View Poll Results: What kind of brakes does your bus have?
Hydraulic 107 37.02%
Pneumatic 171 59.17%
Electric 3 1.04%
Other 8 2.77%
Voters: 289. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-15-2008, 08:33 PM   #31
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Re: What kind of brakes does your bus have?

1 ton of water is nothing. You have a bigger hydraboost brake system than your everyday 1 ton truck and they can currently handle a payload in the neighborhood of well over 4000 lbs. As long as you aren't exceeding the GVWR of the bus I don't think it will be an issue safety-wise.

Now as far as legality I'm not sure. With water you're probably ok, but make sure there isn't a restriction on unbaffled tanks or on the total number of gallons you can haul without a CDL with tank endorsement. I think you should be just fine at about 250 gallons.
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Old 03-17-2008, 04:11 AM   #32
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Re: What kind of brakes does your bus have?

Hydraulics. And after reading someones post in this thread. New parts and brake lines for my baby ! WHOAAA BUS !!!! Good Girl.
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:53 AM   #33
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Re: What kind of brakes does your bus have?

I had 2 buses in my driveway that had diesel engines, gvw over 28K, and hydraulic brakes. Phill's bus also is diesel, big, perhaps 81 passenger, and has hydraulic brakes.

There is a good backup braking system on these buses. it's a 12 volt hydraulic assist mechanism.

I've also had a couple of buses that have air brakes and have similiar gvw's to the other buses.

so weight doesn't seem to play much of a role......it's more a matter of what the school district prefers when they order their buses.
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:07 AM   #34
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Re: What kind of brakes does your bus have?

Here in the north country buses operate almost exclusively with hydraulic brakes. Replacing rusted out hydraulic lines seems to be preferable to dealing with frozen brake components. -20 F is not an uncommonly low temperature in this neck of the woods during morning pickups and the buses need to be reliable at that temperature.

Anyone have any idea what the cost difference is between the two systems?
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:25 PM   #35
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Re: What kind of brakes does your bus have?

My 1959 Superior with International chassis has Hydrovac brakes. I feel I should upgrade but they can sit for years and always work.
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Old 12-02-2008, 09:24 AM   #36
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Re: What kind of brakes does your bus have?

only slightly off topic.....

i just started a new job as a professional firefighter/paramedic. I was very intrigued by the braking systems on our ambulances. They are similiar to this one here:



basically a bus chassis, just a little shorter and for a different purpose.

anyhow, the brake system is new to me. It has air ride suspension, and a regular engine driven compressor, and you set the parking brake with the familiar air brake knob you hear "whoosh* when you set the parking brake. Now for the strange part......When you turn the key on and the engine is off, i can hear the familiar sound of an electric over hydraulic backup brake booster. hmmmmm. After researching, i found that the ambulance has hydraulic disk brakes.

so, it has

air ride suspension

air parking brakes

hydraulic primary brakes, with abs

wierd!

i'd love to buy one when they are taken out of service. These cummins 5.9 engines and 6 speed electronic transmissions rock! They do 85 or 90 mph right now!
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:33 PM   #37
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Re: What kind of brakes does your bus have?

Does it have air over hydraulic? That's actually a fairly common setup. I suppose they could be air screw style discs, but you wouldn't have a master cylinder then so you would know. Neither option really explains the backup motor noise though I don't think.
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Old 12-04-2008, 05:47 PM   #38
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Re: What kind of brakes does your bus have?

They're a common MDT and shuttle bus setup, air-assist hydraulic. The shuttle company I worked for had five buses (three IH 3800's with T444E/AT545's, one Freightliner FB65 with 5.9 Cummins/Allison 1000, one GMC C5500 with 6.6 Duramax/A1000) with that setup.
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Old 01-21-2009, 05:55 PM   #39
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Re: What kind of brakes does your bus have?

air brakes on mine like them very much so far
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:11 PM   #40
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Re: What kind of brakes does your bus have?

I'm jealous of your Jake. I briefly owned a 72 Crown tandem-axle, Detroit 671/5sp stick, for historic preservation purposes. Sold it to a friend who was in a better position to restore it. I'd love to get one for the Skoolie project but my bus nut friends would kill me if I ever chopped up a Crown to make an RV. They're a page out of history, and I think us bus nuts should preserve as many as possible. On the other hand, they're lots of fun to drive, and I'd rather see one enjoyed in its second life as a nice camper than go to the scrapyard.

As for brakes, I think any bus longer than 6 rows should have air. Air brakes are more powerful, and have the spring-applied failsafe that will stop the bus in most brake failure situations. Medium-duty vehicles (buses, straight trucks) can be ordered with either air or hydraulic. Heavy-duty vehicles (tractor trailers, larger straight trucks, and don't forget trains) always have air - that tells me something.

I had a brake line blow out on a hydraulic school bus - I was able to stop using the other half of the dual system, but it was pretty scary feeling the pedal go to the floor. The parking brake is designed to stop the bus in an emergency, but I've seen those cables snap when applied for normal parking and let go while buses were parked. In normal use, the adjustable handle (twist the knob at the end of the lever to increase or decrease pressure) tends to loosen up, and some brakes may be "applied" with less than enough force. Most parking brakes are mounted on the driveshaft, and any driveshaft or rear axle failure could render the parking brake useless.

If you blow an air line, you can pull the park knob for a full rear brake application. It won't be the smoothest stop, but unless you're on snow or ice it won't lock the wheels. If anything breaks on the system, aside from a failure of the rear brake components, the parking brake will keep the bus from moving until you get enough air in the system.

For the record, school buses are offered in nearly every size with either hydraulic or air brakes. Gas engines usually had hydrovac. Air was an option on gas buses, but rare. Ford buses ordered with hydraulic from the 80s-90s nearly always had the Lucas-Girling system. Some heavy-duty transit-type buses are only available with air, but I've seen models up to 40 ft (84 capacity) with hydraulic. Internationals from the late 90s and early 2000s could be ordered with hydraulic service brakes but an air parking brake - this was driveshaft-mounted but spring-applied and air-released (other manufacturers also offer this system in buses and trucks). Since 05, International has used a power hydraulic brake system (in lieu of the optional air brakes) which includes a spring-applied electric-hydraulic driveshaft parking brake, and gives the pedal more of an air brake type feel.
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