1984 - Volume #8, Issue #4, Page #33[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
School Bus Calf Shelter
Kvien explains that in addition to selling new and used buses, Dietrich & Sons also salvages older buses ù 1973 and before ù that it takes in on trade. Many of the mechanical components, such as the engines, transmissions, and drive trains, are interchangeable with components on farm trucks. However, until recently, there was no good steady market for the bodies of these older buses, and auto crushers wouldn't take them.
Then the company hit on the idea of using the bus tops for calf shelters.
"We cut the body off with a metal saw, starting right behind the driver's seat. We cut across the top and then just above the floor down both sides and across the back. Then, we fasten 3-in. round pipe to the bottom of the sides to act as skids and put a tow hitch on the back. We leave the door on the back end so it's enclosed. The front end is wide open," explains Kvien.
Equipped as described, the bus shelters sell for $400. The buses can be painted for another $200. Kvien notes that the windows let sunlight in to help keep young calves warm.
Most of the bus shelters are about 5 ft., 10 in. tall, 20 ft. long and about 8 ft. wide. Kvien notes that the company also sells bus shelters with the floors left in them. Some farmers buy them that way to use as small farrowing sheds or for other on-farm purposes.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dietrich & Sons, Box 777, Valley City, N. Dak. 58072 (ph 701 845-1590).
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