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Old 07-09-2019, 11:40 AM   #1
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My wrists are on fire - how to replace the wheel?

I have been driving Friendly Thomas a lot this week, like multiple thousands of miles. The wheel is too big and has terrible ergonomics. I've been developing a terrible ache in my fingers and wrists from overuse and having them splayed out to the sides all day every day.

Has anyone replaced the wheel on their bus? What did you pick and how is it going?

I'd also appreciate any other tips on driving more comfortably in the meantime.
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Old 07-09-2019, 11:43 AM   #2
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Have you looked for an appropriately large cushy wheel cover?
I keep my palm-padded, fingerless bicycling gloves at hand, for long drives.
(Hows tricks with the accident's aftermath?)
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Old 07-09-2019, 01:45 PM   #3
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While not legal in all 50 states, those "Trucker's Knobs" aka "Necker's Knobs", are helpful aids in handling the repetitive steering motions for long haul truckers.
Maybe one of those would help you?

Since I'm "legally/certified" as handicapped, I'm allowed to use one on any vehicle I drive. I actually had one on a minivan a few years back but it really didn't do much for me so I ended up removing it.
If I was to be behind the wheel of a full sized bus for many miles, I'd probably put one on to ease the effort in steering the beast in traffic!

Something like this:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-NOR...ss!03835!US!-1

I say something like this, as this one is damaged and junk IMO. There are plenty of other ones to choose from on ebay & amazon and for less than this "vintage" unit is being offered at...
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Old 07-09-2019, 02:56 PM   #4
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and here I hate the seemingly Small wheel that my 3800s have.. i miss the nice big wheel the S-series busses have!
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Old 07-09-2019, 04:52 PM   #5
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Yup, an armrest that rotates!
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Old 07-09-2019, 06:50 PM   #6
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Seriously look at a captain's chair with armrests to replace that seat (got mine from a salvage yard dirt cheap!). Good arm support makes ALL the difference in driving comfortably and safely. If you are using the armrests and have good shoulder support, the wrist and finger problems should go away. When I first started driving professionally, my first semi did not have armrests. My shoulders, arms, wrists and fingers hurt all the time. When I got swapped into a truck with arm rests all those problems went away in very short order. The steering wheel lent itself to a more comfortable grip with using the arm rests properly. Since then all my vehicles have adjustable armrests so I can adjust them to my needs. The only vehicle without armrests is my wife's mini-van. I'm very uncomfortable in that thing, even worse when I'm driving it (rarely).

I hope this helps.

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Old 07-09-2019, 09:35 PM   #7
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Second on the armrests. I had a truck without 'em and the ergonomics on it were terrible, especially for much driving. Most of the rest have had 'em. On a school bus which gets a lot of stop-and-go driving and very little highway time, armrests may not make much sense, but for a highway cruiser that's another matter. A few extra bucks for a *GOOD* seat will make a lot of driving a pleasure instead of a chore.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HazMatt View Post
Have you looked for an appropriately large cushy wheel cover?
I keep my palm-padded, fingerless bicycling gloves at hand, for long drives.
(Hows tricks with the accident's aftermath?)
/\ /\ /\ This is a good idea. Hold the wheel as lightly as NEEDED. Remember it has power steering.

Maybe now is a good time to make sure the front end is greased??

make sure those kingpins get plenty of grease
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Old 07-11-2019, 02:41 PM   #9
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I personally found the padded wheel to thick to drive with.
I found the arm rests really help, you can use one, both or none.
The wheel knob helps in tight spots, like a ten point turn...when you have crank the wheel a lot.
My $.02
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Old 07-11-2019, 03:17 PM   #10
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Yeah, but to be fair; most of us don't use a logging chain to steer!
Gotta admit to liking your treatment of the clutch & brake pedals, particularly that they're set so's not to let all of the luck to run out.
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Old 07-11-2019, 04:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mekanic View Post
/\ /\ /\ This is a good idea. Hold the wheel as lightly as NEEDED. Remember it has power steering.

Maybe now is a good time to make sure the front end is greased??

make sure those kingpins get plenty of grease
Do you mean tie rod ends? Just asking.... Kingpins are usually what the fifth wheel clasps when hooking to a semi-trailer.....

M
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M1031A1 View Post
Do you mean tie rod ends? Just asking.... Kingpins are usually what the fifth wheel clasps when hooking to a semi-trailer.....

M
Most if not all heavy duty front suspensions have king pins. It's what pivots when you turn the wheels.
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:34 PM   #13
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No Mekanic had it right on the money. Literally...
While it steered and handled just fine, my $50 NH state inspxn cost me $2200 after the cost of a new king pins set and the excessive hours getting the seized old ones out.
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Old 07-16-2019, 11:13 PM   #14
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Remember i said steer lightly now I can explain what and how that works.

When I was 13 years old (1977) Mom and Dad bought a new house in our same town and this one had a 2 acre back yard.

Dad also bought a new mower,.....a real honest to god mower. A walk behind gravely. a full 900 lb beast. For those that have not had the pleasure of running one. the dealer we had it serviced at told me and dad "Just let it work. Guide it, Do Not try to manhandle it". they were right there were a few time when I would forget and try to steer the beast of a mower and my arms would get cramped up. until I'd remember the dealer advice.
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Old 07-21-2019, 12:17 AM   #15
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I am in the process of replacing my king pins.
When I got the first pin out the bottom side had no grease and the thrust bearing look like there was mud in it and did not move with any ease.
Believe it or not o got Moog king pins from Wallymart website for about $85. The other websites I went to wanted between $120-$220 for the same item.
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