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Old 05-07-2016, 07:32 PM   #31
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I have none and have researched for some for my 86 and can only find custom made for custom money I don't have?
I want to go to a big rig graveyard and see how much they cost there and I can do the customizing. I just have to find them and NO I haven't tried flea bay?
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Old 05-07-2016, 09:00 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Robin97396 View Post
Do they put air ride on short buses? There's a lot of advantages to a 40'r, but I'd like to see you follow my bus on the back roads where maneuverability counts.
Most newer short buses have air ride front and back and air conditioning, at least in my neck of the woods.

And yes short buses have a tighter turning radius but I'll be right on your tail on the back roads. Not trying to be snotty but there are very few roads a 40' RE won't go. Basically one lane fire lanes with switchbacks. If it's a narrow two lane county road it's surprising how maneuverable an RE is.

Most of the problems driving a long bus are when you're in town in traffic and you're trying to make a turn with cars in the lanes beside you. That's when I would say a shorty has the big advantage.

To a new driver I would say do enough driving locally to really get a feel for the bus. Most new drivers forget about all the overhang they have in the front of the bus and are hesitant about swinging over a curb.
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Old 05-07-2016, 09:44 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by boojiewoojie View Post
Most newer short buses have air ride front and back and air conditioning, at least in my neck of the woods.

And yes short buses have a tighter turning radius but I'll be right on your tail on the back roads. Not trying to be snotty but there are very few roads a 40' RE won't go. Basically one lane fire lanes with switchbacks. If it's a narrow two lane county road it's surprising how maneuverable an RE is.

Most of the problems driving a long bus are when you're in town in traffic and you're trying to make a turn with cars in the lanes beside you. That's when I would say a shorty has the big advantage.

To a new driver I would say do enough driving locally to really get a feel for the bus. Most new drivers forget about all the overhang they have in the front of the bus and are hesitant about swinging over a curb.
Nice to see you back on here.
Do you post on School Bus Fleet?
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Old 05-08-2016, 01:37 AM   #34
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Thanks! Good to be back. For some reason my email address got messed up and I was never receiving notices from the forum. With my A.D.D. I started drifting away....

One more school year before I start converting my bus...

No, I don't post on there. I guess I should since I've been a contractor for a couple of years. Thankfully I've got access to some pretty decent mechanics.
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:08 AM   #35
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Hey Boojiewoojie,
I just saw your post...for some reason, I'm not getting email notifications about posts in threads I subscribe to. Anyway, thanks for the input. I'm still in the beginning stages. I think I've pretty much decided on a Cummins 8.3 with MD3060, but am still open to the DT466 with MD3060. I like the Thomas HDXes (from what I've gathered, the Thomases are said to be a little better built), which wouldn't be available with that engine/tranny combo. It seems like the combo I'm looking for (Thomas HDX with Cummins 8.3 and MD3060) is going to be hard to find. All of the local buses I see driving around are FE, so I'm not sure how to go about finding one from a local school district (which would be my preference). Shopping for one online would involve a lot of driving, which requires time and money, and the closest seemingly reputable reseller (Kerlin) I've been able to find is in Indiana...and all of their HDXes have the 5.9 Cummins, which I'm reluctant to even consider, as I feel they might be underpowered for my purposes. Thanks for the info. Nice to see someone close by on the forum. BTW, would you be able to provide a rough measurement of the engine hump in the rear (I'm trying to get rough estimates of the interior dimensions for design purposes)?
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Old 05-23-2016, 12:28 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojiewoojie View Post
Most newer short buses have air ride front and back and air conditioning, at least in my neck of the woods.

And yes short buses have a tighter turning radius but I'll be right on your tail on the back roads. Not trying to be snotty but there are very few roads a 40' RE won't go. Basically one lane fire lanes with switchbacks. If it's a narrow two lane county road it's surprising how maneuverable an RE is.

Most of the problems driving a long bus are when you're in town in traffic and you're trying to make a turn with cars in the lanes beside you. That's when I would say a shorty has the big advantage.

