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Old 05-06-2019, 12:35 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Seat belts

I am in the process of buying my first bus. I pick it up this Friday and am planning on using it for dual purpose. My wife and I have 9 kids between us. Our plan is to use the bus for taking kids on trips both local and long distance so we are keeping the front to use as intended and the rear as camper/RV and to haul our camping equipment. This is where I am running into a problem. The State police tell me I ha e to have seat belts for the kids in the seat. They are wanting shoulder lap belts for all the seats for all the kids. Now although I can see that this would be best for saftey but at the same time I have not figure out how to do this at a reasonable cost. Can anyone give me any advice on how to put in seat belts or switch seats out to seats with built in belts at a reasonable price?
The bus is a Thomas bus I believee it's an 01. Our plan was to keep 10 seats ie one for each person.

Thank you for any help you can offer
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Old 05-06-2019, 12:56 PM   #2
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9 kids?!! Holy moley, y'all definitely need a school bus! (Welcome to our Booby Hatch, btw)

If it were me (& since you're soliciting opinions, I'd best BE me), I'd be calling auto bone-yards in the region to see if any buckets &/or benches with intrinsic restraints might be had.

The only other option that I see us to buy new seat belts, and then try to retrofit them to the bus' existing seats. Probably requiring drilling into the ribs to anchor the shoulder strap. That is some seriously hard stainless, fyi...
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Old 05-06-2019, 01:24 PM   #3
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My first trip included a number of folks though not that many! The seat belts for everyone but the driver were just lap belts though, some attached via reusing the benches, the added passenger chair had a way to make the attachment, and the rest with lag screws into the sides. I had to buy 2 and got them from an auto parts store. No big deal.

I don't understand mandatory shoulder belts though for those sitting in the back. Is there a written something which clearly states folks in the back need shoulder belt too? My bus didn't have that for the kids and was definitely used by a school district. Can you register in another state? Not saying to not have seat belts of course. Is this to work around a design issue? Meaning there is something hard close to the seats which a head might whack?

Is there an issue with 10 seats (assuming each one is a bench here) and your DL? 10 benches = 30 people for me; I was told I'd need a CDL if I *could* seat more that 15 or something like that.
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Old 05-06-2019, 01:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnolddivorce View Post
I am in the process of buying my first bus. I pick it up this Friday and am planning on using it for dual purpose. My wife and I have 9 kids between us. Our plan is to use the bus for taking kids on trips both local and long distance so we are keeping the front to use as intended and the rear as camper/RV and to haul our camping equipment. This is where I am running into a problem. The State police tell me I ha e to have seat belts for the kids in the seat. They are wanting shoulder lap belts for all the seats for all the kids. Now although I can see that this would be best for saftey but at the same time I have not figure out how to do this at a reasonable cost. Can anyone give me any advice on how to put in seat belts or switch seats out to seats with built in belts at a reasonable price?
The bus is a Thomas bus I believee it's an 01. Our plan was to keep 10 seats ie one for each person.

Thank you for any help you can offer
Your existing seats may have mountings for seat belts (lap belts only) and those belts are pretty cheap. Keeping five rows of seats is going to eat up a huge fraction of your available interior space, though - on my bus that would be half of it. If the law requires you to have shoulder belts (as opposed to the state police just wanting it), three-point belts are not terribly expensive but you would have to fabricate some way of attaching the shoulder belt to a rib on the wall or ceiling (as opposed to anchoring the shoulder belt on the floor behind the seat).

Ford Transit Van benches can be found in 1, 2 and 3-seat configurations for a couple hundred each, and they come with integrated (i.e. safe) shoulder belts. This would be the safest and least space-consuming way of providing seats for your family, though it would not be the cheapest or the most comfortable. I have a two-seat Ford Transit Van bench that I got off Craigslist for $200 for my bus; it is 31" wide so the seats are noticeably more cramped than on an airplane.

Example: https://www.ebay.com/itm/2015-2018-F...w/143235148011
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Old 05-06-2019, 01:58 PM   #5
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You need to find some of these, they will even accommodate infants.
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Old 05-06-2019, 02:23 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=o1marc;323960]You need to find some of these, they will even accommodate infants.


Where might I find some of these seats
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Old 05-06-2019, 02:31 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Well our plan is ten seats makes one for each kid to cut down on the fighting. Ie hes touching me
The bus is a 71 passenger bus so 10 seats takes up slightly less than half the bus. The coverting the rear to rv will mostly be to save us a huge expense when tagging and registering the bus. It also will male it more convient on our camping trips as the equiment will already be loaded and well there will be bunks inside gor me as im to old to be out there sleeping on the ground in a tent
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Old 05-06-2019, 03:20 PM   #8
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seats with belts

I am using seats,,,, from 2018 ford transit van. cloth or vinyl with head rest and built in three point belt. they have baby seat latch point too, seats can un hook from floor rails and be moved. look for pictures on ebay, go to a ford dealer to see how they work..... Mine are new take outs, I have three two seater benches, and one three seater bench. I will also have three single seats in addition to drivers seat. I can do seating for 10 or 11 depending if I use a double or triple or delete and I can seat 8


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Old 05-06-2019, 04:50 PM   #9
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https://www.ebay.com/itm/Universal-3...53.m2749.l2649



Just got these today, look good, less then 20 apiece.

S... goes flying when not bolted or strapped down!
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Old 05-06-2019, 06:02 PM   #10
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Have you considered that having 10 seats puts you back in CDL territory? You'll have seating for 20-30, spec is less than 16.
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