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October 30, 2009  |   Comments (4)   |   Post a comment

15 Fascinating Personalities

SHARING TOOLS   | Email Print RSS « Page 8 of 8

John Whelan
Heavy Duty Mechanic/Lead Hand, School District #73, Kamloops, British Columbia

John Whelan blogs about school bus maintenance and answers questions sent in from mechanics around the world.

Born: Kamloops, British Columbia
Home: Kamloops, British Columbia
Years in industry: 15
Notable previous jobs: I've worked in copper mines, truck shops, a GM dealership and, most notable, the Cache Creek Husky Truck Stop, which allowed me to work on an extremely wide range of equipment.

How did you get your start in the industry?
After high school, I started a six-month pre-apprenticeship course at Cariboo College (now Thompson Rivers University) and started working for Afton Mines as a second-year apprentice.

Current job duties?
We maintain a fleet of over 70 school buses and ground maintenance equipment. Other duties include inspections and repairs that are no longer covered by factory warranties. I also take the helm and help with managing daily shop duties when the opportunity presents itself.

Top achievements?
Sticking with the trade for this long and adapting to the changing trends in the industry. Having 32 years of experience under my belt feels great, and having the ability to pay it forward helping people in the industry and assisting others just getting started.

What do you like most about being in the industry?
I like working with professionals who care about safety and doing the job right. When there is a problem, using the synergy of all our experience gets the job done.

When did you start your school bus mechanic blog ( and how did you get the idea?
I started in 2005 with the Blogger platform because it was free and easy to work with. The main reason was to inform the Internet community about the industry and what a school bus mechanic does on a daily basis. Sharing some "aha!" moments is a great way to pass on information using my blog, which helps others save time and expenses.

I also belong to an amazing site called Mechanics Hub ( They offered me my very own page on their site called School Bus Mechanic. Mechanics Hub is an employment provider for mechanics looking for work all over the world on top of having a great social Website with a forum, videos and articles.


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Brad, You are truly an asset to Utah. You are also the proud winner of the NAPT National Competition. I would like to thank you for sharing knowledge with individuals in our industry. You are amazing. Launi Schmutz

Launi Schmutz    |    Oct 15, 2010 01:32 PM

I would love to see pics of the bus you are restoring. I myself have turned a '83 International into a motor home.

Joe Fondue    |    Aug 20, 2010 12:34 PM

Congratulations Diana - This is awesome. I could see you mud wrestling for charity however - you are an extremely warm and giving soul. You also have a tiny need to sometimes step over to the wild side. God Bless you my friend. MAxine

Maxine Mougeot    |    May 03, 2010 02:35 PM

Mr. Bob Riley was wonderful to work with here at Palm Beach County. I found him to be a wonderful mentor for all. Whether he was tutoring a driver in geometry for their GED test or teaching his staff how to deal with difficult parents he made it fun. He has the ability to make you feel comfortable and taught you to believe in yourself; I will always be grateful for the opportunities he gave me.

Sue Gorby    |    Nov 04, 2009 05:39 AM

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