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Author Topic: Rear end of my bus "KISSED" a light pole last night.... Ouch!  (Read 3223 times)
Tully Lee
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« on: July 31, 2010, 06:48:59 AM »

So I take eight girls last night on my bus to go see Bon Jovi at Soldier Field in Chicago. Was a favor for a family member.

Hey, I have only been driving an RV and as of just three years ago a bus.  I have put
in some good seat time and feel pretty good about my driving skills.

Now, my backing skills are fair.  If I am backing up and the area I am backing into
is a straight or near straight shot I will proceed slow and check my mirrors right and
left.  If it is a tight area will have a spotter.

I pull into the out-lot at Soldier Field.  Traffic is everywhere.  Thousands and thousands of people and cars. A real mess.  No problem.  I feel that I am getting the job done in a safe
manner.  Proceed slow.  Keep my game on.   I pull up to a gate and $126.00 parking fee
latter I am at a lot with about 15 RV's, School Buses, Charter Coachs.   There are over a dozen parking lot attendants.  All screaming back it in back it in.  The girls on the bus are all talking and laughing. My friend who is spotting me is not in my mirrors enough.  I am sticking my head out the window.  Just a mess.  Not a straight shot back but some funky zig zag configuration.   Well you guessed it.  I felt a light tap. Turns out my back passenger side bumper "kissed" a light pole  Get out, stomach sinks and I start beating myself up over this stupid mistake.  Now I am second guessing my driving skills as a whole and really felt like a smuck!

Will have to post pictures and get a game plan on how I am going to fix it.  The bumper has the main middle which runs about 5 feeor 6 feet along the back.  Each side has the curved section.  It was the curved section that took the brunt of the hit.  and I will have to find, order and have this part installed.  The main middle part of the bumper I will see if I can get it straight some how.  It is only distorted because of the  curved sections bolt staying in place and it twisting a little .  Kind of hard to explain.  Will post pictures.

Will I ever be able to back up this bus again?  I should have gotten out of the bus, checked out the area I was going to back into and told the parking lot attendants to CHILL out and stop stressing me.


So, that is my story and I am sticking to it. Sorry to say.   

Worlds worst "bus backer" signing out.

Tully Lee
 
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Len Silva
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« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2010, 07:09:40 AM »

1.  Don't let them rattle you, let them scream all they want, you will back it in at your own pace.

2.  Train your spotter, they have to be able to see your face in the mirror.  If you can't see the spotter, just stop until you can.

Most everyone here knows that sinking feeling when you have pulled an "Oh, Crap!"
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steve wardwell
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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2010, 07:33:17 AM »

Don't sweat the small stuff. Nobody died, and sh*t happens, warts and bruises are a fact of life. These are dimples of "caricature". 4 years ago there was an "incident" with a golf cart and our front bumper, the bus stationary, cart not. Bumper with a twist. I waited for 3 months for someone to straighten our front bumper and finally did it myself with a jeep, wood  blocks and a rubber mallet. the results are satisfactory not perfect, but still great. Every scar carries a story and in time you will look back and chuckle. you are living a dream enjoy! I can think of nothing worse than sending a worn out, tired old car to the scrapyard  and still have the floormats covering the like new rugs. I find no fault in using the bus, only in not savoring the path!.........s.......
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Sometimes the more I think about something the less I think about something.    As soon as I save a little money my bus finds out.                                      Why grab a plane when you can take the bus ?                         If I'm wrong 10% of the time how can the "Queen" be right 100%
John316
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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2010, 07:37:14 AM »

Tully,

I know the feeling (not with the bus, at least). Don't beat yourself up over it. Simply learn and move on. Mistakes happen.

I hope you can get your parts figured out soon.

God bless,

John
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rampeyboy
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2010, 07:55:50 AM »

hey! you can't take my title! I'm the worst bus backer there is! I've not even driven my bus FORWARD yet! Cheer up, it happens!
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Boyce Rampey
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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2010, 08:11:51 AM »

Sorry to hear that you had a incident with your coach been there my self. Cry
Just remember G.O.A.L. before backing your coach- Get Out And Look!
Explain to your spotter when and if I loose sight of you while I am backing the coach I will stop.
Also we carry two small hand held two way radios that my spotter and my self stay in contact with each other.
Noisy passengers are a distraction stop the bus get out of the drivers seat do the GOAL and step back inside the bus  and tell the passengers to be very quite while I am backing this coach up.
You are the driver The Bus Boss so to speak so explain to your passengers what will happen if they are not behaving that they might be come a hitch hiker! Grin Grin
JLV
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BG6
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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2010, 09:20:53 AM »

Wow, you will go to ANY length to find an excuse to buy that rear-view camera system, ha . . ?

