Like most heavy vehicles, school buses need to have an adequate number of strong and durable tires to support the weight of the vehicle.
If you regularly see school buses go by in your daily commute, you may have wondered – how many tires does a school bus have? Here is everything I’ve found out about this!
How Many Tires Does A School Bus Have?
School buses have four or six tires, depending on the bus’s size. This includes two tires on the front axle, with larger models having four tires on the rear and smaller buses having two. School bus tires cost between $2000-$3000 and can last up to 10 years or more.
If you want to find out more about how much a school bus tire costs, how long do school bus tires last, and much more, keep on reading!
How Much Is A School Bus Tire?
School bus tires are quite expensive, with a full set of tires ranging between $2000 and $3000.
However, they are quite durable and tend to last longer than other types of tires if they are properly maintained.
What Size Are School Bus Tires?
School bus tires are typically 10R22.5 (10” width and 22.5” height) or 11R22.5 (11” width and 22.5” height).
These are considered conventional, ‘low-profile’ tires that have shorter and stiffer sidewalls that experience greater wear at sharp turning angles.
However, recently, several tire manufacturers have begun producing tires with a 19.5” width with better rubber compounds to reduce the wear problem while maintaining traction quality.
How Long Do School Bus Tires Last?
School bus tires tend to last for up to 10 years (or more) if they are properly maintained.
However, as they get older, it gets more dangerous to drive them since the tires start to weaken from the inside.
Because of this, manufacturers recommended that the tires should be replaced after 10 years of use to avoid any unforeseen breakdowns.
Which Tires Are Best For A School Bus?
School bus tires need to be durable and tough since they carry a lot of weight over long distances.
When buying a set of tires for a school bus, you should choose wisely since you will not be replacing them again for several years.
Here are the leading tire manufacturing companies along with the popular school bus tire models they offer:
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
These tires have TredLock technology which enhances steering and handling performance during sharp turns, through the use of interlocking tread blocks.
Along with that, they also have sidewall protector ribs and scrub-resistant compounds to protect the tires from everyday damage.
Hankook Tire America Corp.
These have tread compounds that show optimal performance in high scrub applications, making them ideal for use in school buses.
Additionally, these tires are also highly resistant to uneven wear, chips, cuts, and tearing.
Michelin Americas Truck Tires
Michelin provides the XDN2 drive-axle tire for school buses.
These provide a high level of traction in extreme temperatures, making the tires suitable for winters as well.
Double Coin Holdings
Double Coin Holdings have the RT 500 all-position tire designed specia.≤lly for school buses.
These are famous in the school industry and are known for fighting rapid wear.
The core feature of these tires is that they have sidewall protectors on both sides, so if one side gets damaged, you can just flip the tire around for continued use.
What Is The Pressure Of A School Bus Tire?
The inflation pressure of school bus tires should be between 60-70 psi, or 4.1-4.8 bar.
It is important to maintain this level of pressure since under-inflating or over-inflating your tires will lead to increased wear and may possibly end up damaging them.
Do School Buses Have Four Wheel Drive?
School buses, like other types of buses and trucks, are typically rear-wheel drive (RWD) with the engine placed at the back of the vehicle and driving the rear axle wheels.
Converting a school bus to four-wheel drive (FWD) is expensive and can be unnecessary since school kids do not weigh too much..
However, places that experience extreme snowfall and winter temperatures have been known to convert their school buses to FWD to transport children to school safely.
What Gas Mileage Do School Buses Get?
The gas mileage of a school bus is around 10 miles per gallon (on average).
However, it may vary, depending on the size of the vehicle, the number of stops, and the weight of the passengers.
How Can You Get Better Gas Mileage In Your School Bus?
School buses tend to consume a lot of fuel on a yearly basis, and so it is important that you take measures and precautions to improve the fuel efficiency.
Here is a list of factors that affect the gas mileage of a school bus, along with tips on how you can improve it:
The condition of the tires
Along with using high-quality durable tires that perform equally well when old, you should make sure the tires are inflated to the right pressure at all times.
This is because under-inflated tires will slow down your vehicle, affecting your gas mileage.
Bus driving behavior
You can influence around 30% of the gas mileage simply by improving the way you drive the bus.
Some measures you can take include installing an idle shutdown timer, maintaining a speed limit, applying the brakes properly, and following acceleration rules.
You should make sure the axles are correctly aligned since misalignment can result in wear and tear of the tires and reduce fuel economy as well.
Using synthetic lubricants on the axle and transmission helps boost the fuel economy and increases the drain interval.
Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs)
If you’re currently deciding which school bus to buy, you should consider purchasing a Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV).
Although these are more expensive than typical gas-powered buses, these can improve the fuel efficiency by as much as 50-60%.
The frequency of gear changes
You should only change your gears when necessary since excessive gear shifting consumes more fuel.
Proper use of air conditioners:
Use the air conditioner only when necessary, i.e. do not use it when there are few or no passengers on the school bus.
Make sure that you take your school bus for maintenance after an appropriate amount of time since it will raise the mileage of the bus.
Drive at a moderate speed
You should not over-speed your school bus and instead, drive it at a moderate speed. This will result in lower fuel consumption.
Conclusion: How Many Tires Does A School Bus Have?
The majority of school buses have two wheels on the front axle and four wheels on the dual (rear) axle, which makes a total of six wheels.
School bus tires typically have a size of 10R22.5 or 11R22.5, and cost between $2000 – $3000 for a full set. Note that most school buses have Rear-Wheel-Drive (RWD).