Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Gas engines in school buses coming back?
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 > Gas engines in school buses coming back?

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rjstractor

Maple Valley, WA

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Posted: 05/15/19 08:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

whjco wrote:

Here in Kentucky, all full-sized school buses are diesel powered. After a retired gas-powered ex-school bus was hit head on by a drunk driver near Carrolton, KY 31 years ago, puncturing the gas tank and bursting into flame and killing 27 people, all school buses are now diesel powered.


Comparing safety standards that were in effect 50+ years ago doesn't really apply today. Diesel may have a much higher flash point than gas, but also has a lower autoignition temperature and when it does ignite it burns ferociously. With the current safety standards on school buses, fuel type is not a factor.

Reisender

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Posted: 05/15/19 09:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Doing a little googling on electric school busses. It’s not just Bluebird getting into it. There are a bunch. It will be interesting to see what percentage of the school bus fleet is electric in the next ten years.

ppine

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Posted: 05/16/19 08:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gas is cheaper to buy in a bus, but does not last and uses more fuel. Just like trucks.
Ever see a gas powered OTR truck?

ls1mike

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Posted: 05/16/19 08:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

hvac wrote:

I remember our bus in upstate New York.Mid 70s. GM v6 and manual tranny. Our driver was an older woman, angry, and would shift well past red line every time. I think the engine was a kid she wanted beat on. She scared me. I always felt bad for that v6...


LOL. I am dying right now.


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soren

Lancaster County PA

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Posted: 05/16/19 08:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

campinginthewoods wrote:

Our local schools districts have both and the newer ones seem to be gas. And our two local ambulance companies are switching to gas engines also the new UPS trucks are gas. FedEx seems to be diesels still. And growing up I remember school buses were gas engines along with our towns fire trucks.


Buddy of mine does fleet work for a few smaller ambulance companies. After the Ford 6.0 mess, and getting burned by horrific operating costs on sprinters, they replace their worn out rigs with gas powered equipment. Last summer I saw a few new UPS medium duty straight trucks leaving the upfitters in Indiana, they were Ford chassic with V-10s.

soren

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Posted: 05/16/19 08:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rjstractor wrote:

whjco wrote:

Here in Kentucky, all full-sized school buses are diesel powered. After a retired gas-powered ex-school bus was hit head on by a drunk driver near Carrolton, KY 31 years ago, puncturing the gas tank and bursting into flame and killing 27 people, all school buses are now diesel powered.


Comparing safety standards that were in effect 50+ years ago doesn't really apply today. Diesel may have a much higher flash point than gas, but also has a lower autoignition temperature and when it does ignite it burns ferociously. With the current safety standards on school buses, fuel type is not a factor.


If anybody still remembers, this had less to do with the fuel, than the complete lack of safety standards in the school bus fleet at the time. Roll overs would result in the roof easily splitting open and tossing kids out. Fuel tanks were sheet metal bombs, mounted outside of the frame rails, with a thin skirt of body metal hiding them from view. I clearly remember buses being removed from service, and new ones arriving with massive cages surrounding the tanks, and improved body integrity standards.

ACZL

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Posted: 05/16/19 08:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great discussion gang and love all the various replies. The fuel tank post prompted a memory of when I drove school buses back in the mid 80's. I learned back then that the area around the fuel tank was like Ft Knox for the safety cage was unreal. Looking at the replies and initial cost of either gas or diesel and then projected savings or cost of either, advancement of gas engines since the early/mid 80's, I can see where gas would be a more viable option to go with now. IMO, with Ford announcing their new 7.3 gasser, am thinking those in the know just know that if this gasser is based (probly not.....but just sayin) off their old 7.3 diesel and how the 7.3 diesel is highly sought after/regarded, then the gas version should knock it right out of the ballpark. That is if the 7.3 gasser is what is used in/for buses. Have no idea what bus mfr's are going to uses for gas motors. Field is limited. Going back to when I drove buses again, I hated the gas engines. Most were IH, but had a couple Fords and I think a lolely old GMC as a last resort/back-up.


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mtofell1

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Posted: 05/16/19 09:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

hvac wrote:

I remember our bus in upstate New York.Mid 70s. GM v6 and manual tranny. Our driver was an older woman, angry, and would shift well past red line every time. I think the engine was a kid she wanted beat on. She scared me. I always felt bad for that v6...


Sounds like we are about the same age and I have the EXACT same memory. There's nothing like an 87# little old lady banging through gears on a monster bus, all while screaming at kids. I always remember our driver standing directly outside the bus (at school no less) sucking down cigarettes until the last possible moment she had to jump in the bus and start driving. She smelled like equal parts Vantage menthols and cheap vodka. Ah, the good old days!

danrclem

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Posted: 05/16/19 12:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Maybe Ford is making the 7.3 gas because they realize that gas engines are replacing diesels and they want to have a good engine to fit that market.

parker.rowe

Delaware

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Posted: 05/16/19 12:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ACZL wrote:

IMO, with Ford announcing their new 7.3 gasser, am thinking those in the know just know that if this gasser is based (probly not.....but just sayin) off their old 7.3 diesel and how the 7.3 diesel is highly sought after/regarded, then the gas version should knock it right out of the ballpark. That is if the 7.3 gasser is what is used in/for buses.


Pretty sure the only thing this new 7.3 has in common with the 7.3 diesel is the displacement.

It's a whole new animal.

Judging by the info that has been released by Ford, this is going to be available in the medium duty platforms for sure. It would be no surprise to see it in buses.

I'm still waiting for the power numbers and pricing to be announced!


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