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Old 03-27-2019, 10:12 PM   #1
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Question Buying new bus from manufacturer?

Has anyone ever looked into or purchased a new bus body from the manufacturer (Thomas, Bluebird, Crown, etc)? Seems like you might be able to get a basic shell (no seats, wall panels, no side windows,etc) with your desired drivetrain and it wonít be titled from the factory as a school bus, which itself causes issues with titling and insurance in many states. You could build it out and know you have a new vehicle under warranty, built the way you want without the hassle of teardown from its previous life. Iím guessing you could get a shell like this for approx $50-70k, which even with the cost to build it out would be cheaper and better built than any production line factory rv.
Will the manufacturers even sell a basic bus like this to the average person or do you have to be a business, municipality, or converter for them to even talk to you?
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Old 03-27-2019, 10:17 PM   #2
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Idk bout the others, but Crown hasnít made busses in 29 years.
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Old 03-27-2019, 10:59 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by dgorila1 View Post
Has anyone ever looked into or purchased a new bus body from the manufacturer (Thomas, Bluebird, Crown, etc)? Seems like you might be able to get a basic shell (no seats, wall panels, no side windows,etc) with your desired drivetrain and it wonít be titled from the factory as a school bus, which itself causes issues with titling and insurance in many states. You could build it out and know you have a new vehicle under warranty, built the way you want without the hassle of teardown from its previous life. Iím guessing you could get a shell like this for approx $50-70k, which even with the cost to build it out would be cheaper and better built than any production line factory rv.
Will the manufacturers even sell a basic bus like this to the average person or do you have to be a business, municipality, or converter for them to even talk to you?
Other than the strong body they're built like crap now, just like most motor vehicles. Plastic and electronics. They'll sell you one. But there's a reason schools are having so much trouble with modern buses.
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Old 03-28-2019, 11:14 AM   #4
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I looked at brand new Bluebird RE's last year.

Salesman told me $120k to $160k depending on how it is equipped.
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Old 03-28-2019, 11:18 AM   #5
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not to mention all of the emissions equipment that is required now....
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgorila1 View Post
Has anyone ever looked into or purchased a new bus body from the manufacturer (Thomas, Bluebird, Crown, etc)? Seems like you might be able to get a basic shell (no seats, wall panels, no side windows,etc) with your desired drivetrain and it wonít be titled from the factory as a school bus, which itself causes issues with titling and insurance in many states. You could build it out and know you have a new vehicle under warranty, built the way you want without the hassle of teardown from its previous life. Iím guessing you could get a shell like this for approx $50-70k, which even with the cost to build it out would be cheaper and better built than any production line factory rv.
Will the manufacturers even sell a basic bus like this to the average person or do you have to be a business, municipality, or converter for them to even talk to you?



I was told the best way to look into buyimng a new bus was to see if you could work with a local district and put a "piggy-back" order in... many bus dealers would allow a separate "pay" if a bus was ordered along with or at the blessing of a school... ie get the volume discount of a municipality but then arrange your own method of paying for the bus..



as for equipping it.. when I was looking, it was often cheapest to take a standard package.. for one, a bus may be able to be located on a lot that had very similar specs to what you want. im not sure about ordering ab us with bare ribs as it seemed like the body manufacturers werent selling incomplete vehicles.. getting without seats was easy as long as they were allowed "1 seat" plus the driver.. a dealer-friend told me once whjy that was required.. had to do with how it was titled.. they can be ordered without school lights, with double pain windows and doors.. transit style or school style windows.. again there are standard packages.. ie it would be special to have a bus with most of the windows missing.. but double pane transit windows all along would be a normal order item. engine specs, transmissions, etc are generally sold in common packages but are also completely SPEC-able too.. .


ive seen some of the spec order forms for bluebird Visions.. and its a LOT of pages.. pricing as I mention is very much dependent on the district or company making the orders.. contracts are written as many orderds go into the millions quickly for multi-bus orders..



like mentioned you arent getting a brand new bus for much less than 100 grand unless you can get on a good piggy-back.



if the reason for a new bus is reliability concerns.. buy a non runner cheap at an auction or salveage yard and re-vamp the drivetrain.. as long as the metal isnt rusty and its just.. well metal.. even if you put 50 grand into a complete re-vamp... reman engine / trans / all new suspension parts, tires, brakes, bearings, gears and paint.. you have basicailly a new unit for 1/2 the cost of a brand new one..



at the time, i looked at a brand new IC BE short-bus that was on the lot, fortunately for me it broke down on the test drive (emission related) so i didnt buy it..


for example here is a New york Bid pushed out by various bus dealers for different types of busses.. mainy of these you can see have a 20% discount over list..



https://online.ogs.ny.gov/purchase/s...000Summary.pdf
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Old 03-28-2019, 01:03 PM   #7
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It would be a keeper as you would never get your ROI if you planned on selling it.
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Old 03-28-2019, 02:12 PM   #8
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for sure!! busses depreciate VERY fast... even the fancy ones do... a million dollar custom RV now will likely be worth 500k in 2 years assuming it has kept low miles and like-new condition still


Boats too.. boats / yachts are even worse
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Old 03-28-2019, 02:50 PM   #9
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Most school bus dealers keep a few buses around for immediate delivery.



You can go to the WA state OSPI and check out what the state quote bus will cost with the minimum spe'c's. If you click on the type and size of bus you want you will get a list of what the minimum spe'c's are for that bus and it will have the retail price for a bus will be.


2018-19 State Quote Specifications



As you can see a gas powered IC CE 77-pax bus is quoted at $90,671.00, a diesel powered Thomas C2 77-pax bus is quoted at $94,944.00, a Thomas Saf-T-Liner EF 84-pax bus is quoted at $102,908.00, and a Thomas Saf-T-Liner ER 84-pax bus is quoted at $118,894.00.



Harlows Bus Sales has eight brand new buses with spe'c's from different states.



https://www.goharlows.com/default.as...ory&filter=bus
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