BTW, when I GOAL before backing in somewhere, I estimate the distance that I can go, and find something on the ground that is that far behind the middle of the driver's window (if necessary, I put something there).  When my marker appears in the window, I know I'm pretty much there, get out and check distance again and repeat the process if I still have a foot or two to go.
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ccbmster
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« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2010, 09:44:56 AM »


Hey, the backing part is no big deal.  Happens sooner or later to all of us I think.   What I dont understand is, $126.00 to park!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I would TOTALLY  freak out over that.  No freakin way!
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JackConrad
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« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2010, 12:22:26 PM »

Obviously, backing is more difficult because you don't have that nice big windshield to look through. When backing, I use the procedures I was taught by the Fire Department. Best is a spotter that you know, not just anyone standing behind your coach. Make sure you can see spotter in mirror, if not, STOP until you can. Next option, if a known spotter is not available is someone else s;potting for you AFTER you have explained your intentions. Final option is GOAL. Above all take your time and don't get in a hurry. If the parking attendants try to hurry you, ask them is they will take full responsibility for any all damages should anything occur. If (very unlikely) they say yes, ask them to put it in writing.  Jack
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David Anderson
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« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2010, 01:41:29 PM »

Bummer,

That is why I like my ugly (in everybody else s opinion) DOT bumpers on my Eagle.  I backed into a rock mountainside at a National Forest campground once, and I mean I hit it hard knocking stuff off furniture in the coach.  It didn't do a bit of damage.  If it had been a stainless blade bumper, I would have had to replace a bunch of the back end of my bus. 

Hope it doesn't cost too much to repair.  Oh and $126 to park Shocked yikes that is high.  Ouch there, too.

David
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stevet903
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« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2010, 02:18:31 PM »

Sorry to hear about your "incident"...
I'll second the advice about a backup camera, It's worth it!!

The good news is that if you need to replace them, the parts aren't too expensive from Prevost...

Part number 410300 Bumper Extension Rear  (corner) - 192.50
    410305 Bumper XL rear center section $423.27
    410146 Bracket, Rear bumper mounting  $91.28

Shipping included.


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gus
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« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2010, 02:51:31 PM »

I've hit so many things with the bumper I lost count. My worst ones were two rear window knockouts when ambushed by tree limbs! Rear view mirrors don't do so well with tree limbs I found out!!

After that I got a BU camera and things are much better. I set it so that the bottom edge of the screen is four feet from an object.

I also do a lot of getting out and looking, works very well. Nothing else does the job as well.

Very few people are available when needed who know to how to direct or to stand in view of the RV mirror. Body language is not really much help!!
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« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2010, 03:12:31 PM »

$126.00 to park!

Oh, and hate you bent your bus!

$126.00 to park!
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Jack Hart, CDS
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« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2010, 05:57:04 PM »

If the parking attendants try to hurry you, ask them is they will take full responsibility for any all damages should anything occur. If (very unlikely) they say yes, ask them to put it in writing.  Jack

If the parking lot attendants try to hurry me, I'll tell them I intend to enjoy the luxury of easing into my $126 parking space at MY speed.  If they want me to move faster, they can give me a pull-through space.
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Tully Lee
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« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2010, 06:10:21 PM »

Thanks all for the follow ups.  I do feel a bit better.  I guess with several hundred people to witness this  it just added to the frustration.  Steve903- thanks for the research on the price parts...  That is of very big help!

The $126.00 fee was paid by all the girls.  They will rape you on parking at concerts.  I could have parked for $45.00 at a lot about a mile or so away- they (the girls) did not want to go for that.

Anyhow, good advise from all.   G O A L !    Get a good spotter and have two way radio of cell phones at hand...

Will keep all posted....

