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Author Topic: Does anyone want to help the Wolf Bus?  (Read 3166 times)
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« on: April 30, 2011, 10:19:18 AM »

An organization which carries wolves on a bus from place to place to educate has broken down in SLC.


http://www.missionwolf.com/page/BrokenBus/
http://www.missionwolf.com/


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Broken Bus
Thank You Everyone for your support and concern for the broken wolf bus- Kent and Tracy have very limited internet access and will post up dates as soon as possible. The bus, Kent, Tracy, Magpie, Abraham and Zeab, will be sitting in the diesel shop in Salt Lake City Utah thru next week. Please see the CBS interview for more information.


We need to raise $30,000-$35,000 thousand dollars for the fix. Please if anyone can help us with this substantial expense you can donate online here or contact the sancuary at info@missionwolf.com or 719-859-2157.

Both the bus engine and the transmission are completely trashed and are being rebuilt. For over a decade we have been blessed to make this old marine corp bus, that we converted into the wolf bus, run from coast to coast teaching hundreds of thousands of people the true nature of wolves.

We look forward to continuing the ambassador wolf program in a reliable running vehicle for a few more years. Sponsors for the wolf program such as the Bend Oregon High Desert Museum and Defenders of Wildlife have graciously rescheduled our events. Thank You Very Much! Tracy Ane Brooks Co-Founder Mission:Wolf

Update 4/29/11=
The bus is getting worked on, the wolves just finished a sunset howl in SLC, and we have over 50% of our goal achieved. Cheers from the wolf bus.
All content copyright ©1986-2011 Mission: Wolf. All rights reserved
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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2011, 01:20:02 PM »

i don't know much about smith power, but they don't seem to have chosen to act in M:W best interests in offering to do a $40k rebuild of their engine.  Seems to me a good rebuilt engine would have been a better option.  obviously, i don't know the time frames, what they asked them to do, but i sure would not have planned on, and don't plan on, a $40k repair on my bus.  not ever.

hopefully, they'll join the board so they don't get hosed in the future.
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Tom
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2011, 08:37:32 PM »

im with white eagle on the costs. It can be done cheaper than 35k.
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2011, 09:22:41 PM »

Probably an inappropriate comment...however when you are spending other folks money...
Jack
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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2011, 09:30:22 PM »

Call me crazy but wouldnt they of been better off with a new (used) bus? Especially with as cheap as they are selling right now.  I know I would of sold mine for less then that and I would of helped switch everything over lol.
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2011, 05:29:03 AM »

Yeah I had a bad experience in SLC with my bus.  The shops there seemed really high.  I lost that bus in salina KS when the engine finally took a dump on me, and they wanted 8,000 for a rebuild. That was Central Detroit.  35,000 seems a bit over the top.  Greed that is all it is GREED. 
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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2011, 07:03:41 AM »

Really inappropriate comment here... do the mechanics have to fight off the wolves when they are working? If so, that might explain the high costs. Grin
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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2011, 07:33:28 AM »

Smith Power is a good shop I read where it was a rebuild on the engine and transmission you can stand 5 ft from a Allison , Voilt or ZF transmission and fill it with 100 dollar bills in a hurry add the 2 together big bucks,you guys are a little ruff on the DD shops not knowing what was bad in the engine  lol 


Good luck
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2011, 07:37:00 AM »

That's for the engine AND transmission overhaul.  I think a lot of you are not knowing shop costs these days.  I know at my shop we charge $105.00/hr.  When you figure labor at about 120 hours for an engine overhaul and about 30 hours for the transmission, that's $15,750.00 in labor alone.  Then the left over $20,000.00 for the parts.  And none of us know exactly what went wrong with the engine and transmission.  The engine/transmission may be so trashed they had to do a complete rebuild on them.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2011, 07:42:47 AM »

P.S: I get the 120 hours for an engine overhaul from my own experience.  My own big rig with Caterpillar 3406B had to be in frame overhauled.  Starting on Monday, they tore it down, then had three shifts working around the clock to have it ready by Friday at 3pm.  I added a few more hours to that to get 120 hours since the engine is completely out of the bus, whereas mine was done inside the truck.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2011, 07:46:16 AM »

