Spotlight on technology

Posted on February 1, 2007
Seon’s Smart-Reach wireless bridge makes swapping surveillance videotapes and hard drives obsolete.
Seon’s Smart-Reach wireless bridge makes swapping surveillance videotapes and hard drives obsolete.

Brake Check-Mate and Brake Check-Mate VSI
Child-Check Mate Systems

Malfunctioning air brakes are the most common cause of safety-related violations among school bus operators. Out-of-adjustment air brakes are also one of the leading causes of crashes.

To address this issue, Child Check-Mate Systems — innovators of the popular electronic child monitoring product for the school bus industry — has introduced a new product, the Brake Check-Mate.

Brake Check-Mate is an intelligent on-board warning system that measures brake performance in real time so that appropriate personnel can be alerted in advance of brake-related problems.

Bob Moran, president of Child Check-Mate, says the product will automatically warn drivers if their vehicle’s air brakes are out of adjustment or ready to fail. “The system provides a low-cost risk-management solution that offers increased safety while lowering maintenance costs,” he says. “In fact, the system will pay for itself in just six weeks through reduced labor costs and fewer violations.”

Brake Check-Mate is a patented electro-magnetic brake warning device that monitors and relays real-time notification of brake degradation or impending failure from any mechanical cause. It measures brake stroke travel and fade and senses hung-up brakes and non-activating brake chambers. It also saves drivers from having to crawl under a vehicle to perform the daily pre-trip inspection measurement of brake adjustment.

The device consists of a corrosion-resistant steel bracket, an electronic sensor, a special magnetic clevis pin and an in-cab diagnostic module. The bracket is attached to each brake chamber, and the sensor is secured to the bracket and aligned with the magnetic clevis pin at the correct start position based on the brake chamber size.

The main wiring harness is tie-wrapped to existing lines along the frame, runs through the firewall and connects to the in-dash display. When the brakes are applied, air brake activity is displayed by a series of LEDs that use the international color scheme of green for GO, yellow for CAUTION and red for STOP.

Another new product, Brake Check-Mate VSI (visual stroke indicator), provides drivers and maintenance personnel with air-brake status information. Installed under the power unit, it uses brightly colored pins to visually indicate if brakes are out of adjustment. It eliminates the need for drivers to crawl under the vehicle to measure brake adjustment.

For more information about these products, contact Bob Moran at the following toll-free number: (877) 494-8222.

Passenger Accountability System
Synovia Corp.

Synovia, a provider of GPS technology for school busing, now offers school districts a solution for tracking and managing special-needs students.

Building on its reputation for customer focus and innovation, Synovia has unveiled the Passenger Accountability System, which is designed to be the school transportation industry’s most advanced and reliable special-needs student tracking system.

The primary purpose of the Passenger Accountability System is to help districts account for their special-needs passengers. As part of the streetSmart family of products, the system works in unison with Synovia’s user-friendly software, allowing districts to create quick, meaningful and accurate reports.

Before each route, a passenger list is automatically downloaded to the text display. As drivers make their stops, they simply select the student who has boarded or exited, giving districts an accurate, real-time snapshot of who’s on board.

{+PAGEBREAK+} Because the system integrates with routing data, it quickly accommodates ever-changing passenger lists. If a new student is added or removed from the route, the passenger list is updated and sent to the display within 24 hours. Since it doesn’t require ID cards, barcodes or handwritten sheets, the system is nimble and easy to manage.

Drivers are empowered with two-way messaging between their vehicle and dispatch. If there is a medical or other emergency onboard, drivers may immediately notify dispatch with the push of a button. Within seconds, dispatch knows there is an emergency on the bus, where the bus is located and who is on board. Cellular technology provides a broader communication area and higher capacity than other radio-based options, ensuring that emergency information reaches dispatch in real-time.

Finally, the Passenger Accountability System helps automate reporting for special-needs transportation reimbursement. With accurate and real-time ridership records, information that previously took weeks to gather can now be gathered in seconds.

For more information, contact Brad Bishop at (317) 805-4866 or Synovia will debut the Passenger Accountability System on March 13 during the trade show at the Transporting Students with Disabilities and Preschoolers conference in Louisville, Ky.

VersaTrans OnScreen 1.2
VersaTrans Solutions

VersaTrans Solutions Inc. has released VersaTrans OnScreen 1.2, its newest version of the GPS tracking system that allows users to monitor fleet activity from anywhere.

VersaTrans OnScreen is a Web-based application that integrates with VersaTrans RP, VersaTrans Solutions’ flagship routing and planning solution. Using a Web browser, VersaTrans OnScreen enables school transportation operators to monitor vehicle location information and driver behavior in a real-time manner while vehicles are on the road transporting students. It offers transportation managers the opportunity to proactively monitor driver, route and vehicle information to assist in providing safe transportation of students to and from school and extracurricular events.

Version 1.2 offers enhancements to the displaying of route names, historical information, information lookup and playback modes. Further, the Vehicle Hardware Associations has been revamped for increased usability, and a VersaTrans OnScreen Purge feature has been developed to eliminate older data that can create performance issues and increased storage requirements.

“The enhancements built into this latest release of VersaTrans OnScreen make for a truly exciting product,” says Product Manager Joe Hasan. “New tools, which leverage real-time comparisons between GPS data and planned route data, assist our customers in operating the safest and most efficient fleet possible.”

Hasan says the new version allows managers to quickly retrieve information. For example, if a parent or school official wants to know if a bus serviced a stop or is running behind, the information is processed and pulled up on the screen. “There’s a lot of functionality built into the new release,” he says. “It really takes the next steps into integrating VersaTrans RP and OnScreen.”

For more information about this product, contact Terri Fallon, marketing director, at (518) 533-1804 or


Comments ( 0 )
More Stories

Portable Magnetometer

The FerroCheck 2000 series of portable magnetometers is designed to quickly and conveniently measure total ferrous wear particulates in lubricating fluids.


Commercial Vehicle Application Catalog

Raybestos’ new Commercial Vehicle Application Catalog and Specification Guide (BPI-CV17) is designed to help fleet managers and professional service technicians meet the demands of maintaining and repairing commercial vehicles.


PACCAR Parts Opens 100th TRP Store

The new TRP location in Alexandria, Louisiana, will offer the brand’s aftermarket replacement parts for trucks, trailers, and buses.


VIDEO: BusWise Boosts Bus Maintenance

Thomas Built’s BusWise Technologies platform provides real-time vehicle information, alerts on maintenance issues, and other features to enhance school bus serviceability.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!