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Author Topic: Transporting a Bus  (Read 3691 times)
kwood
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« on: June 05, 2010, 08:50:56 AM »

Hey guys!

I am looking for advice on transporting my bus.  It is a MCI9.  I am moving from Washington to Texas for work.  I don't have time to drive it down right now and don't really want to store it until next spring.  I am considering whether it can be transported on a trailer.  It has only been on one short trip so far so I really haven't shaken it down enough to have it driven 1500 miles.  I know it would be expensive, but compared to storage for a year, fly up to get it, and fuel/food/lodging for a week to drive it the cost may be comparable.  Anybody done this or have any thoughts.  I would really appreciate what all you have to say.

Regards,

Kevin
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DaveG
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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2010, 09:02:58 AM »

There might be some internet sources for towing...local tow companies will typically want to bill for portal to portal, so you would be paying for them to drive back empty also, where an internet type thing could basically be a one way deal.


FWIW you might contact NorthWest Bus (you know, the Las Vegas bus folks) and ask who does their transporting or if they have any input for you

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« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2010, 09:09:44 AM »

for the costs involved...why not get a bus garage to do an inspection/tune up and drive it down...my maiden (and many others) voyage was 1000 miles..and went just fine, MC9 is a fine piece of industrial equipment, will do it good to go for a run.  My 2 cents, Canadian.
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« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2010, 09:14:25 AM »

I was just thinking of going down to NWBus myself.  Anyone ever dealt with them before or heard anything about them?
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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2010, 09:18:58 AM »

Kwood, Cobey Brown of Salt Lake 1-801-518-0689 he will haul it for about 1/2 of what a tow co will.He is the one most of us cheap Eagle owners use Boomer just used him and very  was happy with service and price.
I have another guy in Phoenix as soon as I can find his number I'll post it for you. Here you go Brian Booth 1-480-430-4750


good luck
« Last Edit: June 05, 2010, 09:50:20 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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DaveG
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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2010, 09:26:48 AM »

I was just thinking of going down to NWBus myself.  Anyone ever dealt with them before or heard anything about them?

Let me know when you are going...I'll have you keep an eye out for something for me too! <davidgugl@gmail.com.
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BG6
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« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2010, 10:50:10 AM »

It will probably be cheaper to store it, if you are going back to Washington next spring.  If you are making a permanent move, maybe you could store it for a month, get to Texas, then fly back and drive it down over the July 4th weekend.
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TomC
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« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2010, 03:53:57 PM »

Having the bus moved on a Landoll trailer is expensive.  10 years ago it cost me $750.00 to go 120 miles (that's $6.25/mile).  I imagine it would be more like $8.00/mile now.  Seattle, Wa to Houston, Tx is about 2,500 miles.  That works out to be $20,000.00 to move it, or even $15,625.00 at the 10 year old $6.25/mile rate.  I would have the bus inspected, possibly put new tires on at least the front axle, inspect the brakes, bearings, engine and transmission, and you could get someone to drive it down for about $1,500.00 plus expenses.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2010, 04:14:41 PM »

Kevin, a few more questions.  Is the move to Texas permanent, or temporary (and where in Texas -- I can get on a commercial jet in Dallas and get off 1.5 hours later - and still be in Texas)?  If it's temporary, you may want to store the coach.     

Is the bus converted, or is it still a seated coach?  Is it registered/insured (and as what .... comercial vehicle or motor home/house car?)  That goes to whether you'll need a CDL-equipped driver to drive it for you if you go that route.

We brought our 4107 back to Dallas, after picking her up in New Hampshire -- but with a trip north to Canada first.  So, our first trip was about 2500 miles, but we'd had the dealer do a lot of maintenance first.  He got us temporary 30-day transit tags, and I had already bought insurance.  The only problems we had were losing a couple of nuts, one off the licence plate, and one on the aux. gen. exhaust.  Coat hanger wires got us through.  The main part of the message is that we'd had a dealer (we know the family, multiple generation bus folks) send her out for maintenance -- knowing the distance of the trip.  Included a starter rebuild, new radiator, and other work.

