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Nascar Bus deck
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Posted by: swhite832

05/05/2009, 13:13:08

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As much as I would like to figure this out on my own the learning curve is too steep.
I am building a deck out of A36 steel on top of a school bus. If anyone has a source for the specifications of A36 steel in various dimensions (angle, square tube, rectangle, etc.) that can be plugged into the calculaters available on this site, I would be most greatful.
The deck is to be 8' x 32'. The main cross members will be spaced every four feet with two foot centers running the opposite direction. The decking will be 4'x8' plastic boat dock deck or something equivelent.
I want to use the lightest possible square tubing/angle iron, therefore, need to calculate the deflection rates of different combinations of the two. I estimate there would not be more than 20 people at any one time loading the structure so I am figuring a 4000lb dynamic load, distributed unequally(ie. not one person/13 sq. ft.) across the deck.
I also need a source for shear strengths of grade 8 bolts. The best way to attach this thing to the bus is bolted every 28 1/2" down each side just above the window bolted thru the skeletal ribs that make this thing a tank.
If I am missing anything like distribution characteristics of steel, which would compound my already under educated brain. Please...enlighten me. I can think it up and I can build but this time I have to fly it too.
Thanks for the help.

swhite









Modified by swhite832 at Tue, May 05, 2009, 21:28:15


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: Nascar Bus deck -- swhite832 Post Reply Top of thread Engineering Forum
Posted by: rwolfejr

05/06/2009, 08:49:05

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So you load up the bus... off to the races... and party on the roof. If you want to keep the weight down and not crush your buss roof... Then I'm thinking you'll want to put light wall tubular posts on the floor, on top of the frame, up to your bus roof to act as the primary supports. So you have a few posts at the back of a few seats? It'll give your buds something to grab onto when they're going to the cooler on the way to the races.

Structural steel... like the A36... has a yield of 33,000 psi and a modulus of elasticity of 29,000,000 psi.

Best to error to the safe side so figure on having more guests than you expect. You never know... the Budweiser girls might want to vist? So you have about two tons of your buddies up there and about a ton of hot babes, about a half a ton of frosty beverages, grill, food, coolers, lawnchairs etc. Plus the weight of your decking materials. A fold down railing of some sort might not be a bad idea also?

Any chance you could paint this bus black and gold so I could borrow it for tailgating at a couple / few Steeler games?











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Posted by: Kelly Bramble

05/06/2009, 10:10:08

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Grade 8 bolts? With well designed gussets you should be ok with grade 5 bolts.

What do you have planned on that roof top that made you think grade eight bolts anyway? ;)










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Posted by: rwolfejr

05/06/2009, 10:49:45

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Maybe the builder is partial to "Olde Frothingslosh" the "Pale Stale Ale with the foam on the bottom."...?

20000529JBMarsha0529M[1].jpg (27.5 KB)  








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Posted by: swhite832

05/06/2009, 16:00:35

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Olde Frothingslosh" the "Pale Stale Ale with the foam on the bottom."...?"

Heh, I am non-discriminitory....to a point. They have to bring there own beer and keep their shirts on.

How do I plug those numbers in? Yield? Modulus of elasticity? I'll see if I can plug those things in that formula. I will have an 32' x 8' deck in a 2' x 4' grid pattern with say 5000 lbs walking around on it twice a year. It is a viewing platform only(viewing from.... not viewing at.... but then again you never know).


The paint scheme will be white with black trim...just like the generic beer. That way anyone can use it. You can hang a flag if you like. There will be a fold down railing. There will be bass boat type swivel seats and a quick up awning. It will be cool and hopefully light. Thanks for the input thus far even though you are a Jack Lambert fan.









Modified by swhite832 at Wed, May 06, 2009, 20:13:59


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Posted by: Kelly Bramble

05/06/2009, 22:38:45

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Ok, I take no responsibility for the following statements and you are on you own if disaster, collapse, acts of god or other wise occurs on that roof top.

I think A36 steel channel or even 6061 aluminum angle or channel supported at the spacing you suggested should be fine. I would run numbers for deflection under a load not exceeding 40% yield of your simply supported structure and see what you get. See http://www.engineersedge.com/structural_shapes_menu.shtml. I recommend starting with 2 X 2 X .250 or heavier steel. Check the weight on heavier and larger section aluminum angle.

I like the boat dock decking ideal as weight is going to be huge issue. Also, you should consider a stabilizing lock arm bar system at all four corners of the bus. I would do the mechanical type as hydraulic systems can leak. The more your reach and lock out the better. Don't forget about the wall or other supporting structure for the roof as this needs to be strong enough as well.

How are folks going to get up and down? Refrigerator, coolers?

Other than that I agree with jboggs.

Do we get pictures? Now and later?









Modified by Kelly Bramble at Wed, May 06, 2009, 22:40:20


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Posted by: jboggs

05/06/2009, 22:02:22

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Call me an old fogie. I don't know. To me the whole thing sounds like a lawsuit just waiting to happen.









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Posted by: randykimball

05/07/2009, 16:34:20

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OH geeeze... now you've lit my fuse... shaking my head.. I'm much to classy for this........... ... .... .. . . .

well..I've been on a few of those things and had my coach on the infield of NASCAR a time or two (that would be the Monaco Dynasty with the mural of the old timer panning for gold on the rear cap) .... As you well know..I have observed a few bus top decks that looked fine and a few of which I steered wide and clear of.

My comments are this:

Keep the weight and center of gravity down as far as possible for travel. The railing, as you know will have to be raised after parking in the infield, or you will not get through many of the tunnel intrances under the tracks. SO... Why not hand up the railing when you need it, and store it lower down on the bus or trailer (dropping the center of gravity double). This will reduce topside weight going down the road to the next race.

