Buying a Used School Bus? Here Are Some Tips for You

Buying a school bus can be a bit tricky. And if you want to get a good deal on a good bus, here are some things you might need to consider when making a choice. When buying a bus, the first decision you have to make is whether to buy a new or a used bus. Buying a used bus will be a lot less expensive than buying a new bus. If you decide to go for a used school bus, here are some things you might need to know to get the best deal.

Types of School Buses

Before buying a school bus, it’s good we know what we are buying. There are two types of school buses, which are the Conventional Buses and the Transit Style Buses.

Conventional Bus

These style of buses are the type that most school bus drivers are comfortable with. They are your conventional school bus, the ones you see on the streets most of the time. These have the advantage of good repairability as it is much easier for mechanics to work on. Their front wheel sits in front of the driver, along with the engine compartment and hood.

Transit Style Buses

This bus style has the same wheelbase length as a conventional bus but can seat more people. They can also be made on shorter wheelbases. There are two types of transit style buses. They

Rear engine buses

These type, as the name implies, have their engines in the rear. Drivers often prefer this type to the others because they do not have to experience the heat and noise from the engine. Unlike the other buses, the emergency doors are not at the back of the bus, but at the sides, which does affect the seating capacity.

Front engine buses

These style of Transit buses have their engines in the front, similar to the conventional school bus.

Things to keep in mind when buying a used school bus

Here are some things you much want to keep in mind when buying a used school bus

  1. The condition of the engine

Buying a used school bus can be like swimming in murky water, you don’t know what is coming. But checking the state of the engine should be a no brainer. You have to make sure your engine is in good condition before proceeding to buy.

Also, consider the terrain you would most be driving on, all buses are built to meet standard needs, but sometimes, you may need a more powerful engine.

Take into account how old the engine is and if it has been replaced or worked on. If it was replaced, try to find out if the replacement part was new or used. It is advised that you find a well-trained technician you can trust to inspect your engine so you don’t make a bad choice.

2. The history of the bus

When looking to buy a used school bus, looking at the bus’s history will help you out a lot. Try to find out about the details of the bus’s actual mileage, its service history, and if possible, the maintenance documentation of the bus as a whole. This would give you a clear idea of how the bus has been used, and how much usage you will get out of it. 

3.      Relevant laws and documentation

Always check for laws relating to buying a new or used school bus where you live. You want to make sure your school bus does not go against any laws before purchasing to avoid risk in the future.

Asking for and having proper documentation about the bus is also very essential. It can give you a time frame when the engine was replaced (if it was), which will help you calculate its future life span.

 Inspect the bus’s Body parts

Inspecting the body of your bus is essential for safety reasons. You have to do a thorough sweep of the bus.  Observe the body very closely, check for any rust, or corrosion, check the floor and the steps. You really can’t go wrong by being thorough. Having a trained bus technician do a DOT-type inspection will help you catch any little errors you might have missed or overlooked. 

  1. Safety Equipment

Another important thing you should keep in mind when purchasing, is if the school bus has any safety equipment or safety features. Ensure that the airbags, and anti-lock brakes, and any other safety features work. It is essential to put safety as a top priority to avoid any tragedy. You could have a tracking device installed on the school bus and a communication device with the driver. 

  1. Check for the availability of parts

It is important to know if parts for your school buses would easily be available before making a purchase. Older buses may require parts that are not widely available because of how old they are. Try to make sure you can easily get parts for your bus at a reasonable price if something goes wrong.

Buying school buses can be a lot cheaper than new ones, but can also be risky. Putting some of these tips to use will help you buy the best possible used school bus you can, so you won’t fall into problems because of a bad purchase decision.

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