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Old 05-04-2017, 11:16 PM   #1
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Bought an air brake school bus in austin-I need someone to drive it to Omaha, NE

Hi, I'm new to this site. I'm in Omaha, NE and I just bought a mid-sized bus in Austin Texas with airbrakes. I don't have a CDL and I need someone to drive it to Omaha. Any suggestions?

Also, what do I do about insurance for now before it's titled as an RV? I use Farmer's insurance usually. Is this where I should get insurance now?

Ok, I'm excited but officially a bit scared.
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Old 05-04-2017, 11:28 PM   #2
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Most people seem to just drive it home themselves, even if they don't know what they are doing and don't have a CDL. It's certainly a quick way to learn things you don't know, and a guaranteed adventure.

Note: I'm not telling you to do this, just letting you know what many people decide to do.

Alternatively, you'd probably be surprised how many people you would be able to find with CDLs going out a degree of connections. In other words, even if you don't know anyone who has one, someone you know almost definitely does.

Congrats on the new bus.
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Old 05-04-2017, 11:50 PM   #3
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What happens if a person gets caught without a CDL?

So if I were to get pulled over, what actually happens if the police finds out you don't have a cld?
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Old 05-04-2017, 11:58 PM   #4
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Bad Boys Bad Boys, whatcha gonna do?

I know what my wife does in those situations....If you have a pair of those, that is the time.

Play dumb, be very polite? Don't break more than 1 law at a time, so don't speed, blow red lights, tailgate and you will more than likely be fine. School buses are ubiquitous and therefore invisible.

Oh, they fine you like normal.
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Old 05-05-2017, 12:10 AM   #5
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You don't need a CDL to drive a privately owned bus, unless you're using it for commercial purposes. Your intent is to convert it to a motorhome, more or less. You would be allowed to drive a motorhome with air brakes for private purposes without a CDL. Check with your own local DMV.

Now, go drive that bus like it's stolen. The adventure begins. Yeah, it's good to get insurance. Best not to mention the word conversion in an insurance conversation.
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Old 05-05-2017, 12:19 AM   #6
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So funny

Oh my goodness, I'm laughing so hard right now. I called my husband today and he said, "hi honey, how's your day?" I said, "really good. Congratulations, we are the proud new owners of a bus from Austin" He said "What?" Ok, I'll figure out how to get this thing home. Looks like there are some very adventuresome people on this site. I'm such a by the book rule follower. I'll have to figure out how to loosen up.
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Old 05-05-2017, 01:24 AM   #7
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What Robin said. The "C" in CDL is for "Commercial". As long as you are not using it commercially...no need for a CDL.
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Old 05-05-2017, 05:46 AM   #8
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Slow and steady wins the race, and makes you completely invisible to the police. Like Rusty said- Use common sense, obey the laws. And remember it won't stop on a dime.
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Old 05-05-2017, 07:38 AM   #9
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How and where do I get insurance for now

So how do I get it insured as a private bus before I get down there? Does the current insurance I have on my car cover me for liability if I drive the bus?
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Old 05-05-2017, 09:50 AM   #10
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There are arguments both ways about how to be insured on your first trip home.

I use the automatic coverage clause in my current car policy to cover the bus. It's supposed to be good for 30 days after the purchase of another vehicle. Some states only allow coverage for 15 days. Other people buy insurance before driving their bus home just to be safe, with the thought that if you had an accident the insurance company would weasel out of coverage because a bus is a commercial vehicle.

Whenever I've been asked for insurance, say while getting that temporary tag for your bus, I've always used my car insurance card and it's been accepted every time. Do what you think is best to keep yourself safe.
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Old 05-05-2017, 10:10 AM   #11
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Getting home

I, too, am a rule follower (I'm a tax accountant, so what can I do)? I was halfway home before I realized that the GVW that I had originally thought read 23,000 was actually 29,000. In Texas, anything over 26,001 lbs requires a special class B NON-Commercial endorsement, which of course I don't have. The guilt! I cringed every time I drove past a police car. For a short time, I even had one following me for several blocks. But the other bus nuts are right. Big YELLOW buses are apparently invisible. And it was also my first time driving anything bigger than an SUV. I would never say I was the adventurous type (again - tax accountant), so my heart rate was pretty high most of the way home. After 4 hours on the road, I had finally relaxed.

Check online with this link: http://www.txdmv.gov/motorists/regis...porary-permits

You can get a temporary "In Transit" paper to put in a zip lock back and tape to where you should have a license plate. I didn't even have that, as I didn't know better, so I'm pretty lucky to have been in a vehicle with an obvious cloaking device (Star Trek reference to add to my nerdiness). My guilt is lessened by being able to lecture others on the importance of ALWAYS FOLLOWING THE RULES! (Hah)!
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Old 05-05-2017, 10:33 AM   #12
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Like CCurran88 mentioned. Whether you need a cdl depends on vehicle weight, regardless if it's private use(farmers will get out of this but that's about the only exception). I don't have a cdl, and drove my bus home without any trouble.

The whole driving it home without a cdl is kind of a gray area that isn't enforced unless you're doing something stupid. The big reason I feel is that most of your local cops don't know the law regarding that stuff all to well, and therefore don't want to mess with it. Most of your DOT guys are looking for semi trucks and other big ticket items. In Ohio, there is a seperate group of people that deal strictly with busses, therefore your scale house and regular DOT guys won't even mess with a school bus unless they have to.

As far as insurance goes, that's something that you would be best to call your agent and get it on paper from them. Some have those umbrella clauses that you're covered for 15 days after a new purchase, but if you wreck they'll likely find a way to weasel out of it.

