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Old 09-02-2020, 05:49 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Question I keep hearing don't buy a bus in Florida. Why?

I keep seeing statements like don't buy a school bus in Florida, go to GA, TX etc.

Can't seem to find out why. So if anyone can share why you should not buy a school bus in Florida, I would love to hear it.
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Old 09-02-2020, 06:17 PM   #2
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Some of the reasons I've heard from afar...:
Rust issues?
Lack of maint./getting their use out of them?
Cannabalized hulks at auctions?
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Old 09-02-2020, 06:40 PM   #3
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many of florida's districts bneat the living crap out of their busses and apparently there isnt a lot of mechanical inspection that goes on in the state's stickers each year..



not all florida busses are junk.. the main thing is if you are going to shop for busses in florida then be vigilant esp if its sight unseen, that you are clear with the seller on questions regarding operability and also lots of pictures..



some bus dealers in florida are much higher prices than other areas and than the busses are worth.. some places buy cheap northern rust buckets and briong them to florida to sell for high amounts..



people here have bought good busses in florida, however they definitely did their research and were on-top of their purchase..



-Christopher
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Old 09-02-2020, 06:41 PM   #4
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What I noticed when I was looking earlier this year(pre covid) is that most of Florida buses are pretty basic on options and high miles on the end of a useable life. A large portion of the buses have the undesirable AT545 transmission. Also not sure to what extent it affected the market, but it is said that the southern states have a big market for bus exporters looking to send them to central and south America. I noticed that a lot of local actions had the same guys buying multiple buses which held action prices high. When you compare the quality of bus you can buy in some of the nicer areas of the country to the average Florida bus, it can make investing in the average FL bus seem like a bad investment.

With that being said, I found mine from a daycare with low miles and a desirable transmission here in FL. So that statement is about as true as most generic statements in the skoolie world. I found once I read enough info on the subject I could separate the good buses from bad fairly easily. There is so much great info on this site. I think it would be of great benefit to you to look into previous threads and figure out what you want in a bus before seriously shopping. This really is where an educated consumer makes out better in the long run.
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Old 09-02-2020, 07:59 PM   #5
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Fl takes low-spec buses and puts a ton of miles on them with the least amount of maintenance possible. This is just a terrible state to find a good deal on a good bus. Most of the good ones here come from somewhere else.
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Old 09-02-2020, 08:57 PM   #6
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Hmmm. Well it looks like I am going to have to do some traveling when I buy my school bus. I was hoping to find one in south florida. I'm learning something new everyday here on the forum.
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Old 09-03-2020, 08:01 AM   #7
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you may in fact find a good one, just be vigilant. if you bid on an auction, go to the auction in-person viewing and look at the units you are interested in.. you can likely tell by inepecting if it looks l;ike a bus is beat up or still in good shape.. and of course contact sellers and ask about any defects.. sometimes you can find out where a bus ran its school routes and contact the school of any service defects or records on a bus..
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Old 09-03-2020, 08:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobOfYork View Post
Hmmm. Well it looks like I am going to have to do some traveling when I buy my school bus. I was hoping to find one in south florida. I'm learning something new everyday here on the forum.

You can find a good bus in Miami but it will take time and lots of vigilance.
I have seen a few good ones in the past on the Bidera auction site. Bidera does alot of auction work in Miami Dade county for many municipalities. If you find one you like, INSPECT IT before you bid!

Stay far away from any Palm beach County buses, they cannibalize the good parts to keep their fleet running

I just bought another bus, a 2005 Ic/amtran from Broward county schools thru the auction site Publicsurplus. It was a non runner, dt4663e and an Md3060 tranny WITH A/C for real cheap and it is also the taller version - higher roof, under a grand!

Body is straight as an arrow and zero rust underneath, oh, and good tires to!

Bad news is that there is milkshake sludge on the dipstick so that means I'll probably do an in frame on this one, or cut it up for parts for my bus but this one is just too nice to cut up...

Don't get discouraged, it takes quite a few bids before you win the bus you want.
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Old 09-03-2020, 08:56 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ewo1 View Post
I just bought another bus, a 2005 Ic/amtran from Broward county schools thru the auction site Publicsurplus. It was a non runner, dt4663e and an Md3060 tranny WITH A/C for real cheap and it is also the taller version - higher roof, under a grand!

Body is straight as an arrow and zero rust underneath, oh, and good tires to!

Bad news is that there is milkshake sludge on the dipstick so that means I'll probably do an in frame on this one, or cut it up for parts for my bus but this one is just too nice to cut up...

