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Old 08-01-2020, 07:59 PM   #1
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Idle Time Question

We're looking at a bus here in Louisiana. It's a 2001 Thomas Safetliner with the 8.2 Cummins engine. It only has 27,000 miles but has idled for 13,000 hours running the A/C. Is that anything to be worried about? What would that equate to in miles?

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Old 08-01-2020, 08:43 PM   #2
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Cummins did not make an 8.2, it's likely an 8.3 and there's a typo. 27K miles sounds questionable, since it's pretty common to replace the dash in these when the gauges quit working. The hours, on the other hand, sounds within range for the age. My bus has somewhere around 212K miles and over 10K hours, but likely didn't get much idle time other than usual school bus route service.


More important than the miles or hours is condition and maintenance. How was it treated and cared for during its life? Has the engine been rebuilt at some point? Are service records available?
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Old 08-01-2020, 09:33 PM   #3
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No service records, the guy who has it swears the mileage is correct and that it was a Vegas bus that idled a bunch. Your deductions sound more plausible to me though.
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Old 08-01-2020, 11:06 PM   #4
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I'm going with Brad on this one... At 27,000 miles, it might still be sitting on the original tires!

Look underneath. If it's only got 27,000 miles on a Vegas bus, that bottom side should be immaculate.
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Old 08-02-2020, 01:06 PM   #5
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Clark county busses are usually low ceiling. I visit in-laws out there and thatís what I see. Does the roof drop down after the drivers seat?

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Old 08-02-2020, 02:31 PM   #6
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At 2001 year model, it probably has an engine computer. You *ABSOLUTELY SHOULD* have some independent mechanic plug into it to check for active/recent fault codes - the dash may or may not be correct on the mileage but the computer absolutely should be (unless by some rare chance it was changed too). At that point you'll either have confirmation of the miles or (more likely, in my mind) a good haggling point on the price.


While he's at it, he should be able to set/reset the cruise (if equipped, which it should be), the governed top speed (if set) and the idle timeout (if enabled), along with anything else that can be changed. He won't, however, be able to give any more top speed that is limited by max RPM and gearing.
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Old 08-02-2020, 06:19 PM   #7
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generally alot of idle hours isnt the greatest.. however idling in a hot climate is better for that engine than in cold weather.. if you have someone read the computer, have them check for tattletales.. all that hot weather you want to make sure the computer hasnt show repeated over-heat conditions..
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Old 08-03-2020, 07:49 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the information guys. Reading more about idle time, and with you guy's input, we decided to pass on this one. Just too many unknowns to drop $10k on. The hunt continues.
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Old 08-03-2020, 08:07 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Lee Savoy View Post
Thanks for all the information guys. Reading more about idle time, and with you guy's input, we decided to pass on this one. Just too many unknowns to drop $10k on. The hunt continues.
for 10k you want less than 10k hours, less than 250k miles.
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Old 08-03-2020, 04:32 PM   #10
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Clark county busses are usually low ceiling. I visit in-laws out there and thatís what I see. Does the roof drop down after the drivers seat?

Maybe, it's hard to tell from the pictures. There isn't one from straight on from the side.
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File Type: jpg 2001 Thomas.jpg (90.9 KB, 6 views)
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Old 08-03-2020, 04:44 PM   #11
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Maybe, it's hard to tell from the pictures. There isn't one from straight on from the side.
thats a low ceiling.
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Old 08-03-2020, 05:15 PM   #12
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thats a low ceiling.
Thanks, I'll have to watch for that in my hunt.
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:54 AM   #13
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It fits the profile of a Vegas bus so the seller could be right about that part. Iím from N.O. Iíll be bringing my bus to BR for football games if we have em this year. Iím not painting my bus purple but....Geaux Tigas!
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Old 08-04-2020, 09:45 AM   #14
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It fits the profile of a Vegas bus so the seller could be right about that part. Iím from N.O. Iíll be bringing my bus to BR for football games if we have em this year. Iím not painting my bus purple but....Geaux Tigas!
LOL, why not? Every tailgate bus is purple.
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