I really enjoy this forum.

Tully Lee
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kyle4501
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« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2010, 06:42:06 PM »

You ain't a bus driver till you've hit something!  Grin

I NEVER trust a spotter that doesn't have a vested intrest in the safety of me & my stuff.

I've watched volunteer spotters back people into things & then just say 'sorry' & walk away.

Jack Conrad is right - it is your coach, don't let them rush you.

To prevent dejavue  Roll Eyes of some of my darker moments in backing, I'll walk around the rig to ensure a minimum of 3 feet of clearance all the way around then back up 1 foot. Then walk around to verify the 3' clear & back up 1 foot. I'll repeat this until I'm in the space. You'd be surprised how fast some things can move 2 feet.  Wink  All that walking around is good after sitting for the drive.  Grin

My goal is to stop BEFORE I hear something expensive.  Grin  Grin  Grin
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« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2010, 09:41:24 PM »

The trick is eye balling the obstructions before you get drawn all the way past where you are going to reverse.

We react to obstructions without thinking about it when driving forward.

Trouble is, with the view blocked, reacting doesn't work, and we don't have a naturally occurring, developed, searching system for backing. The methodology has to start a long way before you reach for the shifter to back up.

Out of sight, out of mind, into the bumper.

Getting Out And Looking doesn't work without taking inventory of what you are going to run into, without a plan for finding these obstructions in the mirrors, and then avoiding them. If you can't find it in the mirror, it is making a trajectory for the bumper...

Welcome to the Jungle, parking attendants job, at an event like a concert, is to rattle the weak, sick, and injured. They could smell you a mile away, and loved every minute of your performance.

Pretty much the same for your passengers, unwittingly or otherwise.

Just politely ignore them all and do your job of driving safely. The more you tell 'em to shut up, the more they will taunt you, so never mind setting yourself up to be told where to go, just get on with the job.

Good on you for sharing, others will learn something and there's one less dent in a bus conversion.

happy coaching!
buswarrior

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Tully Lee
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« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2010, 10:21:47 AM »

Well this is the part I will need to order from Prevost of Elgin.  Hope it does not take too
long to get.  Will probably have to have a bracket / bolts and a little straight'n out.
Have a body man I will have look at it.

Thanks for following my story and thanks for all the great advise....

Tully Lee
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« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2010, 12:26:03 PM »

I hate backing up even with a camera.  For some reason my camera has a completely different perspective than the mirrors.  I trust the mirrors more.

I work every year at a large RV parking lot for two weeks.  One job I refuse to do it is direct campers into spots.  I'm not good at it and I don't need the grief if someone backs into another RV.
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« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2010, 01:18:35 PM »

We kissed the back of our coach, but for a different reason. While I was out visiting my in-laws on the ranch, I had to back up, as the way around the front of the house had too many trees that were very low. I backed up into a gated area and pulled forward. I hit the right rear corner of the bus on a non movable object, a steel gate post. This happened as I was swinging the rear end around when pulling forward. My wife was standing back there and didn't even see what happened as it was dusk and getting darker by the minute. I did have my backup camera on, but it didn't matter, I couldn't see the rear corner anyway. I punched in our air intake vent and left some white paint from the post on the bumper. The post didn't even move, but I sure felt it! Cry

It was a lesson well learned. Next time I'll give more room on both sides or makes sure I don't get in that situation again.

It happens to a lot of us, so don't fret!

Paul
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« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2010, 01:22:12 PM »

Not much help with these situations but, when backing into a campground space, I set a traffic cone where I want the left rear corner to be.  It helps a lot.
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« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2010, 09:23:59 PM »

You should try driving to Soldier Field during a bear game that's a lot of fun also, talk about traffic and cops on every corner telling you what to do and where to go.

WVaNative
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Tully Lee
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« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2010, 05:09:40 PM »

I plan on doing some tail gate parties for Bears games so I better get used the backing up, period.  The traffic and cars and people I have no problems with at all.

Hey, I did get in my Prevost bumper extention today.  However, I noticed that is was in stainless form.
I thought it would have been chromes  Per Prevost, their parts are all stainless.  So now I will either have to have the part chromed or have it buffed out.  My current bumper is chromes. So, what to do?

Tully Lee
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