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Author Topic: Bus towing  (Read 6806 times)
bobofthenorth
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« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2011, 12:32:05 PM »

Check out the cost of a real tow.  I got towed from Syracuse to Vineland for under $1,000 more recently than I care to remember.  That's a lot more than 350 miles.  I've done a lot of stupid tows in my life but I wouldn't want to tackle towing the frenchy-bus myself.
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R.J.(Bob) Evans
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luvrbus
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« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2011, 12:50:05 PM »

350 mile tow is no mountain for Richard he can get her done lol bet a cold one on that


good luck
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John316
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« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2011, 12:58:27 PM »

If a vehicle with an automatic transmission is flat-towed, don't you have to disconnect the driveshaft (unless the transmission has a secondary pump driven off its output), to prevent damaging the transmission?

John

I'll bet Richard knows this, however, I will throw this out there for the newbies and guys who don't know.

I was told by MCI tech support that pulling both axles is an approved alternative to disconnecting the driveshaft. That was really good news to us. I will pull the axles anyday, before I want to touch the shaft. He said just make sure that you have a cover to put over the axle, to keep the grease in there, and your bearing greased. I will be making a cover that I have with us, so if we need to catch a hook, I just slap that plate on there, when the axles are out.

FWIW

God bless,

John
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John316
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« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2011, 01:00:43 PM »

350 mile tow is no mountain for Richard he can get her done lol bet a cold one on that


good luck

If that is what Clifford says, then Richard, would you please take some pics for us? I would like to see how you have it done.

God bless,

John
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« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2011, 01:10:06 PM »

I read that even with a Spicer 4 speed trans if you are towing very far you should pull the axles.  The driveshaft spins the main shaft in neutral, but no gears spin so no splash lubrication.

Brian
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rv_safetyman
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« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2011, 08:09:48 AM »

I try to only reply to threads where I have good background knowledge (in my mind Grin) or first hand experience.  Unfortunately, I am reply from the latter Angry.

Lots of things to consider. 

1)  While Eagles have a tow bar fixture in the front, that is also an area where they tend to "oxidize" quite a bit.  I am not sure that I would want to rely on that connection for more that just getting off the road.

2)  If you have spring brakes, you will either need to supply air to hold them off or cage them.  Since you will have to have someone in the bus steering, you might as well find a source for air so that you can use the brakes.  Eagles are plumbed with an air line to the same area as the tow bar mount for that purpose.

3)  If the engine is not running, you will not have power steering.  If you have installed one of those fancy small steering wheels, you could be in trouble.

4)  Even with a standard transmission (I have the Eaton 10 speed), a towing company will not tow without disconnecting the drive shaft or pull the axles.

5)  I have been towed by one company that made an axle hub cover out of cardboard.  Worked OK.  No matter what, you will loose some fluid and it will make a mess.

6)  Pulling the axles seems like an easy process.  I don't know about other buses, but on Eagles, the axles are centered with small cones behind the nuts holding the axles on.  My Eagle had split cones and they were almost impossible to remove.  The manual actually says to use a big f'n hammer and to strike the end of the axle to loosen the cones.  Looks good on paper, but twice I have had EXPERIENCED tow truck drivers spend over an hour pounding on the axle trying to get it loose.  They even tried to double nut the studs and remove them.  The split tapered cones locked on the stud and axle and they could only remove one or two studs.

7)  After the last time, I bought all new studs (the old ones got buggered up with the sledge hammer process) and new cones.  I took my old ones in and the parts guy said he had never seen the split cones.  I got solid ones and I suspect that will make pulling the axle much easier.  I made sure to get long enough studs so that I could double nut them so that I could remove them if necessary.

Cool  My recommendation concerning pulling the axle is to do it at your house, when you can do the process in a friendly environment, to see what issues you might face in an emergency.  You do not have to jack up the bus.  Simply pull the nuts off and see if you can remove the axle.  Be prepared to have a mess.  You will need to have new gaskets or some way of making the seal between the axle and hub.

9)  I made a tow bar that had the required hole for the pin on the Eagle and a 2 inch ball trailer connector on the other end.  My thought was that I could pull the bus a short distance (less than a mile or two) to get it to a safe location.  I no longer carry that tow bar, as it just seemed like too bad of a risk to tow the bus.