Next, be strict about your max numbers of guest top side. I've (and so have you) seen some get carried away with the quantity of guest top side during the race after the beer starts flowing freely. AND,... I've ... see a few get over crowded on Friday and Saturday night... right?? (OK now... this next part is not normal for this forum, but we got'ta have some relaxation at times, ok?.. so Kelly.. it's all in fun... big giggle... a truth is about to slip out of the bag)Yeah, we know the one, and I've tended the gate to that thing a few times... what ..where...?? "See no evil, hear no evil, say no evil. What happens at the NASCAR infield stays at the NASCAR infield", (yeah we really say that). ..!! For those who don't know.. the NASCAR infield for the two nights before a race is the biggest party going.. bar none... not to be believed until you've been there. (If you want to count chicks that lift their tops in the night parties you'll need a calculator.... so shameful..) .. and if you are bothered by the sound of generators around every corner... don't go... cause you'll gag on the fumes of the gen-sets and beer. When you can't remember if a chick lifted her top yet, or can't count to ..two.. it is time to curl up and get some sleep. If you can't find your own camp site, most any will do for a couple of hours, until your eyes will focus. .. so they tell me....cause I've out grown that sort-a-thing... and for the record, I drink diet Coke...really... cause, this is much more fun to watch when you're sober.

Next, if you are going to "hand up" the railing, why not have lock on legs to the earth to add stability and strength.

Next, I'd go expanded metal for the deck, STRONG and doesn't suck up (beer or) water and gain weight in the rains.

Next, OVER BUILD IT..... OVER BUILD IT. .. and don't forget the required creative beer can shoot from the top to the home made automatic can cusher on the ground. .. and I've yet to see a zip-line to the porta-potty, but wish I'd had one a couple of times.







The worst suggestion of your lifetime may be the catalyst to the grandest idea of the century, never let suggestions go unsaid nor fail to listen to them.

Modified by randykimball at Thu, May 07, 2009, 17:12:03


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Posted by: swhite832

05/07/2009, 18:36:16

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I agree it needs to be designed carefully. Only people, bar stool type stairs, maybe a couple of beach chairs, one medium sized cooler and an easy up canopy will be on top. There is alot of space but that doesn't necessarily mean more people, just more space to move around. Stairs/ladder at a 60-70 degree angle will be the access(36" run ~78" rise). I like to watch all the fun going on, sometimes participate, but my platform will be for family and friends only. There won't be any of that other stuff on mine due to the fact that there are those who make a living from claims, disability, and suits. I'll look for "the miner" next year if your at TMS.

When you say "40% of yield" does that mean build it to hold 10000# when I want 4000#?

The plastic boat dock deck weighs 17# per 4x8 sheet and can handle 1000#/sq ft., whereas the lightest available expanded metal 4x8 sheet is 38#.

I may be able to come up with some sort of stabalizing jack mechanism but it would not extend out away from the bus, but it would stop any rocking.

At any rate I'll plug in the numbers and see if I can come up with a metal size that will adequately support 5000#.










Modified by swhite832 at Fri, May 08, 2009, 08:30:05


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Posted by: randykimball

05/09/2009, 09:41:26

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Well you are thinking it through, ..keep up the good work. I like the family thing. I really do drink diet coke and iced tea when I attend. The rest of the chatter was for fun, though I can't say that for the rest of the gang, 'cept the wife. We try to be the grand mom & dad influence of reason. Drop by the Dynasty anytime you see it for a friendly chat. It has "Kaye & Randy" painted under the left side of the mural. ..and that offer goes for any other readers. There is a fair chance we'll have wild big on the smoker to share and plenty of seats in the shade, and it is a "family friendly" camp site. I don't know exactly which tracks we'll attend as we tend to be in a swap out locations accordingly to who is doing what group. None of us can handle every event, geeeze that gets nutz.






The worst suggestion of your lifetime may be the catalyst to the grandest idea of the century, never let suggestions go unsaid nor fail to listen to them.

Modified by randykimball at Sat, May 09, 2009, 09:48:50


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Posted by: Kelly Bramble

05/09/2009, 10:42:31

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Randy, which races do you attend? My brother and sister in-law are regulars at Atlanta, Talladega, and are going to the next Darlington race.









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Posted by: randykimball

05/09/2009, 22:58:51

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I never know.. it all depends on work loads and who gets the next turn at the share. I try hardest to make the Texas Motor Speedway. We only live about 8.5 miles away. To tell the truth, we are about burned out on it. We may lay off and skip several and see what happens. 'Not even sure we will make Texas in the fall.. but who knows.. things and attitudes change. 'but the wife would like to sell the coach.... so. we'll see. We are getting a bit old for the run around. AND... those infield spots are NOT cheap... even if you work the swaps, They can go for as much as $5k a season for one track just to keep, and if your loose them ..forget it... they are spoken for forever. IF your brother and wife ever come to the Texas race come with them ... drop me a note and perhaps we can work a get together... that would be kind'a kool! ...In fact we are home and the race is on TV now and I'm not watching.. that is not like me... I tend to be a Gordon fan, perhaps because my son is a diehard Gordon fan. .... but I like most drivers about equal... Now that Jr. is on the same team as Gordon I lean towards that whole team... I guess.






The worst suggestion of your lifetime may be the catalyst to the grandest idea of the century, never let suggestions go unsaid nor fail to listen to them.

Modified by randykimball at Sat, May 09, 2009, 23:07:02


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