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Author Topic: Replace passenger compartment of school bus with 20' shipping container?  (Read 9414 times)
Brassman
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« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2011, 07:55:30 PM »

On dog-nosed school buses they come to the bus builder as a cab and two long frame rails. The bus body unbolts, and you can lift the whole thing off in one piece if you wanted to. Make a nice cabin, or chicken coop, in its own right.
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Kevin Warnock
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« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2011, 07:57:56 PM »

This is great news that the passenger compartment can be lifted off a dog nose school bus! Would it be clear where to cut to separate the driver cab from the back compartment?

Is this the way all dob nose school buses are built, or only before or after a certain year?

Kevin Warnock
http://KevinWarnock.com - my blog
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buswarrior
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« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2011, 08:07:43 PM »

The dog nose chassis go to the bus builder with the hood and the steering wheel sticking out into space. The rest is added on.

You'd have to get under neath and intimate with the particular bus to choose the right place to cut in relation to the frame attachment points.

There's more to them than what attaches a truck body, as body/frame separation in a collision would fail the code.

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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mikewarmblood
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« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2011, 08:08:54 PM »

Forget schoolies I would get an old international straight truck with a DT466 and put the container on the back..  Schoolies are much better built than most busnuts think.  especially a Bluebird.   My opinion... Mike/  
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Kevin Warnock
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« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2011, 08:25:27 PM »

If I get a truck, won't I be forced into 'commercial truck insurance' which is what I'm trying to avoid by using a school bus, which, don't forget, has a negative cost to insure with AAA. Just so you can see the numbers:

My car plus a 40' school bus, per year, in San Francisco proper: $1,213
My car alone: $1,300+

Car is 2001 BMW 525i

The above quote is for $500K liability on car and bus, plus full comp and collision on car.

Kevin Warnock
http://KevinWarnock.com - my blog
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buswarrior
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« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2011, 08:37:51 PM »

something fishy, the word "Bus" puts insurance through the roof, comparatively.

Better get some clarification as to the details of what they think that other vehicle from your car is.

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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jackhartjr
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« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2011, 08:39:07 PM »

I am pretty sure I am right when I say as long as the truck/bus is 26,000 pounds or less it is under the DOT weight.  (DOT kicks in at 26,001 or more.)
Jack
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Iceni John
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« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2011, 08:48:03 PM »

Kevin, if you put an ISO shipping container on the frame rails of a typical skoolie, what about the rear wheel arches?   Some other things to think about:
1.  Shipping containers are immensely strong when they're supported by their twist-lock corners, but don't have anywhere near as much strength elsewhere.   You absolutely must support it by its corners, and not elsewhere.
2.  I've bought 13 containers so far at work for storage, seven 40' and six 20', and when positioning them on the ground we found they had to be shimmed at their corners to prevent them twisting if the ground was even slightly uneven.   The slightest twist means that the doors won't close or open easily, if at all, and won't have the completely airtight seal they should have.   (Have you ever seen pictures of containers that have fallen off ships in bad weather?   The darn things float for so long that they are considered a shipping hazard, and have to be dealt with by salvage companies or the coastguard!   When I worked on a gas platform in the North Sea we had a 20' container slide off the back of our supply boat as it was being offloaded, and it bobbed about in the sea for an hour or two until our standby boat could put a line on it and tow it back to the platform.   When we eventually opened its doors there was hardly any water in it!)
3.  Most skoolie bodies are attached by substantial bolted hangers to the frame rails, so it's not a major job to disembody them.   (However, don't try this with Crowns or Gilligs  -  their bodies are welded to the frame rails to make massively strong integral structures, so there's no easy way to take one of them apart!)   Even with this fairly basic construction technique, skoolies are still the toughest people-carriers on the road.   Have you seen videos of skoolie destruction races  -  they survive even deliberate ramming and crashes without too much serious structural failure.
4.  Some of the imaginative and fearless folk on the Skoolie forum have done, or have seen examples of others doing, serious reconstruction jobs, such as carrying a Mercedes Unimog on the back of a cut-down skoolie, or putting a logging crane and stake-bed platform on the rear half of a skoolie (imagine a log-carrying school bus!).   There's really very little one cannot do to them, and they're cheap enough that if it all goes wrong you scrap it and buy another to try again!