We only charge 65 here, and often do extra stuff at no charge. But we are out in the country... expenses are minimal compared to the cities
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« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2011, 08:04:57 AM »

I agree with Clifford & Tom on this one. Not knowing what happened to the old engine & transmission, but reading that BOTH had to be replaced/REBUILT I'd say the prices are not that bad.
Also I spent a week in the Smith Power Services Shop back in '09 when our mechanic (at that time) & I took a SETRA training course that was co-sponsored by SPS. Having been in the Smith shop and experiencing the level of training, expertise, and equipment there I really feel those are fair prices to rebuild both.
Now as far as to the question of spending that kind of $ on a bus of that age I probable wouldn't agree it is wise to do.
We don't know what the mechanical failure that led to the bus being hauled into SPS on a Landoll. But in my experience if it has to be towed it is going to be expensive! (shoot in my experience if it has to be repaired at all it can be expensive!)

If I were the Wolf crew I would have looked at other alternatives.

I know for one I have a bus I **MIGHT** have donated to them and maybe could have even gotten other members from the board that would have donated time/materials to convert it for them. (**depending on circumstances, and if a tax deductible certificate were available. Or maybe should it to them CHEAP if not!)
Grin  BK  Grin
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« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2011, 09:10:03 AM »

For the record...my comment had nothing to do with the shop...or the cause for that matter.
Jack
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« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2011, 11:03:12 AM »

When I was a kid I had a puppy that was scared of the newpaper, because when she wa a little puppy the people that raised her used the newspaper all the time as the way to train and punish the puppies  Humans are the same way.  I had a real bad experience with the shops in SLC the lack of compassion the lack of concern and being held hostage at one place (Little America) I just don't like them and don't ever want to deal with them and I am sharing my feelings as for how i was treated. Because of one shop not replacing an aircompressor cause they said that that was not the problem the aircompressor exploded inside and sent the air from the coach (had air start as well) into the engine through the explosion and blew the orings off two liners.  So unless a have a much better experience from them I will never change my feelings.  I know what time is worth and I know that they have overhead and all that.  But untill i get rich and have means I HAVE to do things differently.  I learned how to fix a lot of things from not having the funds to have a shop fix my bus.  I am sure that there are benevilant shops out there that are not greedy and will help a fellow when in need. Unfortunatly I haven't been blessed to find them yet. Once I do I may have a different attitude for them. Also not ever being able to be hired by one because of whatever reason don't help my attitude towards them either. We learn from experience and my experience from them has been mostly negative. So if anyone knows a diesel shop around the Springfield (Mo) Area that wants to give me a chance to work on buses without all the B.S and will give  OJT  let me know.  Attitudes can change.  Mike.
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« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2011, 12:20:55 PM »

My response was more towards the fact that I cant see sinking that much money into a bus of its age. Theres plenty of road ready rigs out there for WAY less. I didnt give a fraction of that for my whole bus! perhaps I got the deal of a life time I dont know!

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« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2011, 02:39:15 PM »

Yeah you're right.  I can get a 2004 Van Hool for about 80 grand.  For some reason Eagles are much cheaper than 15 years ago.   That Van Hool is 7 years old  I remember 7 years ago a 7 year old van hool the same company wanted 190,000 for the same aged bus. I don't know why the engine and tranny was 35 Gs to rebuild but hopefully they will have a bus that will last another 20 years.  I hope the best for them.. Mike.
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« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2011, 02:48:47 PM »

It is catch 22 for the shop.

If they price out top quality service with longterm reliability in mind, they get abused for being so expensive.

If the shop tries to provide the most cost effective short term fix, then they get beat up for not doing quality preventive maintenance.


Not knowing all the facts, it is hard to tell if the shop is being fair or not.

Sure, I'd suggest they spend a little time on the phone looking for alternative solutions like a used power train, or even another bus. But, they may have a schedule to meet & taking the time to do that may not be the best option.
(If their schedule is that tight, maybe they should reevaluate it to allow for this sort of thing. . . )

If the bus owner told the shop they had to have a warranty on the work, I would do exactly as the shop did.
If the bus owner wanted a fixed "not to exceed price" quote, my quote would reflect the most dependable long term solution - not the most cost effective short term.

