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March 17, 2011  |   Comments (7)   |   Post a comment

Top Shops 2011

This year for our annual series, we shine the spotlight on five maintenance programs with dedicated staff members who have established efforts to save their operations money, work well with their colleagues and earn excellent fleet safety inspection ratings.

by SBF Staff


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Lead mechanic Edgar Carrasco (back row,middle) says he and his colleagues depend onparts clerk Oscar Hernandez (front row, middle) to help them get their jobs done. Carrascosays Hernandez is a great asset to the district.

Lead mechanic Edgar Carrasco (back row,
middle) says he and his colleagues depend on
parts clerk Oscar Hernandez (front row, middle) to help them get their jobs done. Carrasco
says Hernandez is a great asset to the district.

Shop implements cost-effective, creative practices
Clint Independent School District
El Paso, Texas

The transportation shop team at Clint ISD strives to receive as much training as possible so that they have the knowledge and skills to perform most work in-house.

Lead mechanic Edgar Carrasco says they attend vendor-provided seminars as well as classes at state conferences, where they can obtain ASE certifications. Two techs are certified welders, and four are Maxon and Ricon wheelchair lift-certified. Also, five techs have associate degrees in diesel or gasoline technology.

The staff performs its own bus safety inspections, which Carrasco says is cost-effective because the transportation department isn’t charged multiple inspection fees if repairs need to be made.

“Three technicians serve as inspectors. Each is responsible for about 30 buses. We evaluate each technician by the number of comebacks, road calls, etc.,” he explains. “They compete against one another, which motivates them to perform better.”

(A state official visits the shop monthly to perform an audit.)

Integral to keeping the buses in good condition is the shop’s 111-point preventive maintenance inspection program, along with oil and coolant analyses, which help the technicians anticipate repairs.

The shop has saved approximately $11,500 annually over the last four years through its upholstery program. When repairing damaged seat covers, the team only replaces with new material the side that’s been torn. The techs sometimes sew on eye-catching patches for the students.

Other creative efforts include making driver’s seat organizers for the buses and building an injector extractor for Caterpillar C7 engines.

The technicians have a strong working relationship with the district’s school bus drivers and often offer training for them.

One year, the instruction consisted of a pre- and post-trip “fair.”

“We set up tables, and each table had a theme — for example, air brakes and suspension,” Carrasco says. “We had the drivers look at a suspension system in a bus and explained how brakes work and why they have to do a brake test.”

— KELLY ROHER

Shop Stats
Fleet: 92 school buses, 70 other vehicles
Total shop staff: 8
Number of bus bays: 3
Annual mileage: Over 1 million
Students transported: Over 5,000
Schools served: 13

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Read more about: efficiency, preventive maintenance

That is an awesome job they are doing.

Natissa Thompson    |    Jan 03, 2012 10:02 AM

I really agree on uniforms. It totally make the company look more professional. I am dealing with school bus drivers here in Illinois. I am a rep, for a company called logo wear direct. We have nice polo shirts. and they are nice for drivers to wear as safety for the children to identify the drivers by the colors and emblems they display for safety reasons. It is a good security measure for all children that ride school buses.

Henry Harris    |    Aug 09, 2011 09:39 PM

Speedwrench has done a great job for me. I highly recomend them! Regards to a prior post of "5 techs per 100 buses seems high", I have them servicing approx 140 buses with 2 techs in the peak season. Do the math, that is 70 school buses per mechanic, but I do some services at our main location when I can get the bus there. Off season, one mechanic is handling it without a problem. They are hard workers and reliable. Quality and Great Customer service!

Andre    |    Jul 27, 2011 07:51 AM

This is to Mark Egan. Just to let you know the fine job you and your team have done for me the past 11 years I drove for Commtrans.You kept me safe by keeping my bus and all buses ROAD READY and safe.Keep in touch Jackie704@att.net.. Ps . Say hi to Roy ..George

George Smith    |    Jun 18, 2011 01:29 PM

These guys are AWESOME, Clint ISD could not function without these hard working individuals. Keep up the good work!!!

Luis    |    Apr 22, 2011 01:32 PM

You guys are AWESOME!

My Name    |    Apr 15, 2011 02:30 PM

5 technicians for 100 units seem very high!

Manager    |    Apr 02, 2011 02:59 PM

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