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 Which do you prefer: conventional, FE, or RE?
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B. Busguy33
Top Member

USA
3444 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2002 :  4:21:59 PM  Show Profile  Visit B. Busguy33's Homepage  Send B. Busguy33 an AOL message  Send B. Busguy33 a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I was wondering what all of you prefer out of a conventional, FE, or RE school bus? Please choose ONLY ONE and tell me why you prefer what you chose. Thanks for your help!

Bob
(B. Busguy33)

"Blue Bird: Always flyin' high above the rest...
Blue Bird: One of America's Best!!! "

Rich
Top Member

United States
5768 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2002 :  5:44:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I prefer the FE out of all three choices. First of all, I like it the most because of it's optimal viewing capabilities, compared to the conventinonal. Another good thing is that it is right next to the driver, so he can hear a problem (in some cases) which is an excellent way to prevent a breakdown. I also like the FE, because the back of the bus wouldn't have to be changed around, like on the RE. I think one of the best features on FE's is the easy engine access though.

Blue Bird... America's BEST!

E-mail me: RLS1400@aol.com, IM me: RLS1400, or visit my site: www.bluebirdstop.cjb.net

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Steven A.Rosenow
Top Member

USA
1926 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2002 :  6:55:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit Steven A.Rosenow's Homepage  Send Steven A.Rosenow an AOL message  Send Steven A.Rosenow a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Better advantages on an FE transit over an RE? Where did that come from?

Engine access and maintenance on an RE is far more superior over than an FE, because you don't have to dismantle the front of the bus to get to the engine. And there's not so much engine noise coming from the location, since rear engine buses are more sound insulated versus front engine ones.

Also, windshield sizes on an FE are smaller in height versus an RE, this limiting the forward visbility. And traction on an RE is better, because you need traction most on the tires that actually drive the bus, not traction on the steering tires. Of course, however, the traction dilemma can be easily solved by mounting the engine in the middle, equalizing the load and traction.

Overall, I'd say an RE is better.


Gillig - The "DURACELL" of School Buses. http://www.geocities.com/gilligcoaches
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Thomas Ford 85-16
Top Member

USA
4165 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2002 :  7:10:03 PM  Show Profile  Visit Thomas Ford 85-16's Homepage  Send Thomas Ford 85-16 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Most of my opinions will be a little bias since I own a conventional, but I do think that conventionals are pretty good buses...and many people from my area seem to agree.

I feel that there is easier access and that there will be more protection for the driver. Also, at lesat on old models, they turn a lot better.

Here's something copy and pasted from Thomas's Q/A section about transits and conventionals:
Question: What are the main differences between a conventional bus and a transit-style bus?

Answer: A conventional bus, built on a "cowl" chassis with the engine forward, is a lower-priced bus than a transit style bus which has the flat front and engine either in the front or rear.

While durable, reliable and filled with safety features, a conventional style bus can be less maneuverable than a flat-front, transit bus. A transit-style can also provide more passenger room, making it a good choice for dense routes, especially in tight urban areas. Conventional buses by far make up the majority of school bus sales. But more and more, schools are choosing the larger transit-style buses for many of the reasons mentioned above.

I know you didn't want this kind of answer, but if I did have to choose a transit, I'd choose an FE simply because of preference. Also, my district seems to like them a whole lot and maintenance isn't an issue.


Stop at: http://www.buses.cjb.net
Forums: http://thebusboy.proboards2.com

Quote:
"There's no place like home; GO THERE!" -Lady from the "Craby Road" comic.
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thomas86_a
Top Member

USA
4407 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2002 :  7:17:02 PM  Show Profile  Visit thomas86_a's Homepage  Send thomas86_a an AOL message  Reply with Quote
I am a conventional person, but ER's have their advantages.

As for EF's, as I always say- "If you want the engine in front buy a conventional, want it in the rear, buy an ER."

I like the conventioanls, and feel as long as the driver watches where all students go when exiting/entering the bus, and uses crossover mirrors there shouldn't be any reason for a students to get hit, as I usually hear Transits have a much better sight line, which is true, but I think if you are trained properly a conventional is safe.

ER buses are good for long trips, and usually have a stronger chassis that will outlast a conventional chassis. Having the engine in the rear also adds weight to the tires that move the bus, and not having a drive train running down the center of the bus allows you to have luggage compartments that go completely underneath the bus.

I would rather pull my passengers around in a Radio Flyer than drive a Blue Bird

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thomas86_a
Top Member

USA
4407 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2002 :  7:20:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit thomas86_a's Homepage  Send thomas86_a an AOL message  Reply with Quote
P.S. Bob-

Don't ever tell me how to answer a post, as you see I didn't listen surprise surprise.

I would rather pull my passengers around in a Radio Flyer than drive a Blue Bird

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Bus Boy 39
Top Member

USA
1315 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2002 :  03:30:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am a conventional person myself. I prefer them because they have more protection for the driver in the front, I think they look better, and they're great for that one run that doesn't need a transit style bus. I have also noticed when going up a hill, a conventional pulls is self my faster then a transit.

I dunno, maybe I choose conventional because that's what I grew up with, but that's my choice.

"Gotta Love Those Birdies!"
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wagonmaster
Top Member

USA
2298 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2002 :  06:23:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I like transits, but we use FE's for special Ed. where turning radius is critical and RE's for regular transportation. They both last longer than the standard conventional unit and the RE provides an extra measure of heavy duty all around. The extra few years of service and added capacity make the RE the best bargain in my view.
Joe

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newbeetlebugblue2000
Advanced Member

USA
271 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2002 :  06:41:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit newbeetlebugblue2000's Homepage  Send newbeetlebugblue2000 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Hey Bob--It's Ryan!!!!!

