Once the countdown to the final days of the school year begins, we all know summertime is fast approaching. Camp routes and community centers are bustling with children excited to be free from what seemed like a 9 month prison sentence. Most would look at summer as an opportunity to relax, relate and release. However, for a school bus company, summer can be one of the most busiest times of the year.
While some drivers are making decisions to go out of town with their own families, others are looking for alternate work and worrying if there will be enough routes to go around.
Office and corporate staff are making arrangements to obtain and retain good drivers. Recruiting strategies are in full force looking for those elite individuals that have a sincere interest in transporting all of our precious children. The training department has an opportunity to evaluate and train existing drivers on issues or problems that may have occurred during the previous school year. Office staff are shredding route copies, making room for the upcoming school year.
Summer also gives the company time to spruce up the property. Surfaces are getting deep cleaned and made fresh with a new coat of paint. An inspection of the grounds may show the previous winter’s damage. So a main focus will be on yard clean up. Filling potholes in driveways/walkways to prevent future trips and falls. It is easier and safer to do repairs when weather permits and can clearly see what needs repair. Incorporating slip and fall prevention into driver training is also being planned during the summer. The time and hard work is being spent recruiting good drivers, so you don’t want them hurt on or off the job.
On the bus, inspections are completed. Buses are thoroughly washed, painted and repaired. The old gum stuck to the bottom of the bus seats are scraped off and floors polished to a pristine shine. Seats that have fallen victim to graffiti, are scrubbed and repaired of any damages. Good maintenance is easier to accomplish when you are not under strict time restraints. Making sure the fleet will roll out on time the first day of school and endure another winter, is a primary goal.
When the school year is over and summer arrives, it is nice to think about taking it easy. However, in the bus company world, the wheels never stop turning. Several summer projects that can make your fleet, drivers and operations run smoother, can pay dividends come the next school year. Focusing on issues that will make the new school year easier is well worth your time during the summer.