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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2009 :  5:31:22 PM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
We dont start till Sept. 8 but I started my fall activity run on Aug. 3 but still lots of summer stuff going on .

keep those buses rolling
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hardybusman
Advanced Member

United States
470 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2009 :  7:10:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Keep cool, its going to hottt next week! Hope that Bird got a/c. ha ha

Mr. Courtney Hardy
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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2009 :  09:07:40 AM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
hey found a cool bus on ebay great pics of the 1973 IHC Carp http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1973-International-Loadstar-1600-Short-School-Bus_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp3286Q2ec0Q2em14QQhashZitem3354b349d2QQitemZ220464368082QQptZBuses

keep those buses rolling
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Tatum
Top Member

United States
606 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2009 :  5:20:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Does anyone have any ideas where this bus came from? http://www.bgasales.net/1101/5.html
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hardybusman
Advanced Member

United States
470 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2009 :  8:04:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think that bus came from Sonny Merryman Inc. And from the looks of the tiny black out I'd say ISA out of Northern Virginia. If it is, its a real rag. I looked at some a year ago and they were in terrible shape. I'm not real sure what "ISA" stands for but I do know they are up north maybe in Fairfax or Loudon? They have a nice fleet buying new buses. Thats rare for most private school, at least it is around here.

Mr. Courtney Hardy
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Tatum
Top Member

United States
606 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2009 :  8:33:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
^ I've seen that private school buses aren't kept in good shape as public school buses.

Edited by - Tatum on 08/14/2009 7:37:42 PM
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IC
Top Member

USA
3413 Posts

Posted - 08/13/2009 :  8:49:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by hardybusman

I think that bus came from Sonny Merryman Inc. And from the looks of the tiny black out I'd say ISA out of Northern Virginia. If it is, its a real rag. I looked at some a year ago and they were in terrible shape. I'm not real sure what "ISA" stands for but I do know they are up north maybe in Fairfax or Loudon? They have a nice fleet buying new buses. Thats rare for most private school, at least it is around here.




ISA stands for Islamic Saudi Academy....it's a controversial school run by the Saudi government. That's probably explains why they only use the initials on their buses. The guard house at the campus gates is another clue.

They have two campuses, one is a former Fairfax County school building that the County leases to them. The other is on 38 acre property in Fairfax Station very near my house. The County just approved a major expansion of the Fairfax Station campus over the strenuous objection of us locals.
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hardybusman
Advanced Member

United States
470 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2009 :  4:33:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I couldnt remember the name of that school to save my life. But I'm sure thats one of their trade ins. I didnt realize the Saudi Gov. ran that school. Why is the schol controversial? Have you decided to hang up driving and head to the beach yet? I read your post on that. Are you sure that you would like driving those little 52 passengers.

Mr. Courtney Hardy
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Tatum
Top Member

United States
606 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2009 :  4:55:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wikipedia shouldn't be trusted, but this is what it says for the ISA: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_Saudi_Academy
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hardybusman
Advanced Member

United States
470 Posts

Posted - 08/16/2009 :  1:04:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tatum

^ I've seen that private school buses aren't kept in good shape as public school buses.

You should come see my fleet. It's older and not the best looking but I would place them beside any public school bus as far as safety and maintenance upkeep.

Mr. Courtney Hardy
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Tatum
Top Member

United States
606 Posts

Posted - 08/16/2009 :  4:02:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
^ I'd love too! :)

I'd love to travel America looking for school buses!
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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 08/16/2009 :  5:07:55 PM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
older school buses are usually better all the bugs have been worked out and if you had it for a while you can read it like a book. i only have broken down in one spare ever and that was Bus 74 the AA Bluebird but seeing as how it that when i had it as a regular bus not sure that counts.

keep those buses rolling
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hardybusman
Advanced Member

United States
470 Posts

Posted - 08/16/2009 :  8:40:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Like I said I would put my old rags up against any fleet. We considered buying new buses but found it wasnt feesable in the long run. What we spend on our buses, we would have to keep a new bus thirty years before it would payoff. You find me a new bus thats gonna last that long with all the plastic inside. I'm gonna ride my 1990 GMC Thomas as long as I can.

Mr. Courtney Hardy
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hardybusman
Advanced Member

United States
470 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2009 :  08:46:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was coming through Southampton County on Friday and passed by their shop and saw they have an IC with the roof brands on the roof of the bus. I believe thats the first VA public school bus I've seen with roof brandings. It looked pretty sharp and really stood out from the pack.

