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Old 12-09-2014, 04:45 PM   #1
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What type of bus handles the best in the snow?

So Today was an icy day in New England, and 3 out of 21 buses got in to some sort of accident today going to a local school. All 3 of those buses were conventional, 2 C2s and one IC to be exact. What I'm wondering is what type of bus handles the best in snow/ice? I live in new England, and go up to northern Maine in mid December so this could effect my purchase. If you have had experience driving with your bus in snow or ice please let me know how it's been.
Thanks
Jake
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Old 12-09-2014, 05:13 PM   #2
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Re: What type of bus handles the best in the snow?

I would think a pusher would have better traction for forward motion since the engine is behind the drive wheels which could possibly mean there's more weight on them. That's only half of the equation, though. In the snow it's most important to be able to steer and brake. A good bit of weight over the steer wheels improves steering (up to a point. You don't want the back wheels to slip out); equal weight distribution improves braking, I would think..

So to answer your question: I have no idea!
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Old 12-09-2014, 05:16 PM   #3
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Re: What type of bus handles the best in the snow?

The best bus on the winter road is probably the one with the best tires...
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Old 12-09-2014, 06:41 PM   #4
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Re: What type of bus handles the best in the snow?

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Originally Posted by jazty
The best bus on the winter road is probably the one with the best tires...
I know that part. Chances are I will have good tires and depending on the conditions sometimes I may put snow chains on
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Old 12-09-2014, 07:16 PM   #5
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Re: What type of bus handles the best in the snow?

This was our weekend trip. I run aggressive tires in the back all the time. We do a lot of gravel roads and a lot of snow, etc. This was I think an 8% grade up and down for a few miles.

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Old 12-09-2014, 11:15 PM   #6
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Re: What type of bus handles the best in the snow?

I think the best type is the one that stays home!!! Just kidding I am retired so when it snows (not very often where I live) I just hibernate. For many years I had to drive in snow, but not anymore.
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Old 12-10-2014, 11:29 AM   #7
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Re: What type of bus handles the best in the snow?

If I stayed away from driving in snow and ice I wouldn't be driving from December to March. I wish I could though.
So right now its just good tires for the suggestions
Thanks for everyones input
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Old 12-10-2014, 11:42 AM   #8
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Re: What type of bus handles the best in the snow?

To be exact, these are my tires: Hankook_Z35

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Old 12-10-2014, 02:10 PM   #9
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Re: What type of bus handles the best in the snow?

I'm stationed in Alaska and all the buses up here run these chains on a bearing that is lowered electronically by the driver. They spin and the tire runs over them, REALLY cool to watch. Especially when you don't need the chains all the time. Not sure what they are called?
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Old 12-10-2014, 03:04 PM   #10
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Re: What type of bus handles the best in the snow?

Thanks Opus, I'll look in to those

Those are automatic tire chains by onspot. There nice, but expensive. I'd get manual ones if I use chains.
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Old 12-10-2014, 03:13 PM   #11
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Re: What type of bus handles the best in the snow?

Don't conventionals have a little more ground clearance than transits, on average?
Around here they use conventionals almost exclusively, mostly due to the rural routes in the area. Maybe the ones that were stuck had the worst routes?
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Old 12-10-2014, 03:58 PM   #12
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Re: What type of bus handles the best in the snow?

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Don't conventionals have a little more ground clearance than transits, on average?
Around here they use conventionals almost exclusively, mostly due to the rural routes in the area. Maybe the ones that were stuck had the worst routes?
These were all buses from city's and suburban towns. They didn't get stuck, they hit other vehicles, highway signs, etc. Nearly every bus in the fleet is a conventional,there is 1 fe Thomas but that's it. They stay on main roads and do group stops, there not on dirt roads or anything. I think they chose conventionals (there's 3 ic and all of the rest are C2s) because they preformed better on the highway. The only reason there's a fe is because its under a different contract from a different company.
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Old 12-10-2014, 04:17 PM   #13
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Re: What type of bus handles the best in the snow?

Quote:
They didn't get stuck, they hit other vehicles, highway signs, etc.
I'd be more inclined to say operator error rather than any one type of bus. I am always amazed how people who grew up around here
"forget" how to drive when the first snow comes around. I may be the worlds biggest chicken, but with over a million and a half miles in a semi, I ALWAYS stayed on the road and never slid into anything. Always got where I was going.
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Old 12-11-2014, 08:20 PM   #14
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Re: What type of bus handles the best in the snow?

Most definitely an RE.
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Old 12-12-2014, 10:33 PM   #15
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Re: What type of bus handles the best in the snow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmar896
. . . Those are automatic tire chains by onspot. There nice, but expensive. I'd get manual ones if I use chains.
We had them put on a big mobile office my former employer built years ago. The boss (a former fire chief who was familiar with them) called us all into his office, made each one of us look him in the eyes, and repeat "Maximum speed 20 MPH" (or was it 25?). Either way, the speed limit was posted on the dash next to the switch. I never had occasion to try them.

The insta-chains are for getting you moving when you are just spinning your wheels. They won't help keep you from rear-ending a 4 wheeler because you are coming down an ice-covered hill too fast.

The alternate option is automatic sanders. These look like dual exhausts hanging part-way down in front of the drive tires, ready to spit sand or salt onto the snow or ice. I've seen the sander pipes installed on a handful of Skoolies and fire trucks around here instead of insta-chains, but I have never seen a driver using them.
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Old 12-12-2014, 11:02 PM   #16
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Re: What type of bus handles the best in the snow?

I've looked into sanders. On a carpenter I looked at they had them. I'll see if I can find a bus fairly close that has them.
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