Good luck, John
« Last Edit: April 22, 2011, 08:57:16 PM by Iceni John » Logged

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mikewarmblood
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« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2011, 08:49:42 PM »

Most straight trucks that have what I am talking about  DT466 engine , hydrualic brakes can be rented by Ryder or budget. and driven by class F drivers.  A school bus is still a commercial vehicle and you need a schoolbus endorsement to drive one if registered as one which takes a class "B" liscense and that requires general knowledge plus a passenger endorsement then a Schoolbus endorsement.  Where anyone can rent a moving truck from ryder or Penske.  They have a DT466 and hydrualic brakes. When you get into airbrakes it gets sticky. BUT!! in Mo and South Dakota my buses are registered as motorhomes and the insurance is like 300 a year for me.  Even though I possess a class B lisence as I was a schoolbus driver.  I still have my buses registered as motorhomes.  If you get a straight truck with hydrualic brakes it is a truck and the word "BUS" never enters the conversation and you would be much further ahead.  And an international 4800 chassis with a DT 466 would be more than enough for your project.  The DT466 is one hell of an engine!!!!!  If you want to build something that won't use a bus as what it is  than go with a truck frame it is easier to find a shop that will repair it and the word bus won't make your costs more than you can afford.  My advice.   I love buses for what they are that is why I have them. But what you want to do you would be MUCH better off with a straight truck then cutting a bus apart to make basically a truck.  I mean that is what you will end up doing by cutting a bus down to the floor and all that mess. Worse comes to worse spend 10 G for an old tractor and ad some frame to it and then install the container. But again I would just get a straight truck and be done with it.   Easier in the long run cheaper in the long run and less trouble than cutting a bus apart.  Mike
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Kevin Warnock
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« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2011, 08:59:30 PM »

I was very clear with AAA today when getting the quote. I told them it's a 40' yellow school bus over and over. I expressed shock that the price to insure the bus conversion plus my BMW was less than just the BMW. We went over that several times as I was so shocked. GMAC wanted $529 per 6 months to insure just the bus conversion!

I will call on Monday to find out how much a Class 7 truck would cost to insure, but I suspect it won't be less than zero, like a school bus conversion with AAA appears to be.

Yes, I would love to just buy a truck and drop a container on the bed and be almost done with it... but not if I have to pay a lot for insurance. Remember the quote was $3,300 per year for a Class 8 truck and chassis trailer. Ouch.

Thanks for all these fantastic comments.

Kevin Warnock
http://KevinWarnock.com - my blog
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Kevin Warnock
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« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2011, 09:02:15 PM »

With regard to supporting the container by its 4 corner posts, yes, I will have to fabricate supports that clear the rear wheels of the bus.

Kevin Warnock
http://KevinWarnock.com - my blog
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Kevin Warnock
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« Reply #26 on: April 22, 2011, 09:12:06 PM »

When a bus is retitled a motorhome the insurance rate drops dramatically.

How about when a Class 7 or Class 8 truck is retitled to a motorhome? Does the insurance also drop dramatically?

TomC, how much is your truck conversion insurance, may I ask?

Maybe that's the trick to using a medium duty truck affordably... titling it a motorhome after I drop the shipping container on the back and outfit the container with living quarters.

Kevin Warnock
http://KevinWarnock.com - my blog
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mikewarmblood
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« Reply #27 on: April 22, 2011, 09:16:16 PM »

When a bus is retitled a motorhome the insurance rate drops dramatically.

How about when a Class 7 or Class 8 truck is retitled to a motorhome? Does the insurance also drop dramatically?

TomC, how much is your truck conversion insurance, may I ask?

Maybe that's the trick to using a medium duty truck affordably... titling it a motorhome after I drop the shipping container on the back and outfit the container with living quarters.

Kevin Warnock
http://KevinWarnock.com - my blog



EXACTLY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
« Last Edit: April 23, 2011, 12:52:20 PM by HighTechRedneck » Logged
mikewarmblood
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« Reply #28 on: April 22, 2011, 09:22:36 PM »

My RTS has a GVWR at 36000 LBS and it wieghs in at 27000 LBS unlaiden weight.   I PAY ABOUT 300 a year for insurance and it is registered as a motorhome. I would rtegister it as a motorhome and be done with it.  I think that is the best way to go. 2500.00 for a truck like the one I showed you with a Cummins m11 and the truck chassis with the tranny and all is about the best you will do. He is in Calif as I think you are.  That is the cheapest you will ever do and 300 HP is enough for what you want and much lighter than an 8v71 or any Detroit 2 stroke.  Plus you are way ahead 2500 for a truck frame and cab and all that this guy is offering.  Go for it!!!!  I would if I lived in Calif!!! I think you need to get that truck.   Mike.
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Kevin Warnock
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« Reply #29 on: April 22, 2011, 09:26:22 PM »

Anyone have any idea how much a truck conversion costs to insure?
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