Used engines are unknown & as such, impossible to put a fixed cost on ahead of time. I know several who went with a used engine only to have to rebuild it within a couple of years. But I know more who went the used engine route & are still going strong.

Seems a bit irresponsible to not have a contingency plan to handle this type of situation tho. . . .

(Pan handling & asking for donations after the fact isn't much of a plan.) 
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« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2011, 02:50:50 PM »

What if you don't like wolves?
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« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2011, 03:07:45 PM »

WOOOOOOOFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF
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« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2011, 08:37:50 PM »

"(Pan handling & asking for donations after the fact isn't much of a plan."

I dpon't know about that. They seem to have done not bad getting it.
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« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2011, 06:35:56 AM »

I've been pan handling this AM.  (Had to... would have got beaned with the frying pan if I didnt)...  Grin
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« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2011, 03:34:00 PM »

"(Pan handling & asking for donations after the fact isn't much of a plan."

I dpon't know about that. They seem to have done not bad getting it.

Didn't say pan handling wouldn't work. Obviously it does as evidenced by those with the cardboard signs at strategic locations.

Seems to me that good planning doesn't depend on the kindness of multitudes of strangers . . . .

Luck favors the prepared.  Wink
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« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2011, 03:50:26 PM »

That's just it. Kindness is so awesome. I mean what is the big deal if folks give to help a fellow in need. Are they affraid that if they give something their heads will explode?? The private bus owners circle is not that big we all need to help when we can. I had an RTS question I was worried about something cause i am not home soneone on the RTS site put me at ease. It's small things that make a difference and if someone lost an engine I am sure there are folks on here that are loaded with parts, what's wrong with giving from your surplus? Just like in the spare tire ,engine for sale 1000.00 Just becuase the limit is 1000 don't mean you have to charge the limit for something. My opinion.  Nothing is as pleasing than putting a smile on someone's face.  It's just great.  I have been stuck and in the middle of nowhere for HOURS AND HOURS!! and no one would help me.  It is an awful lonely feeling and I wish that on no one!!!  As far as wolves. I don't mind them as long as I don't own horses or cattle!  They are wonderful animals if under control and not over populating the country. 
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« Reply #23 on: May 02, 2011, 04:01:21 PM »

This board has 100's of bus people that will go the extra mile for others in need a few want to sell and make a buck because it is their lively hood but most don't try it the next time when having trouble

good luck
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« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2011, 04:27:29 PM »

Bus people are usually the nicest people i ever met. They are a lot like bluegrass folks. Just nice and willing to lend a hand.  I wish I could make a living with buses. I don't know how to do it.  There is a shop near me in Mo. He has 20 John Deere tractors for sale loads of International tractors and a host of different makes plus trucks loaders dozers trailers  combines. He has engines coming out of his ears!!He had an old 6n71 that was laying in the grass. I asked him about it and he told me the first 5000.00 gets it. It is those people I can't stand.  I lost a bus in Kentucky the guy who gave it to me was in Tenn. The bus was at a truck stop (40ft fishbowl)  The owner of the truck shop told me right off the bat he hated bus people saying they can't afford to have their crap fixed and won't waste anytime with me. I got there and got batteries cause he took the ones that were in the bus,  and then I got the bus started he helped a little and the bus stalled. couldn't get it started again and he told me the fuel line was bad it would be 1000s to fix and so I had no choice but to leave the bus plus he wanted like 700 for storage fees. Come to find out that the water was low.  Lack of experience on my part.  I just had a lot of bad luck with truck shops.  and everytime I see a city bus in someone's yard the owner is usually retired and wants like telephone numbers for it.  Very very dishaertening.  Really is.  As I said before once i have a good experience from a truck shop and a private seller I will have an attitude change.  On here I have great experiences from you all  haven't been chastised or whathaveyou and so bus boards have been wonderful for me as I never had a bad experience on these yet.  Truck shops to me are bank account vacuum cleaners.and when I see figures like 35,000 for an overhual I see red and I feel real bad for the underdog, and I admit that is my jaded outlook on them.   If I ever get the chance to work with one and one would give me a chance and give me a little OJT I would certainly retract my attitudes.  Or if I have a real successful bus business repair business maybe living on that side of the fence would temper my jaded outlook on shops. Or if I have two Prevosts a MC102 or MC9 maybe the jealousy would leave me.
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« Reply #25 on: May 02, 2011, 05:19:22 PM »

