Re: Roundtable help & Troop Bus
Amick Robert (amick@SPOT.COLORADO.EDU)
Fri, 27 Sep 1996 15:08:37 -0600
I will only respond with comments on the bus. We looked into a similar
situation and found that the insurance alone on a bus was
prohibitive when compared to insuring 15 passenger vans. The other
stopping point was maintenance; most used buses are just that..well
used..and candidates for lots of maintenance unless they have been well
maintained, which is usually not the case. Maintenance on vans tends to
be comparatively less frequent and expensive.
Buses typically are not air conditioned, and if you are making long trips
across hot/humid country in the summer, folks tend to get tired, hot,
sweaty, and grumpy by the time they arrive at their destination.
Most large troops I know of, that use vans like them better than buses
because you don't have all your "eggs in one basket;" so if the bus fails
en route to a destination, you are stuck with finding transport for lots
of folks. If one van fails, you can probably stick enough Scouts in the
other remaining vans, "point" cars or equipment truck, to at least get to
your destination on time and then worry
about getting the van fixed/towed, whatever, after the Scouts are where
they need to be.
Another limiting factor is licensing; some states require special
licensing for bus drivers or in some cases, even for vans that carry more
than 9 passengers, so you may have some difficulty getting enough
qualified drivers, even for large vans, much less buses.
Several vans also give you more versatility in making
multiple excursions on a tour itinerary (e.g., one group wants to go to
see "x" where the other group wants to see "y" and then meet up at "Z" for
dinner). Most buses don't have seat belts, so you would probably need to
have them installed to meet BSA requirements for each passenger, whereas
vans would obviously have belts for every passenger.
If you are going to do vans, get some good FM mobile radios with high gain
antennas installed to coordinate. You can get these licensed on business
channels and they are
not that expensive; but well worth the cost in keeping in touch with the
other vans/drivers in case of problems, route changes, break downs, etc.
The mobile radios are higher powered than CB radios and tend to be much
more reliable and cover larger distances.
You might contact Joe Clay at the Koshare Indian Museum in La Junta, CO
for background on this; they currently use vans with radios for
tours/trips and have had good success with them. Joe is on e-mail at
Just a few observations; anyone else out there with experiences?
Bob Amick, Explorer Advisor, High Adventure Explorer Post 72, Boulder, CO
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City