How Much Does A School Bus Weigh? Complete Details

Have you ever wondered how heavy a school bus is? Well, you’re not alone. School buses play a big role in getting kids to and from school safely. And since they carry a lot of people, they’re usually a lot heavier than a regular car. 

On average, an empty school bus can weigh anywhere from 10,000 to 25,000 pounds, depending on its size and specifications. But, once students and their belongings are on board, the weight of the bus can skyrocket to as much as 36,000 pounds!

In this article, we’ll give you the scoop on the average weight of a school bus and what factors can affect how heavy it is. Let’s get started!

How Much Does A School Bus Weigh?

An empty school bus typically weighs in the range of 10,000 to 25,000 pounds, but once it’s loaded with students and their supplies, the weight can reach as high as 36,000 pounds! 

It’s crucial to remember that these are just rough estimates, as the type of school bus can have a significant impact on its weight. 

It’s no wonder that the weight of these vehicles can vary so greatly with a variety of school bus sizes available.

School Bus TypeWhen Empty WeightWith Students Weight
Type A-110,000 pounds14,500 pounds
Type A-210,000 pounds21,500 pounds
Type B10,000 pounds21,500 pounds
Type C15,500 pounds30,000 pounds
Type D25,000 pounds36,000 pounds

Below I have discussed each school bus in deep detail.

Type A Bus Weigh

A Type A school bus, a minibus or a short bus, typically weighs around 10,000 pounds (4,536 to 6,350 kilograms) when empty.

With students and school supplies on board, the weight can increase to as much as 14,500 pounds. These smaller buses are typically used for shorter routes.

Type A-2 school bus is slightly different from Type A-1 due to their increased passenger capacity. An empty Type A-2 bus weighs around 10,000 pounds same as an A-1 school bus, while a fully loaded one with up to 24 passengers can weigh up to 21,500 pounds, which is equivalent to 7 to 11 tons.

Type B Bus Weigh

The Type B school bus often nicknamed the “half-bus,” is a transportation vehicle that stands out for its distinct design. With a shorter front and longer back, it resembles a truck with a bus body attached. Despite being larger than a Type A bus, it’s close to the Type A-2.

The Type B school bus is a great choice for smaller groups of students. When it’s empty, it weighs about 10,000 pounds, which is pretty light. 

But when it’s full of students, the weight goes up to around 21,500 pounds, just like the bigger Type A-2 bus. 

Depending on the size of the students, it can fit anywhere from 10 to 24 of them comfortably.

Type C Bus Weigh

The Type C bus is a staple of school transportation, known for its iconic shape. With a long front and a longer back, it can carry a whole lot of kids, up to a maximum of 72!

When an empty Type C bus hits the road, it weighs as much as a fully packed Type A or Type B bus! 

This is because there are different types of Type C buses, some bigger than others. The bigger the bus, the more weight it will have. 

An empty Type C bus can weigh anywhere from 15,500 pounds to 21,500 pounds. But once it’s filled with passengers, the weight jumps to between 25,000 to 30,000 pounds!

When the bus is carrying more passengers than it can hold, it can get even heavier. This means the bus could weigh up to 12 to 15 tons! 

Type D Bus Weigh

The Type D bus is pretty much the same as a Type C bus, but it’s got a different look up front. Instead of having a long front end, Type D has a flat one. This means the door is positioned in front of the front wheels, instead of behind them. This type of bus is especially popular in cities because of its unique design.

The main difference is that Type D buses have a flat front instead of a long one, which makes them more suitable for city roads. Just like Type C buses, they are long and can fit up to 72 people on board. 

The weight of a Type D bus varies based on whether it’s empty or carrying passengers. When empty, these buses weigh in the range of 15,500 to 21,500 pounds. However, when filled to capacity, the weight increases to an average of 25,000 to 30,000 pounds.

How Is A School Bus’s Weight Determined?

When figuring out how heavy a school bus is, there are some things that can affect its weight. Even a tiny change in one of these things can make two buses of the same type have different weights. Here are some things that determine a school bus’s weight.

Material of Construction:

The construction material of a school bus also plays a role in determining its weight. A bus made from lighter materials like aluminum will weigh less than a bus made from heavier materials like steel. However, the choice of material also depends on the intended use of the bus and the regulations that govern the construction of school buses in a particular area.

Buses made from heavier materials can provide a higher level of safety, but they also consume more fuel and are more expensive to maintain. Buses made from lighter materials are more fuel-efficient and cost-effective, but they may not provide the same level of safety. The choice of construction material is a trade-off between cost, efficiency, and safety.

Length of Bus:

Did you know that the length of a school bus affects how much it weighs? The shortest buses, Type A, use less materials in their construction compared to Type C and D buses. Type C and D buses are the longest and have more mass, making them heavier than Type A and B buses.


The number of seats a bus has can also play a role in its weight. For example, a Type C bus with 30 seats will weigh less than one with 35 seats. This is because even if everything else is the same, the bus with more seats will weigh more due to the extra weight of the seats. It’s important to remember that school bus seats are not always made for comfort and can add some weight to the bus.

To make sure the seats are strong and long-lasting, they’re usually built with steel frames and cushions that are designed to withstand lots of wear and tear. But, all those extra materials add up, making a bus that has more seats weigh more than one with fewer seats.

Some buses may have different-sized seats, depending on their intended purpose. For example, buses made to transport disabled students or sports teams may have a unique seat design that uses special materials to ensure their passengers are comfortable. These modifications can influence the overall weight of the bus.

Gas Tank

Another factor that contributes to a school bus’ weight is the size and type of gas tank. A bus with a large gas tank may have more fuel, meaning it will weigh more overall. Similarly, if a bus is designed with a smaller gas tank to reduce weight, it will naturally weigh less. Additionally, some buses use different types of fuel, such as propane, which can also impact the weight of the bus.

Different buses may have varying fuel tank sizes, which can influence their weight. For example, a bus with a newer, fuel-efficient tank is likely to weigh less compared to a bus with an older, less efficient tank that requires a larger or heavier fuel storage solution.


Storage refers to any additional compartments or containers used to hold supplies, equipment, or luggage. These storage compartments can take up extra space and add weight to the bus. 

Some school buses have under-floor storage compartments, roof-mounted storage containers, or additional shelves and cabinets inside the bus. These storage options can greatly impact the bus’s weight, as the materials used for storage, such as metal or plastic, can be quite heavy.


In conclusion, an empty school bus can weigh anywhere from 10,000 to 25,000 pounds and it can be affected by several factors, such as its length, number of seats, construction material, storage options, and size of its gas tank. By understanding how these factors influence a bus’s weight, you can make informed decisions about which type of bus is best for your needs.


What is the weight of a normal bus?

On average, a standard city bus weighs between 10,000 and 30,000 kilograms (22,000 to 66,000 pounds).

How much does a tour bus weigh in kg?

A tour bus can weigh anywhere from 15,000 to 40,000 kilograms (33,000 to 88,000 pounds) depending on its size and features.

What is the minimum weight of a bus?

It depends on the classification and purpose of the bus, but there’s no universal minimum weight for all buses. It depends on factors like size, design, capacity, and regional regulations.

How heavy is a commercial bus?

It depends on the size and features of commercial buses, which include transit buses and intercity buses. A commercial bus weighs an average of 10,000 to 30,000 kilograms (22,000 to 66,000 pounds), but bigger ones can weigh up to 40,000 kilograms (88,000 pounds).

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