FarmerFixEmUp

School Buses we Rode on as Kids

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My first one was a KB7 very long tandem axle no heat in the winter. Driver was SID, didn't know last name. When we moved the bus's were Chevy's.At times we had a fill in bus that was a 30s vintage very short nose more like the old ones used in Yellow stone park. Might have been Whites?

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Diamond Reo  chassis , Yep! for sure, think ,I remember that on the hood ?  I feel sorry don't have a picture , no year books , 

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I remember my dad was on the school board and when they annex us into the new district,  he would bring home all those new bus  catalogs ,  

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15 hours ago, dale560 said:

Any of you guys ever work on a 🚌 bus? Our school districts some owned busses and some contracted routes . Right around us were  a few farm families that owned a bus and ran a route. I used to do some maintenance on those. When you had to go underneath like clutch or pulling an Allison on one you would cut your hands from all those screws ran down through the floorboards. The trim seats middle aisle were all self tapped down. Christmas break and summer time we would do maintenance on them.

yes loadstars and S-series all with allisons,  loadstars 345s-392s S series 6.9s 7.3s and 9 liters

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8 hours ago, augercreek said:

My first one was a KB7 very long tandem axle no heat in the winter. Driver was SID, didn't know last name. When we moved the bus's were Chevy's.At times we had a fill in bus that was a 30s vintage very short nose more like the old ones used in Yellow stone park. Might have been Whites?

I don't  think I ever saw a school bus with tandems.

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3 hours ago, R190 said:

don't  think I ever saw a school bus with tandems.

Concur.

best, randy

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I had to walk or ride bike to school until I got drivers card.--Then drove Dad's 48 GMC grain truck when he was'nt hauling corn with it. thanks; sonny

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Grades 1-12 all buses were IH Loadstars,  grade 1-4 the bus drivers name was Mrs Gerlack ,Nicest lady ever!  she gave out Bazooka Bubble Gum every friday.

She was not much taller than we were in 4th grade , I remember she had blocks of wood mounted to the clutch,brake and gas pedals ,

She would let the boys operate the front door lever to get off the bus ,

She laid the bus on it's side 2 times that I know of , once with my older sister in it and another time with me . A few bumps and bruises

and teary eyed kids ,  Both times were pulling into the Haynes School parking lot , 

After looking at my 67 travelall pedal setup (looks identical to bus)  it reminded me of Mrs Gerlack's short legs working them and how bad I wanted to try

driving the bus.        (Great Thread !  )

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My bus in Indiana was a mid 40s chevy 28 passenger. 4spd   The school had 5 buses driver owned. the school was small my senior class had 5 boys 5 girls junior class 1 boy 4 girls   bus body I am sure was a Hicks made in Lebanon In

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First bus I rode was a Chevy (1949 I think)

Then a Dodge

Then an IH

above all hauled me

 

A 1976 Chevy with a 350 and a 4 speed

A 1980 Chevy with a 350 and a 4 speed

A 1988 Ford with a 3208

An 2009 IH with a T444E

 

above were busses I drove

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On ‎1‎/‎4‎/‎2018 at 2:38 PM, MTO said:

What I remember about the buses was the cool smell they had. 

Even after years of use, they still had that smell. 

And I remember the loud engine fans above the sounds of everything else. They just roared!

With 4 of my drivers Darwin, Loyd, Delbert, and Gordon that smell was Lucky Strike or Marlboro. Sure you won't smell that today.

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Brought back some repressed memories for me lol.. Ridding the bus wasn't exactly some of my fondest memories from school. Only  good part was visiting with friends when all the other kids were actually behaving. For grade 1-about grade 8 maybe 9 we had the same bus driver. Older fellow that drove as slow as molasses and wouldn't stay home no matter the weather. -40 the *)(# bus would still be running even though the school board said to shut down at -40. He did keep things in a relatively good order on the bus. Kids didn't misbehave to much. After him we ended up with a little younger guy maybe in his late 40tys early 50tys. He drove quicker but had absolutely zero discipline on the bus. It got so bad that the principal actually started to ride the bus on occasion. He finally came to me one day and said do what needs to be done to keep some order on the bus. I've got your back he said. Things got a little better after that but there was only so much a 15 year old could do too. You can only give so many black eyes before you start to draw attention to yourself lol.. Felt bad for the younger kids that did behave when I graduated. Wasn't anyone really left to look out for them. Was about 30 little hellions on there that wouldn't listen to much. Some of them I got along with pretty good but some needed a good hard kick in the back side. I actually suggested to the principal he kick in a little gas money for me and I'd just drive myself to school every day.lol. Driving a 78 buick lesabre didn't help that argument though lol.. Told me to go buy a street bike and we'd talk lol.

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not the first bus I rode but the one I remember the most  brand new 1970 IH.  First or second week in service the bus stalled at the top of a steep hill and back down the hill we went backwards  into a tree at the bottom. Luckily no one was seriously hurt

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 I was one of the last to get on the bus in grade school. I had to stand because the bus was so full. Way over capacity. I don't think  that would happen today Even if they tried not enough children around here to fill it.

