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Safety First


Wouldn't you agree that the primary concern for all parents, school administrators and school bus companies is the safety of the students as they are transported to and from school and school related activities? Around 480,000 school buses are on the road transporting approximately 25 million students daily. According to the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, school buses make approximately 10 billion student trips in an average school year. Comprehensive PM Schedules, Inspections and Employee Training helps to ensure that the children are safe with minimal incidents during the 10 billion trips annually. School buses are the safest mode of transportation on the road today. The NHTSA reported the fatality rate every 100 million miles for school buses was 0.2 and for passenger vehicles it was 8 times higher.

Each state establishes PM schedules, inspection requirements and driver mandates that schools and school bus companies located in that state must follow to ensure pupil safety.

A PM scheduling program will reduce breakdown costs, component damage and the amount of time a bus is out of service while increasing the students' safety. PM schedules are set up by days, miles/kms and hours of operation parameters. Regularly scheduled PMs will catch many component parts' failures before they occur helping to increase the safety of your bus fleet while in operation and reducing breakdown costs.

School Bus breakdowns incur costs in towing, repairs, loss of classroom time for students and safety of students. These additional expenses should be avoided if at all possible. FleetSoft's Truck Tracker fleet maintenance software has a comprehensive PM Scheduling system to assist the bus fleet shop in creating PM schedules for each unit or unit groups and managing these schedules. Alerts and reports are generated in Truck Tracker when the buses PMs are approaching the PM due date giving the fleet manager notice in advance to schedule the maintenance. Truck Tracker's PM Scheduling program keeps detailed service and part record history for each unit providing the manager with information to view trends for specific parts or products used and an ongoing analysis of the fleet's operational costs and bus' performance.

Federal law requires drivers to make a pre-trip inspection of the buses...

  • Steering System
  • Parking Brake
  • Service Brakes
  • Tires
  • Wheels
  • Lights and Reflectors
  • Horn
  • Windshield Wipers
  • Mirrors
  • Emergency Equipment

Each state has established its own bus inspection guidelines in addition to the Federal requirements to be performed daily, monthly and annually. The daily inspections are often performed by the drivers. The monthly and annual inspections are set up as a PM and performed by the fleet shop technicians or state officials. When a potential problem is noticed by a driver while conducting a daily inspection or during the day's operation, they will report the issue and bring it to the attention of the maintenance shop for repair or further investigation. Truck Tracker contains a Reported Problem module where the drivers can identify and record a potential hazard found, alerting the fleet manager and maintenance shop immediately via e-mail, reminder dashboard or report generation. This process prevents the outstanding problem to go unnoticed and allows it to be resolved in a short period of time ensuring the safety of the students and reducing bus breakdown occurrences and costs.

To secure the school bus passengers safety, the drivers have to meet certain training, licenses, certifications and physical examination requirements determined by each state. It is critical for the schools and school bus companies to keep detailed and up to date records on each of the driver's training, licenses, certifications and physicals to avoid hefty fines or potential law suits. Truck Tracker simplifies the driver record keeping and prevents the possibility of a driver's training, licenses, certifications and physicals escaping notice and expiring with the e-mail reminders and dashboard alerts it provides. By using Truck Tracker's Employee module complete data files are recorded for each employee and easily accessible should the driver come under close scrutiny.

Truck Tracker fleet maintenance software can help bus fleets meet inspection requirements, driver regulations and maintenance specifications set by the state to ensure bus, driver and pupil safety. You will find that using a fleet maintenance software program to manage a bus fleet will help decrease the number of emergency repairs and breakdowns, increase safety and service while reducing the cost of operation. The safety of the students and buses far outweigh the costs. Make those 10 billion trips annually safe ones!

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