Technological improvements to school buses are a double-edged sword — they improve the efficiency, performance and safety of the vehicles, but they also require that technicians update their knowledge base regularly to stay in step. Over the years, school bus manufacturers and vendors have developed classes that help technicians understand the latest body, chassis and engine enhancements. But the challenge lies in getting these busy technicians to a facility for training. From this obstacle arose the solution of home-based training, a less expensive and more convenient option.
A beneficial alternative
Through home-based training programs, technicians can attend school in the comfort of their own home or shop, eliminating non-productive travel time. This training option has been very popular among the approximately 30,000 technicians employed by school districts, private businesses and truck/automobile repair shops. While these courses are not a substitute for certification through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), they are excellent instruments to help technicians understand the components that keep their buses running smoothly. Home-based training programs were developed so technicians could study at their own pace, giving them the opportunity to grasp concepts and absorb details that might not be covered during traditional hands-on training. An added benefit of these programs is that they can be shared with everyone in the shop during downtime. Another dividend — these home-based study courses can help to prepare technicians to pass ASE’s school bus technician certification exams.
Popularity is growing
Through the years, the home-study option has grown in popularity. Each year, more than 5,000 technicians in the truck and bus industry take International’s home-based training tests. Upon successful completion of a test, technicians receive a certificate from the manufacturer or vendor offering the course, verifying their competency and underscoring their commitment to school bus safety.
International Truck and Engine Corp. offers several home-based programs, which cover the various features of an International® body and chassis. The programs range in price from $10 to $80, depending on the components included in the kit, such as workbooks or videos. The following home-based programs can be ordered by calling International Truck and Engine at (616) 968-4856. Information is also available through International’s Website at www.InternationalDelivers.com. Please refer to the TMT number when ordering the home-based training programs.