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722
Senior Member

United States
129 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2006 :  7:06:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Fairfax County once had a fairly large number of Carpenter buses. They were 1978 models with Ford chassis, Automatic and air brakes. What I remember about these buses is that they had a inford/outfold door and a 60 gallon gas tank. The 1979 models where Thomas/Fords and were the first buses to come from the factory with the Vandal-lock system and stop signs.

Recently Manassas City auctioned off about 10 Ford diesel powered Carpenters, they were 1989 models. Manassas no longers has any Carpenters. There are Carpenters scatter among the state, but they are not in large numbers and very rare to spot one.
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Busdude3
Top Member

USA
1178 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2006 :  7:50:28 PM  Show Profile  Send Busdude3 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
I think I remember seeing those Manassas Carpenter Fords on eSurplus along with some Chesapeake Carpenter GMCs (1988s I believe). Being a Carpenter fan, I'm glad I live in a state with lots of them. In Virginia, is there any of the 2000+ Carpenters? That would be awesome to see those with Virginia spec's.
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2006 :  06:17:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I know Fauquier county has some 1990's Carpenter Internationals. At least they were there about two years ago. I not sure what they're retirement cycle is, so they may have been retired.

Here is one of them I got a pic of:
http://community.webshots.com/photo/547752113/2467651500086088642ErQGLX
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Busdude3
Top Member

USA
1178 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2006 :  5:09:42 PM  Show Profile  Send Busdude3 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by IC RE 1629

I know Fauquier county has some 1990's Carpenter Internationals. At least they were there about two years ago. I not sure what they're retirement cycle is, so they may have been retired.

Here is one of them I got a pic of:
http://community.webshots.com/photo/547752113/2467651500086088642ErQGLX



I gurantee they still got them. When I was at Mike & B's in July, they had even more '87 Thomas Internationals there (possibly a 89-92 as well) than last year. And I'm also pretty sure those are pretty fresh out of retirement.
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2006 :  5:11:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'd love to visit Fauquier's lot in Warrenton, VA, but Fauquier's transportation department hasn't been very kind to me.
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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2006 :  2:06:08 PM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Has anyone in Virginia been using the new bio-diesel? if so how does it work? or how does it smell? they are going to start us on that very soon.

keep those buses rolling
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/schoolbushistory
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2006 :  3:38:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think there are some VA districts using it. Can't remember then off hand. I know FCPS was supposed to get a hybrid bus from IC, but the last I heard from the head of the garages is that we are in fact NOT getting this bus.
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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2006 :  4:57:45 PM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
They had an article in todays Va. Pilot about a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new fuel pump which is big because the school system has us fueling at commerical sites(Papco fuels). The location I fuel happens to be the site of the biodiesel fuel. The stuff we get at some of these sites can cause the bus to run rough.I hope they do not monitor what we use because i like the old pump and the new pump is in a tight hole between to brick walls.

keep those buses rolling
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/schoolbushistory
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2006 :  5:38:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here's a question for you, since you seem to be quite interested in this stuff. Which do you think is better? CNG or Bio-Diesel?
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BusFreak
Top Member

USA
798 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2006 :  11:01:19 PM  Show Profile  Send BusFreak an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Arlington County's fleet ALL runs on Bio Diesel. They are not as big as Fairfax County, but Id venture to say their buse fleet pushes 300.

Personally, Id go for the Bio Diesel, simply because its a semi-renuable source of energy. Part of the diesel fuel is derived from plants, as opposed to the CNG which is just a bi product of oil drilling. Bio Diesel is just safer for the environment since its able to be grown to a certain extent. Thats my two cents anyway.

=
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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2006 :  12:17:09 PM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Not to sure of any fuel type difference but understand the need for change although a cleaner burning fuel would be nice. I am just trying to figure out how the bus is going to handle it. I know the cng is nice but they have a time getting that around here besides only 2 of those 4 buses even works now. Bus # 331 is rough sounding as it is so changing the fuel is going to be interesting or do they run better on the bio-diesel.

keep those buses rolling
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/schoolbushistory
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722
Senior Member

United States
129 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2006 :  1:25:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BusFreak

Arlington County's fleet ALL runs on Bio Diesel. They are not as big as Fairfax County, but Id venture to say their buse fleet pushes 300.

