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Old 02-08-2019, 11:10 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: GTA
Posts: 111
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Buses
Chassis: FS-65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 66/44
Looking at an airbrake bus. Advice needed!

Looking at what could be my dream bus tomorrow. Seems to fit almost all of my criteria.
Frieghtliner Fs65 chassis, Thomas body, high ceiling, Cat engine (probably has a 2000 or 3060 Trans) and air suspension too...

Only gotcha is it has airbrakes (probably the better system, but here in Ontario, CA that also means getting a separate licence and having a certified mechanic work on them). I know nothing about them or what to look out for when looking at used ones. I'll start the bus up when i get there and let it build pressure and see how long it takes to do so but other than that what else should I be looking at.

Thanks in advance for the help!
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:38 AM   #2
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Location: south east BC, close to the Canadian/US border
Posts: 1,563
Chassis: still looking for my bus
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ab01ns View Post
Looking at what could be my dream bus tomorrow. Seems to fit almost all of my criteria.
Frieghtliner Fs65 chassis, Thomas body, high ceiling, Cat engine (probably has a 2000 or 3060 Trans) and air suspension too...

Only gotcha is it has airbrakes (probably the better system, but here in Ontario, CA that also means getting a separate licence and having a certified mechanic work on them). I know nothing about them or what to look out for when looking at used ones. I'll start the bus up when i get there and let it build pressure and see how long it takes to do so but other than that what else should I be looking at.

Thanks in advance for the help!
one of the things you will learn in your air brake course is how to properly adjust your air brakes
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:45 AM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
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In the USA, in most states, no not-for-profit bus that is licensed as an RV requires a special license or endorsement to drive an air brake equipped vehicle. The rules change in Canada where all air brake equipped buses are required to have a driver with an air brake endorsement.


As far as adjusting or working on air brakes, on a not-for-profit bus that is licensed as an RV, it does NOT requires a certified air brake technician to do any repair work on it.


Reading the air brake sections in your state's CDL driver's handbook will teach you just about all you need to know about using your air brakes.
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:56 AM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
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Year: 2001
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I personally prefer air brakes myself. Keep in mind you won't have as much pedal travel as you will with hydraulic brakes. They are actuated by what is essentially foot operated pressure regulator, the more foot pressure you give it, the more air pressure it gives the brakes. Braking effort is not regulated by how far you've pushed the pedal, but by how hard you're holding it. That said, it's not any harder to drive than hydraulic brakes, just different, so don't overthink it.


As far as the brakes themselves, you'll want to check brake lining thickness (if you can see them), on some setups there is a backing plate that prevents easy brake inspection (but there is an inspection hole). Brakes are considered worn out at about 1/4" of thickness in the center of the shoe. Check the drums for obvious cracks (some heat-check cracks in the friction area are fine), but you don't want to see any cracks outside of that. Once the air pressure is full, shut off the engine and see how quickly it leaks down, both with the parking brake set (parked) and released. You want less than 2 and 3 PSI per minute, respectively. There should be a warning, both audible and visual, when you have low air pressure, typically under 60 PSI. If necessary, step on the brake a few times to draw down the system until the alarm comes on. Do this with the parking brake released; it should apply automatically at around 60 PSI. The parking brakes may start to drag somewhere in the 40-60 range, which is why the valve is supposed to set the brakes at that pressure.
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:59 AM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: south east BC, close to the Canadian/US border
Posts: 1,563
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
In the USA, in most states, no not-for-profit bus that is licensed as an RV requires a special license or endorsement to drive an air brake equipped vehicle. The rules change in Canada where all air brake equipped buses are required to have a driver with an air brake endorsement.


As far as adjusting or working on air brakes, on a not-for-profit bus that is licensed as an RV, it does NOT requires a certified air brake technician to do any repair work on it.


Reading the air brake sections in your state's CDL driver's handbook will teach you just about all you need to know about using your air brakes.

here in BC, where I am, an air brake ticket qualifies you to adjust air brakes - truckers have to pass the same course with the addition of an active driving test - not sure how the laws are worded in the rest of Canada, but I doubt there would be a lot of differences
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:07 AM   #6
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: GTA
Posts: 111
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Buses
Chassis: FS-65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 66/44
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
In the USA, in most states, no not-for-profit bus that is licensed as an RV requires a special license or endorsement to drive an air brake equipped vehicle. The rules change in Canada where all air brake equipped buses are required to have a driver with an air brake endorsement.


As far as adjusting or working on air brakes, on a not-for-profit bus that is licensed as an RV, it does NOT requires a certified air brake technician to do any repair work on it.


Reading the air brake sections in your state's CDL driver's handbook will teach you just about all you need to know about using your air brakes.
I am in Canada, therefore I'd have to get the endorsement to drive it in Canada.
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