Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Beware the forums!

On school bus conversion forums it seems people are largely in way over their little heads with bus conversions. Thus they come up with idiotic ideas that are universally applauded by the clueless morons on the forums. All I can say is God help anybody that puts faith in anything posted on a forum.

The whole air I get from forums is that they think owning a bus will be cheap. Not so, I'm afraid. Most busses take two types of tyre - steering tyres and driving tyres. Both cost about the same. Really bargain basement tyres start at $230 and go up to $600 each. Remember there are two steering tyres and four driving tyres. Replacing all six could well cost $3,600. Needless to say, I used to read plaintive whines from people that wanted to use different sized tyres or even switch to single wheels from duals. These are the people that shouldn't be anywhere near a bus because they don't have a clue.

As far as tyres go, the reality is you can use retreads. The school districts use retreads and the law does allow this. The sole restriction is that the front tyres must not be retreads.

One of the pet theories everybody seems to come up with is that light weight means more fuel economy. The fact is that massive reductions in weight will result only in trivial reductions of fuel consumption. Of course nobody considers the implications of weight reduction because none of the bus converters have largely driven anything other than a car with front wheel braking. That is, of course assuming forum users are actually old enough to have driven a car!

The safety problem caused by weight reduction is increased braking distance. The heavier the load, the more the back tyres are pressed into the road and the better the braking. This is why it makes sense to put the heavy stuff like waste tanks, water tanks and house batteries behind the rear wheels.

Another of the stupid things people on forums advise is replacing the standard bus doors. My question is why. I made my standard doors lock and unlock and made them more secure without any difficulty. One of the things that they do or claim to do is to replace the door with a great big plank or house door that has none of the visibility. Heaven knows if that'd ever pass an inspection!

Really and truly everybody converting a bus needs to take a CDL class as most do t have a clue about what they bought! A CDL class will also teach how to inspect a bus. That's something everybody buying a bus needs to know. My bus had an illegal weld on a chassis cross member as an example. I've reduced that weld now back to just the cross member but I might give thought to replacing the damaged cross member.

Well,mtgsts all I have time for tonight. I have to be up at 4am, ready to drive busses at 6am.

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