Personally, Id go for the Bio Diesel, simply because its a semi-renuable source of energy. Part of the diesel fuel is derived from plants, as opposed to the CNG which is just a bi product of oil drilling. Bio Diesel is just safer for the environment since its able to be grown to a certain extent. Thats my two cents anyway.



Both Falls Church City and Arlington County are using bio-diesel. There are side effects that are known and some that are not known. A big concern is the fuels ability to lubicate internal parts (such as bearings)and will there be any future engine damage as B20 is known to remove nickel from head bolts. Also during the winter, the fuel pump and filters are more prone to freezing up. Bio-Diesel is more costly and 2007 emmissions with the low sufer diesel may make it a mood point for some systems.

Falls Church has about 14 buses and Arlington County has 128 - 132 after the new buses are finished being delivered I understand.

Arlington County also has four John Deere CNG-powered buses on order. They are aware of the special maintence that is required and that the drive range is very limited. From what I have seen, all other new buses are Mercedes Benz powered including HDX's, 77-passenger C2's and various other Special Needs models. At the fair they had two of thier new buses there and they have dual stop signs and webesto pre-heaters as new equipment this year. True, still no A/C.
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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2006 :  5:48:52 PM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Good Luck with the CNG that is what we have here and two of them are very undrivable. Thanks for the tips on bio-diesel as it will be about 200 buses or so expected to fuel up on it at that facility. We were given some paper work on it but the local newspaper had more about it this weekend.

keep those buses rolling
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/schoolbushistory
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BusFreak
Top Member

USA
798 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2006 :  12:02:22 AM  Show Profile  Send BusFreak an AOL message  Reply with Quote
722,

Interesting to see that Arlington is buying CNG buses for a try. Honestly, I have never heard of a success off CNG powered school buses. From what I understand, the cost of maintnence is rediculous, and the buses end up not lasting their full potential life span.

Full size C2s eh? I never thought Id see the day that Arlington would go back to full sized conventionals, as there are some TIGHT corners to be cut around here. It's a good cost saving measure, but man is it going to be a tight situation. Do you know if Arlington is going to buy any more IC REs? Last year, word was that they were going back to Thomas, and they did for part of their order, but the rest were IC RE 300s with the strobing warning lights and one roof hatch. That tells then apart from the previous REs. I see more of them than the Thomas ERs of the same model year. Infact, I think the only new Thomas ER I've seen was at the Arlington County fair last year! I was shocked to see it had low head room. This year, the only buses I saw were the ones used to transport people to off-site parking. I live right next door to the fair, so I try to sneak a peek here and there.

Back to the B20 fuel being used...as long as the bus is properly maintained, the fuel should do little damage to the engine. The cost is MUCH more, but it is a good step in the right direction towards keeping the environment safe. CNG does infact burn cleaner, but it wont be around as long as Biodiesel.

=
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2006 :  02:35:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
FCPS made an attempt at a CNG program years ago, with failed results. I'll have to see if I can dig up an old e-mail sent to me that gives a whole 3 page disertation on why we tried, what went wrong, etc.
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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2006 :  09:37:10 AM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
the 2 buses 150 & 302 with the CNG engines main problem is that they just lose power they still run but have no power to move. I thought 302 had been fixed because it had been returned to the Oceana garage but it since has dissappeared. I am not sure Bus 150 will ever return as it was purchased in 2003 and if it ran two full monthes would be a stretch.

keep those buses rolling
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/schoolbushistory
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2006 :  11:48:37 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I know that was an issue we have with our CNG buses. No power.
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722
Senior Member

United States
129 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2006 :  4:20:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Arlington buses that I saw this year were on the carnival midway (a different place than on the sidewalk as in the past. As for the C2's they are not a replacement for the HDX's as I have been told.