If it needs work there, it'll need work here -- so the work will still be a cost.  If you do the work there, and make sure the coach is fully road-worthy, your're not pouring money into towing/hauling - to still have that expense hanging over your head.  That would seem to make hiring a driver make more sense. 

When I bought buses for transit systems, we had the manufactures use drive-away services.  A commerical drive-away service might make sense -- and even provide the necessary insurance coverage.  Transit buses are delivered on their own wheels, maybe a backhaul on a transit delivery could be arranged.

Having someone drive it, the suggestion of $1500 plus expenses sounds about right.

Arthur   
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Arthur Gaudet    Carrollton (Dallas area) Texas 
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luvrbus
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« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2010, 04:54:47 PM »

Any of you guys paying 6 to 8 bucks a mile you are using the wrong outfit is all I can say


good luck

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« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2010, 05:54:58 PM »

Kyle will chime in at some point, he knows a LOT about movin' these wonderful things!
Jack
And that move was more like $3.10 a mile...most charge both ways.
Jack
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« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2010, 05:56:49 PM »

No kidding on the 8 bucks a mile Shocked. I am sure there are a few unemployed busnuts here with the experience that could use the extra cash and drive your coach to your destination for a fraction of the commercial outfits, provided that the bus is up to the trip Wink, just another alternative Smiley
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kyle4501
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« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2010, 08:32:49 PM »

My experience is that the cost starts at ~$100 per hour the hauling rig is away from home base. That has worked out to about $2.00 per mile of the truck or ~$4.00 per loaded mile for me.
Of course, this assumes the truck shows up & simply loads the bus onto the trailer. If the truck driver has to prep the bus for towing, then you're gonna be paying ~$100 per hour.

There are many outfits that can haul your bus, but they aren't all towing companies - some are specialized hauling outfits. The one I use doesn't advertise & only takes new customers if they are referred by someone he knows.
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« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2010, 11:14:06 PM »

$3.10/mile charging both ways sounds like $6.20 one way-so the 2500 miles from Seattle to Houston would still be $15,500.00.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2010, 05:45:43 AM »

I got a firm price for him not knowing where in Texas I used Austin 4000.00 bucks I am sure I can beat that price with a few more calls.Don't use a towing co they charge big time

good luck
« Last Edit: June 06, 2010, 06:25:19 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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BG6
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« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2010, 09:12:57 AM »

No kidding on the 8 bucks a mile Shocked. I am sure there are a few unemployed busnuts here with the experience that could use the extra cash and drive your coach to your destination for a fraction of the commercial outfits, provided that the bus is up to the trip Wink, just another alternative Smiley

I would be interested in that, IF and ONLY IF I knew that the coach were up to the trip with no glitches.

If it's in that good condition, again, the owner can make the trip over a long weekend.
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kwood
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« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2010, 02:53:07 PM »

Thanks for all the info.  The bus is in good condition, I have had a shop service it, change all the fluids and air cleaner, new starter and compressor, several air leaks fixed, and new tires.  With that we are now going to move the bus ourselves.  I am a bit nervous taking it on such a long run for its main voyage, but from what you all say and having had it checked out by the shop already we might as well make a go at it.

Hope all goes well, it should be a good adventure.

Kevin
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Runcutter
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« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2010, 05:31:04 PM »

Sounds like you've done your prep work, just as we did.  Hope your trip (shorter than ours was) turns out equally uneventful.  

Now, a very strong suggestion -- get yourself road service/tow coverage.  Before our trip, we joined FMCA to get Coach-Net.  Didn't need it on the inaugural trip, but I have needed it since when we had a coolant leak.  It's very cheap peace of mind.  

You might research other threads, Good Sam has coverage (but, apparently deluges you with mail for the rest of your life, and the lives of your decendents.)  Some of the insurance companies have tow reimbursement programs.  The reason I like Coach-Net is that one call does it all.  You do have to explain to them that it's a "Greyhound-style" bus -- they sent a toy wrecker to get us the one time we needed it.  Lost several hours waiting for a heavy-duty wrecker.  

