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GM fishbowl bus fan may be a new bus driver

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Joined: 18 Dec 2015
Posts: 227
Location: America

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:15 pm    Post subject: GM fishbowl bus fan may be a new bus driver Reply with quote

Yes folks I may be a new bus driver soon

I have been doing what they call training for MV Transportation in some very new Gilllig buses

I don't know if I ever mentioned my background in the past. I am a GM bus fan, I follow Fishbowls, Buffalos and Scenicruisers exclusively, well, I do some Chevy and GMC medium duty buses 1967 to 1972 or later. They are still GM chassis if that matters.
I am a driver. I actually drive more than the average guy and have done this in many different settings, city, mountains, fields, snow, ice and actually driven many types of wheeled vehicles, 18 wheelers, straight trucks, cars, pickups, forklift, farm equipment, dozers, graders, tractors, harvesters, sweepers and such so I can claim to be a driver.
Last week I got behind the wheel of a real bus
It was a 40 foot Gillig low floor

I would like some input about this and MV Transportation as I am actually new to the real bus world. All of what I know comes mainly from sites like this in the internet and my favorite, MIKE's Bus Page.

Although I know a lot about my favorite GM buses I learned all that from the sources that are online and I spent hours digging up all the info I can. Now I have entered a world that you folks know well. I am the NEWBIE.
AS a new guy I have lots to learn yet I am not completely ignorant and so I do have my opinions as a driver and I thought I would share my take on the Gillig bus.

I am going to apologize now but I have always thought that the Gillig bus was a very ugly one and the new ones are not better. Yes I know they are popular

I remember one fella said he thought they were roomy but I found that they have fewer seats than a Fishbowl. That is not roomy. I found them to be weird in many ways. You can like your low floors but something is lost in them and the low floor does not go all the way to the back, just to the back doors....................fuel tank and rear axles take up space, lol. The glaring difference is the huge front fender wells that allow for the kneeling set up. Many seats lost there. The low floor also means that the heating and ventilation went to the back so there is no rear window and again, fewer seat is what you get. The space between the rear fender wells is under 3 feet and I forgot the distance between the front fender wells. It is way less than the Fishbowls. There is a step up to the rear that is less than 2 feet wide. The seats over the fender wells do no go up against the windows so there is wasted space behind them, maybe to stash your drugs. lol. There is a lot of wasted space behind the windshield ahead of the dash, so less room for passengers. Now you have bike racks in front. Not only are they not roomy but they are getting bigger on the outside. They have a hump over the front and some very high protuberances over a large section of the rear. I am not sure yet what they are for.

Remember, I am new.

Could it be that this is a hybrid bus?

Boy I really do love the Fishbowl bus

I know the buses are new but they actually have some with the old Huge steering wheels which are actually smaller that what my 1972 Chevy pickup has. The newer buses have smaller wheels and are squirrelly on the road., The so-called drivers here love them and hate the big wheels.

I know folks talked about the loud Detroit Diesels in the Fishbowls but you do get the a lot of noise when you turn on the heater fans and defrosters and drivers fans and such on the Gilligs. Give me the Detroit Diesels any day

I am a Huge Cummins fan and I love the fact that Cummins is used on buses but that engine is a peaky engine and needs more gearing to keep it at it's optimum rpms which is evident when you throttle up. You get a burst of speed when you gas up but not at every speed. The computer control makes it drive as bad as a Caterpillar engine or a new truck or car.
Love the retarders that activate when you take your foot off the gas pedal. I hate the touchy brakes. Hard when you first step on them and then suddenly you get a lot of braking.
The steering is mushy and gives you little feedback and the suspension tends to allow some sway to the side.

Mirrors are very wobbly, JUNK in my book.

I don't know about some other buses but maybe they are better than the older buses. I am the newbie.

As a driver I use my mirrors to get a feel of where the corners are but I can't seem to feel like I know where the right front corner is as accurately as I want. I am sure it is because of the mushy suspension and weird steering and the wobbly mirrors. Oh it may also be the shape of the new buses.

I noticed that the same style switch that turns on the Fishbowl bus is what they have on the Gilligs as they also use the slide glide front doors that the Fishbowls had. The door controls seem to be the same as the Fishbowls too.

I wonder what it costs to have a switch to turn on all lights and buzzers for a quicker pre trip inspection? I know this makes it quicker to go around the bus before you hit the road. I am sure the cost is not worth that. You only save seconds.

The engine compartment is huge compared to the Fishbowls, for a smaller engine..............I forgot, space is not important.

They rattled as much as a Fishbowl in every video I have watched.
They lack in interior space under the seats and all inside the bus.
The Fishbowl bus wins this battle. So Gillig has the vent ducts up on the roof.

I cannot compare the ride on this bus against the fishbowl bus because I have had so little time on the Fishbowl bus.

The dash is insane. I mean stupid, even with so few gauges there is nothing there that you need to drive and all the warning lights are now overhead. There are lots of useless lights up there.

The driver's window hangs up so when you stop at RR crossings you fight it. The doors will stop the bus if you open them.

Do you guys recall the thread I started about the turn signal switches on the floor?

I am now familiar with them and I do not like them. My foot hangs us up trying to step on one either right or left switch and a pain when I got my foot on the brake pedal. I an not a heavy guy and having to push down on 2 things only raises me up.

I also want to mention 1 more thing...........the new buses have the little windows behind the windshield and they have wipers...................lol
some genius though that this was a way to go.....just raise the fares so they can have such an atrocity.

I really wished there were rear windows like on the Fishbowls.

as I say I am the newbie and would like to hear from the old pros
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Steve Carras

Age: 59
Joined: 05 Mar 2010
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 12:34 am    Post subject: GM fishbowl fan may be a new driver soon Reply with quote

TheDriver, the bump WOULD indictate a hybrid bus....(I do actually love the classics..just like I,uh, guess all of the others here!)

BTW Welcome..I love fishbowls and the other.s Been on here since 2010/11.

Oh, wait, you're not a new member,,sorry.. Very Happy anyway, still glad to see you (look at my above sentence) to see you again!
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Age: 36
Joined: 04 Apr 2019
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems like you have a lot of experience my friend. I always enjoy reading about the experiences of drivers like yourself.
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Steve Carras

Age: 59
Joined: 05 Mar 2010
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Incidentally, in Montebello, CAL there is a garage with lots of those Fishbowls and Flxible buses looking like Fishbowls, and GM old looks..again hello
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