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Dvorak
Senior Member

United States
52 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2012 :  06:18:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm normally not one to toot my own horn, but I feel this time it's appropriate. In Minnesota we recently got done with our annual school bus inspections done by the state patrol. All 59 units passed with zero points taken off of any vehicle. This perfect score was the first for our district.

Who does the inspections in your states? Is there anything special you do to prepare for them?

Fastback
Top Member

955 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2012 :  06:21:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hats off to you!

Why yes, the ORIGinal CHARGER is a Fastback
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yellowbusjoe
Active Member

16 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2012 :  07:15:18 AM  Show Profile  Visit yellowbusjoe's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hats off to you, nice job. The state police do ours in Pa. They also do spot checks at any time.
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Mechan1c
Top Member

USA
674 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2012 :  12:10:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nice job...reminds me of a similar feat years ago...1994, our first 100%. Keep up the good work.
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Wolf0r
Top Member

USA
2177 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2012 :  12:18:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
YaY congrats! I got over half mine through, the others are scheduled next month.

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2266 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2012 :  2:04:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
DOT does ours. We take ours to an inspection lane every 6mo. Then once a year they are spot checked. I hate it when they come on a school day. I would rather them pick a summer day or Christmas break, something other than a school day.
Congratulations on your success! It's nice to be recognized for a job well done!

Bryan
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Mechan1c
Top Member

USA
674 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2012 :  2:11:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Forgot the 2nd part of the post...Our Washington State Patrol commercial vehicle inspection officers do ours; twice a year. 1 planned inspection for the whole fleet, and 1 random unscheduled inspection of 25% of the buses.

Edited by - Mechan1c on 03/13/2012 2:12:15 PM
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IBTMech
Top Member

USA
973 Posts

Posted - 03/13/2012 :  5:13:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit IBTMech's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Maine DOT does ours. It used to be twice annually but that has changed to whoever tested well, they may not be back for a year. Whoever didn't test well, they may be back soon, No forewarning.

So far, we've been tested roughly annually with only a days notice and have done very well.

The big difference is that the examiners aren't State cops. They're mechanics like you and I, employed by the State. They don't carry guns or drive cars with lights.

And they are very thorough, unlike the State Police.

If it doesn't fit, FORCE it.
If it breaks, well, it needed replacing anyway.
Pullin' wrenches for 45 years.
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Thomasbus24
Administrator

USA
3298 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2012 :  02:33:37 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nice work!!!

Ohio Highway Patrol's motor vehicle inspection units do ours. One annual inspection during the summer, and at leave one unannounced spot check for every bus during the year. Buses involved in crashes are also inspected at that time.

Here, you don't want a 100%, no defects inspection though...that tends to get attention from the big boys in Columbus, then they come to see for themselves. I'd compare that to a prostate exam.
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Fastback
Top Member

955 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2012 :  04:42:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Iowa Dept. of Education comes around and inspects ours twice per year, its always on a school day for us.

Why yes, the ORIGinal CHARGER is a Fastback
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RichBusman
Advanced Member

451 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2012 :  08:36:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
NY buses get inspected twice a year by DOT inspectors. They are scheduled with the operator in advance. Very thorough inspections, take anywhere from 1-2 hours per bus. In addition to the inspection itself, they also check all of the maintenance and driver inspection reports.

The state was considering going to yearly inspections to save money, but I believe that has been squashed for now. I think the twice yearly inspections is a good thing, keeps the fleets very safe.
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Dvorak
Senior Member

United States
52 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2012 :  12:02:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thomasbus24


Here, you don't want a 100%, no defects inspection though...that tends to get attention from the big boys in Columbus, then they come to see for themselves. I'd compare that to a prostate exam.



That's what I'm afraid of. Watch them do a random inspection in a month or two and fail half the fleet. Even better reason to keep them in good shape, right?
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Thomasbus24
Administrator

USA
3298 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2012 :  1:01:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Amen brother.

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bus724
Top Member

USA
1609 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2012 :  1:13:39 PM  Show Profile  Visit bus724's Homepage  Send bus724 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
CT school buses get inspected once a year by a DMV Inspector from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Unit (uniformed, gun-carrying, illuminated-Crown-Vic-driving officers who have received basic public safety training but specialize in inspecting commercial vehicles). Operators schedule appointments during normal (state employee) business hours, and the inspector shows up at your shop, where you can present vehicles in any order you choose. Occasionally, DMV will show up unannounced for a spot inspection (usually after a complaint or to follow up with previous violations), and buses are subject to roadside inspections at popular destinations and at weigh stations (yes, school buses have to pull in to open weigh stations in CT). They don't usually check maintenance records aside from the required annual-or-12K brake measurement report, unless it's during one of those spot inspections where they have a reason to go digging.
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2266 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2012 :  2:36:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Doug K

The B.C. Ministry of Transportation inspects ours annually. Also they do an annual PM Facility audit.

