We have the TC 2000 and All Americans and the All American is a heavier duty bus like ya'll are talking about. The mechanics say that there's a lot of little differences such as fasteners, etc. Having driven both older and newer versions (well, there aren't new TC2000s) the AA just feels better. Yesterday I drove a brand new AA FE and it is smooth, quiet and powerful. The new Thomas' (FE) feel much less solid and are noisier than the AAs. The mechanics say the new Thomas have really bad quaility control. For instance, in places the wiring is all the same color and some of the harnesses are held together with masking tape. Sometimes the buses stop because some connection came loose. Our supervisor pointed out some of the differences between the two to some of the school board members. Even though the Thomas' bid was lower for new buses they voted unanimously for the AA's. The visibility out of a Thomas is really good, however. The dash layout on the newer AA's are really nice. The mechanics speak highly of older Thomas'. The older TC2000s are really stripped down, with minimal gauges, less insulation, unfinished edges (comparatively),etc.
Daddy, can we go on a trip again??
'85 Thomas SafTLiner RE
3208 NA CAT MT643