School Bus Grain Truck

"It works as well as any conventional heavy duty grain truck but cost a lot less," says Armin Scripter, Abilene, Kan., who turned an old 65-passenger school bus into a 350-bu. grain truck.

Scripter started with a 1977 International 1700 school bus equipped with a 392 cu. in. engine and automatic transmission. He removed everything except for the front portion of the bus and the frame. He unbolted the rear 10-in. section of the bus body, moved it forward, and rebolted it just be-hind the first row of seats to form a cab. He mounted a 17-ft. truck bed and hoist on the open frame behind the cab. He then mounted a pusher axle -- made from the front axle from another bus -- in front of the rear wheels. The bus's power steering pump is used to operate the dump hoist.

"It gets a lot of attention and didn't cost much to build," says Scripter. "The bus's yellow color makes a nice contrast with the red truck bed. I bought four buses and originally planned to use them for storage. I made the conversion when I needed another truck. We use it to haul grain from the field to our bins and from the bins to town. By mounting homemade steel sideboards off another truck I can haul up to 400 bu. with it. The extra pusher axle helps distribute the weight and reduces compaction in the field.

"The bus was already equipped with air brakes, power steering, and an automatic transmission. I mounted a Brownie 3-speed transmission behind the automatic transmission which gives it a lot of pulling power. It has twelve forward gears and three reverse."