Mr. Courtney Hardy
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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2009 :  09:30:38 AM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
nice but i am sure they will be removed just isnt legal with state owned buses.

keep those buses rolling
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hardybusman
Advanced Member

United States
470 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2009 :  10:45:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It looked like it was a couple of years old. It wasnt a new bus. They number them after the year model and I wish I'd payed attention to the number.

Mr. Courtney Hardy
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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2009 :  11:22:36 AM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
now that is interesting of course i am not sure they really check those things now they use to have a team of inspectors to check all buses at one time for state funding issues but not sure how they do it now.

keep those buses rolling
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hardybusman
Advanced Member

United States
470 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2009 :  12:36:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think I remember reading in the state regulations manual there was a section on that but I think since you could have chassis emblems and maybe they overlooked that because of the integrated units now. I saw a Freightliner a couple of weeks ago at SMI that had an automaic trans. and hydraulic brakes. That is also a no no for a VA bus. That bus was a spec. ed. bus for Buckingham Co. I had to go to SMI for some recall stuff and was there most of the day. Its pathectic to see the inventory they have in stock. Usually this time of the year there are at least 100 or more buses in stock and I bet I didnt see 30. Times are definately getting tough for everybody.

Mr. Courtney Hardy
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BusFreak
Top Member

USA
798 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2009 :  06:14:57 AM  Show Profile  Send BusFreak an AOL message  Reply with Quote
There are PLENTY of VA buses out there with Automatic Transmissions and Hydraulic Brakes. There is nowhere in the state regs that states you can't have that combination.

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hardybusman
Advanced Member

United States
470 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2009 :  3:09:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
VA code states that you cannot have an automatic transmission without a "park pawl" or a hydraulic locking brake such as Lucas Girling. A cable operated "hand brake" was not allowed because VA felt there was no way to secure the bus if the cable broke or other problems occurred with the brake. Thats from the states specifications for public school buses. I've never seen a public school bus with hydraulic brakes other than a Ford until I saw that Freightliner the other day and I've seen PLENTY of buses.

P.S. My book is from 1996 so if the rules have changed than I was wrong.

Mr. Courtney Hardy

Edited by - hardybusman on 08/24/2009 3:10:10 PM
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vabuslover
Advanced Member

United States
246 Posts

Posted - 08/25/2009 :  07:45:21 AM  Show Profile  Click to see vabuslover's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
I think York County has been getting the IC CEs for several years (even before it was called IC) with Automatic Transmissions and Hydraulic Brakes. I was surprised to see that, but apparently that is the way they wish to spec their fleet.

Also, is there anybody else, other than me, that is familiar with Newport News school buses? There used to be a couple but I cannot seem to get in touch with them anymore.
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hardybusman
Advanced Member

United States
470 Posts

Posted - 08/25/2009 :  5:02:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thats a first for me. Ive always known VA to spec auto with air unless Lucas Girling, or Low Profile package with 19.5 rims. I work for a private school and we have to buy our buses outta Maryland because of VA specs. We prefer hydraulic disc brakes. I cant find that regulation but Im almosty sure that was the rule, but if I'm wrong I appoligize. I'm still still sure the bus has to have a "park pawl"

Mr. Courtney Hardy
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BusFreak
Top Member

USA
798 Posts

Posted - 08/26/2009 :  9:39:00 PM  Show Profile  Send BusFreak an AOL message  Reply with Quote
King George and Powhatan Counties, to name a couple, are among those with many auto/hydro combos. They both spec their buses pretty nicely too, with tinted windows, etc. For some reason, the air brake thing just did not take off with them. I will notice though, that I' have seen the trend when the school districts started going with the autos, they also went with the air brakes. Virginia Beach started going with the automatic transmissions on big buses in 81ish, and ever since then have gotten air brakes on those buses. Even the fords.

As far as the Newport News fleet, I havn't lived down in that area for over 10 years now, however I used to admire their fleet of all blue bird transits! When those TC2000 REs came in, I thought they were the sharpest in the area! My only issue with them is they did not get air doors for a very long time. I hear they have gone back to conventionals lately, which sadens me. That seems to be a trend though with budget cuts around the state.

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hardybusman
Advanced Member

United States
470 Posts

Posted - 08/27/2009 :  8:04:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I live in Powhatan County and the only Auto Hyd. brake buses were two 1985 Ford with Lucas Girling and 2 1994 Ford spec. ed. buses. I've been in the "bus" business for 15 years and I'm telling ya there arent any in VA unless they are equipped with LG or have a newer Allison with the park pawl. I'm not trying to argue but I believe I'm right on the air brake issue. I admire your knowledge of the fleets in VA but I think if you look close youll see I'm right.