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     Started out in a Dodge with a stick then an International S 1900 gas with an auto and finally an International S 1900 diesel with an auto. All were 66 passengers  and can't remember the Dodge body builder, just that the seats were each either one of three colors set in a pattern like a rainbow. Both Internationals had Thomas bodies with army green vinyl seats. 

      Was on the bus when it slid backwards on solid ice into the ditch hitting a tree with the emergency door, then the front slid in the ditch and the bus laid almost completely on its right side. Some ditch trees and brush keep it from completely laying on its side, but it was at a steep enough angle that all the kids on the left landed on the kids on the right with everybody screaming except my brother and I. Somehow the bus driver managed to get the door open and us kids out with nobody really hurt except for us on the right had a few bumps and bruises from being piled on from the kids on the left.

     The last years I rode before I started driving myself, we had a husband and wife team drive and they were stern, but very nice and on the last day of school for the year would keep a large cooler beside the driver's seat filled with king sized candy bars they would hand out as we got off. The wildest thing that happened was when Stan, the husband driver, pulled into the High School parking lot one very snowy day with only us six freshman on board and riding in the very back seats, and cranked the wheel and floored it doing a full 360* cookie on snow packed asphalt on purpose in the wide open lot. We all cheered as he looked up into the observation mirror mounted above his head with a big smile on his face. As we got off the bus, with a grin on his face he said, "Now nobody needs to hear about this, right?"  We said, "We never saw anything Stan." It felt like you were spinning at a 100 MPH in the back of that bus, man that was fun.

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BEING OUT IN THE COUNTY WE WENT INTO CERTAIN FARM YARDS AND TURNED AROUND. THE LADY CRANKED IT TO SHORT AND GOT THE BUS UNDER THE EAVE OF A CHICKEN COUP. POKED A HOLE IN THE BUS ROOF. SNOW BLEW IN GOING TO SCHOOL THAT DAY...

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Elementary school in the late-1960's I rode number 21 which was IH gas with 2-speed rear end.  I think all our newer buses had it at the time.  Whenever I could I would sit up front to watch "Ron" shift and use that red button.  I always thought Ron was cool cuz on snow covered roads he would just dump the clutch and spin a bit when starting out.  Occasionally we would have to ride the spare bus, old number 9 which was a Mack (1950's I'm guessing) with rounded fenders and bulldog up on the hood.  It was a pain to shift and no matter what driver we had there was lots of grinding noises involved.  Rumor had it that the brakes were no good, according to the older kids.  Our school district had a lot of steep grades so we rode on chains a lot during winter months.  Looking back on those hills, some with stops on the way up or down, there was some death defying driving happening there.  Then again, many of our drivers were farmers so they  knew what they were doing!  The new buses nowadays are all automatics - takes all the fun out if you ask me.

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I remember for at least part of my first school year I rode a bus (don't know the year but it was the 1941-1947 body) pointed front Chevrolet, it had foot starter and little trigger just below gear shift knob that you pulled up to get reverse (4 speed).  One of the local farmer's wife drove it.  It had bench seats full length of the bus along each wall and then two down the center back to back.  (4 rows)  You would be swaying back and forth at stops and starts.  We didn't know it at the time, but I think we invented the wave.

The windows were normal opening but full length glass that dropped down in the walls.  To keep the kids in, on the outside bottom half  of each window there was a 3  horizontal rod set up hinged on the bottom rod and (in an emergency) you could thump or kick them at the top and they would hinge  open from the top down.   I don't think it had a rear door. 

Later there were two 72 passenger K Series Internationals, and two 1950 GMC 72 passenger.  Superior bodies.

Later my route got a new 54 Chevy with Bluebird body.  Maybe 54 passenger? 

Once in the late 50s at night our school caught fire.  It burned down four rooms.  The thought was that there were some rags in a janitor's closet that combined with cleaning chemical, combusted.  It so happens our bus driver was the janitor.  Anyway, the morning of the fire he drove our bus like crazy around the route telling everyone there would be no school that day. (think Paul Revere)  He apparently drove into a hole somewhere and busted a rear spring that morning.  (empty bus)  It stuck up through the floor.  The bus was leaning badly.  It was not until much later years that I thought about the driver seemed a little sheepish when he stopped to tell us about the school burning.  Maybe he was at fault on two counts.  (My dad was a school trustee).  In my senior year our school treated us to a trip to a foreign country.  (Monterrey, Mexico. )  Our VoAg teacher drove that 54 Chevy 6 to Monterrey.  Most of the time he held it on 70mph.  Had no problems with it on the trip.   One of the coaches rigged up an auto radio with alligator clips. so we had music

A note on that foot starter , in 1950 my dad bought a new 3/4 ton GMC , it had foot starter, and as time went on and it got harder to start, we boys learned to operate the starter and gas pedal at the same time with the right foot to get it warmed up.   I believe it was a Buick 6 engine. 

