View Poll Results: What kind of brakes does your bus have?
Hydraulic 106 37.06%
Pneumatic 170 59.44%
Electric 3 1.05%
Other 7 2.45%
Voters: 286. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-19-2010, 09:59 PM   #41
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Re: What kind of brakes does your bus have?

I drove 66,000# GVW trucks pulling howitzers in the marines. The old M813 5-ton 6x6 had air over hydraulics and the M923 6x6 5-ton had full air. The M198 howitzer had air/hydraulic. They both had the same 14-liter, nastily ass-pirated 250hp Cummins. The 813 was a 5-speed manual and the 923 was a 5-speed Allison auto. Driving it, the 813 had more power because the torque converter on the 923 was sucking it up. The 923 was better because the cab was a lot wider inside. In neither case did the brakes make a bit of difference. The hydraulics were just as good as the air.

The main issue that is being disregarded here is the benefit of a disc over a drum. A drum is an oven. A schoolbus doesn't have an exhaust brake, generally, and drum brakes are heat ovens. Once the brakes get hot, that's it. You can have lots of pedal pressure, but it isn't slowing you down.

I don't think drum brakes are allowed on heavy-duty trucks in Europe anymore because their stopping distance is much less than discs. Whatever applies pressure to the shoe or pad doesn't matter. It's a matter of convenience. A diesel makes no vacuum so you need a pump. A gasser makes vacuum and a resevoir is cheaper than a pump. The steering pump (hydra-boost) or an electric pump (my bus) can be used to boost hydraulic pressure. The real issue is disc or drum and disc is the clear winner.
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:25 PM   #42
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Re: What kind of brakes does your bus have?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON
My personal observation has been that gas-powered buses typically will not have air brakes, and I have never seen a diesel model with hydraulic brakes.
Mine is a Ford B700, with a 28-passenger Thomas body, 5.9L Cummins diesel and 5-speed standard tranny. Yes, it has HYDRAULIC brakes.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:59 PM   #43
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Re: What kind of brakes does your bus have?

Air brakes. And I'm surprised no one has mentioned an obvious advantage to air brakes - no nasty brake fluid to deal with and no bleeding of the system. Most of the parts to the sysem are pretty much universal and widely available, and there are no steel lines to bend and rust out. I don't know why some people are scared of air brakes. That doesn't mean you should hop in a bus with air brakes and head across the mountains with no knowlege of the system at all. They are not quite as idiot-friendly as hydraulic brakes, but they are certainly safer and better.
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Old 02-18-2011, 06:24 PM   #44
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Re: What kind of brakes does your bus have?

I have 4 wheel anti-lock Air brakes, and very glad to have them. Air brakes are a fail "safe" system, loose hydraulic pressure, no brakes, loose air pressure your going to stop like it or not. the down side would be the maintenance cost buit i think its a small price to pay to be that much safer. G
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Old 02-19-2011, 05:56 AM   #45
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Re: What kind of brakes does your bus have?

a good place to look for that crash course is on you tube, look for school bus brakes, I found a bunch of training videos on there that were very good
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:37 PM   #46
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Re: What kind of brakes does your bus have?

Our bus is equipped with air brakes.
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:37 PM   #47
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Re: What kind of brakes does your bus have?

We haven't bought our bus yet, but it will be an air brake bus. I have driven many trucks with both air and hydrualic brakes. I have driven cranes, log trucks, aerial lift trucks and fuel trucks with air brakes, I have also driven log trucks, aerial lift, and chip trucks with juice brakes and currently still own a Ford F600 with Lucas-Gerling brakes(I will NEVER buy another). I have no problem working on air brakes and we want the on board air to run air tools for working on the bus and our Jeeps while on the road.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:14 AM   #48
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Re: What kind of brakes does your bus have?

Air brakes on my bus. I had to do an emergency quick stop once and was impressed with the stopping ability of the air brakes. I also like the safety feature of the rear brakes locking on if you lose air pressure, although I would never want to be in that situation.

I was impressed that my bus stopped so quickly without screeching the tires.
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Old 01-19-2012, 12:13 PM   #49
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Re: What kind of brakes does your bus have?

Four-wheel hydraulic disks with boost supplied by the power steering system on my bookmobile. It stops well.

As someone else mentioned, the main reason any truck that pulls a trailer with brakes and all trains have air brakes is because there is no other way to get the braking system connected from vehicle to vehicle. When a trucker backs up to a load, he just connects the air lines and the system fills the trailer brakes with pressurized air. Done. That would be ridiculously time consuming with hydraulic lines.

Looking at the poll results for this thread, it appears the air brakes reside in about fifteen percent more buses than do hydraulics. It's probably due more to the whims of school districts than the perceived benefits of one system over the other.

If air brakes were so vastly superior to hydraulic brakes, you know very well that someone would have sued all the major car manufacturers for subjecting millions of drivers to an unsafe and inferior system. And the government would have mandated their installation in all cars.
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:06 PM   #50
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Re: What kind of brakes does your bus have?

there are other systems besides air and hydraulic with vacuum over. For example, i recently had one truck that had vacuum over hydraulic trailer. In the late 1930's magazine that i have, they used vacuum that pulled the mechanical rod for the mechanical brakes on a trailer.. and the article on how to build it.
Vacuum requires quick disconnects as well as air.
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