P.S. go to the Dept. of Edu. website and you will see that a "automatic transmission is allowed when equipped with a park pawl or approved braking system."

Mr. Courtney Hardy

Edited by - hardybusman on 08/27/2009 8:30:05 PM
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vabuslover
Advanced Member

United States
246 Posts

Posted - 08/30/2009 :  6:23:47 PM  Show Profile  Click to see vabuslover's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Well, isn't it possible that these fleets with automatic transmission and hydraulic brakes have those systems you are saying are required by state requirements? We are not trying to prove you wrong, but I would not think that public school districts would intentionally violate these regulations.
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hardybusman
Advanced Member

United States
470 Posts

Posted - 08/31/2009 :  5:48:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm just saying that Air is required on buses with autos. I think busfreak is very knowledgeable on the fleets but is wrong on the brake issue. I'm not trying to argue. I think a "park pawl" came around with the newer Allison trans. in 2000ish which would be allowed. I just have never seen any auto/hyd. in VA other than Ford or Lo Pro IHC and I've seen a plenty of buses. We all learn from each other and I'll be the first to say I've learned alot since I began and I learn a whole lot posting on here

Mr. Courtney Hardy

Edited by - hardybusman on 08/31/2009 5:50:06 PM
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BusFreak
Top Member

USA
798 Posts

Posted - 08/31/2009 :  7:39:52 PM  Show Profile  Send BusFreak an AOL message  Reply with Quote
At one time, I bet the hydraulic break rules applied, however the rules are definitely different now. I have pricing schedules from all three bus dealerships in VA drilled down to Virginia Specs. All three have bids out for up to 64 passenger Type C buses with either Hydro or Air Brakes. They also have options, such as Air Ride that they specifically say are only available with the air break option. They specifically used the word option though. There is even the option now for the parking break to be a left side lever.

I will say though, I do bet the specs were changed at some point along the way. The trend in VA has always been for districts to convert to air brakes at the same time they converted to automatic transmissions. For one reason or another though, I think that with the demise of the manual transmissions, they allowed districts to spec autos with hydro brakes to keep training costs down. Currently, the ONLY bus dealership in VA to offer a manual transmission is Sonny Merryman.

I do know for a fact that King George county has many late model FS-65s with the hydraulic brakes and autos. Their newest C2s, however, do have the air brakes. I could very well be wrong about the Powhatan fleet having hydro brakes though. I was basing that off of their AmTran ICs that I see ALL the time (the older models with low head room). Last spring, I happened to look inside of one through the driver's window, and did not see a spring break knob, AND I saw a manual door. Both were a suprise to me, as they look like nice buses otherwise, with white roof and tinted windows. I could have just missed the spring break knob though.

I'm actually really suprised that Virginia allowed a full sized conventional bus to be equipt with a park prawl. Even the fords that I've seen in the state had the T handle shifter (even ones I've seen with the lightswitch parking break). The first time I ever saw a column shifter was when the C2 came out, and even those did not have a P position on the column. Hardybusman, other than Type As, have you seen a bus with a column shifter in VA in a public school district? I'd be curious to find that out. I always thought there was some kind of rule back in the day that prevented column shifters.

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Edited by - BusFreak on 08/31/2009 7:40:26 PM
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vabuslover
Advanced Member

United States
246 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2009 :  12:58:57 PM  Show Profile  Click to see vabuslover's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
I actually remember a few of Newport News' Thomas Fords having some kind of column shifting transmission, but they were rare. There were also a few Blue Bird and Thomas Fords in their fleet that had air brakes, but maybe as some kind of test to see how well they held up. Those were the first to be retired of all the Fords, though so maybe it was not too successful.

Edited to add: These were early-to-mid-80s buses. I do not remember when Newport News switched to Automatic transmissions, but all I can remember them having is automatic transmissions. They had only just started getting Type-d buses when I first started riding.

Edited by - vabuslover on 09/02/2009 1:01:18 PM
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hardybusman
Advanced Member

United States
470 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2009 :  1:47:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I dont remember ever seeing a column shifter on anything other than a type A or the early C2. I would also like to see someone order a C2 with a 5 speed. I think the theory of the park pawl on a large vechicle is to apply the parking prake then use the "park". It seems to me that is a lot of pressure on a transmission to rely on a pawl espescially on a grade. Powhatan does have a fairly decent fleet of buses. The oldest on the road last year was 1996 but no new buses were purchased and I'm sure a few older ones will head back on the road. They bought automatics in 1985 and went back to 5 speed in 1986 for one year. Powhatan has always been on top of buying new models. They were the first around here to buy Freightliners and the first to get the newer IC in 2000 and again in 2005. They were the only county I've seen to own a 1990 GMC Thomas Vista in Virginia. Vabuslover, I looked to buy a NN bus that was a 1986 Ford 34 passenger and it had hydraulic Lucas Girling brakes. Matbe they retired those first because of the headaches of those brakes? Busfreak, next time you roll through Powhatan you can check out my fllet anytime you want. We have a mixed bag of VA and MD buses of all shapes and sizes.