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Our school had private contractors, several of them at one time, most kept a couple different busses in case one was down, I remember Margo had a couple 197x? Chevys with 366 engines ( I know this because years later I was looking for engine blocks) the Abbotts had international busses, usually the 80’s square nose and I remember one 70’s loadstar . But my favorite bus was from high school he went by “stubby” an 83’ international/ Thomas rated for 47 passengers sitting and 7 standing. He was always breaking down or catching fire. But he had class. I distinctly remember having one person had to run out with a wheel chock if the parking spot was too steep ( hydraulic brakes) I also remember sitting up front coaching the athletic director through double clutching. His synchros were all worn out de 15-20 years worth of inept drivers. We had some old busses back in the day, you don’t see that anymore, had a bunch of vans too, an 82 ford club wagon 350 with sliding door and a center isle . Held 22 kids if they were friendly, an 83 ford Long body with van seats, each of those had 300-6 and 3spd auto. Had a 93, and 94 Chevy 1 ton LWB and also a 95’ Beauville LWB with a 350. The year I graduated they bought an 03’ Chevy short bus, got it new from the local dealer. 

I went into kindergarten in 89’ and graduated high school in 03’

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Our buses were all  late 70s chevy c70 , Lady that drove last few years was screwin the bus mechanic . she drove a 1,5 hour route in 45 minutes as hard as that thing could run, Bet she ground that two speed rear end a 100.000 miles trying to shift to fast , Once plowed into a flooded bottom in between two creeks 3-4 foot deep  trying to keep from going around,

What was funny is i think the bus mechanic was servicing about 3-4 lady drivers and once we got closer to town the CB radio fights started , One lady would be hollaring on radio for "Rob" and all the others would be answering trying to keep him from talking to other one ,  

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When did  non-synchromesh transmissions get phased out in medium-duties (not heavy-duties)? I once drove a '66 Chevy with a non-synchro, and I'd think they'd have been synchro by then.

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Drive bus as a spare driver.  Bus that I mainly drive is a 2002 GMC with 3126 cat and auto.  Buses up here can only be run 15 years and then have to be retired.   That bus is on its last year.  Can use older as spares so get to drive 98 IHC 3800 with 444 and auto from time to time.  Newest bus in the fleet of 75 by my company is a Bluebird gasoline with 6.8 L V10 and Ford 6 spd auto.  DEF systems are a headache on the semi urban runs since they don't get hot enough with all the stop and go.    More rural runs are all diesels.   Would not want to have a stick with all the stop and start.   Some of the hijinks on here would never happen today.

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On 1/8/2018 at 12:06 PM, lightninboy said:

When did  non-synchromesh transmissions get phased out in medium-duties (not heavy-duties)? I once drove a '66 Chevy with a non-synchro, and I'd think they'd have been synchro by then.

Non synchro or worn out synchro? Our 44 ford 1.5 ton is synchro between 3-4 if I am not mistaken. 

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Thpught you guys may be interest in what busses we had over here. All busses were run by the now deceased Silcox motor coach co. Busses included

Leyland leopard

https://www.aronline.co.uk/ar-cars/buses-leyland-leopard-1959-to-1982/

WWe had various types similar to the one in white at the top of the linked Web page. And of the type similar to the one pictured in the snow.

 

And double decker buses such as the Bristol VR

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_VR

We always raced up the stairs trying g to get the front top seats. Sometimes there were far more kids upstairs than down. Usually a couple of kids sat Dow stairs in fear feeling sick as they hated Double decker. The height marking in the cab was 13'9" and a low railway bridge we used to go under was 13'9". As we went down hill to the bridge it looked like we would hit until at the last moment we would pass underneath. There couldn't have been more than 6" clearance.

Also we had busses similar to https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_RE

and

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_LH

 

I think variants of the Leyland Leopard were the predominant type.

Unfortunately Silcox's went into liquidation several years ago after nearly a century of transporting people around d Pembrokeshire. There were allegations that they had financial issues that were exaserbated the council leaking details causing a financial meltdown . No idea if it was true though.

 

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Pid 1831 said:

Thpught you guys may be interest in what busses we had over here. All busses were run by the now deceased Silcox motor coach co. Busses included

Leyland leopard

https://www.aronline.co.uk/ar-cars/buses-leyland-leopard-1959-to-1982/

WWe had various types similar to the one in white at the top of the linked Web page. And of the type similar to the one pictured in the snow.

 

And double decker buses such as the Bristol VR

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_VR

We always raced up the stairs trying g to get the front top seats. Sometimes there were far more kids upstairs than down. Usually a couple of kids sat Dow stairs in fear feeling sick as they hated Double decker. The height marking in the cab was 13'9" and a low railway bridge we used to go under was 13'9". As we went down hill to the bridge it looked like we would hit until at the last moment we would pass underneath. There couldn't have been more than 6" clearance.

Also we had busses similar to https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_RE

and

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_LH

 

I think variants of the Leyland Leopard were the predominant type.

Unfortunately Silcox's went into liquidation several years ago after nearly a century of transporting people around d Pembrokeshire. There were allegations that they had financial issues that were exaserbated the council leaking details causing a financial meltdown . No idea if it was true though.

 

 

 

 

Have a co worker from the UK and he was telling me how they would go to the top deck and then get the whole bus rocking.

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