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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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Speed Wrench technicians perform most bus repair onsite. However, if damage is extensive, the bus will be taken to the company’s 50,000-square foot facility.
<p>Speed Wrench technicians perform most bus repair onsite. However, if damage is extensive, the bus will be taken to the company’s 50,000-square foot facility.</p>

One-on-one program forms school, technician relationship
Speed Wrench Inc.
Hudsonville, Mich.

Speed Wrench Inc. services the fleets of more than 50 public and private school districts using custom maintenance programs to suit the needs of each fleet. As part of the company’s one-on-one program, one technician is assigned to each fleet, so that “he can build a comfortable relationship with each driver,” says Bus Division Supervisor Tom Mastbergen.

“With the quality of our technicians and our one-on-one program with the customer, we can find and repair issues before they become bigger or more expensive problems,” Mastbergen adds. Each technician receives annual training, including instruction on wheelchair lift repair and maintenance.

Speed Wrench Inc. is housed in a 50,000-square foot, state-of-the-art facility that was constructed six years ago. The facility is equipped with six drive-through bays that can accommodate two buses each; two alignment rack bays and two more bays designed for use by the body shop.

“Each technician must carry a scanner or TouchPad computer loaded with all the software needed to work on the various makes and models of buses,” Mastbergen says.

The TouchPads allow technicians to easily diagnose check engine light, transmission light, body system and antilock brake system light problems on most bus brands. “With onsite maintenance and the various kinds of buses, the techs must be proficient and tooled in multiple areas of repair,” Mastbergen says.

Speed Wrench performs the majority of maintenance and repairs onsite — at a district’s transportation facility or at the site of a bus breakdown — unless the repairs are extensive. This saves bus operators time and money, Mastbergen explains. Regular maintenance takes place at the operator’s bus facility, eliminating scheduling and shuttling problems for schools.

“With the quality maintenance program and the addition of our body shop, we can extend the life of a bus three to five years,” Mastbergen says.

— BRITTANY-MARIE SWANSON

Shop Stats
Fleet: Over 200 school buses, over 100 other vehicles
Total shop staff: 34
Number of bus bays: 8, plus 2 alignment rack bays
Districts served: Over 50 public and private school systems

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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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