That's just it. Kindness is so awesome. . . .

Yes it is & I know first hand from both sides & I can assure you that I like being on the giving side much better than on the receiving.

The Boy Scout motto "Be Prepared" comes to mind.

Good planning  means that you are more often in the position to give, rather than experience the hopeless while waiting on that kindness. . . . 

I just think it is irresponsible to count on that kindness & forgo proper preparations. That is abusive & disrespectfull to those who do help as that reduces their ability to help others.

Are we not challenged to be responsible stewards of the gifts HE has entrusted us with?

BTW, when it comes to putting a price on parts - it depends on how bad the owner wants to sell or keep it. I sort my extra parts as spares or surplus. The spare parts are the ones I have for my personal use & aren't really for sale, however, if someone is in need, I will price it according to the difficulty of replacing it.
The surplus parts are priced based on how likely the recipient is to "pass it on" or help others.

As for pricing, it isn't cheap or easy for me to collect some of these parts. In spite of the cost involved, on several occasions, I have not only given a part away, I've paid for the shipping. Other times, I've sold the parts for what I thought was a strong price. Those that bought didn't hesitate or dicker & were glad to have the part. I find it curious that the ones that paid for the parts are the most likely to keep in touch. I find it sad that with few exceptions, those that got the parts for free seldom bother to keep in touch.
Those that do keep in touch are great friends.

Just my way. . . .
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« Reply #26 on: May 02, 2011, 05:29:13 PM »

Quote from: mikewarmblood
  Or if I have a real successful bus business repair business maybe living on that side of the fence would temper my jaded outlook on shops. Or if I have two Prevosts a MC102 or MC9 maybe the jealousy would leave me.

Mike,
I'm sorry that you've had bad experiences with shops & etc.
But hey I tell ya what come on down to TN and sign some papers taking over payments on just 3 buses and I'll give you 9 of them along with the telephone #, the website, all the contracts and contacts, and the $20,000 in monthly notes to go with them and you can have your very own successful bus business!
I'm not trying to be rude or hateful.
But the fact is my family and I put our pants on one leg at a time just like everyone else and we have lots of bills to pay just like anyone else and from time to time we have to pay out huge amounts to quality shops to have quality and warrantied repairs done in order to keep our buses dependable and on the road!
It's a fact of life and most of (not all) the shops that get slammed for the high repair bills you hear about have huge overhead bills too and are not just ripping people off as they are often accused of.

Yes there are some shady shops that are lurking for their next victim. But these are usually your out of the way "cheaper" shops more often than factory authorized dealers!
JMHO!
Grin  BK  Grin  
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« Reply #27 on: May 02, 2011, 06:54:26 PM »

Quote from: mikewarmblood
  Or if I have a real successful bus business repair business maybe living on that side of the fence would temper my jaded outlook on shops. Or if I have two Prevosts a MC102 or MC9 maybe the jealousy would leave me.

Mike,
I'm sorry that you've had bad experiences with shops & etc.
But hey I tell ya what come on down to TN and sign some papers taking over payments on just 3 buses and I'll give you 9 of them along with the telephone #, the website, all the contracts and contacts, and the $20,000 in monthly notes to go with them and you can have your very own successful bus business!
I'm not trying to be rude or hateful.
But the fact is my family and I put our pants on one leg at a time just like everyone else and we have lots of bills to pay just like anyone else and from time to time we have to pay out huge amounts to quality shops to have quality and warrantied repairs done in order to keep our buses dependable and on the road!
It's a fact of life and most of (not all) the shops that get slammed for the high repair bills you hear about have huge overhead bills too and are not just ripping people off as they are often accused of.

