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How to properly tow your 'Bird Here you will find some opinions on what some of our members did when they had to have their 'Bird towed by a wrecker service.

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Old 06-11-2008
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iamflagman iamflagman is offline
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Default 'Birds and Wreckers "WHAT TO KNOW TO TOW"

So the day comes when you have no other option but to have your 'Bird towed, here are some pointers to look for when you are requesting a tow from that Road Service provider that you took the time to pick out so carefully. check out this discussion on picking out the Best Towing Membership Program

Keep in mind that the Road Service person that you talk to on the phone may not know exactly what a Blue Bird Wanderlodge is, so take the time to make sure that they understand that first it is a very heavy vehicle, it helps to mention exactly how heavy it is, remember when you had it weighed, keep that figure near your Road Service card. It even helps to mention what the axle weights are, as your 'Bird may have to be picked up at either end.

The drive shaft may have to be disconnected before it can be towed, so make sure that the drive shaft U Joint mounting nuts can be removed, or the axle retaining bolts can be removed, but then they have to come up with some material to make a temporary cover for the opening after they remove the axle shafts. When I had to have mine towed they couldn't get the nuts, or bolts to budge.

Sometimes this can be remedied by loading your 'Bird on what is called a Landhaul, or a lowboy style trailer that has a removable gooseneck, but they may not be available where you need the tow, so have those nuts and bolts checked and replaced if need be. Make sure that they understand that if they have to use a Landhaul that the rear of your 'Bird may drag the ground while loading it, unless they bring some extra timbers to let the rear tires ride up on like in this photo of mine.


Make sure that the wrecker service understands that the axles on both ends of you 'Bird are set back underneath the 'Bird and let them know how far under by having that measurement available when you talk to them, tell them that they will need a STINGER that can be adjusted to fit under your axles, to pick up the 'Bird. Here is a what a STINGER looks like


Here is a wrecker towing a bus from the rear using an adjustable stinger





Here is NOT the proper way to tow a 'Bird using an adjustable stinger under the front axle, the STIGER needs to be under the axle.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLWA-0nlFcM

You don't want them to attempt to pick up your 'Bird by the bumpers, or even the frame close to the ends of the body, as the 'Bird is too heavy for that, here's an example of how NOT to pick up a 'Bird, this may be OK for a lighter weight school bus, but not for a 'Bird.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJqL9b96-90

Hopefully if you have to be towed, you will be lucky enough to find a wrecker service that has the type of equipment that this outfit does http://www.tuminostowing.com/services/car-truck.asp place your cursor over each of the larger picture to see a larger view of them. this outfit, seems to have all of the right stuff and I have no connection with them, I just like their choice of equipment.

Do you have some towing stories that you can share with the forum, if so please add them right here, as we just can't have too much information on this topic.
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JOHN FINN
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I'M SO SLOW ON THE HILLS,THAT I GET TO SMELL THE FLOWERS AS I GO BY.....AND WATCH THEM GROW TOO!! NOT SO MUCH ANYMORE
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Old 06-11-2008
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iamflagman iamflagman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamflagman View Post
Make sure that the wrecker service understands that the axles on both ends of you 'Bird are set back underneath the 'Bird and let them know how far under by having that measurement available when you talk to them, tell them that they will need a STINGER that can be adjusted to fit under your axles, to pick up the 'Bird. Here is a what a STINGER looks like WRECKER ADJUSTABLE STINGER.jpg Here is a wrecker towing a bus from the rear using an adjustable stinger BUS REAR AXLE TOWED WITH ADJUSTABLE STINGER.jpg and here is NOT the proper way to tow a 'Bird using an adjustable stinger under the front axle, the STINGER needs to be under the axle.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLWA-0nlFcM

I'm sorry, I made an error, but I have corrected it above.
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JOHN FINN
FORUM MODERATOR-ADMINISTRATOR
1982 FC35RB
I'm NO EXPERT, but I did stay in the FINN'S INN EXPRESS last night
HOPKINS, SOUTH CAROLINA
VISIT THE FINN'S INN EXPRESS REMODELING ADVENTURE AND TECH. TIPS
I'M SO SLOW ON THE HILLS,THAT I GET TO SMELL THE FLOWERS AS I GO BY.....AND WATCH THEM GROW TOO!! NOT SO MUCH ANYMORE
Visit the WILD HARE RACING website
REMEMBER 9/11
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  #3  
Old 06-11-2008
guysmalley guysmalley is offline
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John if my service tech didn't know what a BBW was (which has never happen) I would change companies, the major companies deal in large motorhomes and I agree people should know their weights, axles weights. I was amazed at how quickly the tower loaded the BB disconnected the drive shaft aired up the bus. PS I heard your bus is so old they send a horse and wagon to tow it
-guysmalley
86 pt 40
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  #4  
Old 06-11-2008
guysmalley guysmalley is offline
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John's coach is so old it is a blue bird with feathers
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Old 06-11-2008
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Gray Eagle Gray Eagle is offline
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John,
Very useful information. Thanks for posting. Just hope I never need to use it!
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  #6  
Old 10-14-2010
Bob Johannesen Bob Johannesen is offline
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I had mine recently towed in Albuquerque for a distance of four miles and we left the engine running to keep the Allison transmission lubed. Saved $100.00 for the shaft disconnect fee. Be sure your wrecker driver knows which transmission you have - some of the later model Allisons have a planetary gear that will really spin up the output shaft if turned from the drive shaft!
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  #7  
Old 10-15-2010
thudpilot1 thudpilot1 is offline
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We had our 37' BMC towed 20 miles into Flagstaff, AZ in May in a blizzard. Called coachnet and ruled out landhaul because too any low bridges and I would have to absorb costs vs a tow. Spoke with tow co. who were very knowledgeable who sent a british "chap" who was super sharp. He disconnected drive shaft, and applied pressure from his truck to air bags along with hanging tail lights and away we went. Whatever you do, grill the tow co. to see if they're pros or not. This guy handled his truck with bird in tow super smooth and drove it directly into bay where it was repaired. My only out of pocket cost was to reconnect drive shaft - - and a $10 tip to the driver.
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  #8  
Old 10-15-2010
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Just had my FC35 towed 80 miles last weekend. driver was smooth. Tipped him 60 bux.
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  #9  
Old 10-15-2010
bobbocow bobbocow is offline
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275 mile tow on my FC33 in August -- the tow truck was bigger than the "Bird. He disconnected the drive shaft and then used the compressor on his truck to air up the bus while he towed it. Quite the proceedure.
Tom
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  #10  
Old 04-03-2011
express1 express1 is offline
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Default Being towed

I've searched, but most likely not correctly. This is currently a big issue on www.newellclassic.com

How to properly tow a large motorcoach..........

Some pictures on that website...

Any info on this site that might contribute to proper way to do this?

Hope we never need to be towed but there are nightmares about incorrectly towing coaches by incompetent tow companies.
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