I have driven the 77-passenger C2's and they manuver great in urban traffic, the tail swing actually is not an issue because the front wheels cut extremely tight. These are basically a replacement for the front engine transit buses (mainly special needs buses).
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BusFreak
Top Member

USA
798 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2006 :  10:41:26 PM  Show Profile  Send BusFreak an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Funny you the we mention Arlington, as I just saw one of the new HDXs today on my way to work. It was parked at TJ Middle School waiting to pick up the kids. It looked sharp! Interestingly enough though, it had low head room. I find it odd that Arlington opted to go back to low head room this year and last year with the HDXs. Anywho, the dual stop arms look awesome on that HDX. I'm also liking the larger roof strobe that Sonny Merryman is putting on the Thomases. All new Thomas buses I've seen in Virginia for the past two years have them, and I think they look great. They are bright as could be!

=
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disneynuts
Advanced Member

USA
220 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2006 :  01:56:26 AM  Show Profile  Visit disneynuts's Homepage  Reply with Quote
722

WBL looked at bio during the summer. Decided it was not all that it was cracked up to be. Too many filter changes.

Those C2's are great. WBL will be going back to them instead of any more transits.

Those large strobe lights are great. Good thing we asked for them in 98. Same with that extra stop sign.

I hear Loudoun will be getting the polished wheels next year on their new C2's.

Hope everyone had a great summer. It seemed to go by too fast.

Be safe, be courteous and have fun.
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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2006 :  7:06:50 PM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
i guess i will find out more about the bio-diesel tomorrow as i was invited to ribbon cutting ceramony of the pump well me an my bus anyway. I am not exactly sure what they are doing but sounds like it will be interesting.I hope the bus likes that fuel.

keep those buses rolling
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/schoolbushistory
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vabuslover
Advanced Member

United States
246 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2006 :  5:43:14 PM  Show Profile  Click to see vabuslover's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
I know that Gloucester County uses biodiesel in all their buses, and some of the buses in Willimsburg/James City County and Portsmouth City school buses run on biodiesel as well. I am sure if it works and is cost effective we will see it in use at more districts around the state. At least I will be able to tell a bus from some other vehicle going down the road...
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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2006 :  6:36:42 PM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
That was a nice little event we even got on the local news. So far the bus seems to be doing pretty well I hope it runs smoothly.The man in charge said it might start to smell like soy beans they use recycled waste cooking oil to produce the mix so it does sound like a cleaner fuel although today I only took about 23 gallons the other bus used in the opening took about 42 gallons.

keep those buses rolling
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/schoolbushistory
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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 09/17/2006 :  09:30:19 AM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Did anyone see pictures of the 2007 Vision BlueBird from Chespeake that caught on fire and burned up. They say the driver smelled smoke and got all 41 students off the bus they had a
picture in our Va. Pilot. Officials from Bluebird are coming to investagate.It pretty much destroyed the bus.

keep those buses rolling
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vabuslover
Advanced Member

United States
246 Posts

Posted - 09/17/2006 :  2:56:17 PM  Show Profile  Click to see vabuslover's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
http://home.hamptonroads.com/stories/story.cfm?story=111023&ran=237303 is the link to that article. That bus is completely destroyed, but everyone got off safely before it caught fire. I hope that it is an isolated incident, because I am thinking Newport News is going to get more of those buses this year.
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pbfreak30
Senior Member

USA
171 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2006 :  03:44:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In Bedford county i know we have
1988/89 Thomas Ford-auto-are being replaced...only as backups
1991/97 Thomas Vista 3600-auto- Some are very lound and very bumpy
1999/05 Thomas Freightliner Autos-Benz or Cat engines-air suspension
06/07-SafT Liner C2-we have over 30 of them now

Est. # of each
Ford-25
Int 3600-85
F-liner-150
C2-30

we have #s 1-220
but the C2's are taking # of the busses they replace

ARROW transportation RP..the best out there!
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pbfreak30
Senior Member