Yes there are some shady shops that are lurking for their next victim. But these are usually your out of the way "cheaper" shops more often than factory authorized dealers!
JMHO!
Grin  BK  Grin  


Better yet since I am not near you I am in the next state. Tell me how to gtet to that point to where I can afford 20gs in payments and not go under.  I agree with both of you. That is why for one I don't drive my buses accross this country as I can't afford to repair one or even fuel one right now. I beleive that yes you should be prepaired and keep your equipment in top condition if you rely on it to carry you all over the place. Most certainly.  I guess I just had bad luck. I hate storage places. I had a really nice RTS 1984 40 ft 102 wide with a 6v92 DD when I lived in Tullahoma Tn  lost my job lost the bus that is the 4th bus I lost no wait 5th.  To be honest would be nice if one day I see a bus and someone will let me have it.  Not going to happen and that is fantasy land but would be nice.  However seriously if anyone has suggestions for someone like me that would like to get into the business what is your advice. I live in S/W Missouri and about 180 miles from St Louis and 180 from Kansas City. and about 50 from Springfield Mo.   A lot of cities around me and stuff.  I would like to do something with buses. I think that driving them and owning a fleet has been done and there are enough of them guys around. But what else.  Instead of crying the blues of losing a lot of buses  and all that crap..Got to be a way for me to get deeper into buses..  Thanks for allowing me to vent!! Mike. 
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« Reply #28 on: May 02, 2011, 07:58:13 PM »

Tom all I can tell ya is we're in debt up to our ears with the purchase we made 2 yrs ago of another bus company and the buses that came with it.

But we started out in business with an older bus that we paid cash for and as time went on we bought another old bus and paid cash for it and then again and again until we had 5 buses all older but paid for and making $ chartering them! 

Then we went a million $ in debt buying out the other company and it's been a struggle since! (of course the economy took a dump about the same time we made our deal too!)

Honestly in this economy I don't encourage anyone to go into the bus biz unless they want to make a small fortune. (By starting with a big fortune and it will get smaller as you go! )

Best advice I have is to get a job driving a bus and go from there !
(I know around here the drivers, the finance co, the ins co, and the OIL companies are the only ones making any $!)
Grin  BK  Grin
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« Reply #29 on: May 02, 2011, 08:13:09 PM »

I think they're crying wolf Grin
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« Reply #30 on: May 02, 2011, 08:24:20 PM »

I am thinking of like repairing buses  not engine or drivetrain as I don't have the Detroit tools and God knows what else. but maybe something else.  I don't know  something that is a niche market.. What is the most annoying thing in this business something that you HATE and wish someone else would do.  I mean is cleaning the seats is it  a pain or is rust repair?? I have reparied rust and am good at it but where i live   would bus companies send their buses to my location??  what can I do to get my foot in the door.  I would love to have a fleet of buses and be like Cavello or Greyhound or jefferson lines... but that has been done.  So what would you have some company do that you just HATE?Huh   there has got to be a way to make a small liveable living.  and be able to grab an MC9 slong the way Grin
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« Reply #31 on: May 02, 2011, 09:10:43 PM »

Quote from: mikewarmblood
So what would you have some company do that you just HATE?Huh   there has got to be a way to make a small liveable living.  and be able to grab an MC9 slong the way Grin

Yes there is! I hate making the payments every month! Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
www.kylakesidetravel.net

Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
white-eagle
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« Reply #32 on: May 03, 2011, 05:43:49 AM »

Tom all I can tell ya is we're in debt up to our ears with the purchase we made 2 yrs ago of another bus company and the buses that came with it.

Grin  BK  Grin

BK, how'd i get into this?  my comments were much, much earlier and i never said i wanted a bus business, although i might consider driving for one at some point (no bills, no planning, just drive and get paid :-) )
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Tom
1991 Eagle 15 and proud of it.
8V92T, 740, Fulltime working on the road.

Fran was called to a higher duty 12/16/13. I lost my life navigator.
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