Author Topic: Bus towing  (Read 14762 times)

Offline rdbishop

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Bus towing
« on: February 02, 2011, 08:43:54 PM »
Can a bus tow a bus approximately 350 miles?

Richard

Offline ol713

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Re: Bus towing
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2011, 08:50:28 PM »

  I think that would be a hairy journey.  I would not want
  to chance it. Might lose both busses.
                                Merle

Offline Dave5Cs

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Re: Bus towing
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2011, 09:18:39 PM »
Wouldn't that exceed the 65 foot law?

Dave
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Offline papatony

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Re: Bus towing
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2011, 02:34:45 AM »
   If you have to have it towed get someone familiar with buses ,they can't be towed like a normal vehicle.  No frame (GM).

Offline Runcutter

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Re: Bus towing
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2011, 07:54:01 AM »
Richard, I'd wonder if the potential savings would be spent on buying new underwear, particularly for the driver of the towed bus.  (I'm not going to address legality, but it's a good question, as well as liability issues should something happen).   

Both drivers have to be skilled.  I was a pretty new bus driver when I broke down in the middle of a busy intersection on my last trip.  (TDH 4512 transit, turned out to be a broken blower shaft).  The bus behind me pushed me through, one of our wild mechanics came to tow me in with the shop pickup.  Short chain, probably 10-12 miles, with some hills - many lights.  With the blower shaft gone, no engine - no air.  Brought it in on the handbrake.  The short chain added to the adventure.  I was too young and dumb to know any better.

In such a setup, the towed vehicle does the braking, to keep the slack out of the chain.  In part, that's why transit systems generally use a rigid towbar for flat tows.  Even with a short distance, now the towing vehicle also is trying to brake double its weight - or both drivers have to synchronize their movements.  A few years ago, a friend broke down in his car, and I used mine to push him a couple of miles to the shop.  Even though he was skilled, he wasn't used to forecasting lane changes and anticipating stoplights.  It worked, but my blood pressure did go up some.

Not saying it can't be done, but I personally wouldn't risk it.  I listen to the police radio a lot while I'm working.  The motorcycle cops here do a lot of enforcement on trucks.  I can picture them seeing a rig like this go by, and know that it violates some law - common or obscure. 

There is also a saying that "it's the stingy man who spends the most money."  (Per another thread, I'm not saying anyone here is stingy, but I have been known to be pretty frugal). 

Arthur 
Arthur Gaudet    Carrollton (Dallas area) Texas 
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Offline robertglines1

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Re: Bus towing
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2011, 08:01:11 AM »
Tow truck prob 1500 to 2000. Their problem if something happens.   350 miles fuel towing 4mpg 90 gallon X 4  = 360$  to get there to tow 350 miles x 5mpg 70 gal x4$ = 280$  cost for you to tow640$ plus tickets and damage.
Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana

Offline kyle4501

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Re: Bus towing
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2011, 08:46:27 AM »
Can a bus tow a bus approximately 350 miles?

Richard
Why do you need to tow a bus? What is preventing the bus from being driven? We can give better advice if we have more details. . . .   8)

But, my opinion is:
Short answer = Yep!

Long answer = it's possible, but it's loaded with hidden costs. 
IE: failure of tires, brake lines, or air bags. then there is the damage those failures can lead to.
Then there is the cost of wear & tear on the towing bus.
Let's not forget the chase car that is necessary to keep an eye on things (& block for you so you can make lane changes easier.)
Not to mention the towing bus might not have enough power to maintain a safe speed.

I have had several buses towed & listened to the experience others have had with various towing methods. Based on all that, my preferred method is to have a bus transported on a Landoll trailer. This way, you aren't depending on the bus' suspension surviving the trip & you aren't worried about the effectiveness of the brakes.

Last time I had one moved, it was about $3.50 per loaded mile. It was a dedicated run & trailer was empty for half the trip. If you can get a back haul, then you won't have to pay for as many miles. My truck driver bases his charge on time away from the shop, ~$100 per hour for a landoll haul & ~$125 per hour with a BIG tow truck.

If your bus is over 11 feet tall, a landoll haul may require over height permits.

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Offline luvrbus

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Re: Bus towing
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2011, 08:57:07 AM »
Richard, buses came with tow bars for towing Trailways always towed the Eagle they are set up to do just that, look behind the Eagle on the front it will have a place for the tow bar and for air even a new Setra will have a tow bar that folds out now a chain don't think I would go there 

good luck
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Offline kyle4501

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Re: Bus towing
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2011, 09:03:45 AM »
A friend worked as a mechanic for Greyhound in the 60's & 70's. You should hear the stories of how they used 'back line' buses to tow broken buses back to the shop.  ;D  ::)  :o
But, they didn't tow them very far, less than 50 miles.

Like Clifford said, use a proper tow bar if you were to attempt this.
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Offline Jeremy

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Re: Bus towing
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2011, 09:09:39 AM »
You guys worry too much - all you need is a Range Rover and a nylon strap:




Jeremy
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Offline kyle4501

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Re: Bus towing
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2011, 10:03:11 AM »
You guys worry too much - all you need is a Range Rover and a nylon strap:

Jeremy

Been there & done that. Only problem is finding someone smart enough to do a good job driving the towed bus yet dumb enough to actually do it!  ;D
Life is all about finding people who are your kind of crazy

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Offline tomhamrick

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Re: Bus towing
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2011, 10:05:07 AM »
Hey Clifford, Know where anyone can get one of those tow bars or a drawing of one to make?
Tom Hamrick
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Offline belfert

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Re: Bus towing
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2011, 10:35:12 AM »
My Dina came with a tow bar.  I took it out and it is sitting in my shed.  I figured no tow truck operator in his right mind would flat tow a bus.  Maybe this is common practice in Mexico or something.

My tow bar is just over 6 feet long.  It is a steel tube about 2" diameter that is sorta flattened at the ends so a pin can be inserted.
Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN

Offline Iceni John

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Re: Bus towing
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2011, 11:55:19 AM »
If a vehicle with an automatic transmission is flat-towed, don't you have to disconnect the driveshaft (unless the transmission has a secondary pump driven off its output), to prevent damaging the transmission?

John
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Offline kevink1955

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Re: Bus towing
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2011, 12:11:50 PM »
I would hate to try it.

Flat towing a car with a truck is tough if the towed cannot see over the towing vehicle to know traffic conditions ahead. In the bus being towed you would have no idea what is going on in front of the towing bus. If something was to cause the towing bus to panic stop you could not respond fast enough to avoid rear ending the front bus.