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Old 04-02-2007, 09:09 PM   #31
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actually, a substantial majority speak english. funny sounding english, but, english , none the less too bad they give into to those damn frenchies and waste time learning it as well.

hey swin, what is that thing. it's cool looking. lotta glass. probably would be pretty hard keeping that thing warm up in your neck of the woods. kinda got a euro look to it.
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Old 04-02-2007, 09:32 PM   #32
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Pete C I dont think I would be able to afford this one, so i dont need to keep it warm.
It is a SAURER 3DUX made in Switzerland. Used to be the standard for "Postauto" (local Busconnection to most villages in Switzerland operated by the Postal Service)
I just like the looks of those old Buses, and i really like the original swiss air horn. I need to get one of those for my future bus.
here a little Videoclip with the sound of the horn.
http://www.heidipost.ch/bilder/3dux/klausenvideo.wmv

and a SAURER with nose

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Old 04-02-2007, 10:23 PM   #33
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The language is a touchy issue even for me....ever seen Fargo? We don't talk like that in Minnesota....but North Country (takes place and was filmed in my home town) does a pretty decent job.

I think the choice between a manual and an automatic transmission really comes down to personal preference. There is nothing wrong with an auto, especially an MT643. A stick might get slightly better mileage and need less maintenance, but I really think it's a non-issue.

Different engines have different life expectancies. As a general rule the inlines will outlast the V-8's. I know I will probably catch some flack for that, but the noteworthy long lasting engines (DT 360, DT466, C-series Cummins, Brazilian Fords, etc) are all inlines. If I were shopping for a bus with 200,000+ miles I would be looking for a DT466 or Cummins C-series. A 6.6 or 7.8 would also work, but they're gutless.
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Old 04-02-2007, 10:41 PM   #34
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My 2 cents worth: School sytems in most states can legally use a transit style bus for 15 to 20 years and conventional buses for 10-15. It varies state to state but that's the general rule (The Crowns and Gilligs on the west coast are an exception). Therefore, you're gonna pay a premium for any newer bus that falls in those years- dealers know they can get good money for 'em!

Is there really a difference between a 2k bus that was just retired and a year or two newer one for 15k? No, not really. The "just retired" bus went through the same very thourough inspection last spring or fall that the newer bus did.

Our district trades in the older models for somewhere between 2 and 3k. When I go to the dealer to p/u parts those same buses are going for 5 to 10k or more. Same buses. No new work done to them.

The best way to buy a bus is contact all the school districts in your region and find the ones that sell under sealed bids or a local auction company. Talk to the head mechanic when you find some that are going to be auctioned and he will tell you what kind of shape they're in.

Now, there ARE differences in condition like any vehicle. That's why you talk to the head mechanic. He's serviced that bus every month for the last 15 years and he knows what kind of shape it's in. If the bus isn't worth buying he'll probably let you know!

If you want to buy a bus from a dealer for $$$$$ that you could've bought at the district level for $, go ahead.

I prefer transit. I'm not a 4wheelin' kind of guy and I've never driven a bus on the beach (hopefully one day!) but I've put many hours behind the wheel of both kind and it's not even debateable to me. I drove an IH conventional for Home Depot for a while and we got stuck more than once on muddy back roads. I don't really think there's that much difference in traction between a conventional and a FE transit. The chassis are the same (except for the higher-end transits- those are built in house at the bus factory). I'm sure there is some difference, maybe the conventional can go 5 more feet than the transit before getting stuck?

The big difference is this: turning radius and interior space. Many of our bus routes are on narrow, one-lane chipped roads in hillbilly country. All of our buses are transit buses because they have superior manuverability. In another district I drove for the fleet was mixed and when I took a conventional on the same route as I normally drove a transit there was a HUGE difference in making turns. There is more interior space in a transit. A 66 passenger conventional is the same length as a 72 passenger transit. I have 5 children and I know which one I prefer! I have an 84 passenger bus, which gets around just fine.

I apologize- I had to leave this message I started for a few hours and just came back to it. I see some of this has already been covered.

Since I'm from south Mississippi I can say, "Metric-... what's that? That 'aint that new style they's tryin' to call music, is it?"

I wouldn't be worried too much about rust. Yes, you don't want rust but it's pretty rare to see a rusted out school bus- the ladder frame is up pretty high and the parts that rust are usually not structural. Also, I think older buses ride better- the springs don't bounce you around as much!

If you get a bus with an IH motor, get the DT466. The Cummins and Cat work well. I'm happy with my CAT 3208.

All buses (virtually) from the mid '80s on are automatic. Don't want a school bus stuck on the train track with the inexperienced driver trying to get the bus in gear, do we? Make sure it has the heavier-duty Allison MT643 tranny.

I hope that's worth 2 cents. If not, don't tell my wife- she wondering why I'm sitting here wasting my time...

Sounds like you're getting a bus for the same reason we did- big family, like to travel and camp and see beautiful country that everybody else races past. We homeschool so it's all just one big learning experience!
Good luck!
Rick
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Old 04-02-2007, 10:49 PM   #35
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I think the biggest difference between a Class C and a Class D bus in offroading ability would be the ground pressure on each corner. The front axle of a conventional holds up a lot less weight which is a good thing with the single tires. The duals in the rear have twice the contact patch so they should be able to support twice the weight in theory.
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Old 04-03-2007, 12:48 AM   #36
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Rick, thanks for your 2 cents. It seems you are in the same boat as we are (almost) We also homeschool that is why we figured we'll take the school on the road and learn something while seeing it.
Do you have a floorplan and pictures of your bus somewhere on this site? There is so many and it takes time to search through all of them.
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Old 04-03-2007, 08:49 AM   #37
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I hear the comparisons between conventional and FE flatnose. Seems to me the champeen offroader ought to be a pusher flatnose. Some of those things look like the have virtually all their weight on the rear axle. I would look for a 35 ft pusher. Very manueverable and still pretty spacious inside.
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Old 04-03-2007, 11:30 AM   #38
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A bus for our special friends up north.

http://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/auctio ... auc=177961
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Old 04-03-2007, 11:31 AM   #39
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OK, no more teasing. It's not funny anymore.
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Old 04-06-2007, 07:22 PM   #40
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I have a bus for sale in AZ if you are interested. I know its a long way, but this bus is in great shape. Here is the link http://www.skoolie.net/forum/viewtopic. ... 5003#15003

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