On the Facility audit they check things such as maintenance records, driver pre trip reports and trip logs, checking to see that pm services are being done at specified intervals and any driver reported defects are repaired in a timely fashion. Also there is a set list of shop tools you must have in your facility such as brake drum caliper, headlight aiming device etc. Most times we have been 100% on this audit.

On the bus inspections themselves we have never been 100% and never will. We simply have too many corrosion issues due to our winter climate and use of road salt.(this is our main reason for replacing buses. The average bus is in service about 10-11 years) However we have never had a unit deemed out of service by an inspector. The ministry also does do roadside checks, but 99% of the time when they have a check stop campaign going, they wave our buses through.



That's all interesting. Big brother telling you what kind of tools to keep, wow! Do they all have to be clean and in their place too? What about brand name? I can see it now "you purchased a Craftsman and this tool is only allowed in Snap-On!!

What's up with giving a government agency a name with ministry in it? That just sounds ominous!

Bryan
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raytobe
Advanced Member

USA
279 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2012 :  6:20:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit raytobe's Homepage  Reply with Quote
In Virginia state vehicle inspectors inspect the school buses. These are mechanics who take a test to get certified as motor vehicle inspectors by the state police. In our shop all mechanics are certified and we inspect our own busses. Once a year. I have all of mine due in the summer,month #6, 7, or 8 stickers placed on the windshield, this makes it easier (IMHO)as the inspection is done at the same time as the summer work thats done on the busses. An exception would be if the windshield sticker was stolen (fairly common)or damaged, then the month that the incident happened would be reflected on the new sticker month number. All motor vehicles that are on the road in the state have to pass the same inspection.
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Crown
Senior Member

63 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2012 :  6:30:44 PM  Show Profile  Visit Crown's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Congratulations, that's always a good feeling. Even if management is too busy to understand what it really means, be sure to thank the troops. It is truly a group effort that involves everyone on site.

We have the California Highway Patrol (or CHP for short:-). They look at every school bus within a 13 month period, and also look at 10% of the fleet at random once a year during our "Terminal Inspection". The Terminal also includes maintenance records, driver records, and the DMV "pull notice" program. We squeek by with zero write ups once in a while.
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2266 Posts

Posted - 03/15/2012 :  11:06:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That's ok on the long winded approach. I, for one, am interested in what other states (in your case, country) are doing. I think the approach of Illinois is what makes the state the most money. (I mean that too, just look at the news today. The current governor is not much better, he won't ever use the governor's mansion just like the one that's going to jail. Wonder if we can make it three in a row? ye haw, wouldn't that be a record to hang your hat on?)Not that we have a bad safety record though, I think the individuals in this line of work are first rate and care about what they are doing and watch everything closely their selves.

Bryan
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districtU46
Active Member

USA
24 Posts

Posted - 04/06/2012 :  2:03:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
congrats on the perfect pass on inspection! Our district in Illinois has to send our vehicles every 6 months to the dot inspection place a few miles from our shop... also we get 2-3 visits a year from the state to come out and check them on our lot.. usually its all awesome and the inspectors check and keep up with us to a high expectations, recently at the inspection building we've been sending our buses to have been failing for things that shouldn't have been failed for such as (and i quote) "brakes are worn to bare minimum"..i tore them off and wouldn't you know it they had plenty of life on them,,, new shoes start at 13/16" and mine were worn to 10/16" sadly enough the ridge of the drum made it look like little pad was left...this happened 4 times... i brought them to the station and asked why they were saying we were outta spec..i even brought the shoes! lol there was a "new" guy so we talked it over with the manager and we haven't had a problem since! i like the fact they inspect to a high quality tho.. shows they truly care about whats on the road!
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Cal Mc
Advanced Member

245 Posts

Posted - 04/08/2012 :  10:03:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit Cal Mc's Homepage  Reply with Quote
When we were running drums we kept the ridge cut off the drum to allow the brake drum to clean. We run a high percentage of gravel roads and the combination of dirt, brake dust and moisture were causing inconsistancy in braking. Getting rid of the junk in the drum will also increase brake life.
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