Recently, two Midwest Bus Sales employees took time to sit down with School Bus Fleet to discuss tips on shopping for a used school bus. David Tinsley, Business Development Director, and Chad Brinkley, Used and Commercial Bus Manager, have many years of experience in the industry and put together some of their best advice for used school bus shoppers.
Tinsley was quick to mention creating a budget before looking for your next bus. Brinkley agreed, advising to specifically set aside a maintenance account in the budget. “Put a little aside for possible breakdowns,” he said. “If something happens, you can get it fixed and get back on the road without hiccups.”
Brinkley goes on to say that after creating a budget it is a good idea to consider what specifications you are looking for on your bus – size, capacity, special features, and much more. He says that a simple search on Google and online forums are useful tools for researching these components.
There is a certain time of the year might be the best for used bus shopping, according to Tinsley. It is of his opinion that doing research in the winter and starting the shopping process in the early spring tends to be the best strategy. “That’s when there is the greatest opportunity to select from the largest portion of our incoming inventory. See what’s out there before school is out, and prepare for the following school year. Do your homework, put a budget together before summer break, and get the bus in a timely manner for the upcoming school year.”
Tinsley also mentions that this strategy can save you from ordering your bus during a dealer’s busiest time – the summer. He wants to point out the fact that dealers will inevitably become backed up at times during the summer months with school bus deliveries.
Lastly, Brinkley touched on the final steps of the shopping process. He recommends searching for the right bus for you at multiple different dealers so that you can compare not only the positives and negatives of each bus, but also each dealership. Part of this should include asking for references from any dealership that you are considering buying from.
He also says that finding out what region(s) a bus you are thinking about buying has operated in. “A bus that has been operating for years in the harsh northeastern weather is going to have a much higher probability of rust and other problems than a bus that has operated in better weather conditions over the same time period.”
These are just a few tips when it comes to navigating the used bus shopping experience. We hope that this helps you in your endeavors, and as always, please don’t hesitate to reach out if there is any way we can be of assistance – we are here to help!
To view the full article by School Bus Fleet, click here.