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Old 04-07-2021, 05:08 AM   #1
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40 feet to 34 feet

Hi,

I am looking for a bus and all I find is 40 feet buses. Has anyone or is it possible to shorten a bus by 6 feet approximately. I have a buddy that is a welder so it should not be a problem, just wondering if it has been done before and what steps to take.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-07-2021, 06:08 AM   #2
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Anything is possible. I don't know what all is available in your area but there are shorter buses out there to be had although perhaps they're less common than 40 footers. I imagine if you get a front engine 40 footer you could bob the tail which would be marginally simple in theory and having a welder friend would help immensely. Nevertheless, I also imagine spending a little more to get the right size bus in the first place would be far easier and less expensive in the long run than saving a few bucks up front but dealing with the mess and aggravation of cutting one down to size. Most of the time what I've seen is cutting down the body but retaining the frame length for a truck bed or flatbed toy hauler or in one case cutting the frame back near the rear axle to tote a gooseneck trailer because in that case you'd want the hitch over the axle.
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Old 04-07-2021, 11:29 AM   #3
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Are the buses for sale truly 40 feet? When I was looking, I saw a lot more buses that are 34-38 feet long and very few that were actually 40 feet. I'm not sure what you have in Canada, but it's probably similar since we have NAFTA.
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Old 04-07-2021, 11:39 AM   #4
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Someone one here did it, should find it in a search. Then you have less rear overhang so it will tow with less wag. Clearly not ideal in terms of work involved.
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Old 04-07-2021, 11:46 AM   #5
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Basically cut the back cap off, remove how ever many wall sections you want and reattach the end cap.
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Old 04-07-2021, 02:52 PM   #6
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I did it last summer and chronicled it here. Look for the thread, "Leaventaun - Soon". I tried to be thorough in getting all the steps - and missteps - recorded.

As Sehnsucht said you'd be better off to buy one the size you want. But I live in New Jersey and it's not easy to find a decent bus in the rust belt. When I found mine within 30 miles home in good condition I decided the time and expense I'd commit to shortening it would be a wash when compared to buying it hundreds or thousands of miles away and pay the cost in time and money to get it home.

For the most part I enjoyed the process (so far) but that's just me. The only downside for me was was having to hurry because I wanted to hit the road by the end of last October. I failed to get on the road this winter due to insurance issues.
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Old 04-07-2021, 08:07 PM   #7
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Thanks all for your answers.

Oldeyeller,

Great post I will use it if I decide to shorten my bus.
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Old 04-08-2021, 09:27 AM   #8
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Quoting OldYeller:
"For the most part I enjoyed the process (so far) but that's just me."


^ This. If the prospect of hacking up a bunch of steel and doing some fabrication work doesn't excite, or at least interest you then you are probably better off continuing your search. Shorter buses are out there.


I personally find this kind of work to be a great hobby, but not everyone does. If it will only cause you stress I suggest avoiding the process. One of the big stressors for this sort of work is location. Do you have a safe place to do the work? A location free of harassment from neighbours and the local authorities?


If you do like this sort of task then get to it! Overall it's not too complicated. Heavy and unwieldly, sure. Just a big, heavy puzzle.
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:16 AM   #9
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That's weird, I'd say something like 50% of the buses in my area (Philly) are my exact model of 11-window International dog nose, 35' long. I saw tons of them for sale when I was looking for my bus.

As far as chopping a bus goes, it's likely to be a lot more difficult and expensive than finding a medium-length bus in the first place. That's effort and money you could be putting into more rewarding things like a roof raise, solar etc.
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Old 04-08-2021, 11:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
That's weird, I'd say something like 50% of the buses in my area (Philly) are my exact model of 11-window International dog nose, 35' long. I saw tons of them for sale when I was looking for my bus.
I imagine it's very dependent on where you live and where you look because some school districts buy a consistent size and style based in their needs. Central Indiana is pretty spacious so most of the suburban districts buy full size conventional buses but Indianapolis specifically uses shorter front engine flat nosed buses to navigate the tighter city streets. Larger districts with well funded sports programs also invest in a few highway geared rear engine buses for longer trips. So it really depends on what it was spec'd for but I think for our purposes the secret is to figure out where they trade in their old buses. That's where OP may find what you're looking for.
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