I bought my bus from a private individual who already had insurance and plates on it. So if I had issues, it was essentially going to be his bus that I was driving until I got it back home .
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Old 05-05-2017, 11:37 AM   #13
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I was concerned as well. I bought my insurance for the bus the day I bought it. My best friend also converts buses (on his third) and he went up with me to inspect it. When we talked about driving it home and any concerns he replied "no one cares unless it looks like it was traveling to Woodstock" and he was right. Never pulled over and possitive reactions from everyone. Its definately a fun ice breaker as well to say " I'm building an RV from a school bus". You'll find yourself in good with everyone... its very strange.

As I understand it from my research, unless your transporting other people or using it as a commercial vehicle you do not need any special licenses. Once its titled a MH your set.
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Old 05-05-2017, 11:43 AM   #14
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As I understand it from my research, unless your transporting other people or using it as a commercial vehicle you do not need any special licenses. Once its titled a MH your set.
Correct, once titled as a motorhome, no special licenses are needed(except in Canada, you might need air brake endorsement regardless of titling, others can explain)

However, most auction busses don't come titled as a motorhome and most states will need the conversion to happen before the title is changed over, as do most insurance companies.
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Old 05-05-2017, 11:54 AM   #15
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That was my understanding as well that they want the conversion complete before they change the title and insure however enforcement depends on the local DMV really. I will say having it titled as a MH and insurance makes the conversion so much easier.

Not saying to lie but I had a BBQ, Couch, and Bucket that covered the requirements for a conversion that was "under remodel".
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Old 05-05-2017, 12:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
Whether you need a cdl depends on vehicle weight, regardless if it's private use(farmers will get out of this but that's about the only exception). I don't have a cdl, and drove my bus home without any trouble.
It apparently varies from state to state. Texas is actually the only one I recall heaing of where a non-commercial class A/B/C license even exists.

The answer for OP begins in Nebraska Revised Statute 60-465:
Quote:
60-465.
Commercial motor vehicle, defined.

(1) Commercial motor vehicle means a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle:
The balance of the statute is inapplicable because the first test fails: "a motor vehicle ... used in commerce." A bus used privately for personal enjoyment is not being used in commerce.

That establishes that the vehicle isn't a "commercial motor vehicle" as they use the term.

Continuing.. Nebraska Revised Statute 60-4,137:
Quote:
60-4,137.
Operation of commercial motor vehicle; valid commercial driver's license or valid CLP-commercial learner's permit required.

Any resident of this state operating a commercial motor vehicle on the highways of this state shall possess a valid commercial driver's license or a valid CLP-commercial learner's permit issued pursuant to the Motor Vehicle Operator's License Act.
Because the vehicle isn't a "commercial motor vehicle" this section does not create a requirement for the operator to hold a commercial driver's license.

The last thing to look for is whether Nebraska has a statute requiring a "motor vehicle" (not commercial) operator to carry other than their Class O license because of the vehicle's weight. I didn't read the whole code, but also didn't find any such requirement. I think it's unlikely for such to exist because, based on the other content in 247 Nebraska Administrative Code Chapter 16, it seems like it'd be mentioned there if it existed.
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Old 05-05-2017, 01:16 PM   #17
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While the advise is good advise Beware in most states you need to have an air brake endorsement even for motorhomes and private trucks. It is normally just a written test making sure you understand what happens with air pressure in stopping and if you loose air pressure.
It will take fifteen minutes to learn and twenty plus drive and dmv time to get it. And GET. IT. Some states will park you till you get a person to drive air brakes.

http://m.driving-tests.org/oklahoma/...r-brakes-test/
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Old 05-05-2017, 03:23 PM   #18
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Licensing can vary by state, mostly like it's been said above if it's not being driven commercially then your standard license is fine. I only have experience with Michigan but for them weight, air brakes etc doesn't matter if it's for personal use.

As far as insurance the only place that I could find to insure me was progressive commercial. I had to go to a local progressive agent to actually get the policy but it was no issue, couldn't do it online or over the phone.

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Old 05-05-2017, 03:36 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin97396 View Post
You don't need a CDL to drive a privately owned bus, unless you're using it for commercial purposes. Your intent is to convert it to a motorhome, more or less. You would be allowed to drive a motorhome with air brakes for private purposes without a CDL. Check with your own local DMV.
THIS IS NOT TRUE!!!

It varies state by state. MD requires a non-commercial Class B license for ANYTHING over 26,000 lbs GVWR. My bus, a 40 footer, has a GVWR of 33,000. To get a Class B license you need a Class B vehicle but you can't drive it there yourself. Catch 22.

Some states require an Air Brake endorsement should your bus have air brakes. I've no idea what that requires aside from a fee and some sort of test.

If you get pulled over, ... "No one told me." We (two buses) had a WV state cop come after us as we pulled into a Wally World parking lot. I saw him in the median just before the exit. When I saw him heading towards us I knew for sure we were screwed. Turns out Bus #2 had no tail lights. As long as I was the trailing bus, he didn't care. Never asked about licenses or insurance. Replaced a fuse and kept going. Lights fixed and no worries.

For insurance, if you can't get your Farmer's to cover it, call Progressive. DO NOT MENTION RV, DO NOT MENTION RV CONVERSION.
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Old 05-05-2017, 03:38 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by heeranyi View Post
I'm such a by the book rule follower. I'll have to figure out how to loosen up.
You are going to have to get over that too. There is no book for converting school buses. Seat of the pants is the only way to fly!!
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