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Author Topic: How Much Per Mile to Maintain a Bus  (Read 6058 times)
luvrbus
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« on: July 05, 2010, 09:09:32 AM »

A friend stopped over last night from Arrow Stage Lines to make a long story short he asked how much you guys put aside for maintenance on the old buses.

They set a side .68 cents per mile on buses less than 10 years old they start from day one even on the new Setra's. 
The .68 cents covers fuel ,tires, insurance and general maintenance but not the driver pays seems a little high to me but when you add the items up he is not far off I don't think.
We were reading Jim's web looks like he needed more than .68 cents per mile the money he has spent for 50,000 miles a little feed back ok guys


good luck
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bevans6
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« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2010, 09:47:20 AM »

My gut is telling me about $1.25 per mile all in including fuel, which is maybe $0.75 for other.  But I don't put anything aside, I just spend what it takes and if I don't have it I don't spend it.  I think with our vehicles the averages are skewed by, example, needing to do the 350,000 mile service on the engine after 20,000 miles of ownership,  needing to buy tires every 30,000 miles because they are too old, fixing OP's screwups that only come to light after you've owned the bus for three years...  We often don't have OTR AC to maintain, that is a savings right there.  We also might do the maintenance our selves, saving an hourly wage.  Parts might be cheaper, used or NOS/obsolete can be cheaper than new for a Setra.


Brian
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busshawg
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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2010, 10:19:58 AM »

I agree if a person is running around the 80,000 mile / yr make it would be close to a 1.25. If a person is running 10,000 mile/ year it may go up. Ihave found it works, runs better with more use.
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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2010, 11:17:14 AM »

I couldn't agree more with Brian. I only wish it cost me 68 cents/mile to operate  Grin
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bevans6
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« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2010, 11:23:07 AM »

I think Clifford is saying his friend budgets $0.68/mile for maintenance, not operation.  With fuel at a notional $0.50/mile, I am feeling that another $0.75 for maintenance is what I am expecting to pay.

Brian
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« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2010, 11:33:19 AM »

I think Clifford is saying his friend budgets $0.68/mile for maintenance, not operation.  With fuel at a notional $0.50/mile, I am feeling that another $0.75 for maintenance is what I am expecting to pay.

Brian

That's the way I understood it also, I just wish it only cost .68/mile to operate LOL Will
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Eagle
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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2010, 11:48:21 AM »

The following is what Clifford said.

They set a side .68 cents per mile on buses less than 10 years old they start from day one even on the new Setra's. 
The .68 cents covers fuel ,tires, insurance and general maintenance but not the drivers pay.
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Just Dallas
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« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2010, 11:50:51 AM »

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« Last Edit: July 14, 2010, 06:35:31 PM by Now Just Dallas » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2010, 12:12:32 PM »

OK, OK, I can't help myself.

I wish I could run any vehicle on the road for less than 3/4˘ per mile.

It's called a bicycle LOL (I couldn't resist either) Grin
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Just Dallas
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« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2010, 12:25:49 PM »

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luvrbus
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« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2010, 12:49:27 PM »

Guys the way I understand the .68 cents is after all the tax deductions they take including deprecation on the bus still a lot of money 68,000 for every 100,000 miles just seems high to me and now you guys are saying 12,500 for 10,000 miles I never kept track there was nothing I could do anyway if I wanted to use my bus.
Like he told me on a 3 year old J4500 that left the shop in Phoenix they installed a new engine, transmission, ring gear, bearing and brakes plus tires and a few more things like seats was over a 100 grand and they had done a lot of work before this.
They can operate at .68 cents these guys count every penny they buy fuel by the train load.
He was just curios on how people handled the failure of major components with out a reserve my answer was you pray a lot.
Part of their program on different engines they install new Cat engines in the MCI's at 350,000 miles,the Cummins in the Vanhools at 300,000 miles,the 60 series in Prevost and Setra at 450,000 miles and I don't have any idea what size the Cat and Cummins are but these are the average sometimes they don't make it the mileage a new 60 series 47,000 bucks a B500 new 26,000 no wonder BK is pulling his hair out lol
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« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2010, 01:17:32 PM »

We had this discussion back in January, as well:
http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=14655.0

Back then, I posted that I had built a spreadsheet that we use to figure our per-mile operating costs, and Mike posted my spreadsheet on BCM, here:
http://www.busconversions.com/files/Per-Mile-Operating-Cost.xls

Generally, all we ever have to put in to it is the current price of diesel, and then it spits out not only our operating cost per mile of driving, but also the per-hour cost to run the generator.

You can adjust various factors to fit your own situation, such as cost of tires, oil changes, and the like, as well as how many miles you generally run between those services.

Right now we are running about 62 cents a mile, give or take.

HTH,

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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bevans6
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« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2010, 01:20:57 PM »

I'm just thinking about myself and the past year.  50 cents a mile for fuel, that's $5K for 10,000 miles.  brake job, $3K (won't need another one for a while, but next year maybe an in-frame, year after starting to replace the tires), just did front air bags at $600, not to mention bucks to upgrade the generator, I just ordered an inverter, replaced the throne in the head, water pump died, thats $2K if you add it up.  If I'd been paying labour the steering work I just did would have been $1K.  I just ordered Peninsula windows for my bedroom, $750.

$12K isn't out of line.  Cheaper than the vintage car racing I've been  doing for the last 20 years.  That cost me $1500 a race in entry fees, car maintenance and tires, gas, not to mention travel expense, which could be as  little as $400 for a near race to $2K if I went to Savannah (which I did once a year).  

here is just a guess, at your friends expenses, based on 100K miles.  $40K in fuel, $5K in tires, $12K in engine, insurance maybe $5k, a brake job and other routine maintenance, monthly inspections $3k, AC maintenance $2K, that's $68K near enough.