Don't get discouraged, it takes quite a few bids before you win the bus you want.
If you're getting rid of the windows, I might want to buy three or four of them.
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Old 09-03-2020, 09:16 AM   #10
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If you're getting rid of the windows, I might want to buy three or four of them.
I have lots of windows from the 99 amtran, some are the emergency windows and I have some are factory tinted too.

You can have them for free, just figure out the shipping and you can have them.

I'm not sure yet what to do with this 2005 bus right now as I am still putting up the skins on my '99 amtran.

Last time Caddilackid helped out another member with parts shipping, so maybe if there any other members travelling thru south Florida who wish to help out a another skoolie!
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Old 09-03-2020, 02:58 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ewo1 View Post
You can find a good bus in Miami but it will take time and lots of vigilance.
Thank you. This has given me a ray of hope that I don't have to spend several thousand dollars traveling to get a bus from another state.
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Old 09-03-2020, 03:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobOfYork View Post
Thank you. This has given me a ray of hope that I don't have to spend several thousand dollars traveling to get a bus from another state.
It beats $1000's doing major labor work that could have been avoided and cost more than travel expenses.
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Old 09-03-2020, 03:13 PM   #13
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It beats $1000's doing major labor work that could have been avoided and cost more than travel expenses.
Now that's very true. I am going to higher a mechanic to look at any possible buses.

I see you are in Georgia. How are the buses in GA? That's not to far for me to travel if needed.
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Old 09-03-2020, 04:01 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by RobOfYork View Post
Now that's very true. I am going to higher a mechanic to look at any possible buses.

I see you are in Georgia. How are the buses in GA? That's not to far for me to travel if needed.
It's a semi safe state for used buses. I've bought 3 here, 2 I flipped, one went to scrap where I actually profited off it. Charlie (EastCoastCB) got a bus from Ga. that he's extremely happy with.
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Old 09-03-2020, 06:49 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by RobOfYork View Post
Now that's very true. I am going to higher a mechanic to look at any possible buses.

I see you are in Georgia. How are the buses in GA? That's not to far for me to travel if needed.
Ga can be very hit or miss. I got lucky on mine. Typically out west like texas or CO is where I've usually looked. My bus was a back up bus so its got unusually low hours/miles.
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Old 09-09-2020, 03:26 PM   #16
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We got our bus at BGA in Hudson Florida, wouldn’t go anywhere else!!!
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Old 09-09-2020, 03:36 PM   #17
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We got our bus at BGA in Hudson Florida, wouldn’t go anywhere else!!!

one of mine came from there.. higher priced than others but its been a great Bus.. ive put tons of miles on it.. and they are cool people to hang out with
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Old 09-09-2020, 04:19 PM   #18
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Because most busses in FL are rusty, but if you are interested in a Colorado bus, we have one from there that, because, we have to pay for storage and can not work on it we are selling it. If you are interested, give me a call 303-513-2669
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Old 09-09-2020, 11:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobOfYork View Post
I keep seeing statements like don't buy a school bus in Florida, go to GA, TX etc.

Can't seem to find out why. So if anyone can share why you should not buy a school bus in Florida, I would love to hear it.
One word. Salt air corrosion. Ok that was 3 words. This goes for cars, RVs, and travel trailers as well. The corrosion will get ant where the air will. So not just the body and frame. But the electrical system as well.
Any coastal area is a bad place to buy a bus. As well as anywhere the roads are salted.
It's much better to handle the expense of transport, than countless hours of rust remediation and corrosion control. This can be very costly as well as time consumeing.
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Old 03-05-2021, 09:49 PM   #20
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I live in Florida now and have been looking for a bus. For the past 6 months the Broward surplus has been empty. Have you heard anything about AA BUS SALES ?

They have quite a few listed but they are located in west palm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ewo1 View Post
You can find a good bus in Miami but it will take time and lots of vigilance.
I have seen a few good ones in the past on the Bidera auction site. Bidera does alot of auction work in Miami Dade county for many municipalities. If you find one you like, INSPECT IT before you bid!

Stay far away from any Palm beach County buses, they cannibalize the good parts to keep their fleet running

I just bought another bus, a 2005 Ic/amtran from Broward county schools thru the auction site Publicsurplus. It was a non runner, dt4663e and an Md3060 tranny WITH A/C for real cheap and it is also the taller version - higher roof, under a grand!

Body is straight as an arrow and zero rust underneath, oh, and good tires to!

Bad news is that there is milkshake sludge on the dipstick so that means I'll probably do an in frame on this one, or cut it up for parts for my bus but this one is just too nice to cut up...

Don't get discouraged, it takes quite a few bids before you win the bus you want.
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