GREENVILLE, S.C. — School bus technicians and inspectors from across the nation will test their skills here Sept. 23-25 during the National Association for Pupil Transportation’s (NAPT) annual “America’s Best” competition.
America’s Best hopefuls will participate in two separate competitions: one for technical diagnostics and one for vehicle inspections. Each of the competitions will include a written examination and multiple hands-on components.
The exam will cover technical aspects of various school bus components, including electrical systems, brakes, engines, suspensions, drive trains and body systems. The exam will be prepared and administered by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.
During the second portion of the competition, technicians will demonstrate their ability to diagnose, troubleshoot and repair school bus components. Competitors will rotate through three diagnostic stations that will include an actual vehicle and a bench test situation. Inspectors will rotate through three stations that will require them to inspect all vehicle components and systems to identify defects.
“Over the years, America’s Best has been successful in raising awareness for school bus maintenance and safety,” said Bill Tousley, president of NAPT. “Not only does the competition help technicians share and learn best practices, but the information provided is valuable for continuous improvement and learning.”
This year’s competition will be hosted by tire designer and manufacturer Michelin North America at the company’s Donaldson Center training campus.
“One of the most important maintenance checks on any heavy-duty vehicle, including school buses, is proper tire inflation, and this competition gives us a great opportunity to talk tires with these mechanics,” said Roger Handren, director of government sales for Michelin North America.”