Hey all! I guess I'm kinda new to posting. I've been prowling the forum for weeks but my wife and I are finally making progress. Hardest part was finding a bus...
There's no real point to this post besides saying hello and sharing my experience (as limited as it is) so far.
Thanks in no small part to this forum I had a pretty good idea of what we wanted/needed for a bus. Dognose 70+ passenger with hyd brakes and a Dt466 engine. There were a few local buses but they were either too expensive, too rusty or just not what we wanted. Northern Minnesota isn't exactly great for bus options (or rust) but I'll admit that idea of buying a southern bus and transporting it home was a bit daunting.
So I've been searching hard for weeks, calling everywhere, staring at auction sites... but just last week I finally got in touch with the guy that runs the shop at the local school bus depot and he (of course) has 5 buses that all fit what I'm looking for and in our price range. What are the chances? Blue Bird Internationals with DT466e, hyd brakes. There were two 2001's with AT545 transmissions and three 2003's with the 2500? series transmissions (5 speed). I went from hoping to get lucky with finding a bus to suddenly having options! What a great day that was.
These buses are backup for his fleet so they've all been maintained to be used on a moments notice. Compared to a few other buses we've checked out locally... that's a nice fact to know. A few around here look like they've rusted and sunk right into the ground... uffda.
So I guess that's just me sharing... We are in talks with the guy right now. We realized how nice it is to work with a fleet manager and not a salesman/dealer. He's upfront, honest, and not at all pushy. It's great. We toldl him our plans and he helped guide our decision making toward the bus that would be best for us. Just helpful. Plain and simple.
So that's the story so far. I'm looking forward to getting it home. We are thinking of getting a 2003 with the 5 speed transmission. 180,000 miles. Not great but not terrible considering the company has kept studious records of all the maintenance performed. The tires appear to be in great shape so that's a plus. The big thing for me is convenience. It'll be a 10 minute drive to go pick it up.
Thanks for taking the time to read! I'm just excited and wanted to share. You guys have been fantastic here. So very helpful even if you don't realize it.