My vintage bus was delivered to its temporary home yesterday (where it will be re-powered and have the brakes and other systems upgraded). It arrived via semi truck and took over two hours (driver claims 4.5) to unload! Why so long? Well, the bus has a very long overhang behind the rear wheels and there are a few water tanks that extend slightly below the body in the middle of the bus. If it goes down too steep of a ramp, then either area can run-aground.
The pic above was taken on maybe our third attempt. Each time we’d pile up more wood and ramps to try to make the angle less steep.
We’d also end up digging in an attempt to prevent the trailer hitch from scraping too much.
In the end, you can see all the wood and ramps we ended up using. It was a good thing that this setup worked without scraping anything since the bus was put in reverse a few seconds after it was started and ended up going down the ramp with zero brake power because the air pressure didn’t have time to build up yet. The bus doesn’t have modern spring brakes which would have stayed engaged until enough pressure had built up to allow them to be released. My friend Charlie who was at the wheel joking said something like “I’m just going to gun it and get this over with”… the next thing I knew, it looked like he did exactly that! He came out of the bus with a white face and was a bit shooken up since he was expecting to go very slow with the brakes on the entire time.
The next step in the vintage bus project is to locate the right engine/transmission combo. I’m currently searching for a Cummins ISL 425HP with Allison six speed automatic. I hope to find a low milage one for a good price out of a wrecked RV.