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Old 11-25-2021, 09:49 PM   #1
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Utah Buses Rusty?

Looking at buying a bus in Utah without seeing it. They don't have great photos of the underside. What is the General shape of auction buses from school districts around SLC or Provo. I know desert buses are awesome, but I believe they get snow, so I'm not sure what's to be expected.

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Old 11-25-2021, 10:00 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by fo4imtippin View Post
Looking at buying a bus in Utah without seeing it. They don't have great photos of the underside. What is the General shape of auction buses from school districts around SLC or Provo. I know desert buses are awesome, but I believe they get snow, so I'm not sure what's to be expected.
Utah is considered in the "Salt Belt", but uses less corrosive substances.
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Old 11-26-2021, 09:35 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by fo4imtippin View Post
Looking at buying a bus in Utah without seeing it. They don't have great photos of the underside. What is the General shape of auction buses from school districts around SLC or Provo. I know desert buses are awesome, but I believe they get snow, so I'm not sure what's to be expected.
I, like many, purchased my bus site unseen and even expected to drive it home 900+ miles.
Well we made it home with some slight issues only to find out it had more rust than what I cared for! Yes, it was a Kentucky bus!

My thinking was,

1) buy it cheap! This is a must if buying sight unseen.
Call the location where it is stored and ask the shop manager or previous owner if it runs and drives. ask them all the questions you would ask or read about here at this site. How do I know what cheap is... After bidding on about 20 busses before I got mine, you will get a feel for what a bus might be worth. Also, some auction site are just more pricier than others like gov.deals for example.

2) If I break down on the road home after purchase, better have al least another 2 grand available for emergency repairs. If you don't have the extra dough then your options become a bit tougher.
Back in the '80's when I used to help/drive buses with my dad to central America (Honduras) we had to leave a bus or two behind because we were not prepared for the immediate repairs needed to keep moving on. We were lucky enough to find good people who would help out in some way, let us keep the bus on their property/shop until we came back for it. That usually happend within 6 months. Only once did they steal all the tires but that was easily solved, bought some used tires and carried on. Point is, have a backup plan incase plan A fails.

3) Once you get home and your not totally satisfied with your bus, you can either resell it or part it out. If you got a good motor with a good tranny you should be able to get a good chunk of your investment back.

When I saw how much rust my bus had I really wished I would have inspected it first but hey, i'm carazy...kept the bus and decided to cut out as much rust as I can, remediate what I can with Ospho and paint and just keep on moving forward.
I figured once I get thru all the rust I won't have to worry about that for a while, a long while hopefully!

Also, it is really hit and miss, even if you do go inspect before you purchase.
A beautiful looking bus with a decent running drivetrain, well they too can fail, "Out of the Blue", either on your trip home from purchase or while your on a trip. You just got to mentally prepare yourself for this, It will happen question is when and where.
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Old 11-26-2021, 10:45 AM   #4
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as a trucker we are always glad to make it to utah as they are not scared to put the salt down. they have lots of it for free. i do 35 in wyoming but as soon as i hit the border its wfo
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Old 11-26-2021, 11:05 AM   #5
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I have cousins that live in Utah, and yes their cars have salt worm damage. It is also used here in NM. Here in southern NM if more than 2 snowflakes fall they ground the fleet.
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Old 11-26-2021, 04:07 PM   #6
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Any bus used in the winter where salt is put on roadways is going to have rust when it comes time for the school district to sell.

Buying one from the salt/rust belt is a real gamble if it is sight unseen.
I would not recommend buying anything sight unseen, as there are way too many potential issues that could and will come back to bite ones butt if not thoroughly vetted.
Sellers are anxious to sell, and will many times gloss over any flaws their goods might have.

Best of luck to you in your search, and don't buy yourself a pig in a poke!!!
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Old 11-27-2021, 07:53 AM   #7
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when ive been in utah it always seemed like they sanded more than salt.. but I did notice like others that the roads were always nice and clear unless it was an all out blizzard..
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Old 11-30-2021, 09:05 AM   #8
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Thanks Everyone. After looking around more, the SLC area uses salt on their roads and after checking a few different buses that have sold in the area, i think the undersides are fairly rusty. Not as bad as Ohio or Michigan, but more than Colorado. On the bus i was considering, i can see rust on the door bolts and the rims are rusty.
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Old 12-01-2021, 04:07 PM   #9
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I'm just north in Idaho, was just down in SLC last week. Anecdotally the cars aren't rusty, nothing like what I encountered in Iowa.
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Old 12-01-2021, 05:39 PM   #10
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Yeah, I'm from the Midwest and still have a truck from their. Nothing ticks me off like a rusty undercarriage.
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Old 12-01-2021, 10:47 PM   #11
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Pay a local mechanic to check it out for you. The $200-$300 you spend might save you thousands of dollars down the road...
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