The bus shop
Bret Braaten of Butterfield, Minnesota was looking for a service truck that would house a shop full of tools as well as provide a place to get in from the weather. He bought an old 84-passenger school bus for $600 from the school district and retrofitted it to hold everything he needed.
- WATCH VIDEO: Service bus
The shop on wheels goes with him when he’s doing field work, or if somebody needs help, he drives the bus to them. It carries a remarkable array of tools and other shop necessities.
"Generator, welder, air compressor, jump starter, the whole nine yards. A storage area where you can work on top. So, in the fall we’ll put combine parts and things like that in there, in the spring we put tillage parts and everything in it," says Braaten. "If you’re doing something simple you can set it on top and work on it. We carry our torch, we carry two different sizes of plasma cutters, and the big air pack will run about anything you want to run."
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This is the Braaten’s second bus conversion which is larger than the first one. This time they added creature comforts that the whole family can enjoy - an RV refrigerator that runs on 120 or 12-volt electricity, an onboard gas generator, and even a TV.
"We all get together at noon, or evening or whatever to have dinner, sometimes it’s a midnight snack. We found out if you have a nice place to bring stuff and plug in crock pots, or cook on, or whatever it may be, you get to eat really well. We got a table, you can set 8-10 people around. They can bring their food and plug it in and leave again or whatever. We’ve got everything inside," he says. "We used to have to worry about when you go back to the yard you had to get your equipment truck inside because everything was prone to getting wet or whatever. Well now, it doesn’t matter. You just drive the bus home and park it."
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There are changes on the outside of the bus, too. They had to modify the appearance in accordance with Minnesota state law.