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Old 04-23-2021, 11:45 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Are converted buses still subject to DOT regulations?

Hello,

I was told this was a grey area and to ask on here for better advice. I understand that as a CDL driver your front wheels can NOT have drive type treads, but if your a private viechle as an RV does this rule still apply or can get away with it as long as the tire is SAFE. Please advise, thanks!

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Old 04-24-2021, 12:06 AM   #2
Bus Nut
 
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The choice of steer tire has nothing to do with DOT regulations. The construction and tread type and load rating are different for steer tires versus drive tires versus trailer/tag tires. You could run into serious handling issues using drives in the steer position. There is a type of all-position tire rated for RV class vehicles that offers the tracking accuracy of a steer tire but suitable to rotate front to rear like a car or suv. Out of curiosity why are you contemplating drive tires up front?
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Old 04-24-2021, 12:11 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sehnsucht View Post
The choice of steer tire has nothing to do with DOT regulations. The construction and tread type and load rating are different for steer tires versus drive tires versus trailer/tag tires. You could run into serious handling issues using drives in the steer position. There is a type of all-position tire rated for RV class vehicles that offers the tracking accuracy of a steer tire but suitable to rotate front to rear like a car or suv. Out of curiosity why are you contemplating drive tires up front?
I haven't had an issue which is why I asked, especially at high speeds.

And the reason why I'm contemplation is because I'm in the process of converting a bus to an RV and I'm on a really tight budget because of COVID, and the front tire was pointed out to me by a mechanic. I asked him how much it would cost to change it for a new tire and he told me $1600 for two. You can see why haha.
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Old 04-24-2021, 01:55 AM   #4
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DOT being federal, only has jurisdiction over commercial vehicles, as per the Interstate Commerce clause of the Constitution.

The purpose of RV registrations generally is to allow large vehicles - that would usually be classified commercial by default - to be driven as private with normal DLs.

Of course if there is **any** evidence of commercial activity, all bets are off.
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Old 04-24-2021, 07:04 AM   #5
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Well $1600 a pair is quite steep but I still don't think I'd contemplate rotating a drive tire into the steer position just to save a buck. Shop around and I'm sure you can find better prices than what he quoted you.
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Old 04-24-2021, 09:19 AM   #6
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Shop around, that's the highest quote I've ever heard foe a pair of tires. I have to replace mine (age) and figure somewhere around $ 7-800 for name brand
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Old 04-24-2021, 09:52 AM   #7
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some tires are not rated for steer use some are also only approved for trailer only. the tire will have a marking telling you where it can be used at
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Old 04-25-2021, 01:43 PM   #8
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My tire size is a very specific one apparently, B305/85R22.5. Two new tires cost around $1k. I would change it to a different size but it's not recommended.
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Old 04-25-2021, 02:57 PM   #9
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What kind of bus do you have? I googled that size tire and it seems specific to urban transit buses. That may mean it's less common therefore more expensive but that doesn't mean you can't shop for something more budget conscious. The primary factor to me would seem to be that it fits with no rubbing, and evenly paired so you have quality steering handling.
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Old 04-25-2021, 05:51 PM   #10
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I might be wrong, but I believe it is not drive tires not allowed on the front, but recaps are not allowed on the front.
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Old 04-25-2021, 10:21 PM   #11
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Somehow DOT is thought to mean commercial trucks and buses but, it all falls under Title 49 CFR including our bus conversions and cars and pickups. The FMVSA Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Administration enforces the rules. Most states adopt these standards as State regulations. In NM it is even stated as such in the administrative code. DOT and 49 CFR even covers oil and gas pipelines and railroads. As far as our conversions are concerned It would be to our advantage to follow those rules for the safety of ourselves and others.
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Old 04-28-2021, 03:08 PM   #12
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Don’t do it
By the best steers you can
If you never have had a blow recap separation on a car let alone truck don’t set yourself up for it.
Buy good tires. Be safe be happy.
I have a lot more to add to this and will if pressed but. I will leave at this.
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Old 04-28-2021, 03:09 PM   #13
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Don’t do it
By the best steers you can
If you never have had a blow recap separation on a car let alone truck don’t set yourself up for it.
Buy good tires. Be safe be happy.
I have a lot more to add to this and will if pressed but. I will leave at this.
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Old 04-28-2021, 03:46 PM   #14
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Have you ever weighed your Bus and know what the REAL front and rear axle weights are?

I didn't think so!!!

You better know!

It is VERY EASY to git the front steering axle overloaded and therefore the front tires possibly overloaded . There are numerous RV/Bus accidents shown all over the internet where a front tire blows due to overloading of the tire and/or front axle. It's VERY EASY to do. This has been a real problem for professional RV and RV chassis manufacturer's that they have had to address in recent years with the move towards fancier and bigger is better!