I have a reserve, it's just a general reserve not a bus reserve.  I wrote a cheque last week for $20K for a new septic system for my house.  What's the difference between that and I don't know, a new transmission for my bus?  Maybe not $20K (if it is I need a new hobby) but I just write the cheque...and cry a little (give me a break, 20 grand to get rid of poop, that is wrong in so many ways...) No tax incentive to accrue for future expense if you can't write the expense off anyway...

Brian

Brian
« Last Edit: July 05, 2010, 01:23:30 PM by bevans6 » Logged

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usbusin
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« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2010, 01:32:14 PM »

On January 19, 2010 luvrbus said; Proably no use to you but Arrow leases their coaches for 500.00 a day for a 44 passenger coach with a 1.38 per mile for insurance and fuel plus if Arrow furnshes the driver it is 300.00 a day for him or her plus expenses. 

Does this mean that Arrow is making 70 cents per mile?   $1.38 - $0.68 = $0.70 per mile

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Gary D

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luvrbus
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« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2010, 01:47:37 PM »

That 1.38 is for cost only then you take the maintenance from the .70 cents probably were he is coming up with .68 cents these are 500,000 dollar buses they use he tell me 5% is a good profit for them after taxes but 5% is not all that bad on 25mil if you add the 500 bucks a day it is more than 1.38 per mile but one tire the 500 bucks is shot to hell.They make a lot more on their school bus operation than the coach service so he says


good luck
« Last Edit: July 05, 2010, 01:51:04 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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belfert
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« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2010, 02:09:39 PM »

68 cents a mile seems cheap to me when fuel is included.  Fuel alone is at least 35 cents a mile these days and was up over 50 cents a mile in 2008.  My maintenance costs alone (excluding tires) are at least $1 a mile, but I'm only at like 4,000 miles a year since I bought the bus.  I have probably another 50,000 miles before another round of major expenses.

I wonder why they replace Series 60 engines at 450,000 miles?  They shouldn't need more than an inframe, if that, at that mileage.  My friend had a model year 2000 semi tractor with a Series 60.  He sold it in 2009 with 1.1 million miles.  He is not aware of the engine ever being opened.
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« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2010, 08:13:31 PM »

I have always found it amusing comparing what bus folks and truck folks have to say about operating expenses.

Bottom line:

The money comes too easy to bus companies, but the bills are a kick in the pants.

Compare the capital outlay, compare the cost of an alternator, compare what might be acceptable idle times, compare the daily/weekly/annual mileage for the unit.

Good thread, busnuts need to think in some sort of terms as to a budget forecast for preventive maintenance, not just acquisition and additions.

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2010, 08:45:05 PM »

Several questions enter my mind here (yes I know there is LOTS of room in there) are we talking about "bus" maintenance or "motorhome" maintenance --- the conveyance would have a completely different set of costs than the living quarters of the bus --- genset operation and upkeep is not necessary to get you down the road unless you use it for AC and want to be comfortable (now is that REALLY necessary?) I have not personally broken out the cost of "the bus" from "the house" they really (to me) are all inclusive because I don't want to drive the bus somewhere and not be able to stay in it. If I need to rent a hotel room then I will drive the car or the truck or take a plane or train or commercial bus --- you get the point. So I am not sure that we as bus converters separate the cost of the bus going down the road from the cost of owning and operating the bus as a place to live. I have spent the money for the bus to be ready to live in at any time. I pay the insurance if it is parked or driven. I have to do the repairs to keep it ready to go even if it doesn't go very often. I have to change the oil once a year even if the bus has been parked the entire time. My cost to operate the bus is the cost of fuel. I try to avoid things happening on the road but if they do I consider that an upgrade in the condition of my bus.  Hard to plan for or make the other expenses part of the trip --- Fuel is my only REAL expense because I use my bus a very limited amount.  Do the other things cost money --- yes but they are not OPERATING expenses -- When I acquired my bus it was because it could not be PROFITABLY operated by a commercial company. The expenses I encounter are what made my bus CHEAP when I bought it.

This may be a different perspective but that is why we are here.

HTH

YMMV

Melbo
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« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2010, 09:20:24 PM »

Sean,

Is this still good?  Didn't work for me.

http://www.busconversions.com/files/Per-Mile-Operating-Cost.xls

Thanks,

John
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Sean
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« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2010, 10:18:05 PM »

You're right, John, looks like it's dead.  Maybe they lost it in the board upgrade.

How 'bout it, moderators?  Can we get that link working again?

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2010, 07:45:15 AM »

Mike fixed the Link! Cool

http://www.busconversions.com/files/Per-Mile-Operating-Cost.xls
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« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2010, 09:59:36 AM »



Thanks, Mike (and Paul).

Also, should mention that notes and instructions on using the spreadsheet are in this post:
http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=14655.msg156311#msg156311

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2010, 10:08:58 AM »

OK, OK, I can't help myself.

I wish I could run any vehicle on the road for less than 3/4˘ per mile.

Ever see that Disney short from WWII about using pogo sticks for transportation . . ?
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« Reply #23 on: July 06, 2010, 11:30:14 AM »

Sean, thanks for the spreadsheet! 

In "massaging" the numbers to fit my situation I come up with $0.5005 per mile with diesel a $3.20/gallon.

Thanks again.
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Gary D

USBUSIN was our 1960 PD4104 for 16 years Ustruckin' is our 2001 Freightliner truck conversion
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