FarmerFixEmUp

School Buses we Rode on as Kids

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1 hour ago, Art From DeLeon said:

only seat left was next to a girl

Remember that "hump" over the rear wheels on the schoolbus?

best, randy

 

 

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Any of you guys have drivers that would run around with the door open on hot days?  Someone try that now they would probably be fired on the spot.

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The one I remember best was a '56 Chevy (number 35), had a Buick engine with a 5 speed.

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All of ours were Blue Bird built with International engines/chassis.  Fortunately it wasn't that long ago...........

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Our school district had 3 busses, two that were active and an old one for back-up and sports activities.

One bus was an International with of all things an automatic transmission and air brakes.  The one I rode in high school (walked to elementary) was a Ford B700.  Not sure about the B, but it was a 700.  It was a 69ish-73ish front end style.  I thought it was a cool machine, but for whatever reason, it would turn tight to the left and hardly make a turn to the right.  The long time driver knew how much a wide turn was required.

Later the Ford was benched and a new IH bus showed up.  Don’t remember the year, but had that Loadstar style front end, but the grill had wider spacing in the grill vs earlier models.  I remember the giant steering wheel and huge shifter knob.  The driver took care of that IH like it was his own.  All busses were gas.

Hard to believe I rode to school in an IH (and they were everywhere) and yet they found a way to melt into Navistar and CaseIH.  I miss some of the old days, including IH...

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In elementary school it was Loadstars with a few new S series mixed in all having Blue Bird bodies.  All the Loadstars were gas and most the S series with 1 or 2 S series diesels in the mix.  Till middle school the Loadstars were all gone with just the S series Blue Birds. By the end of middle school the S series started getting replaced with new 3800's with Thomas bodies on them, they were all diesels.  Those are what we had when I finished high school.  All of them from the Loadstars on up to the 3800's were manual transmission buses.  I remember the Loadstar I rode was bus #1, the S series was #9, and the 3800 was bus #3.  There were 2 main drivers on my bus throughout that time with subs as needed.  The first driver was an elderly man named John who retired near the end of grade school having drove the Loadstar and the S series.  He was replaced by a man named Ken who was then the driver till the end of high school driving both the S series and the 3800.

 

Interesting topic, thanks for the trip down memory lane.

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Our bus was a GMC THomas bus. Don't remember the year of it or model but it would've' been mid to late 80tys.  Was probably a 40 passenger or so. Long enough that when you were in the back seat it didn't take much of a bump to get you air born anyways lol.. Was one frost heave that the one driver used to forget about once in a while. Dang near hit my head on the roof the one time.  Don't know how many kms were on it when I garaduated but they ran it for a couple years after that and then went to a complete diesel line up. Everything was propane before that.

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We had Fords late 60s early 70s gas V8s straight 4 speeds then they replaced with Loadstars gas V8s and straight 5 speeds I think they were Superior bodies.

I remember 2 back up buses one was a early 60s GMC maybe with the V6 and four speed.

The other was a REO not sure of the year it was a four speed and 2 speed rear Blue Bird body.

Neat looking bus, that REO was a total different experience must has been a big six. 

The same guy always drove the REO likely the only one who could drive the 2 speed rear.   

The REO was just like this one 

   Related image

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when i was in school, the long time bus superintendent had written the specs for new buses so that only White could meet them. the whole fleet, save ONE, was White chassis. no idea on the body. But, the spare bus, #11, was an old KB something. everyone cringed when they had to ride that one. story goes, when the IH was new, driver complained that it took a lot to steer. super says "i'll have that fixed by your afternoon run". driver comes back and Viola! Bigger Steering Wheel!

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Most of my bus riding was on 366 powered Chevy and GMC from the 80's. After I quit riding daily they upgraded to diesel Chevy and GMC with autos and Cats and a couple of Internationals for trips and sports. 

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WHEN I WENT TO SCHOOL WE HAD THEM ALL  CHEV   FORD   DODGE IH  WITH SUPERIOR  CARPENTER BLUEBIRD BODYS. I THINK THEY PUT PURCHASES OUT ON BIDS. WE HAD A PRIVATE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY THAT DID THE BUSSING. SCHOOL DISTRICT DIDNT OWN THE BUSES. I REMEBER IN GRADE SCHOOL ONE DRIVER LEFT HIS BUS BY THE SCHOOL IN  THE DAY TIM. US KIDS TOOK OUR POTATOES/APPLES/ORANGES FROM LUNCH AND WOULD STUFF THEM UP THE ESHAUST PIPE. WHEN HE WOULD START IT UP THEM WOULD FLY OUT LIKE MINI TORPEDOS. LOL THEN ONE TIME WE STUFFED IT TO FULL AND IT WOULDNT RUN. THE COMPANY HAD TO COME OUT AND TAKE THE PIPES OFF AND CLEAN THEM OUT. THE TEACHERS WANTED TO KNOW WHO DID IT. SURPRISING NO ONE KNEW WHO DID IT..I RODE BUS ALL MY YEARS TO SCHOOL. UNTIL I GOT MY OWN CAR.

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I started riding a 57 chevy with a 6 cyl 4 speed. The old woman driving it never used 1st gear.  It was replaced in 1970 with a Loadstar 1600 303 4 spd. In high school  I drove a 69 C60 with a 292 4 spd. North Carolina had it governed down so it would run over 27 mph straight down hill. My route was over 40 miles one way. It took me over 1 3/4 hours to complete my route. Our buses were orange with black front fenders and white grilles. Then in the middle of the 70's all of N.C. 's buses were panted all yellow. All of our buses were Thomas bodies.

