 years, then can be held as a reserve bus for another 5... after that they have to be retired.

Is there anyone on here who actually works for a school district who can chime in on this?
Katy ISD auctions off their buses after 17 years of service. My bus, #337, was a regular route bus up until this school year. She's now a reserve bus for a year before being auctioned off sometime next year.
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Old 10-16-2016, 04:57 PM   #10
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my latest bus is from Cyfair ISD... im guessing maybe the above was true that it was a reserve for awhile?

its tires are dated 2013 but have very little wear on them.. so im guessing the bus didnt get driven awhole lot in the last 3 years, that batteries are dated 2012 and they are not even dusty like you would expect them to be on a normal route bus..

the bus had current inspection stickers so it had been use to some extent since it was being kept up on inspections...

from what i can tell its mileage is accurate at 142k (when I got it..).. seems more viable if most of it was put on in the first 10 years?
-Christopher
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