Shuttle Bus Considerations
Here are the top 10 things you need to know about buying a used shuttle bus.
3. Seating Capacity
Additionally, this is further dictated by the manufacturer's placard stating the number of seats that the bus was designed for. Simply removing some seats will not change the CDL requirement per the placard.
The most common thought is that diesels give you better mileage. However, in the past five years or so, improvements in gasoline efficiencies have negated the diesel advantage. Gas or diesel, you can figure on 8 to 10 mpg depending on speed, load, temperature, and location.
If you are insistent on having a diesel or the bus that you are looking at is a diesel, you will find the 7.3 liter PowerStroke diesel in 2003 and earlier chassis. And, while the newer 6.0 liter diesel earned a poor reputation on its introduction in 2003, this engine did not arrive in the E-series used in shuttle buses until 2004, long after those issues were resolved.
In fact, the later years of the 6.0 Liter Ford Diesel has enjoyed better reliability statistics than the 7.3 PowerStroke engine.
Additionally, due to the initial added cost of the new diesel engine, more and more users are switching back to gasoline power, making used diesel powered buses harder and harder to come by.
In the large chassis, GM 5500, Internationals and Freightliners, diesels are all that is available. The GM Duramax has a good track record, as does the Cummins typical of the International and Freightliner chassis. With the larger chassis, you can figure on 6 to 8 mpg depending on speed, load, temperature, and location.
Rear heaters should be under the seats. If they are in the middle of the aisle, this is an indication that the bus came out of a parking lot application and that someone has turned the seats around to make the bus more marketable. Beware on this, because parking usage are some of the most severe shuttle bus applications.
Walk the floor of the bus. Beware if you feel soft spots (mushy or spongy), especially around the entrance and wheelchair doors and behind the rear wheel wells. Generally speaking you are looking at over $5,000 to replace flooring.
8. Air Conditioning
9. Prior Use
This article is courtesy of Mid America Coach, www.midamericacoach.com.