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08BBVision
Senior Member

USA
118 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2012 :  9:11:24 PM  Show Profile  Visit 08BBVision's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Alright, let's get a discussion started (hope there is not one already, I did not see one.)

I was not expecting a refresh of the All American series so soon, I thought for sure they would just discontinue the A3 model and continue on with the D3 model, I've never heard anything through the grapevine about a new All American. As probably all of you know, both the D3 and the A3 are gone, welcome to the world of the All American T3.

http://www.blue-bird.com/product.aspx?category=School&item=All%20American%20Forward%20Engine

I first saw what everyone thought was a photoshop of it on School Bus Central, carried over to the Blue Bird Fans facebook page....then I received my November Issue of School Bus Fleet magazine...and guess what is on the outside and inside cover...that's right, the new All American. Honestly, I am one of the few that actually really like the D3 version, I thought it looked great, but I was always upset that they moved away from their classic styling, but things have to move forward. In this new model they kept the D3 front design, most all aspects of the "classic" BB body design....but what did they do to the roof caps? I'm all for rounded roof caps, I really LOVE the look of the new T3...but the black paint on the Warning lights is going to cause a lot of issues between school bus enthusiasts. IC started that with their latest CE in 2005. Personally, I think that Bird really should have kept the normal straight up and down black paint, that wouldn't look so much like an IC. Over all, from what I have been reading I am impressed with the new AA, though I won't get to see one in person for a while. What is coming for the Vision though? It's got the old body, I think that eventually. These new AAs are modeled for the 2014 model year...which I think is strange since it isn't 2013 yet, but whatever. I'm almost positive that if they get the results they want, they will refresh the Vision to this new body and probably keep the same chassis, just fit it to the new body better.

As for the streamer people, it is still a pricey option, and now you can get a partial streamer, as seen on Blue Bird's website, which doesn't look all that bad. I think Blue Bird did a good job, in my opinion, and my school districts opinion they are like the Mercedes or BMW (Whatever you consider a high end car) of school buses....but like their car and truck counterparts they are way out of a lot of people's price range.

Thomas Ford 85-16
Top Member

USA
4164 Posts

Posted - 10/28/2012 :  07:40:12 AM  Show Profile  Visit Thomas Ford 85-16's Homepage  Send Thomas Ford 85-16 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
I am really curious what drove all this change. Imagine all the tooling that was produced to create the D3 front roof caps, the D3 rear panels, the squared up roof bows, etc. Is that all going to scrap? Weird.

Mike's Bus Yard - http://buses.zwebpages.com - Since 1999
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08BBVision
Senior Member

USA
118 Posts

Posted - 10/28/2012 :  11:33:59 AM  Show Profile  Visit 08BBVision's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I don't know, that is an excellent question. I'd love to know what they are doing with that design. Possibly it costed too much and they weren't making enought off of it? I haven't seen too many D3s.


My School Bus Photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tyler_officer/
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rickhamilton620
Active Member

24 Posts

Posted - 10/28/2012 :  1:35:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit rickhamilton620's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 08BBVision

I don't know, that is an excellent question. I'd love to know what they are doing with that design. Possibly it costed too much and they weren't making enought off of it? I haven't seen too many D3s.



I haven't seen any at all. Strange unless the pricing was just so out there that it was unfeasible for many to buy.
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08BBVision
Senior Member

USA
118 Posts

Posted - 10/28/2012 :  5:34:04 PM  Show Profile  Visit 08BBVision's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Blue Bird's prices are extremely high. When my district priced buses it was (for our specs) $75,000 for IC, $79,000-$80,000 for Thomas, and Blue Bird was up around $80,000 to over $85,000. They are great buses, my district loves the ones we have, just not affordable and dealerships are scarce.


My School Bus Photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tyler_officer/
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RD9000
Senior Member

72 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2012 :  2:41:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I love the move back to a more traditional roofline. I am disappointed that the front and rear caps are not signature Blue Bird, but I guess the only thing you can count on is change! I would have liked to have seen the A3's with a sightly updated front- possibly headlights similar to what they have done- the rest of the bus was perfect IMO!
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RD9000
Senior Member

72 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2012 :  2:53:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I looked at the literature on their website. It looks like they are only currently offering a 6.7 Cummins engine as well as only a 60 gallon fuel tank. Hopefully they will expand their offerings quickly.
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RichBusman
Advanced Member

451 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2012 :  4:20:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
They offer 100 gallon fuel tanks. It's listed under optional features.

