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Old 05-27-2016, 08:40 PM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
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What you're concerned with is the tongue weight of the trailer times the leverage created by the distance from the hitch to the rear axle. It isn't likely to be a problem, but I would pull it across a scale with the trailer attached and get an axle by axle weight just to be sure.

Your towing capacity will likely be determined by your transmission's gross weight rating. As an example, Allison rates the AT545 at 30,000 gross. If you go by the book, most busses with a 545 shouldn't tow much weight at all.

The MT643 is rated for something like 45,000 gross in a school bus (and much more in other applications) so towing an enclosed trailer with a heavy vehicle inside wouldn't be a problem - weight wise, anyway.

If you're towing (no matter what transmission you have) I'd strongly suggest installing a dedicated transmission cooler, a transmission oil temp gauge, and switching to synthetic transmission fluid.
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Old 05-27-2016, 08:54 PM   #12
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It's a RE AmTran, Allison MD3060. Pushers in my mind present an interesting paradox for towing - the drive axle is closest to the back end of the vehicle but sometimes the frame does not extend all the way to the back bumper, instead the engine compartment is a sub-frame assembly that may not provide as much towing capacity.
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Old 05-29-2016, 04:25 PM   #13
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: South Carolina, but headed back to Michigan
Posts: 84
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International
Engine: DT360
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueBirdman View Post
...

Your towing capacity will likely be determined by your transmission's gross weight rating. As an example, Allison rates the AT545 at 30,000 gross. If you go by the book, most busses with a 545 shouldn't tow much weight at all.

The MT643 is rated for something like 45,000 gross in a school bus (and much more in other applications) so towing an enclosed trailer with a heavy vehicle inside wouldn't be a problem - weight wise, anyway.

If you're towing (no matter what transmission you have) I'd strongly suggest installing a dedicated transmission cooler, a transmission oil temp gauge, and switching to synthetic transmission fluid.
Could you cater this advice to someone with a manual trans?
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Old 05-29-2016, 04:32 PM   #14
Bus Nut
 
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Location: Georgia
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Engine: T444E
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Going by your signature - a DT466 with a 5-speed Spicer should be up to plenty of capacity. I don't have specs in front of me, but plenty of box trucks run a similar setup and have no problem 30K + pounds. You'll probably "run out of engine" before you exceed the transmission.
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Old 05-29-2016, 04:55 PM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Year: 2000
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Originally Posted by jake_blue View Post
It's a RE AmTran, Allison MD3060. Pushers in my mind present an interesting paradox for towing - the drive axle is closest to the back end of the vehicle but sometimes the frame does not extend all the way to the back bumper, instead the engine compartment is a sub-frame assembly that may not provide as much towing capacity.
As long as we can get her to tow enough! We have a crv now which is pretty small for an SUV and after this we are either getting the smallest 6 passenger truck we can find or a mini van which will be pretty light...we plan to get an old beater can basically and just renovate it to look like the bus and paint "escape pod" on the side 😂 But the old ones are practically made of aluminum hahaha! They are just tin cans! So I think she'll be ok with somethin like that on a dolly.
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Old 05-29-2016, 11:18 PM   #16
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
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Engine: T444E
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Hard to know what setup your RE bus has without a good look or photo. The engine and trans should be up to it, can't say about the frame without more to go on. The way I see it, these full length buses are designed to haul around 50-60 kids, and most of us don't haul this much weight, so as far as the engine and transmission goes, towing a 4,000 pound minivan (plus dolly) shouldn't be a problem.
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