To a new driver I would say do enough driving locally to really get a feel for the bus. Most new drivers forget about all the overhang they have in the front of the bus and are hesitant about swinging over a curb.
You're exactly right on about all of that. My back roads are logging roads. Low speeds and lots of turns that are designed for logging trucks so I'm sure you're right about following to most places.
I've found these things get stuck very easily on wet ground. Thinking seriously about adding a winch that I can attach to a hitch in the front or rear.
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Old 05-23-2016, 11:26 PM   #37
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Geick, My last school day is tomorrow so I'll get a measurement for you hopefully tomorrow when it's sitting in my driveway.
You're right about most districts surrounding you running FE's. I used to live in Mt. Pleasant, Columbia and started driving in Marshall County (Lewisburg) after those two places. I don't recall seeing a single RE. We had one in Lewisburg but it was in the shop a lot for some reason.

If local low cost is your most important priority the closest RE's are in Franklin county. We're all contractors mostly with one or two routes and basically run a bus until it ages out. There's probably gonna be one or two RE's available, but nothing as new as an HDX.

And whether a Thomas is better built is highly questionable. All the big RE's are pretty heavy duty with more robust fittings, etc. and quality is about the same across brands.
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Old 05-24-2016, 03:26 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by boojiewoojie View Post
Geick, My last school day is tomorrow so I'll get a measurement for you hopefully tomorrow when it's sitting in my driveway.
You're right about most districts surrounding you running FE's. I used to live in Mt. Pleasant, Columbia and started driving in Marshall County (Lewisburg) after those two places. I don't recall seeing a single RE. We had one in Lewisburg but it was in the shop a lot for some reason.

If local low cost is your most important priority the closest RE's are in Franklin county. We're all contractors mostly with one or two routes and basically run a bus until it ages out. There's probably gonna be one or two RE's available, but nothing as new as an HDX.

And whether a Thomas is better built is highly questionable. All the big RE's are pretty heavy duty with more robust fittings, etc. and quality is about the same across brands.

Schooooool's...out...for summer! Thank you. The measurements will be really helpful. If you have a way of posting a pic, that would be greatly appreciated, as well. I work in Columbia, and my parents live in Cornersville, so I'm well acquainted with all of those areas.

Really, local and low cost aren't my most important priorities. I really want the bus that I want, and I would make time to go and get it (though the cost would be a factor, as I'm not going to spend the 20-40 grand that I've seen some sites selling these things for, especially knowing I can get something for much less). It's just that I've read that local school districts are the preferred place to find a bus (though I suppose non-local would be just as good, if I had intel about where the bus I'm looking for might reside, and could visit with those who service them). If there are better places (or other reliable alternatives), I'm certainly open to exploring as time allows.

I have no first-hand experience with buses, and at this point have been going off whatever info I can find, hence my Thomas bias. I'm open to whatever, so long as it is reliable and suits my purpose. A powerful engine is a must (Cummins 8.3/DT466), as we'll be all over the US (mountains and such), as well as a heavy duty tranny with overdrive (MD3060), and a rear end that's geared for highway driving (don't know much about the gearing ratio I need). Thanks again for the info.
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Old 05-24-2016, 06:15 PM   #39
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I like the way you're making your choices. I came here after I purchased this bus.
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Old 05-25-2016, 08:51 AM   #40
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I like the way you're making your choices. I came here after I purchased this bus.
Thanks. I research the crap out of things, most of the time at the expense of never getting anything done. I'm (and we're) determined that my family will live on a bus and travel the country. In this case, I think finding the time and patience to locate the right bus, plan accordingly (from designing the interior of the actual bus to financing this endeavor) and acquiring the skills to execute the conversion, all the while keeping from getting burned out, will be the real challenge here...in the words of the Robinson family, "KEEP MOVING FORWARD!" I am really coming to respect people who dive right into a project, because they seem to get things done without succumbing to the tempation to overthink everything.
Here's to people who get s#@t done! http://www.skoolie.net/forums/images...milies/bow.gif
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