Another resource is the Bus Ride (Magazine) directory of bus garages.  Gives you a great list of phone numbers, and if you do have an issue, you'll know where you can take/haul the coach.  

Truck places don't understand buses.  One of my transit clients had their buses maintained by a national trucking company (their parent at the time, so I can't reveal who) -- and the mechanics there didn't maintain bus air conditioners, they maintained the "refrigeration system."

Arthur  
« Last Edit: June 07, 2010, 05:33:43 PM by Runcutter » Logged

Arthur Gaudet    Carrollton (Dallas area) Texas 
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« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2010, 05:38:15 PM »

Good luck, and remember if all else fails, there are plenty of bus nuts along the way that might be able to lend a hand, and last but not least there is all of us here on the board rootin for ya Wink have a safe trip! Smiley Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2010, 05:42:03 PM »

........... we might as well make a go at it.

Take lots of tools and a cell phone.     Grin Grin Grin Grin
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« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2010, 06:37:43 PM »

Take the computer so you can let us know how the trip is going.
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« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2010, 07:25:16 PM »

And most of all, give us a report when your journey is complete!
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Kwajdiver
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« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2010, 07:29:33 PM »

Bummer,   Shocked   was going to ask if he was in a hurry for it.  Roll Eyes  Would have been a nice trip down the Pacific Coast Hiway for a couple months....

 Grin

Just saying,,,,

Bill
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kwood
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« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2010, 01:43:14 PM »

Thanks for the advice, guys.  I am checking out coach-net right now.

Kevin
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rwc
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« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2010, 04:18:03 PM »

Most Importantly  TAKE ALOT OF PICTURES!!!!!
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« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2010, 07:17:15 PM »

Make it a journey, not a destination. Enjoy the ride! I know I sure did when I picked up mine, pretty cool feeling for sure!

Where in Texas?

Paul
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« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2010, 08:32:52 PM »

Good for you guys! My favorite t shirt sez ATTITUDE! the difference between ordeal and ADVENTURE! Have a fun safe trip.
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« Reply #27 on: June 08, 2010, 09:26:43 PM »

We are moving to Midland, Tx in West Texas.  I agree attitude makes all the difference in the world.  We are very excited for our adventure.  Planning the route right now.

Kevin
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« Reply #28 on: June 08, 2010, 09:28:57 PM »

We are moving to Midland, Tx in West Texas.  I agree attitude makes all the difference in the world.  We are very excited for our adventure.  Planning the route right now.

Kevin

Very close to us in Abilene! Close in Texas is a two day drive ya know! Grin

You have a bus nut for a neighbor!

Paul
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« Reply #29 on: June 09, 2010, 04:45:47 AM »

Quote
ATTITUDE! the difference between ordeal and ADVENTURE!

And, when things seem to be piling up on you, all you can do is say, "this is simply a test, it is a TEST to see JUST HOW MUCH I can take before screaming!!!!" Grin

I'm thinking a good sense of humour doesn't hurt either,  Wink Cheesy  Pretty much, when going through a so-called "adventure", we try to keep in mind that "we'll look back and laugh about all this some day!" 



Boy, have we had some laughs Huh.



Christy
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« Reply #30 on: June 09, 2010, 03:45:58 PM »

Paul,

Abilene is not that far away in Texas mileage.  We certainly are looking forward to exploring the area.  Hope we can get together sometime.

Kevin
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« Reply #31 on: June 09, 2010, 04:48:46 PM »

Kevin, We are at Buck Creek RV Park, Exit 294 on I-20, six miles east of 351/I-20 crossover. Give us a ring sometime 3two5 660 four63five, we'll leave the light on for ya!

If not there, how about TBR 2010?

Paul
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« Reply #32 on: June 09, 2010, 09:33:57 PM »

Thanks, Paul.  Will keep your number and get in touch after we get things squared away in Midland.

Kevin
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