6.7 Cummins is enough of a choice, it's available up to 280 HP.
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Former School Bus M8
Senior Member

143 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2012 :  4:29:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't know much about Bluebird anymore. The newest Bluebird bus I drove is an 07 Vision and I was pretty happy with the ride. The Vision needs an upgrade Ic-Ce style. I dont mean copying Ic's design like they did with the All American(shame on Bluebird), I mean giving the bus an upgrade without straying away from the design. Upgrades like a bigger one piece windshield, better drivers area, more suitable instrument cluster and to find a chassis provider to match up with. To me the 2nd generation Visions are a lot better than the 1st but it's still an ugly chassis.

I think at this point in time, I am an Ic fan and I like that new Lions school bus. Anyone hear how thats going?

School Bus M8

Edited by - Former School Bus M8 on 10/31/2012 4:32:21 PM
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RD9000
Senior Member

72 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2012 :  8:04:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You're right Rich. I missed the optional section. Is Cummins not offering something similar to the 8.3 anymore? I know the electronics on the 24 valve 5.9 and 6.7 offer a lot of horsepower options, but I am weary about pushing the envelope with a smaller engine. I also tend to think more about the travel/activity use of these buses rather than daily route usage.
Overall, the design is growing on me. However, it is mostly due to the fact that they brought back many of the signature Blue Bird features. Now if I can just convince them to put a nice little indention back in those front and rear roof caps! I'm sure they have people on their design teams that are trying to reinvent a Blue Bird image, but to me- those classic design features are what makes a Blue Bird a Blue Bird. I wish they would quit trying to seemingly look like an IC.
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RD9000
Senior Member

72 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2012 :  08:18:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was also disappointed to see the disappearance of the two small windows on the side of the rear emergency exit. I would also like to see the return of the full length black stripe on the bottom of the roof line. The curved windshield is very nice. Did anyone notice what looks like two fuel doors? Or is one for exhaust fluid?
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08BBVision
Senior Member

USA
118 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2012 :  09:13:36 AM  Show Profile  Visit 08BBVision's Homepage  Reply with Quote
One probably for the DEF I would assume.


My School Bus Photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tyler_officer/
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bigredmachine
Senior Member

USA
134 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2012 :  07:13:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was also disappointed to see that Blue Bird designed an IC-esque roof cap instead of using the classic design. I think the classic roof cap and the more modern front end would have looked great together. They could have saved a lot of money in tooling by going with the old roof cap as well.

Formerly BlueBirdMan
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08BBVision
Senior Member

USA
118 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2012 :  08:16:26 AM  Show Profile  Visit 08BBVision's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I agree with that, but I can see their viewpoint too, everyone is moving forward, Thomas with the C2 and the HDX front end slapped onto the EF, IC with their new AE and the ever-popular CE, the new Lion bus will be coming out of the dens soon, and Blue Bird stuck with the old design on their Vision, but they had the D3 and it makes us all wonder why they didn't keep it? Everyone has to move forward, and the rounded roof caps make it a little more Aerodynamic. I think they possibly came up with this design to implement it into the Vision, I couldn't see the Vision with the D3 body.


My School Bus Photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tyler_officer/
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Former School Bus M8
Senior Member

143 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2012 :  8:33:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If the implement these changes to the Vision then don't you basically have an Ic-Ce bus with a Vision Chassisas far as appearance is concerned.

School Bus M8
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Tatum
Top Member

United States
605 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2012 :  9:30:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Perhaps Blue Bird listened to their customers when they said that they love the A3? Maybe that's why there were still tons of A3's being sold even though the D3 was available for purchase?

If anything, this is a wise decision. Listen to the customer...after all, they're giving you their money..
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08BBVision
Senior Member

USA
118 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2012 :  9:48:06 PM  Show Profile  Visit 08BBVision's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I'm just wondering if they will continue to sell the D3 alongside the T3. I think they listened to their customers and just implemented changes to the A3, customers loved the A3 body, but also certain areas of the D3, so they mixed them.