As you know I like the FE and you know why!!!!! By the way, I'd like to let you know, that since the last time we talked, I got me my first car. I got a 1995 Jeep Wrangler. E-mail me sometime.



Ryan Lane
NewBeetleBugBlue2000@yahoo.com
www.plain.lib.oh.us/PCPLPizzaPirates.htm
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BusBoy
Top Member

USA
2042 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2002 :  08:28:33 AM  Show Profile  Visit BusBoy's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I really like all 3..lol
But if I had the money, I would go with RE buses!

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MamaLoca
Advanced Member

USA
400 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2002 :  09:36:10 AM  Show Profile  Visit MamaLoca's Homepage  Send MamaLoca an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Conventional, All the way!

I always say I prefer to have the few hundred pounds of iron between me and all the crazies on the road today.

I also have a very rural hilly route and much prefer the manuverability and handling of the conventional. I'm just a old fashioned girl that way.

And BTW, Monday My brandy new Freightliner comes in!!!!!!! Hubby is getting a new Freightliner Plowtruck too, he says his has way more horsepower, but then he's pushing Iron I'm hauling the Future, lol.

Smile, it makes people wonder what you're up to.
http://www.canandaiguaschools.org/bus/
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Bus Boy 39
Top Member

USA
1315 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2002 :  11:49:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I just want to share the joy with everybody that I had today! We had a spare bus!! It's very, very unusual for us to get a spare bus! Anyway, it was a 1995 GMC Blue Bird #40! It had a side emergency door on it!!! This thing may have been much, much slower then my 2001 All American, but I loved it. That thing didn't climb the hill very well, we went very slowwwwwwwwww, but that's cool. Anyway, this bus brought back wonderful memories. That is one of the original buses for our old fleet (there are only about 6 left). I was telling everybody were I sat on field trips on that bus, and stuff like that. I was so happy! A bus has never made me that happy! Thanks for letting me tell you all.

"Gotta Love Those Birdies!"
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Silas J.
Top Member

USA
938 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2002 :  12:51:00 PM  Show Profile  Send Silas J. an AOL message  Send Silas J. an ICQ Message  Click to see Silas J.'s MSN Messenger address  Send Silas J. a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
The mid and RE Crowns and Gillig look great,as most everyone thinks.I think the Thomas EF is a nice looking bus,and the BBTC2000 even more so.I have heard that the CG on a EF is screwed up.Is that true?I like conventionals,but if I had a choice I would take a transit.
Silas J.

97-12 It will outrun your bus.
Unicoi County Schools~Working For Children

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Thomas Ford 85-16
Top Member

USA
4165 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2002 :  1:23:03 PM  Show Profile  Visit Thomas Ford 85-16's Homepage  Send Thomas Ford 85-16 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Silas, What do you mean by "CG"?

Stop at: http://www.buses.cjb.net
Forums: http://thebusboy.proboards2.com

Quote:
"There's no place like home; GO THERE!" -Lady from the "Craby Road" comic.
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Silas J.
Top Member

USA
938 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2002 :  4:35:54 PM  Show Profile  Send Silas J. an AOL message  Send Silas J. an ICQ Message  Click to see Silas J.'s MSN Messenger address  Send Silas J. a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Center of Gravity.
Silas J.

97-12 It will outrun your bus.
Unicoi County Schools~Working For Children

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Thomas Ford 85-16
Top Member

USA
4165 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2002 :  4:48:28 PM  Show Profile  Visit Thomas Ford 85-16's Homepage  Send Thomas Ford 85-16 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
That's what I thought, but I wasn't sure. As far as I know, the "CG" in the Thomas EFs aren't bad. I ride one every day, and it seems to drive well. It will rock going over large bumps (front to back) but it's not bad. The wheelbase is kinda short and they do have a large rear overhang, but I see no problems with them.

Stop at: http://www.buses.cjb.net
Forums: http://thebusboy.proboards2.com

Quote:
"There's no place like home; GO THERE!" -Lady from the "Craby Road" comic.
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Blake913
Senior Member

USA
195 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2002 :  5:19:01 PM  Show Profile  Send Blake913 a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
FE TRANSITS ALL THE WAY!!!!!! I love my BB AA and will hopefully love my new INT FE when it gets here! If for some reason, I had to drive a conventional, it would have to be an INT/Thomas. That is the only way. Other than that, give me my FE Transit!

913 is the next best thing to a Caddilac!
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nflgsh
Active Member

11 Posts

Posted - 01/29/2002 :  08:12:51 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I myself prefer the FE Blue Bird.
Flat nosed busses you have a better view of the students entering and exiting the bus, better acceleration, better turn vision (backing and otherwise) and reliability over the Thomas FE.
For some reason during our harsh Wisconsin winters, the Thomas flat nose busses' diesel fuel seems to "Gel" during routes and our Blue Birds run just fine.
Our conventionals seem to do just fine all round as far as starting and running during the winter months, either the Blue Birds or Thomases but for the drivability I still prefer the flat nose!!!!!!!!!

All kids make me happy,
some by getting on and some
by getting off!!!!
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BusladyofSoCal
Advanced Member

USA
366 Posts

Posted - 01/29/2002 :  10:44:12 AM  Show Profile  Visit BusladyofSoCal's Homepage  Send BusladyofSoCal an AOL message  Reply with Quote
But hey you forgot Amidship!




Buslady
Long Live Crown Coach Corp! Detroit Diesel rules!
Crown Coach Archive
http://crowncoach.tripod.com
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