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Author Topic: Charter bus security.  (Read 1341 times)
Len Silva
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« on: December 01, 2006, 06:28:00 PM »

Just a cutiosity for you charter/tour bus operators.  We had dinner at a local restaurant when a tour bus pulled in.  The driver and passengers settled in for dinner.  The bus was left running and unlocked. Some passengers drifted back to the bus while the driver was still having dinner.

I'm just curious....what's to stop someone, even one iof the passengers from taking the bus?  Is there some way to disable the coach while leaving it in this condition?

Wondering,

Len
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RJ
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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2006, 06:47:35 PM »

Len -

There is nothing preventing an informed person from jumping into the driver's seat and driving away with a coach that's sitting unoccupied, unlocked and idling.

Key word:  Informed.

IBME that most passengers haven't a clue what "all those buttons and switches are for", so naturally shy away from them.

Buswarrior, since he's still in the industry, could probably walk into any coach on the road today and be gone in under 30 seconds.

I've been out of the industry almost 10 years, so it might take me a little longer: 45 - 60 seconds or so.

How to prevent it?  Keep the door locked.  I always did, even if the passengers had to wait a few minutes for me.  If I had a tour escort, one of us was ALWAYS with the unlocked coach.  In that situation, the paying folk could come and go at their leisure.

IMHO, that driver was being irresponsible, for two reasons:  First - the lack of security.  Second - wasting diesel (but that's a topic for another thread).

Buses rarely get stolen, 18-wheelers are often better targets for the bad boys looking for their next fix.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
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tekebird
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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2006, 07:33:18 PM »

buses are rarely stolen, exxxxcept for the odd nut job, because:

The market is small, it's hard to sell it and not be caught

The market is not really looking for used parts due to liability

They are slow, even the fast ones.....so getaway is hard.

They generally have a big name on the side so even the slowest witted cop can ID it with closing speeds up to 200 mph

Trucks are more numerous......and often have valuble easily fenced product in the back. even different makes look similar at speeds.

.

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Abajaba
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« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2006, 07:35:37 PM »

When I was driving trips like that I would leave the door locked and let the passengers know that the bus was locked until I got back to it.  We told them this was for the security of their belongings.  Then I would make certain that the people were completely done with their meal before I would head for the bus.  That way several people would get to the bus with me and I would not be able to be accused of anything in regards to passenger belongings. 

There were several things that one had to look out for when driving charter.  Especially when the charter was a high school event like marching band and the kids had to change their clothes on the bus.  The kids in high school would be down to their skivvies, both boys and girls with the driver still on the bus doing their paperwork. Shocked  I got to the point where I would set the parking brake, high idle and DIVE out the door so there was nothing they could accuse me of.  I would stand just outside the door with my back against the bus to make certain that other people from other places would not get on the bus.  Some times the door wouldn't even be all the way open when I got there.

As far as disabling the bus with the engine running I don't know of any way to do that. Huh  But if the bus was shut down for the night and I had my doubts about the neighborhood, I would disable the starting circuits at the back of the bus.  That along with the fact that a lot of our buses had 7 speed unsynchronized manual transmissions would have stopped a lot of people before they got a good start. Grin Shocked
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pipes
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« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2006, 09:46:52 PM »

I have an 05 eagle.... Not ready for the road yet!..
.I installed a  10 speed trans in it, took out the the clutch and throttle rods.Now I have air operated CLUTCH and THROTTLE, With a hidden shut off.. Plus other safety gizmos
« Last Edit: December 01, 2006, 09:49:28 PM by pipes » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2006, 10:21:18 PM »

As far as disabling the bus with the engine running I don't know of any way to do that. Huh

Some sort of lock thru or over the park brake poppet could do it.

Might be a smart safety upgrade for some of us bus RV'ers with pets or small children. I know I've accidently sat on mine a few times when monkeying with the driver's elec. panel.  If a dog or kid pushed that thing down... ack!

Just an idea,
Brian B.
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Brian Brown
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niles500
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« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2006, 11:24:37 PM »

Shortly someone will give the DOG STORY ..... truth is stranger than fiction .....
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JackConrad
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« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2006, 06:17:15 AM »

I am working on a 102A3 that was purchased from MCI by Coach America, so it started it's life as a tour/charter bus. It has a lock installed that will lock the parking brake in the applied position. Remove the key and the bus is not going to move. The lock is installed in a 1/8" SS bracket that is bolted on 2 sides (very difficult, if not impossible to bend out of the way).
PS: I did not stay at a Holiday Inn last night, but this is my 500th post LOL.  Jack
« Last Edit: December 02, 2006, 06:29:19 AM by JackConrad » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2006, 08:24:51 AM »

Hello Len.

You were witness to a most unprofessional display.

The group's belongings, the neighbours listening and smelling that thing, and the profits of the charter being reduced.

Buses are rarely stolen, as already noted.

Money comes easier to busing, so buying new parts isn't a problem and there is not a large group of hungry independants to fence the bus or its parts to.

Along with the mentioned "anti-theft" tricks, pulling the battery switch, that is behind a locked door on the newer buses, is also good for slowing down the uninformed.

For the pets and kids, for a busnut, once you are parked, drain the air tanks, or pump the brakes down. No air, no misadventure!  The handbrake crowd may fashion a prop or a little chain, depending on your configuration, to prevent the handle from moving to the "unintended adventure" position

happy coaching!
buswarrior

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bubbaqgal
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« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2006, 10:02:31 PM »

Several years ago I was on a bus trip from ND to SC and we stopped for breakfast one morning. Everyone left the bus at the same time.   The bus doors were left unlocked and open.  I arrived back at the bus at the same time as a fairly unsavory charactor which didn't particularly bother me until I looked at the seat behind me.  A little boy. around 3 years old, was sleeping there while his parents went in the restaurant to eat.  Even after the time I arrived back, there was plenty of time to have taken the child and been miles away before anyone would have noticed.  I could not believe any parent would be that careless with their childs safety or that the driver would have allowed it (although he may not have realized it at the time)  Cat
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Tim Strommen
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« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2006, 05:45:47 PM »

A trick from all those Police cars out here on the left coast (only needs a few relays):

One button (typically hidden), one SPDT relay (coil connected to brake light line - energizes when brakes are pushed), connected to the coil of the next DPDT relay via the common and Normally closed ("on" when coil is "off") pins, then to system power (fused) and the ignition circuit (via Diode).

The button (connected to the keyswitch for the ignition) when the ignition is on (via the key) allows a short pulse to go thought coil of the second relay - closing the circuit and holding the relay "on".  The relay keeps the ignition circuit powered, allowing the key to be removed from the ignition.  If someone pushed the brake pedal hard enough to turn on the brake light - it energizes the first relay breaking the circuit and opening the ignition circuit (the engine will die immediately).

An expansion of this, if one has an electric-air shifter (like found on the classic HT740) would be to have the second half of the second relay (active when the circuit is in use only) hooked up to the local power supply for the "up-shift/down-shift" switch.  This would prevent the transmission from being put in gear without a key in the ignition and the brake pedal being pushed (to clear the hold in place circuit - this would not require a brake application before each shift operation).

I'm going to do this now that I've been reminded of it by you guys (thanks! Grin )

Cheers!

-Tim
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