My School Bus Photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tyler_officer/
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Kodie
Top Member

United States
1993 Posts

Posted - 11/03/2012 :  3:21:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I wish people would get the idea out of their head that people buy Blue Birds because of how they look. I feel confident in saying that 99% of the time, the person ordering the bus doesn't give a damn either way, as long as they can get parts for it and keep it running.
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Former School Bus M8
Senior Member

143 Posts

Posted - 11/03/2012 :  4:04:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Kodie your right I don't think people buy school buses based on how they look either. I think it mostly comes down to price for most providers. One contractor who was a long time Bluebird user in our area was interviewed when he turned his 300 Bluebirds in for th C2 and he cited the 100 gallon gas tank, price of the bus, and the view from the drivers area as the reasons for his decision to switch to the C2.
As a driver who spends most of his time driving Thomas Ef's,C2's and Ce's when I occasionally have to drive a Vision,I feel somewhat claustrophobic.
Dont get me wrong, I think Bluebird is a sturdy built bus with a nice ride but they have some work to do. In my opinion they keep changing the parts of the bus that no one has a problem with.

School Bus M8
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rickhamilton620
Active Member

24 Posts

Posted - 11/04/2012 :  8:58:33 PM  Show Profile  Visit rickhamilton620's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kodie

I wish people would get the idea out of their head that people buy Blue Birds because of how they look. I feel confident in saying that 99% of the time, the person ordering the bus doesn't give a damn either way, as long as they can get parts for it and keep it running.



That makes sense. It's likely that the older body style was just easier to get parts for and the product cheaper to buy.
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C2FAN
Senior Member

United States
95 Posts

Posted - 11/05/2012 :  3:46:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by RD9000

You're right Rich. I missed the optional section. Is Cummins not offering something similar to the 8.3 anymore? I know the electronics on the 24 valve 5.9 and 6.7 offer a lot of horsepower options, but I am weary about pushing the envelope with a smaller engine. I also tend to think more about the travel/activity use of these buses rather than daily route usage.



Cummins is offering the 8.9L ISL engine for school buses this year(replacing the ISC) but it looks like Blue Bird is not going to offer that engine in their new All American. It only lists additional horsepower in the options section of their literature. I know that Thomas is going to offer the Cummins ISL in their HDX up to 300HP. If this is indeed true, I see this as a major mis-step by Blue Bird. The ISB does not provide enough torque for a full size rear engine bus in a mountainous area or in a highway use application. The ISB only provides 660lb of torque where the ISL is around 900lbs. Torque is more important than horsepower when you're trying to take a bus full of kids up a grade or getting up to highway speeds.
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RD9000
Senior Member

72 Posts

Posted - 11/05/2012 :  5:03:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Kodie, I agree with Former School Bus M8, I don't think that anybody believes that most districts buy buses according to looks. Most of us realize that most bus purchases are low bid. As a bus enthusiast, I appreciate looks. There are a lot of different things that people appreciate about different bus brands. Almost none of them play a part in most public school purchasing decisions- its money. It's sad but true. However, I do not believe that a manufacturer can neglect their design simply because people don't "give a damn." Image is everything. A poor image resulting from physical design can bleed over into the perception of quality. A perception of poor quality can result in specs that remove a manufacturer from consideration in purchasing.
C2Fan, I agree. Not offering the larger Cummins diesel is a huge mis-step. It would certainly eliminate Blue Bird from my specs for an activity bus. Even though technology has improved, I shy away from past All-Americans and TCRE's with the 5.9 simply because of not quite enough umph in their britches for any use beyond local route.
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bigredmachine
Senior Member

USA
134 Posts

Posted - 11/05/2012 :  8:51:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Completely agree, RD9000. I think that looks won't make a district buy a bus, but I believe that looks can make a district NOT buy a bus.

Formerly BlueBirdMan
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Alex403
Active Member

USA
10 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2012 :  6:52:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You know, I have to say, that the new design practicaly looks like a 2012 IC RE, just with Blue Bird All American headlights, pretty much.When I went on Blue Bird's site earlier, I was stunned. http://prntscr.com/l3rpe Has anyone noticed that the grille is a bit smaller??