Search the forum and you will find several Skoolie owners here who finally went and weighed their bus only to be shocked to find out how front-end weight overloaded they were and had to re-configure the interior design of their bus by moving interior weight to the rear of the bus to git the front and rear axle weight loadings within safe and proper limits. This is a huge issue to maintain proper bus handling characteristics as originally designed.

An overloaded front steering axle with a Non-Spec "Drive" tire mounted in the steering position may be a real highway disaster waiting to happen that can be easily avoided by YOU doing the proper work on the "Front-End"!!!
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Old 04-28-2021, 04:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the7exp View Post
Hello,

I was told this was a grey area and to ask on here for better advice. I understand that as a CDL driver your front wheels can NOT have drive type treads, but if your a private viechle as an RV does this rule still apply or can get away with it as long as the tire is SAFE. Please advise, thanks!
First this post is for general knowledge and not to bang the OP over the head. After all he did ask for advise. Now that we have that out of the way here goes.
Lets analyze this for a minute. Tires are marked on the sidewall with a lot of information. First there is a serial number to help with recalls. Second there is a date code. Tires age just like food. Only a fool drives on out dated tires and eats out dated food. Then there is the tire load and inflation data. Maximum inflation and weight limits for dual and single use are stated in plain English. If you rode the long bus to school you will weigh the front and rear axles and make sure that those weights don’t go over the tire or axle ratings. Michelin used to recommend a 10% safety margin on coach and bus use. Then there is the speed rating. Again if you rode the long bus you don’t run a 65 MPH tire at 80 MPH. Then there is the tire position indicator. This tells you if it is a drive, steer, all position or trailer tire. Tires are designed and tailored for steer axles to take the side loading while cornering, and give better traction in corners. Drive tires provide better drive torque for rear axles. All position tires are for all axles and a compromise. And then trailer tires are for trailers. We may not have to go through the scales and be inspected but we are still responsible for the safe operation of our conversions. Gross negligence causing death or bodily harm in a crash can land you in the state penitentiary. If you are lucky you will only be sued for negligence and find that insurance is next to impossible to get again. Driving these skoolie / coach conversions is serious business and I see a lot of posts on here that illustrates a severe lack of knowledge and a flippant attitude toward safety in general. This is also true of the other RV forums online but not as bad as here. There are also some very well informed members here too. As much as I dislike government regulations I am beginning to think that a training class and CDL should be required to drive one of these buses, but that opens up another can of worms.
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Old 04-28-2021, 04:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the7exp View Post
My tire size is a very specific one apparently, B305/85R22.5. Two new tires cost around $1k. I would change it to a different size but it's not recommended.
I would look at 315/80r22.5 as a replacement. We use a lot of them here in the oilfields on trucks. I was inspecting a truck last week that had them on the front they were rated at 10,000 pounds single. Truck had 18K front axle. They were Bridgestone. These need a 9.0 to 9.75” wide rim.
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Old 04-28-2021, 07:11 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s2mikon View Post
I would look at 315/80r22.5 as a replacement. We use a lot of them here in the oilfields on trucks. I was inspecting a truck last week that had them on the front they were rated at 10,000 pounds single. Truck had 18K front axle. They were Bridgestone. These need a 9.0 to 9.75” wide rim.
I would be a little worried about clearance but more just the hassle of trying to balance that heavy sucker! I'm still unclear what type of bus the OP has that has an exotic tire. Maybe I missed a reply somewhere.
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Old 04-28-2021, 07:19 PM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the7exp View Post
My tire size is a very specific one apparently, B305/85R22.5. Two new tires cost around $1k. I would change it to a different size but it's not recommended.
If you are on a budget you can buy retreads at a much better price.
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Old 04-28-2021, 07:26 PM   #19
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I think the OP has a motor coach hence the 305/85r22.5. The difference between 315/80r22.5 negligible. 10mm in width and 14mm smaller od. Centramatic's would balance it.
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Old 04-28-2021, 08:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sehnsucht View Post
The choice of steer tire has nothing to do with DOT regulations. The construction and tread type and load rating are different for steer tires versus drive tires versus trailer/tag tires. You could run into serious handling issues using drives in the steer position. There is a type of all-position tire rated for RV class vehicles that offers the tracking accuracy of a steer tire but suitable to rotate front to rear like a car or suv. Out of curiosity why are you contemplating drive tires up front?
Was going to let this go.

But dot does mandate virgin steers only. And while I don’t see it in the current cfr I know I have read steer position only on fronts.
By the declaration of the regrooved tire load rating of 4920# load rating on regroved tires.

And the declaration of busses (passengers carting) states specifically virgin rubber. There is a reason.

https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?gp=1&ty=HTML&h=L&mc=true&=PART&n=pt49 .5.393#se49.5.393_175

And I have stated previously if you have never have had a blow out or recap separation in a car. When you have one on an axle rated at 12k you won’t be ready for it The destruction it causes even if you don’t hit anything is pretty intense.

This was a drive letting go on me at 65mph in a work semi
A couple of weeks ago.

A steer gets a lot more interesting.
And yes I pretripped.
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