Double Decker Bus
Double decker buses present special opportunities
and unique obstacles for use as conversion buses, site-seeing tour buses,
advertising venues, stand alone tourist shops or restaurants. Because
they are so tall, so heavy, and typically so slow, they must be carefully
considered before purchasing to ensure a good fit for ones needs. Scroll
down if you want to explore the advantages and disadvantages of these
buses for each of these purposes. Usually when US importers bring them
in the Double Decker's are hand picked then renovated to meet all Federal
Regulations set forth by the United States Department of Transportation.
Still many of them aren't designed to travel over 40 miles per hour,
this of course limits the use of double decker's to very specialized situations
and locations. Usually tour operators operating in remote areas find them
especially valuable due to their increased seating capacity.
Double Decker Bus as
a Stationary Tourist Attraction or Shop
Double Decker ADVANTAGES include: Many people find them intriguing,
and they tend to solicit a lot of goodwill, interest, and arouse the curiosity.
This of course lends itself to a great retail environment, restaurant
or coffee shop arrangement, or for anything where a nostalgic or unique
feeling will increase traffic.
Double Decker DISADVANTAGES include: The interior size can present
special considerations for layout of space. In some states they may actually
be illegal for use as a building due to lack of handicapped access.
Adding handicapped access would be nearly impossible or at the very least
quite expensive. They are not particularly well insulated so heating and
cooling costs should be investigated.
Many of the bodies on double deckers are traditional steel so rust should
not be ignored.
Double Decker Bus as a Tour Bus Candidate
Double Decker ADVANTAGES include: these buses typically have many
more seats than traditional tour buses, thus increasing profits per run.
Many people find them intriguing, and they tend to solicit a lot of goodwill,
interest, and arouse the curiosity. This causes people to respond positively
to pictures of these buses in advertisements for tours, especially the
open top variety.
Double Decker DISADVANTAGES include: Many are right hand drive
meaning the steering wheel is on the opposite side of the bus that most
drivers in the United states are used to. Height, weight, and maximum
speeds of about 40 miles per hour limit their use to certain areas and
on certain roads. Investigate insurance issues before purchasing a double
Double Decker Bus as a Recreational Vehicle
Double Decker ADVANTAGES include: They have more room than typical
RV's. Many have converted them for use as "party buses", or
special venues like wedding parties, bachelor parties, etc.
Double Decker DISADVANTAGES include: Double Decker buses do not
make good conversions candidates. Height, weight, and maximum speeds of
about 40 miles per hour limit their use to certain areas and on certain
roads. Many of the bodies on double deckers are traditional steel so rust
should not be ignored. Many are right hand drive meaning the steering
wheel is on the opposite side of the bus that most drivers in the United
states are used to.
Double Decker Bus as an Advertising Venue
Double Decker ADVANTAGES include: the bus can be moved to the
most attractive area, driven around, and left in locations where local
ordinances may restrict typical billboard advertisements. They are relatively
cheap per available square foot of signage area.
Double Decker DISADVANTAGES include: Because the double deckers
are vehicles, insurance, permits, license plates, registration, do run
up the costs of running ownership. Many are right hand drive meaning the
steering wheel is on the opposite side of the bus that most drivers in
the United states are used to.
Many double deckers arrive directly from service in the
United Kingdom or other parts of Europe and undergo extensive renovations
prior to sales in the U.S. The restoration process includes a complete
mechanical inspection and repair. Parts can be more difficult to locate
than other bus makes. When buying a double decker ask for spare parts,
catalogs, parts manufacturer lists and suppliers.
Leyland double decker buses were manufactured for over 90 years, up till
1991. Leyland products included models such as Lion, Titan, Tiger, Leopard,
Atlantean and Olympian. They were considered of high quality and tended
to exhibit good reliability.
The Bristol 'K' was built from 1937 until 1940. Most were equipped with
five cylinder Gardner oil engines, but some of the earlier ones had gasoline
engines. Many were 'OMNIBUSES' - meaning "something for everyone".
In the early days you could ride in the open upper area up top for one
fifth the price of an interior seat.
The Bristol was built in Bristol England, mostly for service within the
city, though some were shipped elsewhere in Europe. The last Bristol 'K'
series ended active service by 1970. The ones on the Isle of White were
sold to the sunshine tour Co. of London. Between 1972 through 1975 they
were sold and shipped to the United States.
In 1952 many open and closed top Bristol 'K' buses were rebuilt and all
made open-topped buses for limited tour duty. Some were refitted with
Bristol-Gardner six cylinder oil engines and new partial resided bodies.
The Bristol 'K' became outdated primarily because they needed two people
to operate and could not be converted to one man operations.
RLH Buses have a low height - 13 feet 4 inches compared to about 15 foot
or more for some other double deckers, and this allows access to more
roads. All structural components in the body are steel rather than wood.
Often the seat cushions were made of real leather, and these buses had
additional air vent grilles on exterior: one above each upper deck front
window. See Bus Buyers Prepurchase
Checklist before buying any double decker bus.