10)  All tow companies have the proper oversize permit for the long length involved in towing a bus or truck.  I would not like to face a police officer or DOT person and try to convince them that towing a bus was a good idea.

Jim

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Jim Shepherd
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luvrbus
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« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2011, 08:29:12 AM »

Remember Richard lives in Tex a whole different world permits are not a issue there and most states on the Gulf Coast for towing only some cities require licensing and small tow co's get around that buy using a trailer behind a pickup same in AZ where I live,if you had to buy a over length,over width or over weight permit in the state of OK that would be a 2000.00 tow around the block


good luck
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« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2011, 10:32:02 AM »

  When towing on a towbar, no one should be inside the TOAD, whether its a Bus is beside the point, and in any case, no one should steer it. If a BIG Toad wont track behind on its own like our lil toads, its too dangerous to tow.

  Brakes should be applied only by the tow vehicle and coulde operate the Toad. Someone in the Toad could operate the brakes, but as no one should be in there, well, you need good two way radio communication and well understood common hand signals. But again, they SHOULD NOT TOUCH THE WHEEL IN THE TOAD!!!!!

  Honestly, you need a tow vehicle that is heavy enough on the rear wheels and strong enough at the hitch to tow anything, not just a Bus. Too light of a tow vehicle could allow the Toad to push the tow vehicle into a jack knife situation. A Bus is certainly a heavy enough tow vehicle, but the hitch may not be. If we are seeing structural damage and cracked engine sub frames from yanking around light trailers, I cant imagine towing an 11 ton Toad will be good for it. However, a tow bar shouldnt be putting any heavy vertical loads into the tow vehicle, it is primarily fore and aft thrust (provided the tow bar is 100% horizontal onlevel road).

  I think it could be done safely with common sense and the right tow vehicle, but as to the legalities I dont know. Most states provide allowances for emergency towing by rope/chain etc, as well as tow bars. Again, common sense will look a lot better to a cop too. And if there were ever a time to make sure your air brake system was up to snuff, that would be the time.

  I knew the owner of a Bus charter company who told me how he would buy Buses out east and tow them back to Minnesota with a Tow Bar....behind a 1 ton dodge truck with a 318 stick, a compressor in the truck bed, and a guy working the brakes. IMHO thats way to crazy to ever consider.
 
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DaveG
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« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2011, 11:19:57 AM »

Replacing drive axle shafts-use Ultra Gray sealant rather than gaskets,  or Ultra Blue if you don't use synthetic lubes. Syn don't like Blue, they like Gray
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Chopper Scott
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« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2011, 01:05:01 PM »

Car towing another car in Czech republic goes horribly wrong
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« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2011, 01:14:34 PM »

WOW a 35000 pound bus hitched to a 6000 pound ball???
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« Reply #26 on: February 05, 2011, 02:42:32 PM »

WOW a 35000 pound bus hitched to a 6000 pound ball???

I would be more concerned about a 35000 pound Bus behind a 7000 pound pickup truck. The ball would be way down the list.
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boxcarOkie
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« Reply #27 on: February 05, 2011, 03:18:13 PM »

Remember Richard lives in Tex a whole different world permits are not a issue there and most states on the Gulf Coast for towing only some cities require licensing and small tow co's get around that buy using a trailer behind a pickup same in AZ where I live,if you had to buy a over length,over width or over weight permit in the state of OK that would be a 2000.00 tow around the block


good luck

A couple of years ago I had to be towed outside of Atlanta, Ga.  $450 to hook up, $3 a mile to the shop (55 miles) not cheap.  The tow operator was concerned about the scales, and we had to "detour out in the country a bit" as he put it, in order to get around them.  They can always find a way around them if they are worth their salt. 

You need a permit to breathe in Oklahoma.

BCO
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Red Rider
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« Reply #28 on: February 05, 2011, 04:03:29 PM »

Has anyone discussed the position of the insurance carrier in all this?
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Mike AKA; Red Rider 4106-1885
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« Reply #29 on: February 05, 2011, 04:10:01 PM »

If the towing bus has a manual trans then it is definitely a no.
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