The Difference Between Type C and Type D School Buses
Figuring out the best school bus for your needs is a tough decision. It’s also one you have to think through carefully. The right school bus will ensure the safety of its charges, and it’ll be able to get to and from school efficiently. So what’s the right bus for you? What are the key differences between Type C and Type D buses? Read on to find out.
Type C Buses
Type C buses are considered “conventional.” We’ve all seen these buses when we went to elementary school. This type of bus is installed on a flat-back cowl chassis. It typically weighs more than 21,500 pounds and is designed to carry anywhere from 36 to 77 passengers. The engine is toward the front of the windshield, beside the driver’s seat. The door to the bus is always behind the front wheel. They always meet the Motor Vehicle Safety Standards required for public school buses. This bus is excellent for people with disabilities since it can often have a wheelchair lift to accommodate people who are disabled. You’re likely to see this kind of bus in movies and TV shows.
There are many benefits of getting a Type C bus. It’s good for backroads, given the approach angle and clearance. The rear door lets you create a ton of storage space, and there’s also more space inside for passengers. The engine is easily accessible in emergencies; you just need to flip the top. The grill at the front protects the radiator and the engine. Sometimes, in many states, the hood is painted black so that it doesn’t reflect light into the driver’s eyes. This may seem like it isn’t a huge deal, but the glare from light is a key factor in many car accidents. The engine compartment, being in front of the driver, adds additional protection in case of a head-on accident. Since the bus will carry staff, children, and teenagers, you must make every effort to keep them safe.
The broad window shield gives the driver better turn vision and a better view of students entering and exiting. This is important because keeping an eye on your kids is part of your job. Finally, it has that typical “school bus look” that we’re familiar with from the movies. These benefits are some of the key differences between Type C and Type D buses.
Unfortunately, Type C buses also have some drawbacks. The engine can get loud, and heat can emanate from the engine into the cabin. This latter point is terrible during the summer when it’s already hot. This means that even with air conditioning, the temperature will never get as cool as it could be, and the bus must work harder to keep things cool. For some shorter drivers, it can be difficult to reach the steering wheel, which can be dangerous.
There’s also the issue of a poor departure angle on the longer Type C buses on your fleet. The driveshaft and exhaust run the length of the bus. This limits under-storage options. You also lose up to 50 square feet of floor space since the engine doesn’t count as interior space.
Type D Buses
Type D buses differ from Type C in many ways. The most obvious difference is the streamlined “flat” front. It’s also called a “transit bus.” In these buses, the engine is mounted in the front, midship, or rear, depending on the manufacturer’s preference. Like Type C buses, it can carry up to 90 passengers. You’re more likely to see this type of bus as you’re out and about. They’re commonly used on the street, taking people from one place to another.
Type D buses provide open entry for passengers. They’re lightweight and quieter than buses with front engines, which is great because noise can agitate your passengers. Type D buses have exceedingly powerful engines and better transmission. Given that they don’t have an engine blocking the front, they also have far better visibility than Type C buses.
Type D buses are available in several longer lengths. The front glass makes the driver more comfortable and offers a bit more visibility than normal. You can access the engine via a removable panel, which gives you easy access if you need to troubleshoot an engine problem. With a longer wheelbase than Type C buses, Type D buses will give you a much smoother ride, which is a good “extra touch” for your passengers. Finally, driving this type of bus is easy once you get used to it, making it perfect for beginning employees.
Unfortunately, there are also several drawbacks of Type D buses. The engine takes up a fair amount of space, making the interior slightly more cramped than a Type C bus. Having a fleet of them might be costly, as they can be more expensive. The longer wheelbase also makes it less agile overall. Remember, you must get to school on time if this is a school bus!
Which Should You Choose?
If you’re buying a used school bus for sale, ask about the distinctions between Type C and Type D buses. Knowing those differences is important since each bus has its slew of drawbacks and benefits.
In general, if you’re interested in cost efficiency, a bigger passenger capacity, and easy engine access, you’re better off choosing the Type C bus. Type D is ideal for you if you’re interested in open entry and longer wheelbases. Keep in mind that there isn’t a bad decision here. Each type of bus has its benefits. So make sure to consider your goals and circumstances.
In short, getting the proper bus for you can be difficult. However, you can do it. Make sure you weigh your options, and you should be able to make the right decision. As you search for your new bus, look at our wide selection of buses at National Bus Sales! We’re here to help you find the best bus for your needs. Whether this is our Ultra Coachliner or Blue Bird Vision lines, we have everything you need to help you choose the right fleet for you. Shop National Bus Sales today!