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10 hours ago, jingles1928 said:

Never rode a bus. Walked to school from first grade to graduation up hill both ways.

Dennis

And don't forget, into the wind, both ways, lol.  BK

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It was Internationals for me, all the way from K to 12.  BK

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Grade school bus driver was sheriff deputy Bob Shunk driving a 66 passenger Ford. When at school  , sitting in back we'd get out Emergency door . High school bus was green & we called it "The Pickle".

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I don't remember what brand they were. Had 5+2 speed rears. My bus driver (Joe Noacousku) always wore a flannel shirt. His belly was big enough that it had a black mark rubbed on it from the steering wheel. We had three runs, elementary, middle, and highschool. It was in the winter of '80-81 I was in third grade and my sister was in sixth grade. Bus slid in the ditch and Joe had a sixth grader who was one of the biggest kids get in the seat. He explained how to push the clutch and put it in first and slowly spin the tire. He then got out and coordinated with the kid and spun the tire chains on the tires and we then were able to make it out of the ditch. 

Another time he grabbed the back of a girls shirt as she was leaving the bus. She was the first exiting the bus stop and he saw a tractor trailer passing on the right side berm as we were on the bottom of a hill. Saved her life almost certainly. I got on the bus at friendship farms apartments just down the road from fellow forum member Dave Downs farm . 

I think my sister said that the driver was eventually fired for repremanding a lawyers kid. If Joe thought you did something wrong you did something wrong. He was a really nice guy

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80's  chevy c65 with 366 gas. 4 or 5 speed with 2 speed rear end. Good ol Mr Brown. I remember 3 fond memories. 

1.) broomstick was held above visor and flew out the window on a sharp corner. He slammed the brakes on and made a kid run back and get it in the middle of the road. He'd been fired today's standards. 

2.) wild turkey hit the windshield and busted it out. Mr. Brown stopped and threw the bird in a trash bag, set it up by him and kept on keeping on. 

3.) we had to pull over on a bridge so he could go underneath and take a leak. He told us if anyone acted up or got off the bus there would be **** to pay when he got back. Nobody moved a muscle. 

Every winter when it would snow he would carry a large trash can with stove ashes. Whoever rode the back got the duty of shoveling it under the rear tires when he got stuck. After he got a move on you would hop in while on the move. Another no no by today's standard. 

To be honest I wish today's yuppies would wash away and be more like back in the day. Times really were simpler. 

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We had several brands in my day. Chevy and IH were the ones I remember the most. The bus I rode was a flat nose Blue Bird body on a Chevy chassis. Middle to late 70's. 366 engine with a automatic transmission and air brakes. Rode the same bus through all my years. I think it was a 66 passenger as well. It was the biggest and the nicest bus in the fleet. So it was normally used for away sports games to. So occasionally we got the spare bus. Even remember getting the mini bus a time or two. Talk about sardines in a can. It was cause we had the biggest route. And one more thing. I remember sitting on the dog house while going down the road talking to the driver. He was the bus mechanic and I was a gear head \ gear jammer then like now. We had plenty to talk about. And like someone mentioned above about driving with the door open on hot days wouldve would've get the driver fired today, I'm sure me sitting on the dog house would get the same result. But it was fun and no one got hurt. I do miss the simpler times I grew up in.

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Grandpa owned some school buses in the mid-fifties. I know they were all Fords, probably because the only dealer in town was a Ford dealer.

Grandpa in the first shot, Grandma in the second.

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Mid 70's Ford and Chevy gassers with 5 speed manuals...Blue Bird bodies.  District didn;t switch to diesels or automatics until well after I was out of school.

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80's Chevys with gassers in them and 4 or 5 speeds with 2 spd rear ends. Later on they were Internationals with diesels. 

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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.

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Good thread going here----brings back lots of memories.

Think I started to first grade in 1949-----bus would have been a 1948 or 49 Chevrolet.  Big excitement to start to school so you could ride the bus.

******

Not exactly a school related story----but definitely the most fun I ever saw being had on a School Bus.

Musta been 2009-----my wife and I were driving across to Atlanta for a wedding a couple of nights before the Talladega NASCAR race.  Coming into the south side of Birmingham, we had an old 70's model Ford school bus merge into the traffic on I-20 with us.  It was obivious this was a group headed to Talladega----they had a couple of night lights on and were having a "wonderful" time.

I was running 75 or so------and this old Ford was side by side with us for miles (climbing some pretty good hills around the east side of Birmingham).  You could hear Charlie Daniels music blaring from the bus.  I finally got on up to 80 or so to move away.  I explained to my wife that Charlie Daniels was playing the music and Jack Daniels was driving!!!:blink::D

Don't know what they had stuck under the hood-------but that old bus was rolling.  And----fun was being had by all.  Even my wife and I got a big kick out of these ol' boys having a good time.

DD

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CARPENTER  SUPRIOR  BLUE BIRD  THOMAS BODIES... ONE OR TWO OF THOSE COMPANIES WENT BANKRUPT. WHISH ONE OR ONES I DONT REMEBER...IF YOU NAUGHTY YOU SAT TO SIT IN THE FRONT SEATS....

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first bus I can remember was a IH probably around 1964 bluebird body rode till 70 and they replaced it with another IH both were gas 5spd started driving a bus January of 78 {turned 16 in December}  a 1966 chevy 292 4spd without a governor "carb had been replaced" next year my senior year got a 1978 ford 700 391 5spd governed to 45 mph Thomas body brand-new drove 2 hrs. every morning and evening had a 36 gallon tank and usually took 33 gallons every day to fill it up cannot imagine a 16 year old of today with that much responsibility times have sure changed russ     

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