Buses and Coach Steering Wheels
Buses and coaches will often have endured a long hard commercial life covering many hundreds of thousands of miles in different environments.
It is normal for bus and coach steering wheels on older vehicles to be quite large due to the lack of power steering. The larger bus and coach steering wheels assist in the extra effort required in moving the vehicle wheels; this will often result in stress occurring where the spokes intersect the rims and where the spokes intersect the centre boss.
The bus and coach steering wheels on older vehicles are often made from Bakelite or plastic on a steel frame. Another indication of severe bus and coach steering wheel wear is that solvents will often leach from the surface leaving black marks on hands and clothes, a common indication of Bakelite decaying over time.
Repairing the bus or coach steering wheel will often require all or some of the following; honing out of the cracks and splits; remodelling; re-thickening of the bus or coach steering wheel to give a constant thickness.
Welding is often required to mend and reinforce steel frames. Cracking around the centre boss is quite common where the steering wheel has been heated and forced off the column either by pulling or hitting. These areas need reconstructing to restore the bus or coach steering wheels to the original shape.
Because of the age of these bus and coach steering wheels welding repairs may be needed and will sometimes require the rims being separated from the spokes to facilitate a structurally sound wheel. They are then recoated in a 1mm thick celluloid finish.
If steering wheel has insufficient plastic or Bakelite left and all that remains is just a steel frame, we will either have the moulds to totally remake the Bakelite or plastic covering or can construct a tool for the correct mould. Once all the structural issues have been addressed we then recoat the whole steering wheel in a 1mm thickness of polyester either coloured or black as required thus giving the tractor steering wheel a smooth durable and constant finish that will not leach the original solvents the steering wheel was constructed from.
We are also often asked to coat the matching control knobs, such as gear knobs, centre caps and other miscellaneous switches or parts; we are pleased to offer this service for the bus and coach connoisseurs and enthusiasts who want to show their historic vehicle.
If your bus or coach steering wheel is of a particularly rare type or one that is in very poor condition it may be necessary to make a mould and totally reconstruct it. In this event it will often be more cost effective if a number of wheels are being repaired or made for a bus or coach Club or historic vehicle society.
Some of the various makes of buses and coaches for which we have restored or repaired the tractor steering wheel:
AEC RF Regal Greyhound
Bristol LS/MW LWL L6B
Leyland Tiger/Titan/Atlanta Lynx
Metro Camel Bedford