USA
171 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2006 :  03:59:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
and the C2's we got this year have LED taillights and numbers on the right side of the bumper....ours have the blck window posts grey seats and only one stop sign

The 99/02 f liners have cummins engines-Manual doors
most of the 03/05 ones have MB engines a few have CATS-Air Doors

ARROW transportation RP..the best out there!
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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 09/23/2006 :  09:02:05 AM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
well rumor has it they are parking all 4 CNG buses for now because they just are not fixing them to where they can be used. they are not sure exactly what is going to happen with them much talk is about changing them into a diesel burning engine which i guess would cost the school system but right now the way they are leaves little room for more trouble then what they are already having with them. Hats off to the folks who just bought some i hope they work for them.

keep those buses rolling
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/schoolbushistory
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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2006 :  1:14:45 PM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Any chance the state of Virginia will approve stop arms in the rear like some other states do?

keep those buses rolling
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IC-RE
Top Member

USA
4117 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2006 :  3:38:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit IC-RE's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I think they are approved just not required. Loudoun County has some, and so does Williams Bus Lines.

bus 1980, a 2008 IC RE 300 for Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax, Virginia.
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722
Senior Member

United States
129 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2006 :  5:24:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by IC-RE

I think they are approved just not required. Loudoun County has some, and so does Williams Bus Lines.



They are currently approved on a pilot basis. They will be required on larger buses (optional on smaller)ordered during 2007. Arlington County also has several new C2's, HDX's, CNG powered HDX's with them. If I am correct, they are the county piloting dual arms on the shorter 54-passenger special needs buses.
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IC RE 1629
Top Member

United States
5097 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2006 :  7:13:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I bet that means our 78 Pax buses will be required to have them.
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IC
Top Member

USA
3413 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2006 :  9:41:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's nonsense....99.9 percent of the drivers that fail to stop for school buses, do so intentionally. The only thing that MIGHT deter them is a cop nearby....

The reason I say that, is the other day, at a stop I have on a 55 mph road where I'm used to 30-40 cars blowing by my lights....everybody stopped (??)...I didn't see him at first, but a State Trooper was stopped right at the left flank of my bus!
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vaoverland
Advanced Member

USA
225 Posts

Posted - 10/15/2006 :  04:14:26 AM  Show Profile  Visit vaoverland's Homepage  Send vaoverland an AOL message  Send vaoverland a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Suffolk has at least one late model Carpenter probably built at the Richmond Indiana plant (which means it would not have the potential roof bow rust flaw the Mitchell-built units are all at risk of.) You have to see that photo of the Florida Carpenter with the roof that collapsed to the top of the seats during a soft roll on grass to appreciate the potential hazard of the Mitchell units. Last I heard, South Carolina was still operating hundreds of them. A shame, since I too liked Carpenters, and delivered many before becoming a Wayne dealer in 1975.

Wayne's Lifeguard in 1973 was a safety design and building concept ahead of its time and regulation. I am proud to have helped bring over 2,000 of them into Virginia during my career. I know they saved some lives.
http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/WayneBusEnthusiasts/

Mark Fisher, semi-retired school bus driver, pupil transportation supervisor, contractor, and school bus body dealer, Williamsburg, VA
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vaoverland
Advanced Member

USA
225 Posts

Posted - 10/15/2006 :  04:16:42 AM  Show Profile  Visit vaoverland's Homepage  Send vaoverland an AOL message  Send vaoverland a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
BTW, Fairfax School, Purchasing, and EMTA officials got real sour on Carpenters after the 1978 fiasco. The problem was that the UAW at Mitchell went out on a long strike, and the chassis sat without bodies there for almost a year. That's the rest of the (old) story.

Wayne's Lifeguard in 1973 was a safety design and building concept ahead of its time and regulation. I am proud to have helped bring over 2,000 of them into Virginia during my career. I know they saved some lives.
http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/WayneBusEnthusiasts/

Mark Fisher, semi-retired school bus driver, pupil transportation supervisor, contractor, and school bus body dealer, Williamsburg, VA
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