IC Bus.. The company that makes Thomas Built fan hide in shame. :)
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bluebirdvision
Top Member

USA
991 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2012 :  7:13:59 PM  Show Profile  Click to see bluebirdvision's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
I'm excited to see the first demo when my dealer gets one in.

Shane Kirley
New York Bus Sales Delivery Driver. (I know its not much, but its a start)


Facebook Page: Blue Bird Corporation Fans
https://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_212311114614&ap=1


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SuperiorGMC1963
Top Member

USA
1079 Posts

Posted - 12/02/2012 :  9:03:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here's a link to view the 2014 Blue Bird All American brochure. http://www.brysonsales.com/BrysonSalesNews

Ted

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rickhamilton620
Active Member

24 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2012 :  4:25:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit rickhamilton620's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SuperiorGMC1963

Here's a link to view the 2014 Blue Bird All American brochure. http://www.brysonsales.com/BrysonSalesNews



Thanks for the link! :D I wish they'd offer it in .pdf form though...
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C2FAN
Senior Member

United States
95 Posts

Posted - 12/10/2012 :  07:10:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SuperiorGMC1963

Here's a link to view the 2014 Blue Bird All American brochure. http://www.brysonsales.com/BrysonSalesNews



Thanks the link!
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thewallfan
Active Member

USA
36 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2013 :  6:19:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I like this better then the d3, how ever they need to put the rear windows back in. and I do like the interior height of 77 in.

IC your CE
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Buslady 6502
New Member

United States
1 Posts

Posted - 01/10/2013 :  9:43:54 PM  Show Profile  Visit Buslady 6502's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Nobody liked the D3, so they change it. big deal. I think theyre butt ugly. I think all birds are ugly. looks arent everything though.
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08 Thomas EF
Top Member

526 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2013 :  5:53:45 PM  Show Profile  Visit 08 Thomas EF's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I like that LED marker/clearance lights are standard.

Interesting that the FE goes up to 90-pass but RE only goes to 84, and both of them have the same maximum GVWR of 36,200 pounds.
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bluebirdvision
Top Member

USA
991 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2013 :  1:03:48 PM  Show Profile  Click to see bluebirdvision's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
New York Bus has a demo. They are going to let me look it over once they get it to some of the actual customers. I will post pics.

Shane Kirley
New York Bus Sales Delivery Driver. (I know its not much, but its a start)


Facebook Page: Blue Bird Corporation Fans
https://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_212311114614&ap=1


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C.HARDY
Advanced Member

350 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2013 :  4:34:04 PM  Show Profile  Click to see C.HARDY's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
6.7L @ 280hp isnt enough??
quote:
Originally posted by RD9000

Kodie, I agree with Former School Bus M8, I don't think that anybody believes that most districts buy buses according to looks. Most of us realize that most bus purchases are low bid. As a bus enthusiast, I appreciate looks. There are a lot of different things that people appreciate about different bus brands. Almost none of them play a part in most public school purchasing decisions- its money. It's sad but true. However, I do not believe that a manufacturer can neglect their design simply because people don't "give a damn." Image is everything. A poor image resulting from physical design can bleed over into the perception of quality. A perception of poor quality can result in specs that remove a manufacturer from consideration in purchasing.
C2Fan, I agree. Not offering the larger Cummins diesel is a huge mis-step. It would certainly eliminate Blue Bird from my specs for an activity bus. Even though technology has improved, I shy away from past All-Americans and TCRE's with the 5.9 simply because of not quite enough umph in their britches for any use beyond local route.


"Hardybusman"

Edited by - C.HARDY on 01/16/2013 4:34:53 PM
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08BBVision
Senior Member

USA
118 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2013 :  9:57:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit 08BBVision's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I wish there was a Bird Dealer closer to me! Central States is the closest and its a 3 hour drive. Can't wait for photos!


My School Bus Photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tyler_officer/
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bluebirdvision
Top Member

USA
991 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2013 :  3:05:13 PM  Show Profile  Click to see bluebirdvision's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
It'll probably be a few weeks before i can get over there.

Shane Kirley
New York Bus Sales Delivery Driver. (I know its not much, but its a start)


Facebook Page: Blue Bird Corporation Fans
https://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_212311114614&ap=1


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