p.s. I may be a little out of date with all of the regulations. They change so often lately and its tough to keep up. I see a lot of buses on the road with stuff that wasnt up to code a couple of years ago and maybe they are bit more relaxed on those things now. I never thought that you would see a 77 passenger conventional in VA. but they run everyday.

Mr. Courtney Hardy

Edited by - hardybusman on 09/02/2009 1:55:11 PM
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bsaund09
Top Member

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2009 :  12:39:32 PM  Show Profile  Send bsaund09 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Norfolk had diesels with the T-brake system no air on them at all. Hampton had Fords from the Carpartner bus company with column automatic shifters not sure of the regulations just drove what ever they put under me and hope it made it from point a to b and back.

keep those buses rolling
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hardybusman
Advanced Member

United States
470 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2009 :  4:09:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thats interesting. I never cared much for a column shifter. As a mechanic they are more troublesome to replace than the others. Where those Norfolks Fords? I did like driving Fords with the 8.2L diesels, they sounded good and were very dependable.

Mr. Courtney Hardy
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BusFreak
Top Member

USA
798 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2009 :  8:29:25 PM  Show Profile  Send BusFreak an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Alexandria City also had at least one GMC Vista....talk about an UGLY excuse for a school bus. They were running up through 2002. It seems as though a few districts (caugh chesterfield caugh) fell in LOVE with the Vista. I think the reasoning behind buying the Vistas is that they offered a slightly higher capacity without going with the Type D bus. Thank goodness that trend didn't last.

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vabuslover
Advanced Member

United States
246 Posts

Posted - 09/05/2009 :  11:02:35 AM  Show Profile  Click to see vabuslover's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Hampton also has (or used to have) a ton of Vistas too. I remember them still being on the road in 2007, the last time I really was in that area. Since they just started offering school busing for ALL students (decided to not renew the contract with the public transit company for middle and high school students) they might still be using those Vista buses. I know they just got 45 brand new IC CEs for that reason.

When were you trying to buy the 1986 NNPS bus? I know for all the hydraulic brake buses they had, they all had a light switch-like thing to set the parking brake that would buzz when activated. The last of those have been gone for at least 5 years now. I know they never got any transits with hydraulic brakes (not legal, but is possible, I have seen).
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hardybusman
Advanced Member

United States
470 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2009 :  12:28:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow it was like 6 or 7 years ago that I looked at thoses NNPS buses. I backed out of the deal when I learned how much trouble LG brakes were. They were 34 pax Ford Bluebirds without lifts. Other than high mileage and a little rough around the edges I think they were decent little buses. I dont remember what they sold for. Boy Chesterfield was definately Vista city for many years. Those buses were actually pretty nice when they were new. I drove for 1 summer and was given a 1996 (the first white top) and I actually liked it. I think they were different and I guess when thats all you've got to choose from you learn to like them. That was also before I turned wrenches full time. I always wondered if anyone other than Powhatan had the GMC vista. That bus never did much for me. What are some of the older buses still on the road? I know Brunswick Co. still has a 1989 for a spare Powhatan has some 1993 IHC on the reserve line.

Mr. Courtney Hardy

Edited by - hardybusman on 09/07/2009 5:49:15 PM
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vabuslover
Advanced Member

United States
246 Posts

Posted - 09/08/2009 :  2:26:56 PM  Show Profile  Click to see vabuslover's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
I would think that the only people in favor of the Vista were the people that were in charge of the money, and the people that drove them. They looked like they would be hard to repair or do any "under the hood" work with. I am sure if they were spec'ed properly they would be good buses that serve their purpose well.

Also, I think it should be noted that most of the buses NNPS had right before switching to transit style buses were 4-ways. Only one generation of the Blue Bird Fords had 8-way lights, and those were the last to be retired. They did have some shorty in both 4 ways and 8 ways, but if it was 5-6 years ago it is more likely than not you were looking at the ones with 8-ways. It should also be noted that when the switch from 4-way to 8-way lights occurred, that was when they switched from what sounded like a T444 engine to the Cummins engine. I know the two aren't related, but figured it was significant enough to point out.

Edited by - vabuslover on 09/08/2009 2:34:08 PM
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